On Wednesday 30 November, UNISON and 22 other trade unions are striking to defend our pensions. UNISON, PCS, GMB, UNITE and even the headteachers’ union, that has never taken industrial action in its 114 year history, are coming out on strike.
This will be the biggest strike in Britain for decades.
Our members only ever take strike action when driven to it, when there is no other way of bringing employers back to the table to reach a fair settlement. That the Tory-led government have managed to provoke 23 separate trade unions to hold strike ballots for strike action on the same day sums up the attitude they have to our members. That every union involved has delivered a big Yes vote for action shows how out of touch this government is with all public service workers.
And that’s why all of us, from all unions and from all parts of the public sector, need to make the strike on 30 November as effective as possible.
30 November is our opportunity to say No to a government which is attacking our pensions, doing nothing for our young people, hurting our public services and communities and privatising our NHS. This is a trade dispute about our public service pensions, but it’s also about telling the Tories and their Lib Dem poodles that ‘enough is enough.’
UNISON Manchester Branch is urging every member to strike and to encourage family, friends and neighbours to join the march and rally. We refuse to have our pensions and public services pay for the losses and mistakes of the bankers. Bankers and the financial elite are not being asked to meet the cost of their greed and incompetence. Their bonuses are protected, unlike our pensions which we have paid for ourselves.
When all’s said and done, it is for us to defend what we and previous generations have fought for and won. We are not greedy, nor are we unreasonable. But we do know when we’re being conned.
Let’s tell Government on 30th November that attacks on our members, our pensions, our families, our public services and our City will not go unchallenged.
The Branch is looking for even more volunteers for picketing, so anyone who wants to help should contact the Branch ASAP. It’s good fun and important, and the picket lines that UNISON puts into place on every workplace are really effective.
On strike day, the TUC has organised rallies throughout Greater Manchester, including in Manchester, Oldham and Wigan, which all members’families and friends are most welcome to attend. Full details are available via the Branch website or on www.pensionsjustice.org.uk
In Manchester, the march will leave Liverpool Road, off Deansgate, at 11.30am, proceed through the City Centre and arrive at Whitworth Park by 1.00pm for the TUC rally. There will be a ‘make the loudest noise at 1pm’ TUC national event to make the largest possible protest at Government attacks on our pensions. Bring an instrument, whistle or a BIG voice.
Pat McDonagh, Branch Secretary