Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not just one day

Let's assume that all the work we are doing for a good "YES" vote in the pensions ballot pays off.

On the 30 November 2011 more workers will be on strike than have been in this country for 85 years.

However, as our General Secretary, Dave Prentis, has repeatedly made clear to UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) - we cannot expect the Government to withdraw their attack upon our pensions after just one day of strike action.

It is certainly true that we cannot expect movement from the Government ahead of any strike action, and the impact of 30 November will depend entirely upon its success. However, if we are realistic, we must realise the need to prepare for further action after 30 November.

There will be a debate about whether "SMART" industrial action, rather than further all-out national action, will deliver results for us. It won't. It can't. We will reach that conclusion (though we need to continue an open and inclusive debate so that, when we do, everyone owns that decision).

There may be a debate about action short of strike action. That debate won't get far.

There may be a view that we should have "Regional" days of action. We shouldn't. Four or five multi-Regional strike days won't have a greater impact than a single UK-wide strike day.

However, after 30 November, we won't be talking about single days any more.

Once three million workers on strike have changed the conciousness of the entire country, we will (t the least) be planning for a swift escalation of discontinuous all-out national action.

Dave Prentis has made clear that we cannot expect to take just one single day of strike action and then to win. In the conduct of the dispute which will write his history he is absolutely right.

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