strikes

Pension Battles

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The autumn is likely to see a renewal of strikes over the assault on public sector pensions. Charlie Kimber looks at the pressures on the big unions to join the fight.

The coalition's assault on the pensions of public sector workers is the most direct and concentrated aspect of its war to make ordinary people pay the cost of bailing out the bosses and the bankers. It is, of course, part of a much wider strategy, involving not just the £81 billion of public spending cuts but also a reshaping of the whole of British society in the interests of capital and profit. And the pensions attack goes alongside a vicious offensive against benefits, jobs and services everywhere.

In the spotlight

Towards a mass strike

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There are times, decades even, when events drag and nothing seems to happen, and there are weeks and months when history seems to leap forward. There can be no question that the announcement, by a host of public sector unions, at September's TUC conference of plans for a one-day strike on 30 November marks a sharp escalation in the class struggle in Britain

The decision by more unions to ballot their members over the assault on pensions and coordinate a strike with the four unions that struck on 30 June means that up to 3 million workers could strike together in what is effectively a public sector general strike.

Greece: austerity and workers' resistance

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Mark L Thomas spoke to revolutionary socialist Nikos Loudos about the explosive resistance to austerity in Greece


Photo Jess Hurd/Report Digital

Greece is being shaken by repeated general strikes, militant strikes by sections of workers, workplace occupations, mass protests and occupations of city squares.

While the headlines have been dominated by the threat to the eurozone, the attempt to shift the burden of the biggest economic and financial crisis of post-war capitalism onto workers' shoulders has now provoked the highest level of struggle in Europe since the defeat of the Portuguese Revolution in 1975.

Why does a mass strike matter?

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Kevin Best looks at why socialists argue for mass strikes

Revolutionaries are arguing hard and organising to put coordinated strikes - and a general strike - at the heart of resistance to the cuts. Strikes represent the working class's most potent weapon, utilising its unique social position as the producers of wealth in society, the source of bosses' profits.

After March 26: how do we beat the Tories?

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The TUC march against the cuts can become a springboard for strikes on a scale that can begin to break the government's austerity drive. Martin Smith looks at the debates inside the trade union movement and asks, how can we move from the streets to the picket lines?


Photo: Geoff Dexter

In politics as in comedy, timing is everything. Given the choice, I suspect that David Cameron and George Osborne would not have picked 10 March 2011 as the day for ex-Labour minister Lord Hutton to publish his report on public sector pension reform. Reform is something of a misnomer for what was a full-scale assault on the pensions of

Greece and Ireland: A Tale of Two Crises

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Across Europe austerity is being imposed - but it is often met with resistance. Nikos Loudos draws lessons from the explosive struggles of Greek workers, while Marnie Holborow exposes the desperation of Ireland's ruling class, whose neoliberal economy has become Europe's weak link.


GREECE: CRUCIBLE OF RESISTANCE


Greek workers show the way

France: confronting state power

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"On Monday we strike, on Tuesday we strike, on Wednesday we strike, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday too - and it'll only be over when we've won."


Photo: Phototeque.org

This song has become a hit on the mass demonstrations in France. After four days of national strikes and weekly demonstrations since 7 September the government has still not caved in. In just the last four days of action more than 3 million protesters have taken to the streets across the country. As the law to increase the retirement age was about to be passed in the Senate the unions called two new days of strikes and protests.

Eurozone crisis: new ideas of resistance as Greek fight grows

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The revolt against the IMF-EU austerity package in Greece escalated with two general strikes in May.

The strike on 5 May turned out to be the biggest ever, with estimates of the strike rally's size reaching over half a million. There were clashes with the police as they used tear gas against demonstrators trying to go up the steps in the parliament building. Three bank employees died in a blaze when a Marfin Bank building was set on fire.

Greece: the fightback against austerity

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Greece has been a focal point of crisis and resistance in Europe since exposure of its ballooning debt. Panos Garganos, editor of Socialist Worker's sister paper in Greece, spoke to Ian Taylor about the situation

Panos Garganos

What has been the response to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) going into Greece?

The delegation from the IMF, European Union (EU) and European Central Bank (ECB) arrived in Athens on 21 April, the anniversary of the colonels' coup in 1967. We suffered from the military then. We suffer from the bankers now. The fire service, hospitals, local authorities and teachers were on strike that day - that was the workers' response to the IMF, although the strikes were called earlier.

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