11 September 2012
The TUC congress has voted overhelmingly to support a resolution committing it to explore the ‘practicalities’ of a general strike against austerity.
The motion was proposed by the prison officers’ POA union and has gathered increased support since the TUC general council split down the middle on the question at its meeting on the Thursday before the congress.
Backing from the Unison and GMB delegations showed mounting support for the resolution at the weekend.
In the debate, the giant Unite union also threw its weight behind the motion, which urges that the practicalities of a general strike be considered to take forward the campaign against austerity after rhe TUC demo on 20 October.
Unite’s speaker in favour of the resolution, Steve Turner, noted:
The government are raging class war against us.
This is a serious debate.
PCS delegate John McInally said:
Let’s have no nonsense about difficulties or legalities of industrial action. A 24-hour general strike would shift the balance of power.
The resolution was carried with a four to one vote in favour.
If TUC leaders follow up on the mandate from the resolution, we will see the first general strike in Britain since 1926 – a huge blow to the Tories’ austerity plans.
The text of the POA resolution, as published by the TUC, read:
Congress welcomes the Future that Works demonstration on 20 October 2012 and recognises this as being an effective platform and foundation to resist the damaging austerity measures that are damaging the very fabric of our society in Great Britain.
Further, Congress recognises that after the demonstration there needs to be a strong voice from all TUC affiliated unions to protect public and private sector workers, the unemployed, our children, the elderly and all those in our society who are vulnerable.
Congress accepts that the trade union movement must continue leading from the front against this uncaring government with a coalition of resistance taking coordinated action where possible with far reaching campaigns including the consideration and practicalities of a general strike.
Unite the Resistance is set to bring together more than 1,000 trade unionists and activists at its conference on 17 November, to discuss how to ensure the fight against austerity is stepped up after the 20 October demo. Tickets can be booked online now.