Cameron washes his hands of steel industry – steelworkers must occupy and organise general strike!


CAMERON yesterday gave the ‘V’ sign to the appeals by the Unite and TUC leadership that there must be a temporary nationalisation of Tata Steel until a new buyer could be found, dismissing their appeals before he flew off to the USA.

They had wanted him to do what Obama did after the 2008 crash, nationalise General Motors, ‘clean it up’ by closing large numbers of plants, cutting wages, benefits and pensions, and bringing in a new class of cheaper worker as far as wages, benefits and pensions were concerned.

The plants were then handed back to GM who were very happy with this form of nationalisation – first pioneered by Mussolini in Italy. Brown followed on with his temporary nationalisation of the banks in the UK, which did save them, and the price for which we have been paying ever since, through a catastrophic fall in living standards, a huge fall in wages and vast increases in housing costs.

The position of Cameron is that because of the critical state of British capitalism, with a new world crisis developing, and the banks already wobbling, he is not prepared to prop up in any way Tata Steel – since he may well need all the resources at his disposal to prop up the banks once again!

So he has flown off into the sunset saying his famous last words: that the government is ‘doing everything it can’ to save thousands of steel jobs – but warning that there are ‘no guarantees of success.’

Workers will be incensed at his nonchalant approach to their jobs and the future of their families. It would not surprise News Line to see workers refusing to let him back in, after his summit with Obama.

In fact, he has left behind him a trade union bureaucracy in a huge crisis, since they were relying on him to follow the example of Obama and Brown, despite the price that would have to be paid by all of us for the temporary relief!

Unite’s McCluskey commented yesterday, one day after he had urged Cameron to lead the campaign to save Tata Steel with temporary nationalisation. Speaking on BBC Radio’s Today programme, the Unite general secretary said the UK was in the grip of an ‘industrial crisis of enormous proportions.’

He again called for the creation of a steel taskforce and for the government to intervene to save the steel industry, like it did the banks during the financial crisis, saying EU state aid rules had not prevented Italy or France from ‘protecting’ their steel industries.

He also warned Tata against a ‘fire sale’ of its UK steel plants. Of course the best way to stop this is to occupy! For McCluskey, the leaders of the TUC trade unions and especially the General Council of the TUC the moment of truth has arrived, with Cameron calling their bluff, first by imposing a contract on the junior doctors, and then insulting them with his claim that he has done everything possible to save the steelworkers’ jobs.

Cameron is treating them with complete contempt. They now must either resign or give the order to occupy the steel plants to prevent any ‘fire-sale’ and then begin the organisation of a general strike, to defend all steel jobs, and in support of the junior doctors, to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government, that will nationalise the steel industry under workers management and end all attempts to impose contracts on the junior doctors.

The junior doctors are stopping work on April 6 and on April 26-27th. The whole working class must stop with them. On April 27th, the General Council of the TUC is meeting at Congress House in London.

There must be a massive lobby and march on the TUC general council on that date.

The general council must listen to representatives of the junior doctors and the steelworkers and respond to their appeals by naming the date for a general strike.

Bringing down the Tories to nationalise the steel industry and defend the NHS and the Welfare State is the way forward to a workers government and socialism. Only the WRP is fighting for this policy and perspective. Make sure you and your friends join today.