Some things you need to know about the pensions strike.......
- The pressure for these strikes has come from below - the membership has been waiting months for the Unison leadership to actually do something
- No-one is striking on Wednesday because they've been "ordered to" by some union bureaucrat
- Some people on strike do not have a pension! They are eligible to join the pension scheme, but in Brighton, many public sector workers have nothing left to contribute to their pension after they've paid their rent! And that's before any of the Government's changes kick in. They're going on strike because they've had enough...of service and job cuts, too much work and two years of pay freeze.
- Cameron and co are not "relishing" the strike. They are terrified of the sight of millions of workers marching in the streets, and linking up with everyone else who is suffering from this Government. That's why they have been ready to use any lie, any trick, any subterfuge, every possible divide and rule tactic, to head it off. But it's not going to work........
- All of last week, I have had a steady stream of council workers contacting me to join the union - "so that I can go on strike"
At every turn the Government has lied in order to try to derail and divert people's anger.
- First of all they lied about the "affordability" of our pensions - this was famously debunked by Mark Serwotka's demolition of Francis Maude on Radio 4's Today programme. The cost of pensions is actually going down as a proportion of GDP
- Then they claimed that the schemes themselves were in danger of financial collapse - demonstrable nonsense.
- Finally, they have lied and spun their so-called "offer" - in fact no offer has been tabled for any of the schemes. The Government cannot even agree on what this "offer" is. The information they have posted on the Civil Service website faltly contradicts their own claims in the media.
Today a BBC Poll showed 61% in support of the strike. This rises to 67% among women, and to nearly 80% in the 18 to 24-year-old age group. This bears out that this will be strike of women and will also be solidly supported by people many years away from retirement age.
On Wednesday we have the opportunity to speak up for the 99%, whether or not they are public service workers, and to deliver a blow to this weak, unelected, unpopular illegitimate government.