Pensions & corporate tax - the reality behind the public sector pensions strike

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Despite a concerted propaganda campaign waged by the mainstream media and the corrupt political class tens of thousands of public sector workers in Northern Ireland will be taking to the picket lines this Wednesday joining millions across the UK in the biggest single strike action since the 1926 general strike.

Similarly to the build up of the public sector strike in the Republic of Ireland in November 2009, the gloves have come off from our class enemies in power who are attempting to discredit and undermine widespread support for the strike by dividing public sector workers from private sector workers. As if there is anything wrong with having higher wages and better working conditions which is the benefits of being unionised. Our ruling class is clearly afraid of an organised working class as it threatens their privileges and wealth, which is why we need to organise for unlimited strike action.

They didn't share the wealth so why should we share the pain?

As part of this propaganda offensive sections of the media and political establishment have chosen to deliberately focus on the alleged cost to the economy and damage to the North's 'open for business' image abroad. This is nothing in comparison to the vicious and devastating anti-social cuts and attacks on our standard of living which is about making us pay for a crisis which we were not responsible for. They will think twice about imposing further cuts if we begin to build mass resistance in our communities and workplaces and this Wednesday must be just the beginning of this fightback. 

However, a poll of more than a 1000 adults commissioned by UNITE union found that fewer than one in ten people believe public sector workers are ‘gold plated’ and they are more likely to trust trade unions than the British Government. Polling company Survation conducted the research, highlighting that only 8% of those questioned would regard a pension of 6,000 a year-the average for the public sector as ‘gold plated’. While almost nine out of 10 people said politicians and company bosses were not making enough sacrifices.

All this comes as no surprise as capitalism is built on the organised exploitation of the working class. It is we who produce the wealth in society, build and run our schools, hospitals and transport system while the rich rob us blind. Recently, figures revealed by the Tax Justice Network found that 25 billion is lost annually in tax avoidance and a further 70 billion in tax evasion by large companies and wealthy individuals exposes the national myth that we are somehow all in this together waving the flag and singing from the same hymn sheet.  On top of this the highest earners get tax breaks worth up to 110 billion a year on their pension contributions, while the rest of us bear the brunt of increasing cost of living, mass unemployment, pay freeze and welfare reforms.

Thatcher and successive governments have tried to destroy the trade union movement in this country and break the backs of organised workers. The November 30th strikes must represent the beginning of a fightback, a realisation that we the workers, have the power to make a difference and send out a message that enough is enough!

The WSM will be on the streets in Belfast during the day and reporting from the frontline via our twitter account. If you are on the picket line or will be out supporting our fellow workers we would like ot hear from you.

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