Resolution from yesterday’s News Line-All Trades Union Alliance Conference
THIS News Line-All Trades Union Alliance conference gives its complete support to the June 30th pensions strike and to the mass strikes over pensions that are going to erupt throughout the summer, into the autumn, and which even the trade union bureaucracy says will rival the 1926 General Strike in their scope and intensity
We condemn the statement by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, that the workers must not strike. He and the Miliband leadership of the Labour Party want the working class to accept being pauperised by the Tory-led coalition and to wait five years for the possibility that a Labour government will emerge, which as we all know will continue with exactly the same, or very similar, policies to the Cameron government.
The working class and the trade unions have had enough of these treacherous Labour leaders and treacherous Labour governments. It is set now to stand and fight and to defend all of its basic gains: the Welfare State, the NHS, elderly care, pensions, wages, a future for youth and all of its basic rights.
In fact, we demand that the TUC call a general strike to defend these rights and gains. The only way forward is through a general strike to bring down the Tory-led coalition and to bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bankers and the bosses and put an end to the capitalist crisis by bringing in socialism.
The essence of the situation is that the world crisis of capitalism has produced a coalition government in Britain whose basic creed is that since capitalism can no longer afford the Welfare State, the NHS, benefits, basic pensions and basic rights, these will be swept away and the resistance of the working class broken.
This is why the coalition leadership is already threatening new anti-union laws that will prevent public sector workers and other workers taking strike action for the duration of the economic crisis and pitch Britain back to the period of the Combination Acts when trade unionism was a crime.
Now the time for action. This conference calls on the BMA ARM, which is meeting next week, to decisively reject the Health Bill, to demand it be scrapped and to decide on forging an alliance with the TUC-led trade unions to defeat it, and the drive to privatise the NHS, which remains the purpose of the Health Bill, and will remain the purpose of any revamped Health Bill, despite minor cosmetic changes.
We also urge the BMA to decide on industrial action to defend its members’ pensions and to take its place with the working class in the front line of the struggle in the period that is immediately ahead.
We call upon the postal workers to take decisive action against the projected 40,000 sackings which will completely disable the industry so that chunks of it can be sold off to the highest bidder. There must be indefinite strike action by the postal workers against the mass sackings and the menace of privatisation, which is now looming on the very near horizon.
However, the reality of the situation is that health, welfare, benefits, services can only be defended by a general strike action to bring down the coalition and this is what this News Line-All Trades Union Alliance Conference demands.
The 1926 General Strike was betrayed after nine days, while more and more workers were coming out, by the TUC leadership that was incapable of standing up to, fighting and defeating the government of the day.
The present TUC leadership is no different. They are being driven by the crisis into mass strike actions, and even into a general strike situation, but they have not the slightest intention of bringing down this government and going forward to a workers government in Britain, which is the only way to resolve the economic crisis and which the working class demands.
A new leadership must be built up inside the trade unions to replace the bankrupt reformist leaders who are now starting to talk with a more left voice but have feet of clay.
The TUC leadership must be removed in the course of this struggle and replaced by a revolutionary leadership that is not frightened to fight, is not frightened of winning and will do everything to mobilise the huge power of the working class and all those sections of the middle class that support it to bring down the coalition and to put an end to the capitalist system.
In the period ahead, such a leadership must organise the general strike and also take actions to defend the gains of the working class. These must include the occupations of all hospitals that face closure and the mobilisation of masses of young people to support the trade unions and the struggle for millions of jobs at trade union rates of pay, with the most advanced training in modern skills and technology so that young people have a future.
Council housing must be defended at all costs and tenants who refuse to move when Tory and Labour councils decide they are going to demolish huge council estates, to hand them over to private developers, must be supported by the trade unions, who must organise mass strike actions and mass demonstrations to defend council tenants and council estates. The trade unions must also demand that a huge programme is launched to build millions of new council homes to end the housing crisis and provide jobs in particular for masses of young people.
The struggle that we’re engaged in is part of an international struggle that has been forced on the working people of the world by the world crisis of the capitalist system whose bankers and bosses are determined to make the workers and youth of the world pay for their crisis.
We give our full support to the workers of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the other EU states who face bankruptcy and a complete collapse of their living standards at the hands of the capitalists. Greek workers, with their general strikes, are showing the way, and already in the assemblies that are emerging in Athens and other cities, they are demanding a socialist revolution. They have already brought down one government, and calls are being made to bring down the regime, to write off the huge ‘Greek debt’ and for the working class to take power.
We give our full support to the peoples of north Africa in their struggle against imperialism and the puppet regimes that imperialism wishes to impose on them. The Egyptian and Tunisian workers aren’t satisfied with replacing Mubarak with his understudies and are fighting all the new attempts to ban strikes and are driving forward towards workers governments. We must support their struggle.
We support the struggle of the Libyan people against the oil thieves and the renegades who are supporting NATO and its criminal attacks which are killing Libyan people and destroying the infrastructure, hospitals, schools and the basic gains of the Libyan masses. NATO equals oil thieves and gangster governments, such as the Sarkozy and Cameron regimes, that will stop at nothing to re-enslave the Libyan and other African peoples. We stand for the victory of Libya and for the defeat of imperialism.
We give our full support to the Palestinian people and their historic drive to establish a state of Palestine this year.
We support the struggle of the Syrian workers for democratic and basic rights against the Assad regime. We also support their position that this is a matter for the Syrian masses to resolve and we support their complete opposition to NATO and any other imperialist intervention, by the US or Israel, inside Syria.
We send our greetings to the workers of Sri Lanka who have been bravely fighting the murderous Rajapaksa regime which is seeking to make them pay for the economic crisis after their murderous attacks on the Tamil people who have been slaughtered in their tens of thousands. The recent and continuing upsurge of hundreds of thousands of garment workers in the free trade zones of the country have shaken the Rajapaksa regime that was under the illusion that it was invincible. Now its feet of clay have been revealed for all to see. We call upon the Sri Lankan working class to go forward to a general strike to bring down the Rajapaksa regime and to inscribe on their banner their support for the right of self-determination for the Tamil people and their determination that those who engaged in the massacres of innocent people and unarmed combatants that took place will be exposed and pay for their crimes.
This News Line-All Trades Union Alliance Conference recognises that the working people of this country are part of the working class of the world. We agree with the basic statement ‘workers of the world unite – you have a world to win and nothing to lose but your chains’.
We agree that the enemy is at home. It is not in Libya or anywhere else. The future of the British workers will be decided in struggle in alliance with the workers of the world to build a revolutionary leadership that will go forward in the period immediately ahead to bring down the coalition through a general strike, to expropriate the bosses and the bankers, to go forward to a socialist Britain as part of the struggle to smash imperialism on a worldwide scale and establish socialism.