It might seem a long way off for some of us, but hopefully we’ll all live to draw our pensions – unless, of course, the government and banks do away with them first. On Thursday June 30th, 5 of Britain’s Public Sector Unions will be holding a 24hour “co-ordinated strike”, the biggest and widest such action in nearly a century. There is far more at stake than just the much-publicised pensions of high ranking civil servants: if employer-provided pensions for low waged public sector workers go, we can expect private sector pensions to be restricted to upper management, those already receiving the only truly “gold plated” pensions.
York Stop the Cuts will be helping people get involved, especially if they’re not on strike in the classic sense. We’re planning a “cycling picket”, a mass of cyclists moving between picket lines, delivering cake and coffee during the morning. It’ll be followed by a rally, picnic and other activities in Parliament Street from 12noon to 2pm – timed to allow workers to drop by in their break if they aren’t on strike. Other protests and meetings will take place during the day.
Pensions have been a huge issue in France, and after the summer, some of Britain’s biggest unions will be joining the struggle. But if we are to defend the right to a decent quality of life for all, this struggle cannot remain within the Unions.
Also coming up: there’ll be protests around the 13th July, the birthday of the NHS, and in September and October, we’ll be organising transport for the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.