SUPPORT NOVEMBER 30 PENSION STRIKE RALLY 12 NOON GUILDHALL SQUARE

There will be a rally organised by Portsmouth Trades Union Council, and supported by all the unions involved and PACT, at 1200 in Guildhall Square on 30 November strike day. There will be speeches, live music from Seize the Day, a short march into Commercial Road and then hopefully a meeting to discuss taking the struggle forward at a nearby venue at 2pm.

We hope to have a number of feeder marches coming to the rally from various areas and picket lines. Everybody who is against this rotten rich mans government should come down and build the resistance. Local students intend to come down from University anti-cuts campaign to show solidarity – this has been a very welcome phenomenon in recent times, particularly the worker-student unity around the electricians dispute in London, and should be replicated everywhere.

More details will be posted soon, below is a very useful succinct piece on the arguments for the strike by Jon from PACT-

Pensions under attack – Pay more, work longer, and get less.

The government are out to cut all our pensions.

  •  In April they cut all pensions by changing the yearly increase from the change in Retail Price Index (RPI) to Consumer Price Index (CPI). CPI lags behind RPI by roughly 1.5%. Over 10 years this means a cut of 15% in the value of state, private and public sector pensions. The amount public sector pensions pay out is also being cut.
  • The government are increasing the retirement age for state and public sector pensions. They say that we are all living and working longer. This is true for the rich, but the increase in life expectancy of poor people is negligible. Many face retiring into poverty of dying before drawing their pension.
  • The government say that because some private sector pensions have been slashed, public sector pensions should also be cut. The UK already has one of the lowest pension provision in Europe. A ‘race to the bottom’ will make this worse and will make it harder for private sector workers in their fight for a decent pension. If public sector workers defend their pensions from the government attacks, it will strengthen the argument that people on state pensions and private pensions also need a decent pension.
  •  The government are peddling the myth that public sector pensions are ‘gold plated’. The average local government pension is £4,000 a year and just £2,900 for women workers who make up over 70% of the work force. The average NHS Pension is £7,000 a year. The only gold plated public sector pension is the one the MP’s have awarded themselves!
  • Public sector workers are also facing increased pension contributions when there pay has been frozen for two years and inflation is at over 5%. Everyone deserves a decent pension.

To cut ordinary peoples pensions to pay for the bankers bail out is unjust. It was the greed and gambling of bankers that caused the deficit and they should be the ones who pay for it. Increase taxes for the rich and cut bankers bonuses.

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