So claimed a comrade from the SWP: the comrade also told delegates at the union’s 2012 conference that the state had the resources to sit out any dispute that PCS on its own could mount in defence of pensions.
The comrade’s point, we think, is that only in a coalition with other unions can we hope to win on pensions. Though if the state is so powerful, as claimed, then presumably it can wait out a series of strikes by public sector unions. Lastly what does this mean for a fight by the union over pay and jobs – where the SWP put forward a motion that mandated the union to fight on its own, if need be? Are the SWP saying that the government is not as wedded to cutting jobs and pay as it is to cutting pensions?
Also the SWP on the NEC voted for taking action on the 28 March – even if PCS took this action on its own. Either the comrades on the NEC are not of the same mind as their comrade at the conference; that is they thought our union taking action on its own would have an effect or cynically they knew that they would be out voted but they could still hold onto their “left” credentials by voting against the majority.
Now the motion that the SWP put to conference called for an escalation of the pension’s dispute to – two days of strike action; presumably with other unions, though this was not clear from the motion.
The majority of Miners were out on strike for a year. We cannot see the logic of the SWP calling for a two day strike when they say that the state can sit out a year long strike of a group of workers with the power of the Miners; either they know that a two day strike is utterly worthless but they say it because, compared to the NEC, it is more radical sounding or they think it can have an effect, in which case their comrade is utterly wrong.
At best the SWP is hopelessly disoriented; they don’t know what to do, so they say different things at different times without understanding the incoherence of what they are saying. At worse they are wholly dishonest.