|Written by ISL – UK|
|Friday, 16 November 2012 16:45|
Over 300 people protested outside the European Commission in London. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said at the rally the action across Europe raises the question “why isn’t that happening today in Britain?” He said he was proud some PCS members had walked out today and the union is planning a new strike ballot.
A picket and demonstration led by Unite and RMT blocked traffic on Oxford Street in London against the dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Cross rail transport project.
Salford Council workers staged a 15 minute rally outside the Civic Centre in support. Salford City UNISON, which organised the rally, voted yesterday to support the idea of a General Strike in this country.
“It’s important to mark this day, even though British trade unions aren’t participating in the European General Strike” said Steve North, Salford City UNISON branch secretary ” It’s about people standing together because they are working people who are exploited by an international system.
Salford City UNISON treasurer, Ameen Hadi, had told the rally that the branch committee voted on Tuesday to support the idea of a General Strike in this country…”We need to start to organise ourselves at the bottom” he said “to force our leaders to do what they need to do to protect our services and jobs for the future.”
England and Scotland
Similar points were made at any other solidarity rallies that were organised in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Kingston, Lancaster and Morecambe, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Sheffield.
They were organised by Trades Councils and organisations opposed to austerity with the support of some unions. There was no nationally organised demonstration and in many places the union leaderships nationally or regionally did not call for support for these rallies.
The rally in Liverpool was supported by 80 people one of the organisers Martin Ralph on behalf of Liverpool TUC (and a member of theInternational Socialist League) said, “We congratulate those workers who were striking in Britain today or holding rallies. Forces like that have made a national movement today. The TUC Congress in September agreed to examine the practicalities of a general strike, what better way to do that than to discuss directly with those who are making general strikes in Europe? That is why we cannot tolerate the delays of exchanging our experiences and any boycotts of solidarity with other European workers.”
Some under leaders have said they don’t see anything; well with a blindfold on no-one would! The ETUC called for the European general strike on 17 October, the British TUC did not start publicising that and calling for support until 9 November, many union leaderships did not even do that, many union web sites still do not carry information about 14N.
We call on all union members to demand of their unions to open the doors to these struggles, publicise them, call for solidarity with them, organising meetings in November and December about what happened, build direct links at every level. This movement of solidarity today in Britain was built from below by union and community activists, demand in future our leaders act but at the same time make the actions and if leaders are too narrow minded to support those workers in Europe then elect new ones that will. Prepare for a general strike.”