Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.23
Monday 17 October 2011
Across the world, the indignant rise up against corporate greed and cuts: http://ind.pn/pm3Xrv
'Occupy' is a response to economic permafrost writes Paul Mason: http://bbc.in/p9EHMt
Start planning now for next May’s elections - 30 weeks to go
As millions of public sector workers prepare for what could be the biggest day of strike action since the 1926 general strike, it is important that the political truth of N30 is driven home. The attack on public sector pensions is being led by a Tory Chancellor, George Osborne, and a Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, working to a ‘reform report’ prepared by the ex-cabinet minister, John Hutton, who is still a Labour member of the House of Lords. Who is speaking up for workers?
Even though the next set of elections is still seven months away, it is vital that prospective candidates come forward and preparations begin now to build the widest possible TUSC challenge.
Elections will be held next year, on Thursday May 3rd, for every seat in all 32 councils in Scotland; all 22 councils in Wales; for the Greater London Mayor and Assembly; and in 128 English local authorities.
In London a campaign is under way to build trade union support at least for a slate of candidates for the all-London 11-seat ‘party list top-up’ component of the Greater London Assembly elections. Every London trade unionist should use the petition/appeal letter that is available, to show the support that could be mobilised for such a challenge. (See the TUSC website for downloadable PDFs) Similar trade union based discussions have begun for an election challenge in the Scottish local council elections, and for candidates in Wales too.
In England there will be 38 Labour-controlled council facing elections in May, just having passed budgets (in February-March) for the second year of Osborne’s austerity programme. The cuts they are likely to propose will be brutal – and 15 of these 38 councils were freshly elected in May this year. The opportunities will be there to find candidates who are prepared to stand on TUSC’s clear programme of opposition to all cuts to council jobs, conditions and services.
Bob Crow to speak at Rugby TUSC ‘The fight against all cuts goes on’
The RMT General Secretary will be speaking at Rugby TUSC on Wednesday 26 October at the Rugby United Railway Club, Rugby. The meeting will be chaired by TUSC ISN member Pete McLaren. Among others speaking will be Steve Roberts Chair of the Warwickshire Fire Brigades Union. For more see http://www.tusc.org.uk/
Matt Wrack to speak at Southwark TUSC public meeting: ‘The fight against all cuts and the socialist alternative’ Speakers: Matt Wrack, (FBU general secretary); Brian Kelly (TUSC candidate and former Labour councillor); Speaker from Southwark Unison. Thursday 24 November, 7.30pm. Venue: St Giles Centre, 81Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8RB.
Brighton TUSC and Wellingborough Socialists debate how to build new mass socialist party
Debates about how to create a new party of the working class took place at the Brighton TUSC meeting and at the Wellingborough Independent Socialists in the first week of October. If you want to invite a TUSC speaker to debate the issue at your TUSC branch or local left caucus then e-mail email@example.com. Find the Brighton TUSC web page here: http://brightontusc.blogspot.com/
TUSC invited to speak to Nuneaton against the cuts group
Good result as socialists get ten percent in Coventry by-election
The full result in the Lower Stoke by election was Labour 1366/54.1%, Tories 563/22.3%, Socialist Alternative 254/10%, BNP149/5.9%, Green 114/4.51%, Lib Dem 79/3.13%. The full result can be seen here: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/152/lower_stoke_by-election_result.
Wigan Borough Green Socialists decides to request affiliation to TUSC electoral coalition.
Steve Hall writes ‘I am writing to on behalf of the Wigan Borough Green Socialists to inform you of our recent decision to affiliate to your electoral coalition. We aim to stand candidates in the next local elections having stood a single candidate last time in the Atherton Ward who got 9.0% of the vote. We are confident of putting in a fairly good showing in the other Wards we might stand in next time. We are against ALL cuts and privatisations and our members have been at the forefront of many local campaigns and struggles in the area in the recent past.’ You can find their website here: http://wigangreensocialists.wordpress.com/
The Independent Socialist Network in TUSC is holding its first national meeting on Saturday 29 October, in Vauxhall, London from 12 to 5.00pm.
It is open to all independent socialists and trade unionist (i.e. who are not currently members of existing socialist groups) who think we need a new working-class party committed to arguing the case for socialism. We think that building TUSC is the best way of working towards that objective. The ISN aims to provide an arena for non-sectarian, comradely debate on the independent socialist left and to help organise the independents’ participation in the discussion and practical process involved in building a new party. The meeting will be discussing how independent socialists can organise to build TUSC and promote the ideas of socialism and the need for a new socialist party. There will be a registration fee of £5 to cover the room costs. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Will McMahon: 020 8525 6616 or Nick Wrack: 07812 063 409.
From the unions
West coast main line train cleaning staff vote 94 per cent for strike action
Hundreds of workers who clean Virgin trains on the west coast main line are to stage a 24-hour strike later this month in a row over pay and union recognition. The RMT said 300 of its members employed by Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services will walk out on October 28. More: http://bit.ly/o0LBtV
FBU pensions campaign latest
The government wants firefighters and other public sector workers to pay more, work longer and still get less for our pensions. The FBU says this is daylight robbery. Read the FBU pension bulletins here: http://www.fbu.org.uk/?page_id=3979 and a new independent report: http://bit.ly/rgseX9. Write to your MP asking them to sign early day motion 2049 here: http://bit.ly/rcKlIf. Use this briefing: http://bit.ly/qx2BTn
Serwotka rallies troops at Kew Gardens
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka visited the National Archive HQ to talk to PCS members about the 30 November national strike and other issues. Mark told the gathering at Kew Gardens, London: “When you fight for things in life you are not guaranteed to win, but when you never fight for anything you lose every single time.” Eighty staff attended the meeting. National Archives PCS branch chair Robin Coles told the local paper: “People are definitely starting to feel the five per cent inflation rate and their pay freeze really hits their pockets. I would expect a strong turn out here at the archives, we are not an especially radical branch but general feelings are people are determined to stand up for pay and conditions.” http://bit.ly/nNyiwv
BBC comes under fire
after revealing 2000 job cuts
General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "This is a watershed moment in the BBC's history - the reality is that the BBC will not be the same>” For more: http://bit.ly/qD38yo
RMT launches campaign and ballot in fight for justice for unfairly dismissed tube driver
The RMT has launched a campaign for the reinstatement of tube driver James Masango who, despite winning by 100 per cent an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, has still not been re-engaged by London Underground. For more see: http://bit.ly/nAd2lT
Mine Managers Turn on Indonesian Strikers
Government-mediated talks broke off last week and labour relations further soured between Freeport-McMoRan and 8,000 striking Indonesian miners of ICEM affiliate FSP-KEP (SPSI), the Trade Union of Chemical, Energy, and Mine Workers (CEMWU).Read more: http://bit.ly/na89cx
Firefighting aid to Nablus
The Fire Brigades Union Scotland’s current international humanitarian project is to deliver fire and rescue equipment to the Nablus Fire Dept. The kit and equipment will be taken on two fire appliances from Dundee to Nablus through Israel. The fire engines, a Volvo WTL and Volvo FST, equipment and kit include: 20 Sabre Centurion breathing apparatus, 150 sets of Bristol fire kit, 80 Pacific fire helmets, 80 pairs of leather fire boots, 100 pairs of fire gauntlets. For more: http://bit.ly/oJFbrg
Today, around 21,000 children died around the world
Government must act urgently on devastating child poverty warning
In response to the publication of a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which projects child poverty to rise by 800,000 children as a result of the Government’s policies, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:“This devastating report leaves the Government’s child poverty and social mobility strategies in jeopardy. The Government has to stop pretending you can fight poverty or improve life chances by making the poor poorer.http://www.cpag.org.uk/press/2011/111011.htm. You can red the IFS report here http://bbc.in/rmIKql
Average household faces fuel poverty by 2015.
Energy cost have risen 6 times faster than household incomes since 2004. http://on.ft.com/qh1CVF
Bargaining Guide for
union officials and reps involved in representing agency workers
After years of campaigning by trade unions, from 1 October 2011, agency workers will benefit from new equal treatment rights. This resources aim to help trade union reps and officers involved in organising, representing and negotiations to win a better deal at work for agency workers
£110,000 annual pension – that’ll do nicely…
Top civil servant Sir Gus O’Donnell announced his retirement yesterday aged 59 – and will get £105,000 to £110,000 a year. He is set for a £320,000 golden goodbye in 2012. Mark Serwotka of civil servants’ union PCS said: “Those suffering a pay freeze and facing a raid on their pensions will be angered by what appears to amount to job creation for civil service elite.” Read more: http://bit.ly/qKEc9w
And if you have got a lot of time on your hands…
Unedited verbatim report of the 143rd Trades Union Congress, which took place from 12th - 14th September 2011 at the Congress House, London. http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-20154-f0.cfm
The hardest hit national day of action- Saturday 22 October 2011
In May, over 8,000 disabled people from across the country travelled to London to oppose the cuts to disability benefits and to stop the changes to Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance. On Saturday 22 October there will be a day of action in every region. To see what is happening in your area see: thehardesthit.wordpress.com
Save our Railways: Rally and Lobby of Parliament - 12.30 - 25 October 2011
Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London. For more details see: www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeId=148693
Rugby TUSC Public meeting Oct 26 with Bob Crow See: http://rugbytusc.blogspot.com/
Jamming against the cuts, Sheffield
5 Nov 2011: Calling all musicians, poets, dancers and artists. As part of ‘Pandemic’, reclaiming space, reappropriating images, UKuncut. See: http://bit.ly/o1qest
National Demo - Defend Education, Fight Privatisation
9 Nov 2011: Last year the Tory-Lib Dem government scrapped EMA and raised university tuition fees to £9000, betraying election pledges. For demo details see here: http://bit.ly/oz55p7
Saturday, November 12, 2011, THE 1911 STRIKE - A Public meeting exploring the reasons behind the first national... http://fb.me/uC9ZnEUC
March in Defence of Women’s Rights! London
19 Nov 2011: March in defence of women’s rights! On average, women earn less, own less, and are more likely to work. Form ore details see: http://bit.ly/mRLLIP
Southwark TUSC public meeting: ‘The fight against all cuts and the socialist alternative’ Speakers: Matt Wrack, (FBU general secretary); Brian Kelly (TUSC candidate and former Labour councillor); Speaker from Southwark Unison. Thursday 24 November, 7.30pm. Venue: St Giles Centre, 81Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8RB.
You can find out more about TUSC at: http://www.tusc.org.uk/index.php
To donate to TUSC go here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php
TUSC aims to bring trade unionists, socialists and anti-cuts campaigners together to stand candidates at elections who are committed to representing working-class interests. Resistance to the cuts is vital, but we also need a political alternative to the policies of cuts and privatisation. TUSC believes that a new working-class party is needed that campaigns for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.
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