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As firefighters, health workers and others strike back nationally...

STRIKING WORKS: ST MUNGOS


VICTORY SHOWS WE CAN WIN
H

OUSING WORKERS, WHO STRUCK


last month in a battle against a
pay cut, have forced bosses to
cave in on the eve of a 10 day strike.
Their victory is a victory for us all. They
have shown its possible to fight and win
when our unions escalate action.
How they won their dispute is important.
In the face of savage Tory cuts to pay,
jobs and services, millions of workers are
looking for an alternative to the austerity
agenda, and questioning how we can stop it.
The St Mungos workers, who care for
homeless people in London, responded to
the attack on their pay by quickly calling a
seven day strike to show the bosses that they
were serious. Their strike was an inspiration.
It combined serious picketing at 19
different sites, with protests at eight different
council buildings across London.
It was great to see an active, outward
looking strike that really took the fight to the
bosses. As a result of their protests, pledges
came from a number of local authorities to
review their contracts with St Mungos. This
put a good deal of pressure on the bosses.
Recruitment to the union mushroomed.
Like many other disputes, the St Mungos
strike was as much about standing up for a
service as it was about workers rights.
They have also shown that when action is
called by unions, workers can respond with
the most incredible resistance.
But what is clear is that we need a united
response to austerity cuts at a national level,
to coordinate all the strands of the fightback
and strengthen the impact of our strikes.

Ricky Matthews

Thats why it is good to see NHS workers,


firefighters, and PCS members striking
nationally over pay, pensions and the fact
that the services they provide are being
slashed. Firefighters have just finished a four
day national strike. The action was solid.
Outrageoulsy bosses have thrown down
the gauntlet and sacked firefighter Ricky
Matthews, an FBU executive member, for
taking part in a legal strike. He needs the
urgent solidarity of every trade unionist.
You can get messages of support to Ricky
via twitter, @fbubucks. The strike victory at
St Mungos this week comes at a good time.
This week the FBU is debating its next
steps after the strike and in light of this
flagrant assault on the union.
What the St Mungos victory shows
is that in the face of bullying bosses, and
when it seems like nothing will shift them,
escalation can win.

St Mungos housing workers forced bosses to cave in on eve of 10 day strike

Many firefighters are right to stress the


urgent need for FBU to escalate strikes to
defend Ricky Matthews and the union.
This lesson is also vital for public sector
workers fighting the Tories pay insult.
The NHS strike in October was brilliant.
Despite low union density, the norm was
big, energetic picket lines. Now health
unions have named 24 November as the
next national strike. This gives a focus for
members in other unions to push their union
leaders to call them out to join the action.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: SAT 15 NOV

Organised

Events in local government, where action


was suspended for a lousy offer, stresses
the need to put pressure on union leaders to
keep up strikes until we win a real pay rise.
The scale of the attacks we face is huge
and we know the Tories and bosses will be
back for more if we dont stop them.
Labour promises cuts and austerity too.
The Unite the Resistance conference
(see right) on 15 November is the place to
discuss, debate and get organised.
The St Mungos strikers will be there
to talk about their victory, alongside
firefighters, NHS workers, McDonalds
strikers from the US who are organising,
and many others. Come along and bring
workmates: join discussions on mounting a
serious fightback that can beat the Tories.

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