By Shashi Poudel
I attended closing rally of Jarrow March in London last weekend. The president of The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) Rob Williams addressed the Rally , he said – One year ago over 50,000 students marched through the streets of London. That march set off a mass movement of hundreds of thousands of young people against the rises in tuition fees and the abolition of the EMA allowance for college students.
Then we had the 26 March TUC mass demonstrations and the fantastic strike of 750,000 civil servants, teachers and lecturers on 30 June.
Now we’re just days away from 30 November (N30), when up to three million public sector workers will be striking to defend their pensions.
He further says that, – This will be an overwhelmingly popular strike because all those who have suffered from these cuts want someone to stand up for them. A Guardian poll found 77% of respondents thought public sector workers were justified in going on strike.
The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) was initiated in 2006 by the transport union RMT but we were created for times like this. The NSSN will always give support and solidarity to workers in struggle.
We’ll always bring together rank and file stewards and activists to learn from each other. But in times like this, we act as a lever on the official union structures and leaders to push them to act, popularising the idea of coordinated strike action.
Rob estimate that – NSSN given out well over 100,000 leaflets this year, with “For a 24-hour public sector general strike” on them. Isn’t that what we’ve got on 30 November?
He also states that – We lobbied the TUC last year, calling for a national demonstration against the cuts, which we think played a part in getting the 26 March demo organised.
And on 11 September over 700 shop stewards came to our rally and then marched and lobbied the TUC, calling for a coordinated strike against the Con-Dems’ attacks on pensions.
The NSSN appeals to everyone to make sure that on N30 there’s a demonstration in your town that reaches out to everyone who has suffered from this government’s attacks.
We also need to involve workers in the private sector. The magnificent protests of the construction electricians at 6.30am every Wednesday for the last three months show that a united front of all workers can be built against the government and the employers.
Mr Williams alleged that – The Jarrow March for Jobs has re-tied the knot of history. Now we’re writing our own history with one of the biggest workers’ marches this year and the biggest strike for 85 years on N30. We can succeed in the present by defeating the attacks on pensions and forcing this government out.
11 November 2011