Dave Prentis, speaking at the Unison conference in Manchester, today made it clear that the unions are not going to just sit back and take it. Promising a programme of industrial action, joint union strikes and a rolling programme of strikes, Unison plans to play a key role in joining in with other unions such as PCS, Unite, UCU, NUT, ATL and many others in opposing the Con Dem programmes of privatisation, cuts, attacks on pensions and attacks on working people.
He identified this Government as being more Thatcher than Thatcher and preferring bankers, spivs and the City to working people. The gloves are off and the need for an effective fightback is clear to all. He also warned Labour M.P.'s not to assume automatic support, accusing New Labour of "building the bridge that the Tories walked over ".
Andrew Lansley, "tosser", was condemned, along with the financial backers of private health care, for their NHS reforms. They never supported the NHS in 1948 and they certainly do not support it now. This and all the other Tory policies can only be defeated by mass industrial action and an alternative political leadership of the labour movement. One that supports and not condemns the trade unions for defending our public services. Ed Balls and co watch out. You too have failed our movement.
It was good to hear a union leader making reference to the similar struggles elsewhere in Europe and to refer to the struggles of the Palestinians also. Yes the crisis is international and unions need to take an internationalist stand.
Now we must all ensure that June 30th and beyond is a big success and that this action continues until the Con Dems and their unelected policies are thrown out.