Greens Call for United Strike Action over Pay

Derek Wall, the Green Party’s Male Principal Speaker, has called for trade unions to put increased pressure on the Government and public sector employers by uniting to carry out sustained strike action, in opposition to attempts to impose pay cuts.

Last week over 500,000 local government workers across the country – including care assistants, refuse collectors, cleaners, teaching assistants and social workers – took industrial action because employers are attempting to impose pay cuts. The employers “final offer” amounted to just 2.45 per cent, whilst food prices have risen over 9 per cent in the last year and energy bills by 15 per cent.

In the wake of a national two-day walkout by UNISON and Unite last week, many union activists are discussing the potential for joint action between unions across different sectors.

In Scotland, a local government dispute is likely to lead to strike action, whilst a decision by the National Executive Committee of the National Union of Teachers resolved to ballot for further discontinuous strike action in late September. Civil servants union, the PCS, is also to ballot its public sector membership for twelve weeks of discontinuous action. In June, delegates of the Communications Workers Union voted unanimously for strike action against pension cuts, post office and mail centre closures, and up to 40,000 job losses.

Derek Wall stated, “What public sector workers are asking for is entirely fair – that they are not forced to pay for economic problems which they are not responsible for.”

“Many Green trade unionists believe that further strike action should be planned now and should be coordinated between trade unions as far as is possible.”
“Sustained and united strike action can force the hand of the employers and overturn their plans to impose pay cuts. All public sector workers deserve a pay rise not only to cover inflation, but to make up for 10 years of below inflation pay deals, which are pay cuts in all but name.”

The Green Party has a record of championing trade union activism, from defending attacks on public services to advocating the repeal of the anti-trade union laws introduced by the Conservatives and left in place by Labour. On the London Assembly, Green Party Members were integral in establishing the Living Wage Unit aiming to lift London’s lowest paid workers out of the poverty trap.”

13 comments on “Greens Call for United Strike Action over Pay

  1. Mickie on said:

    Shouldn’t someone claiming to be ‘principal speaker’ of a major political party know that there’s no such thing as the Greater London Assembly? It’s the London Assembly.

    Politics can be complicated, Derek; don’t give up the day job (after all, those rich kids aren’t going to get undeserved Oxbridge places by themselves).

  2. Doug on said:

    Hands up all the Green party members who visited the picket lines last week? Hah, bloody hah.

  3. mark anthony france on said:

    #1 and 2 Mickie and Doug, your comments seem rather negative…. it is clear that there are all sorts of ‘Greens’ same as there are all sorts of ‘socialists’
    In my experience some of the most consistent activists against the war and for a better future have gravitated towards the green party in recent years.

    It is very rude to be dismissive of Derek Walls clear and absolutely unambiguous support for the low paid and encouragement of a more active campaign of industrial action.

    In 2009 in the Euro Elections it is clear that the weakness of the ‘socialist’ left in England will make it all but impossible to register opposition to globalisation and the threat of fascism via an electoral challenge in these large Euro Constituencies…. Whereas the Greens do have the possibility of making gains…. Socialist need to be serious now about supporting the process of ‘radicalisation’ inside the Green Party that Derek and his collaborators represent. The prospect of the Greens coming ahead of UKIP and the BNP and maybe gaining the support of Labour Voters who can’t stomach to vote for them again, this prospect is something we should look forward too and contribute towards.

    So please, don’t be so negative… show some RESPECT.

  4. Mark P on said:

    Thanks Doug, you really have an extraordinary talent to illustrate the utter irrelevance of the tiny Far Left groups.

    A party of over 100 councillors, an MSP, 2 MEPs, 2 GLA members offers its unequivocal support for a trade union and you choose ti rubbish it, brilliant!

    And we wonder why the Far Left is so universally mistrusted by every significant social movement.

    Mark P

  5. Doug on said:

    Here we go again, more irrelevant pearls of wisdom from Perryman. I don’t know whay you mean by ‘significant social movement’ but I’m sure you do.

    Stop press news – the Green Party isn’t a left wing organisation but I’ve no doubt you and others will continue to cover over that fact by referring to it in meaningless and woolly terms like ‘radical’. i don’t care how many councillors etc they’ve got the vast majority of them and their members would have done nothing concrete last week and the Greens, with a few honourable exceptions, vote for cuts and redundancies etc when put forward by NL/LD or Tory.

    despite the smaller numbers, I bet there were more members of Far Left organisations actually doing something last week than Greens but, hey, why let facts get in the way of your pathetic prejudices and crap politics.

  6. God Doug, you really are a nasty, sour man aren’t you.

    I’ve never seen you contribute anything positive. It’s just ritual self-righteous ‘purist’ finger pointing and sectarian hatred. If you don’t like the Greens’ ‘crap politics’ then go away and do something else. Spitting venom at everyone who doesn’t agree with you spartism isn’t goint to change much is it? But then it’s easy to get the impression that people who behave like you are more interested in curling their lip at everyone else and hugging their political isolation close like a comfort blanket than they are in having a significant political impact.

  7. Mark P on said:

    Doug you really do a brilliant job.

    A few hundred members of assorted Far Left groups turning up at picket lines last week trying to sell a paper that no one wants to read is just the kind of contribution trade unions have been crying out for decades. In fact its such a good idea it bemuses me nobody hadn’t thought of it before.

    And while you’re doing this could you perhaps point out a single sentence of Derek Wall’s statement that offers anything but unequivocal support for Unison workers in this dispute?

    Oh, and if you don’t even understand what a ‘significant social movement’ is its probably not such a surprise that you cannot cite a single one that identifies with the Far Left. I’ll give you a clue tho, what is your group’s membership and elected representatives, and has this gone up to any great extent after 11 years of Blair-Brown. No? Didn’t think so.

    Mark P

  8. irish socialist on said:

    what about the role the green party has played in southern ireland.
    As soon as they got into government they sold out on everything from the use of Shannon Airport by the US military to their previous, and correct, opposition to incineraters.
    And now the government they are part of are preparing public spending cuts of around €3 billion!
    This is not to jib at alot of ordinary green party members in england who probably have no say on the matter but they should know exactly what their organisation when it has been given some support has done.
    i think like all small coalition partners in the south they will suffer terribly for their participation in right wing governments.

  9. I am well aware of Greens fucking up in Ireland and Germany, I support good stuff and criticise bad stuff from my own Party …this does not always make me popular in my own Party but who wants to be popular. Although it has made me popular enough to win internal elections on plenty of occassions as an out ‘ecosocialist’.

    I am sure we can say lots of groups are shit but surely unite on common work supporting industrial action, peace, ecological struggles, etc, etc.

    Any way criticism fair enough but lets keep on with real political action…life is short and the left in the UK are too divided.

  10. Danny on said:

    Again I agree with #3

    Today a BNP trailer advert was driven past me in Merseyside, clearly their push for a Euro MEP in the North West has now begun. I’ll be voting, and potentially campaigning, for the Greens for the first time ever as the best alternative to stop this happening.

    England seems to be one of the few places other than the USA where the left are so poor the that the Greens provide the best hope to regroup.

    I still find Greens themselves too ‘middle class’ and liberal for me, and I have no affiliation at all to the international green parties, but all credit to people like Derek for taking them towards class struggle here

  11. Doug on said:

    Mark P

    I fear your x-ray vision isn’t what it used to be or you mistook me for someone else when I visited a couple of picket lines with no papers at all, just offers of help. Don’t presume you know anything about me you arrogant prick.

  12. Doug on said:

    Oh and Ed, I don’t hug my political isolation like a comfort blanket – I’m active in various campaigns and in my union.

    I do have have a problem though with people who seems to have this non-critical attitude to the cuddly-wuddly Ickle Greens. i can only talk from experience, here in the south west, and they do have crap politics here. If you’ve any evidence to the contrary, please let me know. Otherwise, I repeat what I told Mark P, you don’t know anything about me so until you do, belt up.

  13. In re visiting picket lines, there are more than two choices – “visit to sell papers” or “don’t go at all but speak very highly of the pickets on blogs”. How about just coming and talking to us, showing solidarity and that you have some idea of what we’re doing and why? Also food and drink won’t go amiss ;)

    Not making critical statements on blogs doesn’t cut the mustard, and it’s a crappy defense to say that Derek’s statements wherever show great support. The vast majority of members in my branch don’t read SU (does anyone but us nutters who like to bang heads?)don’t read anything where the statements of socialists are widely reported. Let’s face it, how many places are there where you can read press releases like this?

    Come and support us and talk to us where we are when we try to fight for a decent wage and decent conditions.