Friday, December 23, 2011

The pensions arguments of Xmas yet to come

Already today, I have been visited by the pensions arguments of Xmas past and the pensions arguments of Xmas present, but more troubling than either of these may be the pensions arguments of Xmas yet to come.

For, whilst it is easy, after too much food and wine, to be irritated by the excitable comrades for whom any mass strike is Christmas come early, what will become of us if, Scrooge-like, we call the prospect for further struggle “humbug” and make the wishes of the financial advisors come true by settling for a warmed over version of the offer we rejected in early November?

Will Danny Alexander’s promise of no further change to our pensions for 25 years come true?

No.

Instead, emboldened by what they clearly see as their victory on this question (These heads of agreement deliver the Government's key objectives in full, and do so with no new money since our November offer.), the Tory-led Government will not only advance their attacks upon workers’ individual and collective rights, but will also hold firm to their plan for continuing reductions in real wages and assaults upon our Welfare State.

The activists and organisation which we have encouraged and built in the run up to 30 November will be demoralised and disorientated by our seeming capitulation, and opportunists within our own movement will seek membership growth without growing the overall membership of all trade unions.

As early as Xmas 2012 we will be reading of the plans of the Tories who hope to form a Government alone in the near future to end defined benefit pensions for good and all.

Is this the future we want to wake up to after the Xmas holiday?

UNISON members need to find out who represents them on their Service Group Executive and lobby them before the meetings on 10 January.

The message of a Christmas Carol is surely that we still have time to change our minds?

Merry Xmas one and all (particularly regular readers of this blog, Sid and Doris Festive-Blogger)!

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