Posted: 23 April 2013
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Wales organising meeting
AN ORGANISING meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Wales is taking place on Saturday 27 April at the Holiday Inn in Castle Street, Cardiff. Below is the letter of invitation issued by prominent trade unionists in Wales:
We are all facing unprecedented attacks from the current ConDem government. The legacy of Thatcher is still very visible in Wales from her relentless drive to force down working class living standards and boost the wealth of the rich. The ConDem Government wants to complete the job she began in Wales. It will be fitting in the month of her death that we get organised to build a political alternative to these Tory policies.
But today we face an additional barrier: Labour is not opposing many of the cuts. In the past Labour would have opposed all these attacks and in many areas been at the forefront of resistance to them. This is no longer the case; now Labour is supporting some of the cutbacks and implementing cuts at local and Wales level. Indeed many of the privatisation and workfare measures were begun by Labour. Labour front bench spokespersons have refused to promise to repeal the bedroom tax for example.
New Labour in power refused to abolish the anti-trade union laws that hamper workers defending their jobs, services, pay pensions and conditions. The Labour frontbench refuses to support a Trade Union Freedom Bill.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was formed to begin the project of building a new party for the working class. Supported by the RMT transport union, TUSC unites trade unionists, socialists from different parties and a variety of backgrounds and anti-cuts campaigners. TUSC is open to all trade unions, community campaigns and socialist parties to join and to stand under its umbrella. All socialists whether individuals or in parties are welcome to come together to fight on a common platform defending public services and trade union rights which can be found at www.tusc.org.uk TUSC has a federal structure to involve everyone.
In Wales the NHS is being reformed by Labour in a way that means South Wales could end up with just four A&Es and North Wales without a neo-natal unit! Schools, colleges and universities are being merged out of existence. Campaigns to defend these services have been formed in communities around the country, but it is becoming increasingly clear to these campaigners that they have no political voice as none of the four main parties have stepped up to resolutely oppose these cuts.
TUSC candidates, standing for the first time, gained some creditable results in the council elections in Wales in 2012. But now we need to take a further step forward and raise the profile of TUSC as a realistic alternative to the four main parties in working class areas. We need to build support for the Trade Union Freedom Bill and be prepared to stand against Labour MPs who refuse to support it.
We believe TUSC Wales should now be brought together to discuss how we can mount a serious challenge to the cuts-consensus of the main parties. So we are appealing to all trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners and socialists to come to the TUSC Wales organising meeting on Saturday 27 April at the Holiday Inn in Castle Street, Cardiff at 10am.
We are proposing a discussion on the huge potential for TUSC in Wales and to work out an electoral strategy, followed by another to discuss the organisation of TUSC Wales.
You are all welcome. Let s put socialism back on the political map of Wales!
Steven Skelly (RMT council of executives)
Katrine Williams (Chair PCS Wales and President Cardiff Trades Union Council)
Mark Evans (Wales rep on UNISON Local Government Group Executive Committee) in a personal capacity
John Hancock (POA NEC Wales rep)
Greg Harrison (Secretary, Cardiff Rail branch RMT)
Ronnie Job (Secretary, Swansea Trades Council)
Dave Warren (PCS branch officer DVLA Swansea)
Les Woodward (GMB national convenor, REMPLOY)
Jimmy Gill (Chair PCS DWP Wales)