Thursday, 23 June 2011

A global response to global attacks

UNISON will add an international dimension to its fight against public sector cuts.

It's not just in the UK, that we are affected by severe attacks on public services, public services workers and their terms and conditions.

Lilian Macer, Regional Representative, highlighted the specific misdeeds of the European Union in relation to Greece and Ireland and warned, “More is being planned for them and for us. We need to promote a knowledge and a grasp of why this is happening, as part of our campaign against public service cuts at home and abroad.”

“Just look at Greece. Young people, anyone under 25, now only need to be paid 84% of the agreed wage in a workplace. Employers no longer need to live up to national agreements. The right of unions to take matters to arbitration is going to be taken away. And you better believe it, there's plenty more where that came from.”

Lilian pointed out that the EU is not an innocent bystander in this process, but instead is insisting on this process. “The press keeps telling us the EU is bailing out Greece. If Greece was getting bailed out, would people be on the streets. It's not Greece that's getting bailed out, it's the banks!

“The money goes to Athens and comes straight back to the banks - banks in France, banks in Germany and Banks in Britain. In this process, the EU is not an aid agency - it's an enforcer.”

“In UNISON, we are proud of our international work, and it is important that the interests of the people are put before the interests of the bankers.”

Sam McCartney, Glasgow City Branch, slammed the international cuts climate as “a concerted attack by right wing neo-liberal governments across Europe supported by their masters and supporters within the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation”.

He called on UNISON to actively lobby Members of the European Parliament and show them that public sector cuts, higher taxation, reducing workers' living standards and pensions will not diminish the European or indeed the world deficit.

Sam said we should instead, “Tax the rich. Withdraw from costly world conflicts. Pursue tax avoidance in all companies, and boycott countries giving them a haven in which to hide their illegal assets.”

“European workers and trade unions must join together and campaign and take industrial action to defend our servies, our rights and our communities.”

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