European Day of Action: UK Unions Should Get Involved

English: 2010 Spain, general strike 29th septe...
English: 2010 Spain, general strike 29th september, (ugt trade union convocatory) Español: 2010 huelga general en España 29-S (cartel de la convocatoria del sindicato UGT) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new European Day of Action is being planned for March 13th, or possibly a day later.  It is unclear at this stage whether it will involve mass strikes or just rallies.  How will the UK unions respond to this?  activists should ensure that pressure is brought to bear on union hierarchies to get involved with this day of action and generate solidarity actions.  My union, the PCS, is about to ballot members for strike action on pay and working conditions.  The ballot closes on 4th March so providing the ballot result goes the right way we could organise a strike to coincide with the day of action.  I certainly hope that is what happens.  Meanwhile myself and others will try to mark the day as best we can if those at the top screw up.  The day of action will be marked one way or another

As UK union activists talk up the idea of a general strike and unions pretend to look into it as a possibility we have to ask ourselves, where is the solidarity?  What does that word mean in the UK.  I take it to mean action.  We’ve all offered solidarity as a word (I’ve done it myself on many occasions) and it can be fruitful to offer it that way in some contexts because it shows you care and it promotes whatever action is taking place to a new audience.  However solidarity comes into its own when it means activity.  When we literally stand shoulder to shoulder with one another and when we share information and promote action together then we build links in our movement.  We also build links to other campaign groupings in this way and that goes to help organising for future campaigns.

On the next European Day of Action UK union activists need to act in solidarity with European workers.  Where strikes can be organised they must, where protests are the only possibility then so be it.  The trade union movement needs to start planning now for a glorious day of rebellion against austerity.


6 thoughts on “European Day of Action: UK Unions Should Get Involved

  1. Absolutely! The timing of the PCS ballot wouldn’t give us much time to build but that’s could actually work in our favour. It would mark it out as being the start of a campaign, not just another one day protest ‘event’ strike.

    It’s too good an opportunity to miss.

    A glance at the Morning Star shows how much action is going on all over the place. If some of that could be co-ordinated on M13 too it’d be quite something, especially as so much of it is in the private sector.

    1. Good point. There is a heck of a lot going on. I’m starting to wonder why the powers that be aren’t more strategic in their planning across our movement. I hope they’re not scared of being effective!

      1. I think there needs to be more awareness among members of the amount of stuff going on. They can then put pressure on TPTB to coordinate more.

        It’d be good for the members as it could help ease a sense of isolation.

        I include links to current action in our branch e-newsletter (generally one PCS/public sector, one private sector and one international) but few members click on them.

        1. It needs to be at branch, regional, national and international level with each activist doing what they can at the level of their involvement. Far too often it is left to local activists who can face the situation of members and indeed other activists worried that what they are cmapaigning for might not be supported by those at the top. That’s a mentatility that needs to be changed.
          As well as promoting stuff at branch level we need to let our regional and relevant national people know and urge for their support. Well that’s my take on it!

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