reflections on june 30th strike day: less work for all!

Steve Ryan struck along with PCS civil servants’ union colleagues in Wrexham.

30th June went as well as was expected , Schools and offices closed, hundreds of thousands walked out and there was massive publicity.

The left are now getting ready for the next phase, a general or at least mass co-ordinated strike in the autumn. Clearly communists welcome the increasing militancy of the fight back, and the prospect of mass action.

However as communists we should be looking at a different perspective to the norm. So far the outrage has been economic. Its all about the cuts in pensions, to be fair both public and private.

Little though has been said about the fact that behind the pension cuts lies another agenda, and that is increasing the working life of workers everywhere.

The state retirement age is creeping up and up, such that retiring at 60 is now a chimera: you can add at least eight years onto this. British workers in particular work the longest hours in Europe, and that over a century after mass struggle won us the 40 hour week and the introduction of pensions.

As libertarians we should now be arguing that the forthcoming auatumn of discontent should be about the control and self management of our lives, both at work and at home.

How about resurrecting the call for a 30 hour week and a 30 week year and a 30 year maximum at work until retirement?

After all, be realistic, and ask for the impossible… you might just get it!