Time to tell this government: we demand better!

COMMENT: Working people have had enough. Everything’s going up but our wages

Thursday, 9th June

No 10 downing street

Everybody can join the TUC demo on June 18 and tell this government: we demand better

THIS week’s tube strike was met with predictable national news headlines about “unforgivable” union bosses “heaping more misery” on passengers.

Stories about strikes being “called off” – ie when worker demands are met – are rarely reported with such gloom-ridden gusto.

Public discourse about industrial action is shaped by union-busting media moguls and a small clique in power still grinding out a tired old-normal agenda against industrial action.

Thus the RMT Union was branded “selfish” by Downing Street when in fact their actions are anything but.

During Covid there was a sense of rallying around as the country came together to help their neighbours with food and supported the “heroes” that kept the NHS running and public transport in service. All that seems rather distant though now.

Just days before crowds cheered a waving hologram from a golden carriage on the Mall, the Palace had been in a pickle over poverty pay after advertising a job below the London Living Wage.

We hope some of the Covid compassion returns later this year as there are many, many strikes in the offing.

Rail strikes already called for later this month are already being dubbed the “biggest in modern history”.

There has been under-investment and mismanage­ment, millions wasted on HS2. It’s not unusual now to hear people say they want the railways nationalised.

Let’s focus on that rather than the disruption a few days reduced service will cause.

Fresh strikes have also been called on the London Underground, on June 21. The bus cuts consultation will surely lead to walkouts too.

Cleaners at St Pancras International were out banging drums this week in protest against low pay as well, and the Royal Mail is balloting again over plans to remove more than 500 delivery managers.

Bin men are walking out around the country and local government workers are likely to follow.

Good on the unions. Who else is going to stand up for workers’ rights? Can we rely on the Labour Party to do it?

The outsourcing of public services and the fragmentation of the campaigning Left has made it harder for unions to mobilise a fight-back.

But the government is in a bigger crisis. The 2019 landslide is history.

And a major demonstration in London would remind those clinging to power that they have more to worry about than a few people booing on the steps of the St Paul’s, or a group of renegade Conservatives plotting the PM’s downfall.

Working people have had enough. Everything’s going up but our wages.

Everybody can join the TUC demo on June 18 and tell this government: We demand better.

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