The National Committee of PCS Left Unity, elected every year by all members of Left Unity, have agreed the following statement on the General Election.
Statement from LUNC on the General Election
No To Austerity – No To The Tories
Left Unity is issuing this statement in response to the calling of an early general election. This announcement from Theresa May has surprised a lot of people given that she ruled it out only a few weeks ago. As socialists in PCS, we believe that this election gives us an opportunity to get rid of this vicious Tory government and for our union to effectively intervene in the election to put forward our anti-Austerity Alternative in the interests of our members and class.”
Theresa May’s pretext for calling an early election, is for the Tories to gain a clear mandate on their BREXIT strategy. This doesn’t fool anyone. No doubt the Tories will seek to ensure that BREXIT will dominate the election campaign. However, we must ensure that the issues important to PCS members and their families are raised at every opportunity. We have faced the brunt of attacks from this Governments austerity programme. This includes thousands of job cuts and redundancies, office closures, attacks on wages, pensions and terms and conditions.
PCS members have suffered the most prolonged squeeze on wages since the Civil Service was formed. Many of our members are also suffering as a result of the more generalised attacks on the welfare state. Benefits cuts are leaving millions unable to feed themselves and their families. The NHS are facing life-threatening cuts and further threats of large scale privatisation. The widespread use of zero hours contracts which are taking us back to the early days of the last century. The housing and education crises in working class communities are acute. All these need to be challenged in the lead up to the ballot on June 8th.
One of the first things that the Tories did after they were last elected was to introduce new ultra-draconian anti-trade union laws. These make it illegal to strike unless 50% vote in favour with at least a 50% turn-out – even though they themselves were only elected by 24% of the population. They are doing this to neutralise any effective opposition to the further attacks they are planning to both the welfare state and workers’ rights.
PCS Left Unity welcomed the election and re-election of Jeremy Corbyn on an anti-austerity programme. He has provided unwavering support to PCS campaigns over many years. In particular, he and his supporters, especially John McDonnell have stood with us on our central campaign for an alternative to austerity and an end to the cuts in pay, jobs and pensions.
It is vital that he launches an election campaign based on socialist policies. Central to that is opposing austerity and putting firmly back on the agenda the whole question of the re-building of the welfare state and the public sector, including re-nationalisation to ensure that workers and communities alike are protected. This is both a political choice and an economic necessity. PCS must ensure that the promises he has made to our members are delivered.
The election is also going to raise major issues for our members in the nations. There is thethe possibility of a second Independence Referendum in Scotland and a greatly complicated political situation in Northern Ireland due to the suspension of the Assembly.
Immigration is another area that has already been raised by the right wing press as an issue. PCS will continue toto oppose all forms of racism and campaign for workers unity.
In this election PCS members should support those candidates who commit to policies which are aligned with those of the union, especially on the issue of austerity and its effects. Left Unity would therefore welcome the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister of a Labour Government committed to anti-austerity policies.
Whatever the outcome of the general election it is important that we have a PCS leadership that is capable of facing the challenges that face our union and its members. It is vital to secure a Democracy Alliance victory with which to defend pay, jobs and services.and Left Unity urges everyone to work hard to achieve this.