The right wing Dutch government is making attack after attack against the working class. A couple of weeks ago, around 2,000 dockworkers protested against the government’s plans to rule out early retirement. Now a new proposal has been leaked to the press, saying that people should work 40 hours a week (currently, in most sectors, its 38 hours), until 68 years.
Everything seems under attack: disability and unemployment benefits, sickness pay, protection against sackings, safety measures, pensions…. It’s about time that the declaration of war from the government got a militant reply.
Last week, 97% voted against the government’s plans in a referendum of the biggest union federation. In response to this overwhelming rejection, the leadership of the Dutch TUC has announced that it will organise a day of action, but no strikes as yet. Fortunately, there is pressure building up from below. The action committee ‘de Maat is Vol’(‘Enough is Enough’), that organised the dockworkers action in early June, wants to make the union militant again and is in favour of mass action around Budget Day (21 September).
To discuss action plans the committee will hold a national meeting, on 3 July, which is open to workers and youth who want to take the fight to the government. This is a brilliant initiative to organise militant workers and youth and to organise action. Offensief, the Dutch section of the CWI, calls for all workers and youth who are sick of this government to go to this meeting. We believe all-out, nation wide strike action, involving public and private sector workers, is the way to halt the government’s plans.
Mass strike action on Budget Day is needed to hit them where it hurts: in the wallet. The necessity is there, the mood is there, now it’s time to organise. The 3 July can be an important step to do just that.