A Workers' Plan to fight back

Submitted by AWL on 11 January, 2011 - 11:34

The bosses' offensive against the working class is accelerating. Unemployment will be 2.7 million by the end of 2011, as 120,000 public and 80,000 private sector jobs are scrapped.

Click here for the full-length pamphlet, or read the bullet-point summary below.
Billions are being slashed from public services. VAT is up, and wages will rise by 2 percent, well below every measure of inflation, cutting deep into most workers’ incomes. University applications are up 20 percent, as young people scramble to avoid higher fees and the dole queue, but one in three - a quarter of a million - will not get a place.

All this unless we act to stop it! With the student protests and talk of massive strikes at Easter, our fightback is beginning. This is what the workers' and student movements should fight for:

1. No cuts to jobs and services! The student revolt shows the way. We need a massive campaign of industrial and political action against the cuts, starting now, not after the TUC demo. The unions should fight to win, not just to protest. Build rank-and-file movements across the unions to hold the leaders - including the 'left' ones - to account and organise the fight when they won't. For workers' unity across Europe.
2. Tax the rich! VAT should be cut back, not raised. Last year the thousand richest people in Britain increased their wealth by £77 billion. Bank profits were £28 billion. These resources could pay for the jobs and services we need. Start by fighting to seize the huge wealth of the banks!
3. Wages that match the cost of living! The unions should calculate their own, realistic inflation figure and demand that wages, pensions and benefits are inflation-proofed. No to the attacks on benefits - for benefits you can live on.
4. Jobs for all! Share out the work by reducing the working week to 35 hours - cut profits, not pay. Nationalise firms declaring mass lay offs.
5. Free education for all! Fight the fee increase, scrap fees, no graduate tax - a living grant for every student. For student-work unity in action. Fight the NUS leaders, build the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
6. Decent homes for all! Fight the attacks on council housing and Housing Benefit. Demand a mass council house building program.
7. Free the unions! Defend democratic rights! Defy and campaign to abolish the anti-union laws, so we can fight without our hands tied behind our backs. Defend the right to organise and protest, against police violence and intimidation. Fight for a ban on 'kettling'.
8. Open the books! Workers need access to all company accounts so we can challenge the bosses' version of what is and is not "affordable" and determine how to solve the crisis on our terms.
9. Fight racism and the causes of racism! Unless we fight, it will be the far right that reaps the political benefit from the Tories’ attacks. Stop the anti-migrant drive – no one is illegal! Drive the BNP and EDL off the streets! Black and white, British-born and migrant, all religions and none – unite and fight for jobs, homes and services for all.
10. Make Labour fight! The unions should fight to make Labour pledge to reverse the cuts and scrap the anti-union laws, and support workers' and students' fightback. Fight for democracy in the Labour Party, including a sovereign party conference. Defend unions' right to fund political parties - no to state funding. Demand that Labour councillors refuse to implement the cuts and join the campaign against them.

To fight effectively we need to make our guiding aim a struggle to bring down the Coalition and win a workers' government - a government won and sustained through mass working-class struggle and accountable to workers' organisations, serving the working class as the Tories and Lib Dems, and New Labour before them, served the bosses and the rich.

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