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Strike posters in Leeds, February 2020

Strike posters in Leeds, February 2020. Photo: Wikimedia/Alarichall

The flames of industrial action are there to be fanned, argues Lucy Nichols

This year has been a turbulent one. We have seen a pandemic, mass protests and a government so blind that it fails to see the problem in Unicef committing to feed starving children on UK soil.

Job losses and lost livelihoods have become the norm. A good ten months on from the virus reaching the UK, we are still seeing hundreds of people die every day. The country is in dire straits.

But resistance is fertile: workers across the country are taking on their bosses and the government, with thousands on strike or balloting for industrial action.

Crucial

Industrial action is an often-overlooked form of resistance, with the mainstream media largely reluctant to report on instances where downtrodden workers stand up against wealthy bosses.

It is crucial that we do everything possible to support striking workers, and report on industrial action where the mainstream media refuses to.

The RMT is fighting the ferry company Wightlink on the Isle of Wight, while GMB take on British Airways, and the CWU prepares a strike of 45,000 workers in BT.

The PCS will battle the government over the pay freeze for public sector workers, while Unite fights on multiple Northern fronts; against Rolls Royce in Bardnoldswick and the bus manufacturer Optare in Leeds.

Prospect and the EIS are gearing up for industrial action against BT and Glasgow City Council respectively. The UCU at Manchester Metropolitan University are balloting for action and are unlikely to be the only UCU branch to do so.

Effective

More struggles will emerge as the New Year brings new challenges; the economic crisis deepens, and Coronavirus cases increase after the relaxed Christmas lockdown rules.

Solidarity between the working classes is therefore paramount; it is the only way we can fight the Conservative government and its disastrous reverence for capitalism. Strikes are broadly effective, but wider support for them is also crucial.

Workers make the world go round, and to fight in their interests is to fight in our own interests.

Join Counterfire in supporting strikes where possible. Send messages of solidarity; share their posts on social media, donate to strike funds; and never, under any circumstances, cross a picket line.

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