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On the eve of what could be the largest strike in the U.K. since the general strike of 1926, CUPE National President Paul Moist and National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury have sent this strong message of solidarity to our brothers and sisters in UNISON.

UNISON is the largest union in the UK and a sister union to CUPE. UNISON members are poised to walk off the job for one day, Nov. 30, in a stand against cuts to public sector pensions currently being threatened by the conservative-led government.


To our Sisters and Brothers in UNISON:

CUPE’s 610,000 members stand proudly in solidarity with you on this day of action which is a powerful statement to the British government that their recent attacks on workers will not be tolerated. CUPE supports UNISON with the force of our membership.

Your union is leading the way in a struggle that has global implications. Governments around the world are seeking to place the burden of balancing their budgets squarely on the backs of public employees and the citizens who can least afford it. Public services are being cut and our pensions are under attack.

The Cameron government’s proposed increases to pension payments, while reducing benefits, increasing the retirement age, and a continued pay freeze for so many of your members are unjust. The richest citizens and corporations continue to see profits increase, while unemployment rates rise, decent jobs for the middle class disappear, and the public services that the poorest depend on are decimated.

As we’ve seen in recent months, the struggle for equality is a global one. The Occupy movement has articulated so clearly what many of us in the labour movement have spoken out against for a long time. Income inequality is growing, it’s wreaking havoc on our economy, and it’s one of the greatest challenges we face today. Let there be no doubt that the work your union is doing is vitally important to this ongoing struggle.

Your courage in taking this action is admirable, and we thank you on behalf of our members for leading the charge and standing up against a government that panders to the interests of corporations and the wealthy. You’re fighting for the rights of working people around the world, and we’re proud to stand with you.

In solidarity,

National President

National Secretary-Treasurer