THE DECEMBER 12 general election will take place in the middle of an unprecedented wave of strikes as workers show their revolutionary determination to fight in defiance of the political niceties that demand that the working class remain silent and passive while the political parties either vie for their vote or prepare for Xmas.
On Tuesday, the railway workers union (RMT) announced 27 days of continuous strikes throughout December on South Western Railways.
RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said: ‘This will be the longest nearly-continuous rail strike in British history.’ He added, ‘We know it will cause disruption over the Christmas period, but our members have simply had enough.’
Rail workers have had enough of the constant attacks on jobs by the private rail companies desperate to cut costs to satisfy the lust for profit by the shareholders and the huge bonuses handed to the bosses of these companies.
Strikes by rail workers in other networks including Northern, Merseyrail and West Midland Trains have also been announced by the RMT.
In Royal Mail, postal workers are up in arms over the new management regime tearing up a supposedly binding agreement on wages and a reduction in the working week and are preparing to strike in the run-up to the general election.
This will hit the election process of postal balloting with predictions that it could even invalidate the entire general election result.
On top of these two national strikes, it was announced this week that 60 universities across the UK will be hit by a strike called by members of the University and College Union (UCU) for eight days between November 25 and December 4 over a long-running dispute over pay and pensions.
Airline pilots in the BALPA union employed by British Airways are also threatening to strike over the Christmas period in another long-running dispute over pay. This wave of strikes has prompted a great fury from Tory MPs with demands for even tighter laws to outlaw unions calling strikes that threaten to upend bourgeois democracy.
Tory MP Tim Loughton articulated this, saying: ‘If it comes down to it, and these disputes cannot be resolved, parliament should step in and make changes to the law. We cannot allow British democracy to be held to ransom in this way.’
What is terrifying the ruling class and its political representatives is that these strikes represent a working class that has lost any respect for the old parliamentary ways of doing things and are prepared to challenge the right of parliament to govern as the ruling class dictates.
Workers have nothing but contempt for a Tory leader who promised ‘do or die’ over Brexit only to collapse and accept yet another extension.
Equally, they have no respect for a Labour leadership which has reneged on its commitment to uphold the decision of the 2016 referendum and is now promising to dump Brexit in favour of more negotiations with Brussels followed by a second referendum at which the only options will be to either accept another sell-out deal leaving Britain tied to the EU or reject Brexit and Remain.
Labour leaders have even stated they will campaign against their own deal in any second referendum in order to force through a Remain vote.
With the working class demonstrating that they have no trust in any of the political parties, the current general election is taking place under conditions of a collapsing political system.
Workers must be prepared for the ruling class to turn to the courts in an attempt to salvage what’s left of their authority by declaring these strikes illegal.
Any threat of turning to the courts must be met by the whole trade union movement coming out immediately in defence of the basic democratic right of workers to strike.
The huge strength of the working class will then be mobilised in a general strike to bring down the government and go forward to a workers government.
A workers government will leave the EU immediately with no deal and go forward to nationalise the major industries and public services placing them under the management of the working class along with expropriating the bankers and bosses as part of building socialism.