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Dave Nellist speaks about Bob Crow's legacy on local radio

Posted: 14 March 2014

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition national chair Dave Nellist spoke to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire's Phil Upton about Bob Crow's legacy and his work in TUSC. Listen here.

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Bob Crow, TUSC steering committee member, 2010-14, in his own words

Bob Crow speaking in Waltham Forest, East London, during TUSC's 2012 GLA elections campaign, photo Senan

Posted: 12 March 2014

Bob Crow was a co-founder of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) from its very beginning in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

He sat on the TUSC national steering committee, initially in a personal capacity but, after the decision of the 2012 annual conference of the RMT transport workers union to be officially represented within TUSC, as one of the union's official nominees.

Yet obituaries in the mainstream media have completely ignored his role in TUSC, with the BBC's website typical in stating that "Mr Crow was not a member of any political party when he died".

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TUSC now has over 200 candidates - with six weeks until nominations close

Posted: 12 March 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee this week approved a further 28 candidates for May's local elections.

Added to the candidate applications agreed at the February 26th steering committee (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16922/03-03-2014/first-batch-of-local-election-candidates-agreed-by-tusc-steering-committee ), there are now 211 TUSC authorised candidates in place for May 22nd, in 49 of the 160 English councils with elections this year.

The steering committee will now be processing candidate applications on a weekly basis, with those approved posted up on the TUSC website at the beginning of each week. The Certificates of Authorisation, which need to be handed in to council Returning Officers with the official nomination papers, will be sent out to agents from the end of March.

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Rebel councillors join tributes to Bob Crow

Posted: 11 March 2014

The 'rebel two' Southampton city councillors Keith Morrell and Don Thomas have issued the following statement to the local media, joining the tributes being made to Bob Crow.

"News of the death of Bob Crow came as a huge shock to us, as it would have done to so many people who knew and respected him.

"As the leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) he fought tirelessly for his members and for working people in Britain and across the world.

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TUSC chair Dave Nellist pays tribute to Bob Crow

Bob Crow speaking at TUSC's 2012 London Assembly election campaign launch, photo Paul Mattsson

Bob Crow speaking at TUSC's 2012 London Assembly election campaign launch, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 11 March 2014

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supporters will be shocked and saddened to hear that RMT union general secretary Bob Crow has died.

TUSC national chair Dave Nellist said: "Bob Crow was an inspirational union leader who tenaciously defended his members' jobs, pay and conditions - head and shoulders above most other union leaders.

"Bob also recognised, well before most other union leaders, that the overlapping austerity agenda of the big parties meant working people have to start again and build anew.

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TUSC causes stir at Labour rules change conference

Coverage of TUSC at Labour Party special conference on BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26381922

Coverage of TUSC at Labour Party special conference on BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26381922

Posted: 5 March 2014

Members of the Newham Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) organised a successful protest outside the Labour Party special conference on Saturday 1st March in opposition to the Collins Review proposals being voted on inside the Excel centre in east London.

Protesters had their mouths gagged and held placards saying, "Don't let Labour silence trade unions". A picture of Ed Miliband walking past one of these placards was featured on the BBC website.

The conference was held in Newham, the borough where trade unionist Keir Hardie was originally elected as a West Ham South MP in 1892 before he went on to become the first Labour Party leader.

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Second Maltby councillor for TUSC

Posted: 28 February 2014

Almost a year to the day after the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Joe Robinson won a Town Council seat in the ex-mining town of Maltby, in South Yorkshire (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press080313.php), TUSC has won a second seat, this time in Maltby East.

Joe won his seat with 60% of the vote against his only other opponent, an 'independent' without description on the ballot paper, but was in reality the Labour candidate whom the ruling Labour group on Maltby town council had tried to co-opt when the Maltby North ward vacancy arose.

This time, TUSC candidate Shaun Barratt, a member of the USDAW shopworkers union, was the only person to hand in nomination papers by today's deadline, and was therefore elected unopposed, in a ward where previously Labour had held four out of the five seats. Other than a different version of the Con-Dem's austerity agenda, Labour has nothing to offer workers - this time, not even a candidate!

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London TUSC campaigners protest for rent controls at Landlords Show

Calling for rent controls in a protest organised by Newham and Waltham Forest TUSC campaigners, photo Bob Severn

Posted: 26 February 2014

Campaigners called for rent controls outside the Landlord and Letting Show at the Barbican on 26 February in a protest organised by Newham and Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) groups.

With Tory MP and landlord Richard Benyon getting £635,000 from housing benefit in just one year, protesters called for rent caps instead of benefit caps.

Some landlords said it was fair that the 'market decides' rents and that 'everyone needs to make a profit'. Millions of tenants struggling to pay the rent will disagree. One landlord said they needed to have enough money to afford to evict people!

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TUSC conference hears support pledge from Turkish-Kurdish community group Day-Mer

Posted: 20 February 2014

The recent Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16896/03-02-2014/as-labour-moves-to-end-union-links-trade-unionists-and-socialists-plan-biggest-electoral-challenge-for-generations ) heard from Oktay Sahbaz, a representative of the Turkish-Kurdish community group, Day-Mer.

Oktay outlined the campaigning record and socialist roots of Day-Mer and fired a warning at establishment party councillors implementing austerity, "we are coming for you".

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TUSC on the march in Canterbury

TUSC supporters on the Canterbury march to save children's centres, 15/02/14, photo Dave Semple

TUSC supporters on the Canterbury march to save children's centres, 15/02/14, photo Dave Semple

Posted: 19 February 2014

Kent trade unionists and parents from the Save Kent Children's Centres campaign marched through the centre of Canterbury on Saturday 15th February in protest at the closure of twelve children's centres by the Tory county council, with a strong presence by supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Following two previous demonstrations and thousands of names on a petition, Kent county council retreated from its initial proposal of closing 23 children's centres. The protests of parents, underpinned and organised by socialists in the trade unions, forced a backtrack on eleven centres.

In the last week, however, up to 300 staff at the children's centres have been told that they will have to re-apply for their jobs, as opening hours of centres are reduced and the council seeks to strip out resources. These resources include fully qualified teachers at each centre.

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TUSC by-election result picked up by Sheffield paper

Sheffield Telegraph, 16/2/2014

Sheffield Telegraph, 16/2/2014

Posted: 19 February 2014

TUSC's performance in the recent Sheffield council Arbourthorne ward by-election has been picked up the local press. See http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/new-party-to-fight-for-sheffield-seat-1-6443190?WT.mc_id=Outbrain_text&obref=obinsite

A favourable report includes an appeal by the election agent for anti-cuts campaigners, trade unionists and socialists to become candidates "as part of the biggest left of Labour electoral challenge for at least 50 years".

For the local TUSC campaigners' report on the by-election see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16900/08-02-2014/sheffield-kicks-off-tusc-election-year-with-76-percent-by-election-vote

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Southampton rebel councillor Keith Morrell at TUSC candidates conference

Posted: 14 February 2014

Southampton rebel councillor Keith Morrell addressed the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference on the subject of launching the TUSC challenge in May's council elections.

He spoke just as Ed Miliband was announcing the details of what he called 'the most fundamental changes to Labour's structures since its formation'.

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Press covers Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition picket of council's housing office

Waltham Forest Guardian 25/6/13

Waltham Forest Guardian 25/6/13

Posted: 11 February 2014

Report in Waltham Forest Guardian, 9th February 2014

"Protesters picketed the council's housing office this week in opposition to the so-called bedroom tax.

"Members of the Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) want the council to defend vulnerable people and low-paid workers against "vicious Tory policies".

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TUSC candidate featured in Mirror tribute to women against pit closures

Sunday Mirror 9 February 2014, photo Mirror

Sunday Mirror 9 February 2014, photo Mirror

Posted: 11 February 2014

The Sunday Mirror carried a stirring article this week on "the brave women who battled to keep Britain's coal mines open" - including an interview with the TUSC candidate in last May's election for the Mayor of Doncaster.

Mary Jackson, who polled over 1,900 votes in the Mayoral contest (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press030513a.php ), is quoted in the Mirror explaining how "the strike introduced me to politics and changed who I was for ever".

The full article, including a film interview with Mary, is at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/brave-women-who-battled-keep-3126222

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Sheffield kicks off TUSC election year with 7.6 percent by-election vote

Posted: 8 February 2014

The only party workers smiling at the Sheffield council Arbourthorne ward by-election count on Thursday 6 February were the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners.

TUSC came from nowhere (not having stood in this ward before) to get 204 votes, 7.6%, coming fourth out of seven candidates, a very respectable result.

Though Labour held the seat with just over half the votes cast, their share of vote fell by 10% from the last council election two years ago. UKIP came second but only increased their share on 2012 by 3%, despite two more years of media hype. With a lower turnout their vote actually fell from 544 in 2012 to 482 this time.

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TUSC conference report - opening address by RMT representative

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee , photo by TUSC

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee , photo by TUSC

Posted: 7 February 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference held on Saturday February 1st was opened by an official speaker from the RMT transport workers union, executive committee member Mike Sargent.

Click video to see extracts from Mike's speech and opening comments from TUSC chairperson, and former Labour MP, Dave Nellist.

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Video: Dave Nellist on Going Underground

Dave Nellist on Going Underground, photo RT

Dave Nellist on Going Underground, photo RT

Posted: 7 February 2014

With 625 candidates standing in the May local elections, Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Dave Nellist tells Afshin Rattansi that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition are the real alternative, not Labour.

The extended interview is the first item in this episode of Russia Today's Going Underground. Click on the video below to watch.

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As Labour moves to end union links, trade unionists and socialists plan biggest electoral challenge 'for generations'

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee, photo Paul Mattsson

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 3 February 2014

As Ed Miliband was announcing the details of what he called 'the most fundamental changes to Labour's structures since its formation' over 200 trade unionists and socialists were meeting in London to discuss organising the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in local elections since world war two.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference was opened by RMT executive committee member Mike Sargent, officially representing the transport workers' union, saying that the RMT "has got form" when it comes to fighting for working class political representation.

"It was our predecessor union, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, which was the main force in setting up the Labour Party in 1900", he said, "and those early representatives achieved important gains, such as the repeal of the anti-union Taff Vale judgement. But Labour is no longer our party and now we are having to start out again".

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What councils could do in next month's budget-setting meetings...

Posted: 27 January 2014

In the next month or so local councils will be deciding their budgets for 2014-2015, the last full financial year before the general election.

There is no dispute that councils face a dire financial situation. Even the Tory chair of the Local Government Association, Sir Merrick Cockell, has warned that the current funding levels for local councils "will not see us through for very much longer". Such complaints from a Tory politician are hypocritical but they reflect the real crisis facing local council services.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee discussed at its January meeting what councils could actually do to meet this crisis.

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