Thursday, 30 June 2011

Solidarity to ATL, NUT, PCS and UCU members taking strike action! Solidarity to all workers resisting unjust attacks!

Brighton, Hove and District Trades Union Council send greetings, congratulations, support and solidarity to all your members involved in industrial action on June 30.

The strikes happening on this day are the biggest co-ordinated action we have seen for decades, and should be the start of a wider industrial campaign to stop this government and their attacks on working people.

Our movement cannot and will not stand by and allow our members' livelihoods - both now and in the future - put at risk to pay for a recession caused by greed and recklessness in the financial sector.

The changes being imposed on jobs, pay and pensions should not go unchallenged. Why should you, or we, pay more, work longer and get less when our pensions are affordable in both the long and short term? The government's proposals are not driven by questions of affordability but by questions of ideology, and require joint union action to resist them. 

It is also important to show that we will not be intimidated by this government’s threats of attacking our trade union rights. The right to strike is the voice which allows us to influence the establishment of rules that control the majority of their lives.

We are standing up to our employers and to the government to fight for better working and living conditions, not only for ourselves, but also for the society at large. We reject the ruling classes' attempt to divide us by insinuating that we are better off than private sector workers. We reject the race to the bottom, and will use our industrial muscle in the fight for better rights for all workers.

When we strike, we are showing our working class strength. We will fight alongside you in this struggle, and we will not rest until we are victorious.

In solidarity,

Holly Smith
President of Brighton, Hove and District Trades Union Council


Brighton and Hove City RMT fully support all workers taking action on this day June 30 2011 in defence of pension changes, job cuts and pay freezes.

RMT transport workers in the city recognise your unselfish actions in fighting to defend hard fought for jobs, pensions and conditions.

We salute you, as your struggle is our struggle.

Garry Hassell
Brighton and Hove City RMT Branch Secretary

Greg Hewitt
Brighton and Hove City RMT Chair


The NUJ is supporting public sector workers who will be on strike this Thursday, June 30, in defence of their pensions, jobs and pay. It is an important moment in the fightback against government attacks, and it is a fight for us all.

At last week's Brighton NUJ branch meeting members were encouraged to show their support at picket lines - from 7am at local schools, colleges and PCS-organised workplaces - and at the joint union rally which assembles on The Level at 10.30am and, after some speeches, marches to Hove Town Hall for a meeting due to start at 12.30pm. Please join in where you can and let the strikers know they have the NUJ's support!

Phil Mellows
Brighton & Mid Sussex NUJ Branch Committee


Comrades, Friends
I feel proud and honoured, on behalf of the re-launched Worthing TUC, to offer solidarity with those taking action today.

When this government snatched power, the TUC said it would organise co-ordinated strikes. Despite student protests, anti cuts demonstrations and localised strikes such as that by Southampton council workers, we have heard little from the TUC about co-ordinated national action. Of course we had the TUC magnificent March for the Alternative, this should have been the springboard but left many Trade Unionists begging the question where now?

We can’t stand around waiting for the TUC. The unions must have the will to do this and Trade Union Councils can and should take the lead where the TUC has dragged its heels, Trade Union Councils can play a vital role in bringing the unions together and organise co-ordinated action, Trades Councils should align and work together nationally in organising and co-ordinating action against this governments attacks.

We must not repeat the mistakes of the past and through a united movement ensure that no unions are left to stand alone. PCS, UCU, NUT, and ATL have taken the lead in co-ordinating action together, they have sown the seeds, we must salute them and call on all our unions to get with the programme.

We need to reach out to our communities, promote Trade Unionism as a force for good both in the workplace and out in the community. This government is waging a disingenuous war for the hearts and minds of the public. Take teachers, for example, who are being particularly vilified by multi-millionaire Old Etonian Michael Gove, claiming teachers have a moral responsibility not to strike and that this strike will lose them respect. Well I say, what about this government’s moral responsibility not to put millions out of work and into poverty whilst bankers and fat cats guzzle multi-million bonuses? It is you, Gove, that has no respect, just greed.

Gove says teacher strikes will inconvenience mothers - well what about the inconvenience to millions of ordinary people who are losing jobs, services, benefits, facing wage freezes and pensions robbery?

Gove says strikes will threaten negotiations - how can unions negotiate when the central issues that workers are most upset about aren’t even on the table? Paying 50% more for their pension, working until 68, and a 15% cut in the pension! The government won’t budge an inch on these issues, so when teachers are left with no option but to excercise the right of all workers to withdraw their labour, the government responds with a smear campaign and calls on mothers to cross picket lines in a desperate attempt to undermine the strike.

And Cameron says this is fair!

Parents need to understand that if we allow teachers terms and conditions to be eroded, this will lead to a decline in the teaching profession, which in turn will lead to a decline in education standards. As a result less working class people will get the qualifications needed for the top jobs. The rich and privileged will continue to take all the wealth and increase the class divide. This of course is the Tory’s ideological agenda, they don’t want working class people to have anything.

The average salary for a private sector worker is £386 with average pension of just £1,400. The average salary for a public sector worker is £446 with average pension of £7,800. Hardly goldplated!

This government wants to bring us all down to the lowest level, in a race to the bottom. Teachers, civil servants, refuse collectors today, but if we let them get away with it, everyone else tomorrow.

They want to send us all back to the days of the workhouse and “please sir can I have some more”!

Well, as Trade Unionists we should make no apologies for fighting to defend and enhance our member’s terms and conditions, and protect the services ordinary working people rely on. Private sector pay and pensions should be brought up, not the pay of others reduced. Raise the bar, not race to the bottom.

Contrast this with the income of Prince Charly which has risen by 18% in the last year from £1.7 million to nearly £2 million, and from his landed estate up 4% to £18 million!

The Con-dem cabinet numbers many multi-millionaires. Bankers continue to pay themselves massive bonuses despite causing the crisis. All in it together? Clearly some more than others. A society of winners and losers where the losers have already been chosen!

Vince Cable has the brass neck to stand up in front of GMB delegates and warn that in response to strikes, the government will ratchet up anti-union laws. This is a declaration of war. So if its war they want, then we shall fight back and give them a war!

Thatcher once commented that her greatest achievement was New Labour, Cameron's greatest achievement is the revitalisation of the organised labour movement. Across the country new anti-cuts groups and Trade Councils are forming as a response to his government's attacks on working people. They have ignited a flame that is spreading into an inferno of resistance. They are playing with fire, and they will get burnt.

Worthing TUC is proud to be part of the fightback. Thanks Cameron, Clegg, Cable et al, we couldn't have done it without you! Ring the alarm!

Respect to NUT, PCS, UCU, and ATL, and let's not forget striking Unite and Unison workers in Southampton. Stand firm, we support you, you’re victory will be an inspiration to the Trade Union movement, giving confidence to other unions to join forces and defeat this Tory led attack on the working class.

In solidarity

Richard Jones
A/Secretary Worthing TUC


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