lobbying the TUC for a 24-hour general strike
When my father used to tell me of the privations
he endured in the 1930s depression including walking from
Brighton to Aldershot in a fruitless search for work it just
sounded like scary stories from history, but I can see things
going back that far and further if this government isnít
It's clear from Con-Dem policies that they don't believe working
people should have a health service or any kind of welfare; if
you can't make a profit for the boss you can starve. The plight
facing youth is desperate; many of the opportunities open to my
generation have gone. There are no real careers or trades unless
you want to leave university with £50,000 in debt. The
government has stood by and even cheered as one company after
another has axed jobs or exported them to lower wage economies.
My dad joined the army but that is no longer an escape route for
youth with no work experience.
This government wants to move wealth from the
bottom to the top. No amount of pleading will change their mind.
This government is single-minded in its determination to make
the obscenely rich even more obscenely rich and leave millions
of our class in poverty.
Despite what the Labour and some trade union
leaders think, this government stays in power with our consent
because we haven't yet used our colossal strength to sweep them
aside. Only a general strike will really show them that our
class means business. The TUC should have called one when the
government first announced their wholesale attacks on our jobs
and services. We need to let the TUC know that we want decisive
action that can topple this government called.
I'm lobbying the TUC to defend the services that
I rely on but also so that today's youth will have something
better than unending poverty to look forward to.
The working class aren't surplus to requirements - the Con-Dems
I was doing a gardening job at a finance
high-flyerís Ďhouseí a little while ago. Beautiful grounds,
outdoor heated swimming pool (never used), expensive cars on the
drive. I reckon we are talking in excess of a million pounds to
buy it. One of the workers at the house explained that the
property was bought with the ownerís annual bonus - not sure
what the salary was.
A self-employed gardener can earn around £10-20k
a year if they work hard and get the jobs. At least if I didnít
pay tax, buy food, tools and have to live somewhere I could buy
that place in less than a century.
Being self-employed wasnít a choice I wanted
make. Iíd been to uni and got the debt to prove it. I was
applying for jobs. Getting a job used to be easy. Iíd walk down
the high street giving out my CVs and before you knew it Iíd
have a job. Minimum wage, bad hours etc. But a job. That doesnít
seem to happen anymore. So I went self-employed and found my own
work Ė where I could. Iím off the unemployment stats but I donít
feel much better off. I canít go on strike but I support the
workers when they do. The TUC need to realise something though;
itís not just their members that they are defending. Itís the
whole of the working class, including those who canít go on
strike. The youth, the elderly, the disabled and those like me
who have ended up self-employed through lack of work. Iíll be at
the lobby of the TUC on Sunday 9 September to demand a 24-hour
general strike, which I will support and campaign for. Itís the
only way to make ourselves heard and stop a bleak future.
Alec Price, Merseyside
Lobby the TUC for a 24 hour general strike
Assemble 1pm at The Level park - Union Road, Brighton BN2 for
march at 1.30pm to Brighton (conference) Centre and then rally