Liam Carr writes:
Ed Balls has suggested in his blog and in the Mirror that unions shouldn't strike because that is what the Tories want us to do. Here is my reply:
Going on strike is a last resort. Are you suggesting that we never use it? Is that not what Cable told the GMB? As a Labour Party member and a union rep I fully recognise that there may be a parliamentary solution to this problem and you correctly state that change is needed.
The government are not proposing changes to new pensions but a change to existing pensions which union members have paid into for years and in some cases almost all of their working lives.
A strike on pensions is pretty good value for money, you lose a day's pay but if we stand aside and the government change the terms of our pensions then we are set to lose much more than that, for the whole of our lives after retirement.
Industrial action is democratic; Osborne and Cable may be goading union leaders but it is ordinary members who are balloted and it is us, not politicians, who decide if and when industrial action is necessary. If and when we do go on strike I would expect a ’spirit of solidarity’ from the Labour Party.