200,000 Civil Servants taking strike action

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ON Wednesday over 200,000 civil servants and over 200 government departments will be strike bound for the day.

Civil servants from all government departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies will be taking part in a one-day national strike which will see pickets, rallies and demonstrations all across the UK.

The one-day stoppage by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will be the first industrial action in an ongoing campaign over the government’s programme to axe 100,000 civil and public service jobs, drive down pay and force through outsourcing and privatisation.

At 11:45am in London there will be a protest march from the Treasury to Westminster Cathedral Hall where a rally will start at 12:30pm addressed by the TUC general secretary and the main leaders of the Trades Unions Congress.

The truth of the matter is that the one-day strike by civil servants is a pledge for the future ,since it will not be enough to drive back this wage cutting, privatising, pension busting and mass sacking Labour government.

The destruction of 100,000 civil service jobs is proceeding. as is the privatisation of the NHS.

Suggestions are now being made that patients should be made to pay for cataract, hip replacement and varicose vein operations, and a large number of other ‘minor’ operations.

Such a change would see hundreds of thousands of people, many of them elderly, being made to pay for their health care, take out private insurance, or having to suffer acute pain and discomfort in silence.

At the same time, final salary pensions are being eliminated for all new starters, with existing workers forced to work five years longer, and pay much more for much less.

Education is also being privatised with moves to drive working class students out of the universities.

University chancellors are planning to bring in £6,000 tuition fees by 2010, with some demanding the right to bring in £10,000 plus annual fees for science subjects.

Now over 400 schools are being scheduled for closure in the north of Ireland. This is a massive attack on working people.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is demanding that wage rises be kept to two per cent, while his own inflation rate is at 4.4 per cent.

He is being backed up by the Governor of the Bank of England who declared last week that he will respond to above two per cent wage rises with increases in the bank rate.

He is going to punish workers who fight for wage rises above two per cent, by upping rates to put them on the dole.

When the TUC leaders address the striking civil servants on Wednesday in the Central Hall, they must be told in no uncertain fashion by workers that they must call a one-day general strike in support of the civil servants and all struggling workers.

This one-day general strike must be the preparation for calling an indefinite general strike.

This must bring down the Blair-Brown government and bring in a workers’ government that will carry out socialist measures.

Workers need a government that is going to end the privatisation programme and defend the NHS and state education and expand both.

They need a government that is going to organise a national programme to build millions of council houses that will provide jobs for youth and put an end to the housing crisis where hundreds of thousands of people cannot afford to rent or buy homes.

There is no doubt that the workers are ready for decisive action to defend their interests. It is the reformist leaders who shake in their shoes at the thought of taking action against the Labour government and the bosses and the bankers that stand behind it.

Central to this struggle is the building of a new and revolutionary leadership in the working class and the youth, that organises the working class to take the power and establish socialism.

The WRP is that leadership. Join it today.