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Unions set for strike over pensions

Unions are gearing up to defend public sector pensions in what could be a key battle with the Con-Dems in 2011.

The government has condemned the “gold plated” final salary pensions of public sector workers.

Several unions are already planning to strike in defence of pensions. Mark Serwotka leader of the Civil servants union PCS announced at the Coalition of Resistance conference that the PCS, UCU and NUT were in talks over joint action on pensions. Members of the UCU lecturers’ union delivered a resounding “yes” for industrial action on pensions and jobs.

Across our unions we need to push for the earliest possible ballots and start preparing members for action now. Workplace, local and regional rallies can get the membership behind the campaign, building for a massive yes vote. Activists in other public sector unions facing pension attacks – Unite, Unison, GMB and the CWU – should join in.

Turn words into action

We need to turn the pledge by union leaders for coordinated strike action at last year’s TUC into real action so we can deliver a powerful wave of united strike action in February and March next year.

We should join anti-cuts committees and fight alongside students, other trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners. Pensions can be a springboard for wholesale resistance and a mass strike in the public sector.

Finally, we should combine the energy and determination of the student movement with the power we have as workers to paralyse the system, prepare the way for a general strike against all aspects of austerity – student fees, job losses, and bring down the government.

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