For seven long years public sector workers have been told they must pay for the crimes of bankers. For seven long years they have had their pay frozen through no fault of their own, while executive pay has continued to soar and bankers have continued to get huge bonuses.
Even now when the iniquity of the situation starts to reach a crescendo, this weak Tory government still tries to justify its diabolical actions. Some public sector workers have seen a 14% drop in wages during this period. This is not austerity, this is persecution of working people. This is abuse.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels queasy when, after some national disaster, Tory politicians fall over themselves to praise our brave firefighters or our brave police officers or our stoical nurses. But sometimes where I do feel alone is the incredulity I feel when the people of this country fail to join the dots and a significant number of working people continue to vote Tory.
This is where trade unions come in. Trade unions are a force for good, despite what the mainstream media says. And now – as a force for good – we must stand up to be counted for our members.
The seriousness of where public sector workers find themselves can be measured by trade union leaders intimating that national unified action is on the cards. And not only that - unified action that may break existing laws.
No one wants to break the law, but what needs acknowledging is that this Tory government has the means to make laws that are entirely in the interests of the wealthy. Anti-trade union laws were put in place entirely to serve the rich.
But times are changing in the world. The Labour Party is in the ascendant and social media gives trade unions the opportunity to bypass the mainstream media and talk directly to British workers – and not surprisingly, they want to listen.
The battle for the rights of public sector workers is all our battle. It’s emblematic of the path we need to take. This country deserves better than a self-serving Tory government. The future is ours – let’s start right here and now.