Moving to biennial congresses, inviting senior members of the coalition government to speak at Congress 2010, consistently manouvering years against motions from unions calling for strike action... the TUC — the national federation of almost all of Britain’s trade unions — is not taking on the government with the same class-war spirit as the government is employing against workers.
But now the TUC has called a “day of action” for 20 October. Cue sensationalist screeching from the Tory press about an “autumn of discontent”. The TUC doesn't have a great record in this department; its April 2010 national demonstration in defence of the welfare state was very badly built for. An under-mobilised “day of action” could do more harm than good.
Unions should organise local action, including, if they can, strikes for October 20, but should pressure the TUC to organise a coordinated national campaign of industrial action around common demands that will really give the bosses something to be discontented about.