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08 November 2011
Strike for pensions and services

Berwick Upon Tweed Trades Union Council fully supports the Strikes and Day of Action called for the 30th November by the TUC and their affiliated Trade Unions.
     Much publicity currently surrounds the issue of Public Service Pensions but the Day of Action is about much more. It is about cuts in essential services and job losses to essential skilled staff, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Council Staff, etc. and their support staff. Professions and skills we all rely on. On the issue of pensions, are we getting comparative cuts in the pensions of MPs and Government Ministers, who constantly tell us “We are all in this together.” We think not! If we are all in this together then surely we all qualify for a 49% increase in our wages, which is what the heads of industry have awarded themselves in the last year! These are the self same heads of private industry who the government keeps telling us can not afford to pay their employees pensions as good as the public sector. Instead of cutting public sector pensions perhaps the government would be better spending its time ensuring that all employees, public or private, have good pensions.
     We, and most other people, are not fooled by the “lack of money” tale! They can find unlimited funds for the bank bail out – RBS recently announcing profits in excess on £1 Billion. That’s more bonuses for them then and more cuts for the rest of us. When it comes to baring their chest and pretending we still have an Empire our Westminster Government have no difficulty what so ever finding money for arms spending or illegal wars. The next proposed target seems to be Iran. The UK has spent £12 Billion on war in Afghanistan – enough money to build 23 new hospitals or pay student grants for 11 years. They spent £45 Billion on defence last year, 1000 times more than they spent on conflict prevention or half the NHS budget. The cradle to grave costs of the renewal of the Trident Missile System will cost around £100 Billion.
     They used to say Socialism doesn’t work, well have a look around folks. We have a TV programme about an heiress who collects, yes, collects, £25,000 Hermes hand bags, each one costing more than what most people earn in a year in the Public Services ! We have a Con/Dem Government in power which will ensure that she can carry on with her lifestyle ! People betting on the worlds food supply! How obscene is that? The cuts aren’t driven by a lack of money but by anti Public Service dogma. Our former Defence Minister’s links to right wing, privatising, organisations and multi national corporations in the USA show exactly the direction the Con/Dem government wants to take us. That’s why the local Trades Union council calls for full support of the 30th of November Strike and Day of Action in defence of our essential Public Services.
     The Trades Council will be active promoting the Day of Action in  Berwick upon Tweed on both the 26th and the 30th November. Please join us.

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