On 10 July public service workers answered to call of their unions to step up the fight for jobs, improved pay and conditions and the right to good pension. There were demonstrations and rallies in 50 cities with thousands more workplaces picketed. The strength of the turn out gave confidence to the TUC, which has called for a national march against austerity on 18 October. Read the Star editorial.

MILLIONS of working people are walking out on strike today.
They do so in defiance of the smears and jeers of Tories in Parliament yesterday, and regardless of the Labour Party’s cowardly refusal to stand with them.
Those taking action are from many different unions and have a variety of reasons — as a number of them explain opposite.
Local government workers from the Unison, GMB and Unite unions among others are responding to an insulting 1 per cent pay offer after years of pay freezes and rampant inflation.
So are our civil servants, organised in the PCS union. Only yesterday the Star reported new TUC research proving that freezes and below-inflation pay rises have robbed public-sector workers of £2,245 a year since the coalition came to power.
That’s enough to feed a typical family for eight months. No wonder workers — many of whom are cleaners, carers or caterers doing vital work for some of the lowest wages in Britain — are saying that enough is enough.
Pay is also the nub of the matter for RMT members at Transport for London, who are facing down management proposals which will mean effective pay freezes for half the workforce and a switch to one-off, lump sum pay rises for others that will not count towards higher pensions.
For teachers, a bid to force them to sign up to disruptive changes to pay assessments which are bound to have a negative effect on wages has forced them to strike.
But alongside that are other concerns — the government’s drive to smash up collective bargaining and force the NUT to negotiate separately with thousands of schools across the country is one. The way academies and free schools are destroying local accountability in the education system is another.
For our firefighters, it is the government’s bid to force them to work until they are 60, and slice huge chunks off their pension entitlements if they cannot maintain peak physical fitness till then, which they are determined to beat.
However, whatever the difference in the detail of each dispute the estimated two million who strike today are sending one unmistakable message to this bully-boy Cabinet.
Ministers have denied us fair pay, disrupted the services we work in and rely on, hacked away at our social safety net — all while slandering and belittling Britain’s public servants on a daily basis.
We are fighting back. And we’re going to win.
Tory MP Bob Blackman fed Prime Minister David Cameron a question about raising the threshold for strike ballots to qualify yesterday, receiving the PM’s assurance that this pernicious bid to gag working people will feature in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking — not only would Parliament be empty if MPs had to win the support of a majority of potential electors rather than the highest number of those actually voting, but the Tories have done everything they can to reduce turnout in union ballots.
They disallow workplace balloting. Nor will they allow trade union members to vote for strike action online, insisting on an archaic set of rules with one aim at their heart — to make it as difficult as possible for workers to take collective action.
Britain’s working people cannot stand for this. We must boot out the Tories next year.
But Labour’s feeble posturing yesterday — saying that “both sides have a responsibility” to stop strikes, which are a “sign of failure” — will not dampen our determination.
The strikes are indeed a sign of failure — the coalition’s failure to treat working people with respect and acknowledge our role as the true creators of Britain’s wealth.
But they are a sign of the labour movement’s strength. The capitalist system relies on exploiting our labour.
Withdrawing it is our greatest weapon.