Posted: 4 April 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has contested two town council by-elections in as many weeks which were marked mainly by the low voter turnout - but which also saw, in that context, decent TUSC scores.
Labour won the March 27th by-election in the South Yorkshire town of Maltby, with 48% of the vote. But just 17% of the 1,800-strong electorate went to the polls. The TUSC candidate, Unison member Gavin Roberts, won a 13% share.
But 17% was almost twice the turnout - at 9.6%! - in the Lydney West by-election on April 2nd, in the Forest of Dean. The seat was won there by the Tories with the TUSC candidate Claude Mickleson, a former treasurer of the National Pensioners Convention, picking up a 21% share of the 138 people who voted.
Posted: 27 March 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) local election challenge has now reached 349 candidates, after another 98 applications to stand under the TUSC umbrella in May's local elections were approved this week by the national steering committee.
The number of councils where TUSC candidates will be fighting seats has now risen to 69, out of the 160 councils with elections in May. There are currently ten councils where TUSC will be standing in at least ten seats, and in Coventry and Portsmouth every seat will be contested, with nine RMT members coming forward as candidates in the later.
A full list of the candidates approved so far, broken down into regions and including this week's applications, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/289.pdf.
Posted: 26 March 2014
Over 350 people have now put themselves forward to stand as anti-austerity candidates under the common banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the local elections on May 22nd.
Congratulations are due to everyone who has been prepared to take such a stand. So far at least 69 councils, out of the 160 with local elections this year, will see a challenge to the establishment parties, and UKIP too.
Fighting these elections is important. Evidence emerges daily of how councils - Labour, Tory, and Lib Dem alike - are acting as local agents of the austerity agenda.
Posted: 24 March 2014
The Hackney and Islington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a showing of the film, The Battle of Orgreave, this Saturday. The police assault at Orgreave, which took place 30 years ago this June, was one of the most violent confrontations in the 1984-85 miners' strike.
Jeremy Deller, the 2004 Turner Prize winner, will introduce the film and there will be a post-film discussion on the theme: Fighting then! Fighting against cuts! Fighting for justice!
Panel guests include: Voice of Youth, a Daymer representative, Mike Simons (working on a film called "Still the enemy within") and Judy Beishon, Hackney TUSC candidate. The event will be chaired by Lesley Woodburn, Islington TUSC candidate.
Posted: 19 March 2014
Another forty applications have been approved this week by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee to be TUSC candidates in May's local elections.
This takes to 251 the number of candidates - so far - joining the TUSC challenge to the pro-austerity consensus of the establishment parties. This is already the biggest trade union and socialist based left of Labour electoral challenge in local elections since the immediate aftermath of world war two.
Candidates will be fighting seats in sixty out of the 160 councils with elections in May - already an impressive spread, and with five weeks left before nominations close. A full list of the candidates approved so far, broken down into regions and including this week's applications, can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/284.pdf.
Posted: 14 March 2014
TUSC national chairperson, Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, has issued the following tribute to Tony Benn, who so sadly passed away today.
"It is enormously saddening to mark the passing today of Tony Benn, a friend of forty years. He was a towering socialist.
"I first worked with Tony on the 1975 Common Market referendum; hundreds filled the Police Assembly Hall in Coventry to hear him speak, with hundreds more outside. He spoke for me at a 1987 general election rally, and hundreds came again to hear him in Coventry's Methodist Central Hall; as they did five years ago when he came back to do one of his 'fireside chats'.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 Â£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!
Posted: 25 February 2014
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".
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.
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
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'.
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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