TUSC Against Cuts
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No to Cuts and Privatisation!
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The TUSC video they wouldn't show

21 May 2014

Latest news

TUSC in the thick of it - well, at least in the Guardian

Posted: 29 September 2014

Thanks are due to Ian Martin, one of the writers of the savage political satire The Thick of It, for his recent article in the Guardian from this year's Labour Party conference (see http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/23/ian-martin-labour-conference-thick-of-it ).

Firstly because he uses his piece to explain once again - if not exactly in Malcolm Tucker terms but near enough - just how spineless the alleged 'official opposition' to the Con-Dems have become. But also, in pondering what possible alternatives there might be, for name-checking TUSC and one of our co-founders, in Ian's words, "the late great Bob Crow".

TUSC chair Dave Nellist sent in a letter to the Guardian to let its readers know that TUSC is intending to stand even more widely next May - for both the general and the local elections - than we did this year, when we fielded the biggest-ever left-of-Labour working class electoral challenge for 60 years (see http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/24/labour-conference-message-offers-left-little-hope ).

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Leicester conference: planning for a People's Budget

Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter

Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter

Posted: 25 September 2014

A conference has been organised for October 25th to draw up a 'People's Budget' for Leicester. Hosted by Leicester TUSC and the two rebel Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts (LICAC) group members, councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor, the aim is to create a budget based on the real needs of Leicester's residents.

The conference will discuss, for example, how Leicester council could save the community centres it is threatening to close, keep the city's adventure playgrounds and Sure Start centres open, and reverse the privatisation of its elderly care homes. And other policies on housing, the living wage, the NHS and young people - such as funding a 'Leicester EMA' to replace the payments to 16-18 year olds staying on in education lost when the Con-Dems abolished the original Education Maintenance Allowance scheme.

These and other ideas brought to the meeting by residents, trade unionists and community campaigners will then be presented to next year's council budget-making meeting by Wayne and Barbara in opposition to yet another cuts budget planned by the city's ruling group of Labour councillors. And if - or more likely when! - the People's Budget is rejected by Labour, it will be the basis for a city-wide challenge in next May's local elections, on the same day as the general election.

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Scottish TUSC post-referendum conference: preparing for 2015 and 2016

Posted: 16 September 2014

A post-referendum conference of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has been called to discuss building an anti-cuts and socialist election challenge in Scotland for 2015 and 2016.

The meeting will be held on Saturday 1st November (from 12pm to 4-30pm) at the Blythswood Hall Renfield St Stephens Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP.

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Election planning: new TUSC broadsheet appealing for candidates, and a 'battleground directory'

TUSC 2015 candidate appeal broadsheet

Posted: 19 September 2014

A NEW A3 folded TUSC broadsheet is now available appealing for candidates to stand in next May's elections.

The broadsheet includes an outline of our approach to the general election, TUSC's ten-point core policy platforms for local elections, and a brief explanation of what TUSC is and who is involved. It's ideal for distribution at trade union meetings, anti-cuts events and as a general introduction to TUSC on picket lines and protests.

You can view the broadsheet at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/313.pdf

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Guardian article confirms TUSC policy: councils can resist austerity if they choose

Posted: 4 September 2014

A recent article by Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrobortty on the efforts of Enfield council to respond to the housing crisis (see http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/sep/01/enfield-experiment-housing-problem-radical-solution ) vindicates the central point of TUSC's policy platform for local council elections - councillors can find ways to resist austerity if they choose to.

Aditya explains the desperate housing situation developing in the north London borough - although not restricted to there! - against the backdrop of an historic underbuild of social housing, the Con-Dems' benefit cuts, and rising private sector rents.

He shows that councils still have powers they could use, if the will is there, to intervene. Enfield, he reports, "has arranged a credit facility of £100m" to bulk-buy homes, in a programme began in March this year. It is introducing a scheme to license private landlords and, "for the first time in 30 years, it is building council homes", with 180 starts this month as the first steps.

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Rebel Plymouth councillor speaks at TUSC-organised meeting in Moor View

Posted: 1 September 2014

Plymouth councillor Alison Casey will be speaking on Wednesday 3rd September at the first of a series of TUSC-hosted meetings across the city to draw up 'A Peoples Charter for Plymouth' as an alternative to the establishment parties' austerity policies.

Alison, a councillor for Moor View ward, will be explaining why she left the Labour Party and how she will now be better able to serve the community as an independent.

Also speaking at the 'Have your Say' public meeting, starting at 7pm at the Estover Youth Centre, Torbridge High School, will be Senior Youth Worker Nathan Cole, who will be talking about Estover Youth Club and the work of the Youth Service. Local community groups like Friends of Miller Way have also been invited to speak about their campaigns and activities.

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Local TUSC groups campaigning: summer round up

July 2014. The East London Save Our Surgeries campaign lobby Hackney council, supported by the local TUSC branch

July 2014. The East London Save Our Surgeries campaign lobby Hackney council, supported by the local TUSC branch

Posted: 15 August 2014

Local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) groups haven't had too much time for a summer break this year, with campaigning continuing throughout July and August.

The decision of two city councillors to join with TUSC made the headlines in the Leicester Mercury (see http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Ex-Labour-councillors-join-anti-cuts-alliance/story-21444308-detail/story.html ). The paper reported that, in linking up with TUSC, Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor "will take a firm stance against further budget reductions and will be pushing for the council to adopt a zero cuts budget in the future".

This provoked a typical reaction from the ruling Labour group that "it would be impossible to halt the cuts to services given reductions in grants from Whitehall". But that was completely different to the great response Barbara and Wayne received from public sector workers when they explained their anti-cuts stand at the July 10th strike Fair Pay Rally in Leicester.

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General election planning: model letter to Labour candidates available

Posted: 11 August 2014

Planning is now under way for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) challenge at next year's general election.

Local TUSC groups have been discussing, amongst other ideas, how to follow up the suggestion made by the national steering committee to organise union delegations or lobbies of Labour prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) in each parliamentary constituency. This is to establish their position on a number of key issues before a final decision is made on whether to challenge them next May.

A model letter to Labour prospective candidates is available for local groups to adapt to their own constituencies (see below - for a downloadable Word version, see www.tusc.org.uk/txt/308.doc).

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Leicester anti-cuts councillors join up with TUSC

Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter

Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter

Posted: 9 July 2014

TWO LEICESTER anti-cuts councillors this week agreed to join up with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the ever-widening fight against the establishment parties and their austerity policies.

Ex-Labour councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor, who will sit on the council as the Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts group, will now be a constituent part of the Leicester TUSC steering committee, alongside the Socialist Party, the SWP and prominent trade unionists in the city.

In a press statement announcing their decision to link up with TUSC, the councillors explained that while they were in the Labour Party they were loyal because they feared the alternative of letting the Tories in. But they were hampered in their aims of defending their local constituents and both now feel that they can do that better outside the Labour Party - and that the time had come to build something new both locally but also on a national level.

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Fight anti-union laws in the workplace and the ballot box

TUSC supports the Trade Union Rights and Freedom Bill, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 8 July 2014

As over a million public sector workers were preparing for J10, Michael Gove followed Boris Johnson and other right-wing Tories to demand tighter new rules for strike ballots, which they believe would put an end to virtually all public sector strikes.

The Daily Mail reported that if the Tories win the 2015 general election that a strike could only take place if it was supported by a majority of the entire membership of the union in the sector concerned voting Yes in a postal ballot.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson Dave Nellist, who was an opposition member of parliament thirty years ago when Tories Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit first introduced postal ballot requirements, comments:

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RMT conference unanimously votes to continue support for TUSC

Posted: 27 June 2014

THE ANNUAL conference (annual general meeting) of the RMT transport workers' union, meeting this week in Bristol, has voted to continue the union's participation in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). The following resolution was agreed unanimously by the conference delegates:

"This AGM congratulates all those RMT members who stood in the May 2014 local elections as Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates.

"Thirty-five RMT members stood for TUSC in the London Transport Region with 53 RMT members standing as TUSC candidates overall.

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'Working class people need political representation'

Posted: 25 June 2014

As part of a feature on building an alternative in the aftermath of the local and European elections (see http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ce7d-There-must-be-more-to-politics-than-this ), the Morning Star this week carried a substantial article on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's recent local elections campaign, which we republish below:

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) put together what it describes as the biggest left electoral challenge to the mainstream parties since the Communist Party in 1950.

It stood 559 candidates in the local elections and received 68,000 votes. It supported Southampton rebel Labour councillors Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, who were expelled from the Labour group for voting against council cuts and presenting an alternative budget.

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Local groups build on election momentum to prepare for 2015

Posted: 20 June 2014

Four weeks on from May's elections local groups of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have been using the momentum generated by the election campaign to prepare serious plans for the ten months to polling day 2015.

This date, Thursday May 7th, will not only be the date of the general election but will also see elections for over 7,000 council seats in 279 councils across England.

As the post-election letter sent to TUSC's candidates by the national steering committee argues (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17005/03-06-2014/tusc-steering-committee-sets-out-plans-for-2015-in-letter-to-candidates ) these contests will be as important for the task of building working class political representation as the general election. There will be many trade unionists, community campaigners and working class people generally who will want to see the back of the Con-Dems at Westminster but who at the same time will be prepared to support council candidates - or stand themselves - who will defend local public services against the austerity agenda of whoever the new occupant of No.10 will be. But preparing for the 2015 challenge starts now.

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TUSC steering committee sets out plans for 2015 in letter to candidates

Posted: 3 June 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on May 28th to assess the outcome of the local election campaign and discuss plans for 2015.

TUSC chairperson Dave Nellist opened the meeting by congratulating the TUSC steering committee member Keith Morrell, present with follow rebel councillor Don Thomas, on his decisive victory in Southampton's Coxford ward. It was a message to all Labour councillors who sit in council meetings voting for cuts with a 'heavy heart' - they can refuse to implement the ConDems' austerity agenda, and be re-elected.

The meeting agreed the comprehensive election report presented by the TUSC national election agent, Clive Heemskerk (see www.tusc.org.uk/txt/306.pdf). It then got down to discussing the plans for developing TUSC over the next eleven months.

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Local elections 2014: The TUSC results in full

Election Report 2014

Posted: 30 May 2014

A COMPREHENSIVE account of the TUSC results from last week's local elections is now available at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/307.pdf

A total of 554 candidates, standing in 507 wards in 86 councils, contested the local council elections on May 22nd under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella. In addition, TUSC stood candidates in the directly-elected mayoral contests in Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets, and in five by-elections in three councils without scheduled elections this year, that were held on the same day. In total 68,152 votes were cast for these candidates.

Scheduled elections took place in 161 local authorities in England, to fill 4,216 seats in around 3,000 wards. The TUSC challenge, contesting 12% of the seats and 17% of the wards, was greater than anything attempted before in the four-year history of our coalition. In 2011, the first local elections seriously contested by TUSC, we fielded a candidate in 2% of the seats. In 2012 it was 4% and in 2013, when it was mainly county councils which were up for election, TUSC had a candidate in 5% of the seats, 120 in total. This year was on a different scale.

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Local elections 2014: TUSC now on 65,000 votes, with two councils to publish

Posted: 27 May 2014

The vote tally for TUSC candidates in last Thursday's local council elections has now passed the 65,000 mark, with just two councils yet to publish their official results (in London and the West Midlands).

In 21 councils TUSC has polled over 1,000 votes. In ten of these, it has been over 2,000. A powerful anti-austerity message has been sent in all these areas.

In previous years we have presented a 'league table' of ward results (see the previous election results links on the Candidates page on the TUSC website, at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidate ). But this year's challenge has been of a different scale. There are 77 council wards, for example, where TUSC has polled over 5% of the vote.

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Local elections 2014: Over 50,000 votes for TUSC and we're still counting

Posted: 24 May 2014

Even though most of Thursday's local council election results have now, at least, been declared, it is still proving harder than expected to collate together all the results for the 560 TUSC candidates.

But we have now passed the 50,000 vote mark, with TUSC, at this point, scoring more than 1,000 votes in 16 councils.

In Sheffield TUSC's candidates have collectively polled 2,657 votes across the city, with a 10.2% share of the vote in Manor Castle ward and 8.4% in Burngreave ward. In Doncaster TUSC polled 1,556 votes, in Barnsley 1,361, and in Wakefield 1,257.

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Local elections 2014: Great victory as TUSC 'rebel councillor' re-elected

Keith Morrell, Southampton rebel councillor, photo Paul Mattsson

Keith Morrell, Southampton rebel councillor, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 23 May 2014

Southampton 'rebel councillor' and TUSC national steering committee member Keith Morrell has been re-elected to his council seat in Coxford, in a vindication of the bold stand that he, and fellow rebel councillor Don Thomas, made against the Labour council's cuts (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press180213.php )

Keith has been decisively re-elected with 1,654 votes, a 43% share of the vote. At the last full council elections in Southampton in 2012, Labour won Coxford ward with 1,647 votes. This time Labour dropped to third with 724 votes (19%), as UKIP came in second with 796 votes. The Tories polled 500 votes, and the Lib Dems 168.

Keith said: "This result is a victory for the people of Coxford who fought to save local services and won an important victory to re-open our local swimming pool. It shows what is possible. Other significant results across the city for TUSC candidates show the potential that exists for a new party that stands up for working people, campaigns for jobs and housing, and tackles the growing poverty that affects so many families in the city".

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The 2014 local elections results: watch this space

Posted: 23 May 2014

AS WE post this, counting the votes in Thursday's local elections is under way.

This year there were 4,216 council seats up for election in 161 English local authorities. TUSC stood candidates for 560 seats, 13% of the total, and also stood in three of the five contests for directly-elected mayors taking place, in Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets (the other mayoral contests were in Hackney and Watford).

Around half of the councils with elections this year are counting overnight, with the remaining councils starting their count on Friday morning. As results come in, we will publish them on this website, with the first bulletin expected for mid-morning on Friday. When all the results come in we will post up a comprehensive seat-by-seat report on how the TUSC candidates fared. Watch this space.

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Senior union figures protest at media boycott of anti-austerity candidates

Posted: 21 May 2014

With hours to go until the polls open the national media boycott of the biggest left-of-Labour election challenge since world war two continues.

In the local council contests Labour and the Tories are standing in over 4,000 of the 4,216 seats up for election. The Liberal Democrats have fielded just under 3,000 candidates, UKIP over 2,000, and the Green Party 1,875. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has 560 candidates, 13% of the seats.

TUSC's presence on the ballot paper is not as big as the top five but it is indisputably ahead of the rest of the pack, with the next biggest parties being the BNP (106 candidates), the Christian Peoples Alliance (61), the Liberal Party (43), and the English Democrats (31). Yet TUSC's share of media coverage is no way commensurate with the number of candidates we are standing, even compared to these 'others'.

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Unison members fighting for public services by standing for TUSC

Posted: 21 May 2014

Below a few of the 75 members of UNISON, Britain's biggest public sector union, who are standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in tomorrow's council elections, explain why they have decided to do so. The TUSC candidates include two members of the UNISON national executive. All UNISON members are standing for TUSC in a personal capacity.

"I sit on UNISON's National Executive Council, and am branch secretary of the Knowsley branch in the North West Region. As a public sector trade union activist I see the horrendous effects of ConDem cuts on people's lives, through job cuts, redundancies and cuts in pay and conditions of service. Unfortunately Labour councils do nothing to oppose these cuts, and even victimise Labour councillors who vote against them! It is therefore clear that working people need a new political voice, which is why I support TUSC".

Roger Bannister, TUSC candidate for Kirkdale, Liverpool

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Sheffield TUSC in head-to-head radio debate with establishment parties

Posted: 21 May 2014

On 15 May Sheffield TUSC Walkley ward candidate Chas Lockett took part in a live debate on BBC Radio Sheffield's Rony Robinson Show. You can listen to an extract from the programme where candidates from the Lab-Con-Lib Dem parties and TUSC (and UKIP and the Greens) debate whether councils can resist the cuts.

Click here to listen.

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Some of the 130 Unite members who are TUSC candidates say why they're standing against Labour

John Peers

John Peers

Posted: 21 May 2014

More than one hundred members of Unite, the biggest union affiliated to the Labour Party and Labour's largest donor, are standing for TUSC in Thursday's local council elections. Here some of them explain why:

"I have resigned my membership of the Labour Party as I have no confidence that the party will address the issues facing ordinary working people in this country. The economic strategy outlined by the party has no substantive difference to that of the Conservatives. It is time for a radical change in direction to meet the needs of the majority not the few".

John Peers, Unite rep Mile End hospital, TUSC candidate for Island Gardens, Tower Hamlets

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PCS members standing for TUSC on Thursday

Mark Benjamin

Mark Benjamin

Posted: 20 May 2014

The civil servants' union, the PCS, have been at the forefront of the fight against austerity. Two members of the PCS's leadership, the assistant general secretary Chris Baugh and vice-president John McInally, sit on the TUSC steering committee in a personal capacity. Sixteen PCS activists are standing for TUSC on 22nd May. Here some of them explain why:

"I am standing for TUSC in the local council elections as I believe that working class people deserve the opportunity to vote for a candidate who is willing to stand up for them, and say no to austerity and no to all cuts to public services. I have been involved in the local Save Ealing Hospital A&E campaign by participating in the marches, leafleting the public and gathering signatures for petitions".

Mark Benjamin, PCS Disabled Members Advisory Committee and TUSC candidate for Elthorne, Ealing

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Some of the RMT members who are TUSC candidates on May 22nd say why they are standing

Posted: 19 May 2014

Bob Crow, the late general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union, co-founded TUSC and the RMT has officially supported it since 2012. This year an unprecedented number of RMT activists - 53 in total - are standing for TUSC in the local elections. A few of them explain why they are standing to be councillors against cuts:

"I am the RMT Regional Organiser for the North West and as a member of RMT have consistently fought to defend working class people in the workplace, as I will on the council for my ward Princes Park, Liverpool. Our services and communities are being damaged by the austerity policies of the ConDems and Labour. Enough is enough. We have to fight back against cuts and deliver socialist TUSC councillors in the local elections for the working class. That why I'm standing for TUSC".

Daren Ireland, TUSC candidate Princes Park, Liverpool

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TUSC candidates hit the news in the Fast Foods Rights Day of Action coverage

Posted: 16 May 2014

Thursday saw a global day of action against super-exploitation in the fast food industry. In the US thousands of McDonalds workers joined walk-outs as part of a growing campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

In London over 50 protesters targeted Whitehall McDonalds demanding an end to poverty wages, secure contracts with guaranteed hours, and trade union rights. They appealed to workers inside the store to consider joining the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union (BFAWU), who initiated the Fast Food Rights campaign to fight for better conditions.

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Make a REAL difference - Vote TUSC on 22nd May

Posted: 15 May 2014

The TUSC broadcast they wouldn't show:

Dave Nellist, chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), outlines why you should vote TUSC on 22 May 2014.

* Who We Are

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Watch this video - Portsmouth candidates do TUSC proud

Posted: 13 May 2014

It's been impossible to post up on the national TUSC website all the campaign material - the leaflets, posters, local manifestoes, website links, press releases, YouTube clips etc - that has been produced by the 560 TUSC candidates in the last few weeks. All of it has done TUSC proud.

But this video produced by the Portsmouth TUSC candidates deserves the widest possible circulation.

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Local news coverage round-up

TUSC opposition to waste plant covered in Derby Telegraph, 12.05.14

Posted: 13 May 2014

While the national media - with one or two exceptions - continues to consciously ignore TUSC's election campaign, there has been some decent coverage this week in the local press.

The Derby Telegraph led the way with a headline article, 'Derby TUSC election candidates: We'd rip up waste plant contract', highlighting the local TUSC candidates' pledge to do everything possible to stop a waste incinerator plant being built in the Sinfin area of the city (see http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Derby-TUSC-election-candidates-d-rip-waste-plant/story-21085286-detail/story.html )

The Telegraph article also pointed to TUSC's policy of standing "up to cuts by setting a council budget which 'meets the needs of the local community and means the government must make up the shortfall'. In the short-term, the party said it would use council reserves and borrowing to provide any cash needed to keep services". TUSC was attacked for its stance by both the Labour and Liberal Democrat group leaders, showing once again that the establishment parties are fundamentally the same.

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Listen to this! TUSC candidate takes on Labour leader of Britain's biggest council

Posted: 12 May 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) were invited to participate in a Birmingham local election debate last week on the Adrian Goldberg radio show.

Our candidate, RMT member Ted Woodley, was not allowed into the BBC studio with the alleged 'big three' parties - the Conservatives, the Lib Dems, and the Labour leader of Birmingham council, Sir Albert Bore. But he was allowed, along with the Green Party and UKIP representatives, to say a piece towards the end of the show, which then provoked a lively discussion on whether the establishment parties are all the same and whether councillors had any option other than to implement the Con-Dem government's cuts.

Click here to hear the couple of brief clips in which the ideas of TUSC were discussed by the candidates of the six biggest parties.

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Socialist councillors can help boost resistance

Posted: 12 May 2014

"Can I take this opportunity to wish all candidates standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) best wishes for polling day on 22 May.

"Until a few months ago, when I retired due to family illness, I had been a socialist councillor in Preston for ten years.

"I believe it is important for working class people to have socialist representatives who are prepared to speak out against cuts, privatisation, racism and war.

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The BBC's Daily Politics show covers TUSC's election launch

Posted: 9 May 2014

TUSC's local election launch on Friday May 9th was covered by the BBC, with a four minute interview with TUSC chairperson Dave Nellist on The Daily Politics - and a 20 second clip on the News at One.

Daily Politics

News at one

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TUSC election launch gets in The Independent

Independent newspaper 9 May 2014

Independent newspaper 9 May 2014

Posted: 9 May 2014

TUSC's local election campaign finally reached the national print media today with a short article in The Independent.

Under the heading, 'Crow's party to launch challenge to Labour', Andy McSmith reports on TUSC's 560-candidate challenge on May 22nd.

While he argues that TUSC is unlikely "to win more than a handful" of council seats this month and is "too small to represent a threat to Labour", he also says "that could change" in the future, as "Len McCluskey, head of the massive Unite union, has hinted it might break links with Labour" at some point.

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What is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition?

TUSC sticker

Posted: 8 May 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set-up in 2010 to enable trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to stand candidates against the pro-austerity establishment parties.

It was co-founded by Bob Crow, the late general secretary of the RMT transport union, along with other prominent trade unionists and socialist organisations. TUSC is a coalition with a national steering committee which includes leading trade unionists from the RMT, the PCS civil servants union, the National Union of Teachers, the Fire Brigade Union and the Prison Officers Association.

The RMT's annual general meeting in 2012 agreed to officially support TUSC and have representation on the steering committee.

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Join the TUSC 'thunderclap' to spread the anti-austerity message

Posted: 7 May 2014

An appeal from the TUSC national chairperson, Dave Nellist:

"Five hundred and sixty TUSC candidates for the local elections is a magnificent achievement; but unfortunately it fell short of the too-high requirement for a national election broadcast (although negotiations are still going on for a number of BBC regions).

"We need to find as many other ways as possible to use the short time between now and May 22nd to publicise TUSC's electoral challenge. But, by and large, the establishment media restricts access to those signed up to the overlapping austerity agenda of the big parties - not to a working class alternative challenging that agenda.

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More local news coverage for TUSC, but BBC downplays council elections

Salfod Star

Salfod Star

Posted: 5 May 2014

TUSC's campaign for the council elections taking place on May 22nd picked up more coverage this week in local news media.

The standout article was in the Salford Star (see http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=2253 ) which under the heading, 'Salford Labour Party to face huge anti-cuts electoral challenge', spoke of TUSC "mounting the biggest left challenge to Labour dominance, fielding candidates in nine of the twenty wards up for grabs". It also made the significant point that the Liberal Democrats, "once seen as the main opposition party in Salford", were fielding just two candidates this time.

A May Day election activity in Plymouth, where TUSC is standing candidates in all 19 of the city's wards, made the headlines in the Plymouth Herald (at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Trade-unionist-coalition-hold-pre-election-rally/story-21055579-detail/story.html#ixzz30qO1e5MO ) with a good photo spread. Plymouth is another city where the Lib Dems' decline is on display, with the party contesting just four seats.

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RMT and FBU strikers stand for TUSC in local elections

Chris Rice (on left), RMT picket and Havering TUSC candidate

Chris Rice (on left), RMT picket and Havering TUSC candidate

Posted: 2 May 2014

Unlike the establishment parties and UKIP, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) fully supports trade unionists taking strike action to defend their jobs, pay and conditions. TUSC, standing 560 candidates in the local elections (nearly one in seven seats), supports the strikes of the RMT transport union and the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) taking place over the next week.

RMT members on the London Underground took 48 hours of strike action this week and will strike for a further 72 hours next week. They are protesting against ticket office closures and job losses.

One of the striking RMT members who normally works at Whitechapel, Len Rowlands, (see picture) is standing for TUSC in St Peter's ward, right next to the tube station. He is one of over 50 RMT members standing under the TUSC umbrella across the country. TUSC was building support for the election campaign by saying to passers-by, "who would you rather have in the council, a trade unionist like Len who stands up and fights the cuts, or a career politician?"

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TUSC candidates' launch in the local news

Liverpool Echo 27-4-14 Hillsborough heckler Roy Dixon to fight against cuts in local elections , photo Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo 27-4-14 Hillsborough heckler Roy Dixon to fight against cuts in local elections , photo Liverpool Echo

Posted: 28 April 2014

The announcement of the biggest left-of-Labour election challenge in 60 years has made the pages of local newspapers at least, since nominations closed on Friday.

Leading the way was the Liverpool Echo with the story that Roy Dixon, who they correctly describe as "the man whose heckle kick-started the process that led to the new Hillsborough inquests", is standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the city's Belle Vale ward (see http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/hillsborough-heckler-roy-dixon-stand-7038201 ).

Roy was the first person to heckle the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham at the twentieth anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in 2009, which pushed the then Labour government into setting up a fresh review.

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TUSC protests in support of Doncaster Care UK workers

Care UK workers and supporters march in Doncaster after lobbying Ed Miliband's surgery

Care UK workers and supporters march in Doncaster after lobbying Ed Miliband's surgery

Posted: 25 April 2014

About 50 protesters attended the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) called Lobby of Ed Miliband's Doncaster North surgery on Thursday 24 April in support of the Care UK strike.

Alistair Tice, South Yorkshire

Around 30 Care UK workers were there, about a dozen of them went in to discuss with Ed Miliband. They said Miliband was supportive, didn't think Care UK should have been given the contract and was going to speak to Labour Mayor Ros Jones. But still Miliband won't publicly come out in support.

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Nationwide day of action in support of striking Care UK workers

Doncaster Care UK workers on strike, March 2014

Doncaster Care UK workers on strike, March 2014

Posted: 23 April 2014

Anti-cuts candidates standing in the local elections in May are protesting outside Care UK offices in support of striking workers in Doncaster on Thursday. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be lobbying Ed Miliband's office in Doncaster as well as holding solidarity protests across the country.

Nurses and care workers at Care UK in Doncaster have taken 20 days of strike action against proposed 35% pay cuts. Care UK took over the service last year, which was previously run by the NHS, and has now torn up the TUPE transfer agreement. Workers are facing pay cuts of £300-£700 a month as well as cuts in holiday and sickness entitlements and enhanced payments for unsociable hours. New staff are being employed on £6.50 an hour.

The workers, members of the trade union Unison, have voted unanimously for a further two week strike next month.

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Over 550 candidates in place - with days to go before nominations close

Posted: 17 April 2014

The candidate count for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's challenge in May's local elections has now reached 554, with just a week to go before nominations close. Whatever the final tally is - and the official nomination process is full of pitfalls designed to intimidate working class people from participating in 'politics' - it has been a massive achievement to put such a challenge in place.

And it is a real coalition that has been assembled to make sure the establishment parties don't have it all their own way - of trade unionists, community campaigners, and members of different socialist organisations.

The number of RMT members standing as TUSC council candidates has now reached 54, from the union's assistant general secretary through to regional council officers, branch secretaries, industrial reps and workplace activists.

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Pat James, 1930-2014: Tony Benn’s agent who became a TUSC supporter

Pat James

Pat James

Posted: 14 April 2014

Today sees the funeral of lifelong Bristol socialist Pat James, who sadly passed away on March 16th at the age of 83.

Pat was one of nine children and was born in the working class community of Easton, Bristol. Her hatred of the capitalist system developed at an early age. She joined the Co-operative youth club which helped form her socialist ideas.

She became very active in the Labour Party and was a staunch supporter of the Labour Party Young Socialists. She was a formidable organiser and at one point became Tony Benn's election agent during the period when he was an MP for Bristol South East.

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New candidates take TUSC within sight of BBC's 'fair coverage' threshold

Posted: 11 April 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has approved a further thirty candidates to stand under the TUSC umbrella in the local council elections taking place on May 22nd.

This brings the total figure up to 506 - with the number of councils with TUSC candidates also increasing, from 80 last week to 85 now. Most importantly, with more applications arriving even since the latest approvals broke the 500 barrier, TUSC is now less than a hundred candidates short of reaching the BBC's threshold for 'fair media coverage' in the official election period.

The full list of the candidates so far, presented in a regional breakdown and including the latest applications agreed, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/294.pdf.

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TUSC chair Dave Nellist interviewed on BBC2's Daily Politics show

Posted: 10 April 2014

The TUSC broadcast they wouldn't show:

Dave Nellist, chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), outlines why you should vote TUSC on 22 May 2014.

* Who We Are

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TUSC candidate count reaches 476, with two weeks to go before nominations close

Posted: 8 April 2014

The number of candidates standing under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella in May's local council elections has reached 476, after the TUSC national steering committee approved the latest batch of applications.

These candidates are contesting seats in 80 local authorities - so at least half the councils with elections in May will see a challenge to the austerity consensus of the establishment parties.

A full list of the candidates so far, broken down into regions and including the latest applications agreed, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/293.pdf.

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One in ten council seats will have a TUSC candidate in May, with trade unionists leading the way

Posted: 3 April 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on Wednesday to discuss the latest progress report on the TUSC local elections challenge.

A further 91 applications to stand under the TUSC umbrella were approved, taking the total to 440 TUSC candidates - over one in ten of all the council seats up for election in May.

A full list of the candidates so far, broken down into regions and including the applications agreed on Wednesday, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/292.pdf.

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Low turnouts in council by-elections, but there is support for TUSC

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.

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'Who else you gonna vote for?' Bob Crow postcards available, and TUSC stickers

TUSC postcard

TUSC postcard

Posted: 28 March 2014

Two new items of TUSC election campaign material are now available to order.

Postcards

We've re-printed the old TUSC A6 'Where will your vote go?' postcard to include UKIP as a non-alternative on the ballot paper and, on the reverse, Bob Crow's memorable endorsement of TUSC, "Who else you gonna vote for?".

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TUSC election challenge reaches 349 candidates and counting

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.

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An appeal to anti-austerity campaigners - help us build the most effective possible local elections challenge

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.

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Hackney & Islington TUSC film showing: The Battle of Orgreave

Flyer advertising the Battle of Orgreave film showing in Hackney

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.

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New TUSC election leaflets available to order

Introduction to TUSC leaflet

Posted: 20 March 2014

Three new leaflets are now available to order for use in the TUSC local election campaign.

They are an A4 general introduction to TUSC leaflet, an A5 leaflet concentrating on housing, and an A5 flyer combining an introduction to TUSC with an appeal for donations. Check out the PDFs of the leaflets by clicking the images below.

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TUSC's local elections challenge grows - with candidates now in sixty councils

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.

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Dave Nellist remembers Tony Benn

Tony Benn

Tony Benn

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'.

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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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Election law guide for TUSC candidates and agents now available

Posted: 6 March 2014

A brief guide to election law has been produced for Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates and election agents. It is available as a downloadable PDF from the TUSC website here.

This is a summary of election law for May's local council contests, based on the official guidance produced by the Electoral Commission along with some tips and pointers drawn from the previous experience of TUSC election campaigners.

It also includes information on the procedures agreed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on how to become a TUSC candidate.

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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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Merseyside TUSC: meeting on March 1st and joining the council lobby on March 5th

Posted: 24 February 2014

The next meeting of the Merseyside Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be on Saturday 1st March 2014 from 10am at The Casa, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ.

Please e-mail any items you wish to be included on the agenda by Thursday 27th February - this will include candidates for the May 22nd local elections.

Merseyside TUSC will be supporting the demonstration at Liverpool Town Hall on Dale Street from 4pm on Wednesday 5th March 2014 as the city council sets yet another budget full of cuts.

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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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TUSC election leaflets, posters and banners available to order

TUSC anti-cuts leaflet

TUSC anti-cuts leaflet

Posted: 18 February 2014

A range of TUSC campaign material - postcards, leaflets, posters and banners - is available to order from the resources page on the TUSC website.

Leaflets

Two TUSC election leaflets are currently available: 'Fight back against the cuts' and 'NHS: public health not private wealth' (see above and below). These are one-side only A4 leaflets which allows for local content to be printed on the reverse.

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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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TUSC supporters join the striking '3 Cosas' workers

TUSC supporters join striking cleaners, photo TUSC

TUSC supporters join striking cleaners, photo TUSC

Posted: 27 January 2014

TUSC supporters join the '3 Cosas' workers, cleaners and other ancillary workers at the University of London, who have been fighting for a living wage and better conditions for some time, winning some significant victories. Their 'three Cosas', the theme of the current battle, are sick pay, holidays and pensions.

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TUSC Local Elections 2014 Conference update

Posted: 22 January 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) one-day conference on Saturday February 1st is set to be the launch pad for the biggest ever trade union and socialist based left-of-Labour challenge in local council elections.

May 22nd will see contests in England for over 4,000 councillors in local authorities across the country. To get what the BBC calls 'balanced media coverage', parties need to stand in 15% of the seats up for election - that means 625 TUSC candidates. The TUSC conference, at the Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, WIT 6AQ (11am to 4-30pm), will hear the latest news on reaching that target.

Would you consider standing? Come along to the conference and meet other prospective candidates and TUSC supporters who are building an alternative to the austerity parties in their areas.

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Rebel councillors slam Southampton's 'sham consultation' on cuts budget

Posted: 27 January 2014

The 'rebel councillors' and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee members, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, have denounced Southampton's Labour-controlled council for holding a 'sham consultation' on this year's city council budget rather than organising a mass campaign to save public services.

The following statement was published in the 'In Our View' column in Southampton's local paper:

In Our View

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TUSC Thunderclap

Posted: 23 January 2014

TUSC is promoting the drive for candidates with a coordinated social media campaign on Sunday morning, February 2nd.

Using 'Thunderclap' a short Facebook and Twitter message about the May elections will be sent out from over 100 people's accounts simultaneously, potentially reaching many tens of thousands, providing we get at least 100 supporters signed up - could you be one of them?

All TUSC supporters with Facebook or Twitter accounts are asked to visit http://thndr.it/1dPHpgF and sign up before 11 AM on Sunday February 2nd, and then re-promote via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Click here for more...


Support the TUSC banner appeal this week

Posted: 17 January 2014

TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist writes:

Dear comrades,

I am writing to ask for your help.

Click here for more...


Come to the TUSC 2014 Local Elections conference on February 1st

Posted: 19 December 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a one-day conference on Saturday February 1st to prepare for our widest ever local elections challenge.

Next May there will be elections in England for over 4,000 councillors in local authorities across the country. To get what the BBC calls 'balanced media coverage', parties need to contest 15% of the seats up for election - that means 625 TUSC candidates. Could you be one of those?

Come along to the conference and meet other prospective candidates and TUSC supporters who are building an alternative to the austerity parties in their areas.

Click here for more...


Council by-elections show TUSC running at 5.2 percent average vote in 2013

Posted: 14 January 2014

LAST WEEK'S national Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee meeting received a full report of how TUSC candidates have performed in council by-elections they have contested during 2013.

The report is now available on the TUSC website: 2013 council by-elections

During the year TUSC candidates stood in 37 local council by-elections. Their mean average share of the vote across those seats was 5.2%.

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Merseyside TUSC meeting to discuss May elections

Posted: 14 January 2014

The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC will take place on Saturday 25th January from 10am at The CASA, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ.

Tabled on the meeting agenda is a discussion on fighting the May local council elections.

This will include the drawing up of a provisional candidate list for the various wards and a discussion on raising finance for the election campaign.

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TUSC chair Dave Nellist condemns MPs' scandalous 11% pay rise

Former MP Dave Nellist is the national chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, photo Paul Mattsson

Former MP Dave Nellist is the national chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 8 December 2013

Interview with Dave Nellist, BBC website, 13 July 2013, reposted on TUSC website 8 December 2013

As many MPs rush to condemn proposals to give them an 11% pay rise, few have taken the lead of the former member for Coventry South.

From his election in 1983 to his deselection by Labour in 1992, Dave Nellist kept less than half his salary.

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Autumn statement: The plan isn't working for us!

Posted: 7 December 2013

TUSC Chair and ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist said "Osborne thinks that austerity is working, but the queues at foodbanks and pay day lenders tell a different story.

"This government of millionaires might think things are improving, but most ordinary working class people are facing a Dickensian future rather than a bright recovery.

"This government of the rich, for the rich, want us to work even longer. It is to be made even harder for unemployed young people to claim meagre benefits. Further massive cuts threaten essential public services and jobs.

Click here for more...


Stoke and Newcastle TUSC 2014 local election campaign launch

Stoke and Newcastel TUSC leaflet

Stoke and Newcastel TUSC leaflet

Posted: 2 December 2013

We need councillors who fight against the cuts - not pass them on!

Speakers include TUSC national chair Dave Nellist (ex 'Militant' Labour MP for 9 years), amongst others

Borough Arms Hotel

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Shettleston Ward by-election - Glasgow

Posted: 2 December 2013

Tuesday December 3rd

7:30pm, Tollcross Youth Centre, Tollcross Road, Glasgow

Click here for more...


Liverpool Riverside by-election public meeting

John Marston, photo Merseyside TUSC

John Marston, photo Merseyside TUSC

Posted: 28 November 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has organised a meeting for the public to make their voice heard in the council by-election taking place next week in Liverpool's Riverside ward.

Liverpool TUSC public meeting

At the St Cleopas Community Centre, 400 Mill Street (at the corner with Beresford Road), L8 4RF

Click here for more...


Last TUSC meeting of 2013 in Waltham Forest

Posted: 29 November 2013

Wednesday 4th December 7.30pm

William Morris Community Centre

Greenleaf Road, E17

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Cardiff council by-election public meeting

Posted: 27 November 2013

At the Star Centre, 2 Splott Road, CF24 2BZ

11-30am, Saturday 30th November

Hear the Southampton 'rebel councillor' Keith Morrell, expelled from Labour for fighting the cuts

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Standing up to Glasgow Labour's cuts - and the SNP's

Jaime Cocozza, photo by Shettleston TUSC

Jaime Cocozza

Posted: 27 November 2013

The by-election under way in Glasgow city council's Shettleston ward (with polling day on December 5th) saw a recent hustings debate hosted by Save The Accord Centre campaigners in Shettleston Community Centre.

The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate, underground driver and Unite member Jaime Cocozza, reports on what happened:

"Only three of a potential twelve candidates turned up. Labour, having already voted to shut down the Accord Centre to make way for a car park for the Commonwealth games, showed exactly what they thought of the campaign by sending their candidate to a meeting with local police instead!

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TUSC councillors lay down fight-back challenge to Labour - who wave white flag in reply

Southampton Councillors Against Cuts, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, photo Southampton TUSC

Southampton Councillors Against Cuts, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, photo Southampton TUSC

Posted: 26 November 2013

After Southampton's council services have suffered £57 million cuts since 2010 the new Labour council (elected in 2012) has announced a further £60 million cuts to come over the next three years.

Last week's council meeting was the last before councillors vote for the council budget in February next year. Southampton Councillors Against Cuts, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, members of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, went to the meeting to urge Labour councillors to reject the cuts agenda and launch a mass campaign to fight central government for the funding the city needs. Through using reserves and borrowing powers to fund the budget gap, as Keith and Don put forward at this year's budget-setting meeting, it would be entirely possible to protect jobs and services. By refusing to implement the cuts the council would give a lead and build the mass support needed that could force a weak and unpopular government into retreat.

Moving their resolution (printed below) Keith said:

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TUSC launched in Derby - and second public meeting organised

Posted: 25 November 2013

A meeting of trade unionists, socialists, anti-cuts and environmental campaigners met in Derby last week (19 November) to launch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and discuss plans to stand across the city in the 2014 local elections.

A second public meeting has been organised in Sinfin on Wednesday 27th November at the Sinfin Moor Social Club, Areleston Lane, Sinfin, Derby, DE24 3DH, from 7.30pm till 9pm. One of the speakers will be Dorothy Skrytek, a member of the campaign against the Sinfin incineration plant and the Friends of the Earth.

The November 19 meeting was addressed by Harry Smith, a former Labour councillor who was part of the socialist Liverpool city council between 1983-87. Along with 46 other councillors, Harry set a budget based on what the city needed to provide jobs and services and built a campaign to demand more money from the Thatcher government. Harry described that whilst other Labour councils were passing on cuts, Liverpool built houses, swimming pools, parks and created more jobs. This shows what a council can do if it is prepared to fight.

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Housing 4 All campaigner Isabel Counihan-Sanchez standing for TUSC in Brent 2014 local elections

Housing 4 All campaigner Isabel Counihan-Sanchez and famiily, photo by Brent TUSC

Housing 4 All campaigner Isabel Counihan-Sanchez and famiily, photo by Brent TUSC

Posted: 21 November 2013

Brent mother of five Isabel Counihan Sanchez, who along with a dedicated group of supporters, has been fighting attempts to force her family out of Brent, has now decided to stand for election in next year's local elections as a Brent Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate.

Isabel and family were made homeless in April 2012 when their benefits were dramatically cut by Brent council and they were evicted from rented accommodation. Despite her husband Anthony working full-time as a bus driver the family were still reliant on these benefits to pay the staggering rent of £690.00 per week for their home in Kilburn. After being evicted they were placed in temporary accommodation in Ealing with an UN-affordable rent of £500.00 per week.

This put the family under tremendous pressures because the accommodation was totally unsuitable due to lack of space. Sarah, A.J, Orla & Aiden were faced with long treks to school as far as Kenton (Brent) and their youngest son, Vinny, who is Autistic was also put under tremendous pressure being completely disorientated by the changes. Added to this they were removed from their local network of family and friends.

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Liverpool TUSC meeting to back by-election challenge

Posted: 18 November 2013

The next meeting of the Liverpool Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) takes place this Thursday 21st November, 7.00pm, at The CASA, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ (in the Cellar Bistro room).

The purpose of the meeting is to further the council by-election campaign of TUSC candidate for Riverside, John Marston.

An Election Address is being prepared at the printers - volunteers are needed to assist in house to house delivery and canvassing in Riverside Ward.

Click here for more...


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Derby public meeting

Posted: 14 November 2013

A public meeting has been organised to launch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Derby on Tuesday November 19th.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm (to 9pm), at the United Reform Church Room, 3 Becket Well Lane, Victoria Street, Derby, DE1 1JW.

Speakers include:

Click here for more...


Hillingdon TUSC candidates meeting

Posted: 14 November 2013

12.30pm Saturday 16th November

Friends House, Belmont Road, Uxbridge

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Tower Hamlets TUSC meeting for all those interested in standing as a candidate

Tower Hamlets TUSC, photo Tower Hamlets TUSC

Tower Hamlets TUSC, photo Tower Hamlets TUSC

Posted: 14 November 2013

We need councillors who will stand up for the people of Tower Hamlets

6.30pm Monday 18th November

Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, E2 6HG

Click here for more...


Lewisham TUSC public meeting

Posted: 14 November 2013

Even Russell Brand wants to know:

How do we build a political party for workers and youth?

7.30pm Thursday 21st November

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One hundred people attend Hackney TUSC film showing and discussion

Hackney TUSC 2014 candidates , photo by Hackney TUSC

Hackney TUSC 2014 candidates , photo by Hackney TUSC

Posted: 12 November 2013

Hackney and Islington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) organised a very successful showing of the film, 'Riot from Wrong', at the local Rio cinema last Saturday.

Around 100 people attended the event which included the film showing and a panel discussion, with speakers from a number of youth groups including Day-Mer Youth, Voice of Youth (Hackney), and Long Live the South Bank, and chaired by a Youth Fight For Jobs campaign representative.

Over a dozen prospective TUSC candidates for next year's local elections in Hackney and Islington were also presented to the audience (see photo).

Click here for more...


TUSC announces candidate after Liverpool deputy mayor and cuts hatchet man resigns

Posted: 6 November 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is delighted to announce that John Marston is TUSC's candidate to challenge for the Riverside council seat vacated by the deputy mayor and leading Labour Party cuts hatchet man, Paul Brant.

John Marston, veteran socialist, life-long trade unionist and seasoned campaigner, will fight for the Riverside council seat made vacant by Paul Brant's resignation.

Unlike Paul Brant John will campaign for an end to all cuts, and for the immediate end to the evil bedroom tax. He will demand that the council declares it has no intention of penalising those who cannot afford the bedroom tax.

Click here for more...


Carole Duggan to speak at TUSC 'Riot from Wrong' film showing

Posted: 6 November 2013

Hackney and Islington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a showing of the film, Riot from Wrong, this Saturday, with Carole Duggan, an aunt of Mark Duggan, now speaking at the event.

Hackney and Islington TUSC film showing: Riot From Wrong

Rio Cinema

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LONDONERS NEED MORE THAN EMPTY GESTURES ON LIVING WAGE SAY SOCIALISTS

Posted: 6 November 2013

TRADE UNIONIST AND SOCIALIST COALITION (TUSC) CANDIDATES IN NEXT YEAR'S COUNCIL ELECTIONS PLEDGE ACTION ON COST OF LIVING CRISIS

Nancy Taaffe, Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate said: "Boris Johnsons' increase of 25p on the London Living Wage to £8.55 per hour is an insult to hard working Londoners. The fact that politicians in London think that this will be enough to live on shows how completely out of touch they are with working class people. The London Living Wage can be opted in and out of by employers as they see fit. A paltry 200 employers have signed up to the living wage since it was introduced in 2005. This means that just 11,500 actually benefit from it.

"To actually work, any measures on addressing low wages have be mandatory. This means that the politicians have to stand up to big business rather than governing in their interests as they do now. We say that employers should be forced to pay a living wage rather than offered a tax break to do so. Of course small companies that genuinely need support should get it. But big companies that refuse should be taken into public ownership.

Click here for more...


TUSC meetings in Derby in November

Posted: 6 November 2013

A public meeting has been organised to launch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Derby on Tuesday November 19th. Harry Smith, one of the 47 Liverpool Labour councillors who defied Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s, will be speaking, putting the case for a similar fight back to be organised today.

The 19th November meeting starts at 7.30pm (to 9pm), at the United Reform Church Room, 3 Becket Well Lane, Victoria Street, Derby, DE1 1JW.

Then, on Wednesday November 27th a second Derby TUSC public meeting will take place at the Sinfin Moor Social Club, Areleston Lane, Sinfin, Derby, DE24 3DH, once again from 7.30pm till 9pm.

Click here for more...


TUSC stands candidates in twelve council by-elections in next five weeks

Posted: 5 November 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is contesting by-elections in twelve wards in ten different councils over the next five weeks.

This week (November 7th) sees by-elections in the Bootle Derby ward of Sefton council on Merseyside and two contests in Nottingham, in the city council's Dales and Radford & Park wards. TUSC's Bootle candidate is Graham Woodhouse, the secretary of the PCS civil service union Highways Agency North West branch and a member of PCS Department for Transport Group Executive Committee. In Nottingham TUSC is represented by Unite member Cathy Meadows, standing in the Dales ward, and GMB union member Geraint Thomas, standing in Radford & Park (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16848/16-10-2013/nottingham-tusc-announces-candidates-for-two-city-council-by-elections )

A week later, on November 14th, TUSC is standing in the Baddeley, Milton & Norton by-election in Stoke, with Unite member Liat Norris carrying the TUSC anti-cuts banner in a crowded ten-candidate contest (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16850/22-10-2013/stoke-on-trent-by-election-to-have-a-real-anti-cuts-candidate )

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Warrington rebel councillor's living wage move blocked by Labour

Posted: 31 October 2013

Hugh Caffrey, north-west Socialist Party

In the latest anti-democratic twist by Warrington's Labour leadership, a serious proposal for paying the Living Wage as a minimum to council staff was blocked before it could go to a full council meeting.

Rebel anti-cuts councillor Kevin Bennett, suspended from the Labour group for opposing cuts to services, had prepared costed proposals on how the Living Wage could be paid to Warrington council's workforce.

Click here for more...


Haringey TUSC to discuss local election challenge at November meeting

Posted: 30 October 2013

Haringey TUSC has organised a meeting on Tuesday 26th November to start a discussion on standing a broad slate of anti-cuts candidates in the council elections taking place in the borough next May.

The meeting will be held at the North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Road, London N17 6PY, starting at 7-30pm.

Below is the appeal to local organisations for attendance at the meeting being circulated by the Haringey TUSC co-ordinator, Oktay Sahbaz:

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Plymouth TUSC November meeting

Posted: 29 October 2013

Plymouth TUSC has its next meeting, when more local election candidates for 2014 will be agreed, on November 14th at 7pm at The Plymouth Social Club, 38-39 Tavistock Place, PL4 8AX.

For more details contact Plymouth TUSC at tuscplymouth@yahoo.co.uk

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Stoke-on-Trent by-election to have a real anti-cuts candidate

Posted: 22 October 2013

Unite member Liat Norris is standing as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) anti-cuts candidate in the Stoke-on-Trent council by-election taking place on 14 November in the Baddeley, Milton and Norton ward of the city.

Liat was chosen following a public meeting that took place in the ward at Norton Working Mens Club after thousands of leaflets had previously been given out across the ward advertising the event. In order to ensure that the best possible anti-cuts candidate was selected the TUSC leaflets stated: "We already have people with an excellent record of campaigning against cuts locally who want to stand as the TUSC candidate on 14 November. But we want to ensure we have the best possible anti-cuts candidate to represent people who live across the ward.

"So if you are a local trade unionist, socialist or community campaigner and would like to be considered as the TUSC anti-cuts candidate in this by election then please call or text 07845-893607".

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Help us fight for local jobs and services in Bootle in the Sefton council by-election

Posted: 20 October 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing the PCS trade unionist Graham Woodhouse in the Sefton council by-election in the borough's Derby ward on 7th November.

Graham's election agent, Pete Glover, a member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) National Executive committee for Merseyside and Cheshire (personal capacity), has issued the following appeal for support:

Dear brothers and sisters,

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Nottingham TUSC announces candidates for two city council by-elections

Posted: 16 October 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing in the Nottingham city council by-elections on 7th November on a clear platform against the bedroom tax and all cuts to jobs, services and benefits.

Due to the resignation of two councillors for health reasons, there will be by-elections in the Dales and Radford & Park wards. TUSC will be contesting these as an alternative to the three main parties.

TUSC says:

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TUSC steering committee sets timetable for 2014 local elections campaign

Posted: 15 October 2013

AS GEORGE Osborne announced a further 10% cut in council funding for 2015-16 in this summer's public spending review, Tory Party chairman, Grant Shapps, ridiculed councillors for the 'good work' they were doing in "cutting their cloth more intelligently".

"When we said [in 2010] we would reduce their budgets by 26% over four years, we were told councils would be going bust by this stage" but they haven't, he mocked. "I think they can do another 10%". (The Guardian, 26 June 2013) There couldn't be a clearer answer to the idea that councils should accept the cuts in the hope that things will get better in the future. The dismantling of local public services will continue in the age of austerity unless we have trade unionists, socialists and working class community campaigners as councillors who are prepared to fight back.

Shapps' claim that council services aren't really 'cash-strapped' is, of course, completely untrue. Recent research from the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity shows that six out of ten councils are now commissioning 15-minute maximum home care visits for elderly and disabled people, with the number of such visits rising by 15% since 2008. Meanwhile the number of people who got any council-funded support in their own homes fell from 958,000 in 2009-10 to 802,000 in 2011-12.

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November's Merseyside TUSC meeting

Posted: 14 October 2013

The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC will be held on Saturday 9th November 2013 from 10am at The CASA, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ.

For further details e-mail merseysidetusc@gmail.com or contact Daren Ireland on 07787128498

Click here for more...


Hackney and Islington TUSC film showing: Riot from Wrong

Posted: 12 October 2013

Hackney and Islington TUSC is showing the film Riot from Wrong at:

Rio Cinema

Hackney

Click here for more...


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No. 54

Posted: 4 October 2013

Friday 4 October 2013

  • TUSC gets 27 per cent in town council by-election
  • TUSC pre-election conference announced for 1 February 2014
  • Click here for more...


Warrington rebel councillor's appeal: 'Don't vote for cuts'

Posted: 3 October 2013

THE WARRINGTON rebel councillor Kevin Bennett, who was suspended from the Labour Party earlier this year for voting against cuts, has issued an Open Letter to Labour councillors in the North West as council budgets for 2014-15 begin to be discussed.

As Kevin says in his letter, councillors don't have to carry out the Con-Dems cuts. This February the Southampton rebel councillors, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas (now members of the TUSC national Steering Committee) presented an alternative budget to their council's budget-making meeting. Their proposals met the legal requirements of a balanced budget at least for the 2013-14 financial year - it was not a 'deficit budget'. Scandalously, however, the Labour councillors refused to even allow it to be debated (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press180213.php ).

But the fact was they had a choice - councillors don't have to vote for cuts.

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Merseyside TUSC monthly meeting

Posted: 3 October 2013

The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC will be held on Saturday 5th October 2013 from 10am at The CASA, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ.

Agenda:

Nomination for Sefton council by-election, Derby ward

Click here for more...


Sheffield TUSC public meeting

Posted: 2 October 2013

A Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) public meeting has been called in Sheffield to discuss standing anti-cuts, trade union and socialist candidates across the city in next May's local council elections.

The Labour-controlled Sheffield council is planning to make another £108 million cuts over the next five years. Labour nationally has committed itself to continuing with Tory spending cuts. Ed Miliband wants to end trade unions' links to Labour. If you are against austerity, it's time to make a stand...

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Public Meeting

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Fleetwood TUSC candidate gets 27 percent in town council by-election

Posted: 1 October 2013

THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Ray Smith won 27% of the vote in last Thursday's by-election for the Rossall ward of Fleetwood Town council in Lancashire.

GMB union member Ray stood to oppose the Tory-Liberal government destroying public services and led a campaign to keep the local hospital open. Ray used to be a Labour councillor (from 1995-1999) but joined TUSC because Labour was not defending working and vulnerable people.

As one of Ray's supporters said to TUSC election campaigners: "There's a lot of anxiety at the savage attack on people living in poverty, with disabilities, in fact all vulnerable people, by the Coalition government. I feel so disillusioned that Ed Miliband is not standing up for us or challenging David Cameron on his attack on the poor. Amnesty have condemned the Coalition for their attack on the disabled. Why can't Ed Miliband?"

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Plymouth TUSC public meeting

Posted: 17 September 2013

A Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition public meeting has been called in Plymouth to capitalise on the historic realignment taking place between the trade unions and their political representatives. At the meeting Plymouth TUSC will be seeking anti-cuts candidates from the city's communities to stand against all the establishment parties, including Labour, in next year's city council elections.

Ryan Aldred, a Unite representative on Plymouth's Trades Council and a recent TUSC election candidate, said: "In Plymouth we have a Labour administration which is implementing Tory austerity policies to the hilt, such as the bedroom tax, the abolition of council tax rebate, and inviting businesses to set up schools.

"And as we speak, it is seeking to make further cuts in the city's budget of £65 million while at the same time having the bare-faced cheek to call itself a 'brilliant co-operative council'."

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Time for a new party to represent the trade unions, says ex-Labour MP

Posted: 11 September 2013

FOLLOWING ON from Ed Miliband's speech at the TUC on Tuesday ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist, now chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), said: "I've spoken to TUC delegates who told me that the room was so quiet during Miliband's speech you could hear the penny dropping for many more trade union members.

"Ed Miliband has proven time and again that he does not want the Labour Party to represent organised workers within the trade union movement - and his policies don't represent the interests of the workers and their families. Only last week Labour were forced to admit that there was no grounds for the suspension of trade union members in Falkirk - but that hasn't stopped Labour pouncing on these events to further divorce the unions from the party they set up.

"The GMB cut their funding to Labour to represent the numbers who took part in the Labour leadership contest - a cut of nearly 90%. This shows that there is no enthusiasm for continuing the link with Labour.

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Do we need a new party to reflect the working people of Britain?

Guardian 9 September 2013

Guardian 9 September 2013

Posted: 10 September 2013

Do we need a new party to reflect the working people of Britain? As Labour prepares for a bruising clash with the unions, could a left-wing UKIP become a reality? asks The Guardian's John Harris at http://www. theguardian.com /politics/2013/ sep/09/ time-for-leftwing-ukip-labour

The Guardian, 9 September 2013

Ever since the general election of 2010, British politics has been in a very curious state of flux. Public mistrust in politicians runs rampant. After one inconclusive contest, the idea that neither Labour nor the Tories will have a majority of seats in 2015 is now common currency. What will happen to the Lib Dems is uncertain: they will almost certainly be thumped at the ballot box, but could once again hold the balance of power. Next year sees both the Scottish referendum on independence, and the European elections that might see Ukip finishing first.

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Lewisham TUSC forum

Posted: 10 September 2013

7.30pm Wednesday 18 September

Community Café

178 New Cross Road

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Another step forward for TUSC as 'rebel councillors' join the steering committee

Posted: 7 September 2013

THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting this week after the summer break, made a special welcome for two new members, the Southampton 'rebel councillors' Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, who were expelled from the Labour Party last year for opposing council cuts.

Don was elected as a councillor for Southampton's Coxford ward in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 (having first stood as a Labour candidate in the area in 2002).

Keith joined him on the council in 2010, having also previously been a Southampton council candidate for Labour from 2006. Both members of Unite, their record in the labour movement is exemplary.

Click here for more...


Next meeting of Merseyside TUSC

Posted: 3 September 2013

The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC will take place on Saturday 7th September 2013 from 10am until 11-30am at The CASA, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ.

Provisional Agenda:

2014 Local Elections

Click here for more...


Ex-Labour councillor selected to fight for TUSC in Fleetwood contest

Posted: 23 August 2013

Former Labour councillor Ray Smith has been selected as prospective candidate by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to fight the forthcoming town council by-election in the Rossall ward of Fleetwood, Lancashire on 26 September.

Despite the best efforts of some in the area (see below), Ray forced the election to be called after a sitting town councillor resigned.

GMB union member Ray is standing to oppose this Tory-Liberal government destroying our public services.

Click here for more...


TUSC polls 9.7% in Caerphilly council by-election

Posted: 4 August 2013

TRADE UNIONIST and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Jaime Davies polled a very creditable 9.7% share of the vote in last Thursday's by-election for the Penyrheol division of Caerphilly council.

Plaid Cymru won the by-election with 929 votes, increasing its share of the vote compared to when the seat was last contested in May 2012, but saw its actual vote fall by 432, as turnout slumped to 20%.

Labour was second with 554 votes - 520 votes down on May 2012 and with a 5% reduced share - while the Tories came in last, behind TUSC, with 135 votes.

Click here for more...


Fourth place for TUSC, ahead of the Tories and UKIP, in Lambeth council by-election

Posted: 27 July 2013

THURSDAY 25th July saw a council by-election in the Tulse Hill ward of the south London borough of Lambeth.

Labour retained the seat with 69% of the vote, increasing the gap between them and the Liberal Democrats (on 12%), whose vote share fell from 28% at the last full council elections in May 2010.

Third place on Thursday went to the Greens with 177 votes (7.7%) - but this didn't represent an increase in their support.

Click here for more...


Merseyside TUSC - August meeting

Posted: 23 July 2013

The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC is on Saturday 10th August 2013 at 10am at The Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ

For more details contact Daren Ireland 07787128498

Email: merseysidetusc@gmail.com

Click here for more...


Rugby TUSC's candidate announcement gets local press publicity

Rugby and Lutterworth Observer, 18 July 2013

Rugby and Lutterworth Observer, 18 July 2013

Posted: 19 July 2013

Rugby and Lutterworth Observer, 18 July 2013

First two candidates declare themselves for 2015 election

THE first two candidates to challenge Mark Pawsey for his job as Rugby MP have been named - two years ahead of the next general election.

Click here for more...


Only TUSC and UKIP increase their vote in Brighton council by-election

Posted: 17 July 2013

LAST WEEK'S council by-election in Brighton's Hanover and Elm Grove ward saw only the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and UKIP increase their vote since the last time there was an election here, in May 2011.

Against a background of a week-long strike in the local City Clean depot by GMB workers fighting pay cuts of up to £4,000 being imposed by Brighton's Green-led council, it was a tightly fought contest.

In a previously solid Green seat, the Labour Party narrowly won but both parties saw their vote fall, the Greens by nearly 1,500 from their 2011 score. Labour increased its percentage share but actually lost over 250 votes.

Click here for more...


TUSC chair Dave Nellist interviewed on MPs' pay

Former MP Dave Nellist is the national chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, photo Paul Mattsson

Former MP Dave Nellist is the national chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 16 July 2013

Interview with Dave Nellist, BBC website, 13 July 2013, reposted on TUSC website 8 December 2013

As many MPs rush to condemn proposals to give them an 11% pay rise, few have taken the lead of the former member for Coventry South.

From his election in 1983 to his deselection by Labour in 1992, Dave Nellist kept less than half his salary.

Click here for more...


Durham Miners' Gala hears Bob Crow's call for a new party for workers

Posted: 15 July 2013

SATURDAY'S Durham Miners' Gala (13th July) was the first time in 115 years there hadn't been a Labour MP speaking from the platform said Davie Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association.

Huge applause followed when he went on to say it was probably just as well considering recent events.

But the massive crowd gave warm support to TUSC national steering committee member Bob Crow, RMT transport union general secretary, who called for the trade union movement to work for the creation of 'a new party of labour' to challenge head on the pro-business, anti-worker agenda of the three main political parties, Tory, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats.

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Darlington TUSC meeting

Posted: 15 July 2013

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supporters in Darlington are organising a public meeting at the end of July under the theme, Labour accepts Con-Dems' cuts - time to build a new workers party!

Darlington TUSC meeting, Monday 29th July, 7.30pm, at the Voodoo Café, Skinnergate, Darlington, DL3 7LX

For more details contact teessidesocialists@virginmedia.com

Click here for more...


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.53

Posted: 13 July 2013

Thursday 11 July 2013

" ...Bob Crow reminded delegates that RMT support for TUSC candidates was subject to the backing of RMT branches and regional committees - while in contrast the Labour Party had removed all democratic structures to select candidates or change policy."

TUSC News

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Anti-poll tax campaigner Steve Nally in Tulse Hill council election

Steve Nally, photo Lambeth TUSC

Steve Nally, photo Lambeth TUSC

Posted: 8 July 2013

Anti-poll tax campaigner Steve Nally is standing for TUSC in Tulse Hill, Lambeth, South London, on 25th July.

The old traditions of struggle are once again coming to the fore in Lambeth, which stood with Liverpool against Thatcher's cuts to local government.

Re-visiting old supporters to get nominations to stand, TUSC candidate Steve Nally, standing in the Tulse Hill by-election, was rebuffed by just one, only to receive a call the following day to say that, angry with Labour's choice of candidate, he wanted to nominate Steve after all.

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In pictures: Waltham Forest TUSC Local elections 2014 press launch

Prospective TUSC candidates in Waltham Forest , photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

Prospective TUSC candidates in Waltham Forest , photo Senan

Posted: 8 July 2013

Two pictures of the meeting and the prospective candidates who volunteered to stand for TUSC in Waltham Forest in 2014.

The prospective candidates who volunteered to stand for TUSC.

Waltham Forest TUSC Local elections 2014 press launch

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RMT conference re-affirms union support for TUSC

Posted: 6 July 2013

THE ANNUAL conference (annual general meeting) of the RMT transport workers' union met in Brighton at the end of June, with the central themes being the continued attacks on jobs, pay and pensions, and the horrors of privatised and casualised transport industries.

But part of the solution to these problems is the need to build a political movement that will support workers' rights and a clear alternative to the failed policies of the current Con-Dem and previous Labour governments.

The debate this year on continuing support for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) bought out many of these issues and heavily rejected a call for the union to return to supporting the Labour Party.

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Council by-elections round-up

Posted: 5 July 2013

JULY'S MEETING of the TUSC national steering committee discussed a 'half-term report' on the results achieved by TUSC candidates in council by-elections in the first half of 2013.

The results from the seventeen by-elections contested by TUSC in that period are listed below.

A total of 35,007 electors have voted in these contests, with TUSC's aggregate score of 1,266 votes representing 3.6% of all the ballots cast.

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We need councillors who will stand up for the people of Brent

Brent leaflet

Brent leaflet

Posted: 5 July 2013

Public Meeting Tuesday 23rd July, 7.30pm

Torch Pub: Function room, 1-5 Bridge Rd, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 9AB, Nearest tube Wembley Park on the Jubilee line

Speakers:

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Picture: Hackney and Islington TUSC lobbies council calling for no evictions due to bedroom tax, joining up other bedroom tax protesters

Hackney and Islington TUSC lobbies council calling for no evictions due to bedroom tax, joining up other bedroom tax protesters

Hackney and Islington TUSC lobbies council calling for no evictions due to bedroom tax, joining up other bedroom tax protesters

Posted: 5 July 2013

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Next meeting of Merseyside TUSC

Posted: 2 July 2013

The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC is on Saturday 6th July 2013 at 10am at The Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ

For more details contact Daren Ireland 07787128498

Email: merseysidetusc@gmail.com

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Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition appeals for candidates to fight cuts in 2014 elections in Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Guardian 25/6/13

Waltham Forest Guardian 25/6/13

Posted: 26 June 2013

Waltham Forest Guardian, Tuesday 25th June 2013

The Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is looking for candidates to contest the 2014 elections in every ward of Waltham Forest.

The anti-cuts group is opposing all main parties because of their support for slashing public spending, and it is looking for trade unionists, community campaigners and others willing to stand as TUSC representatives in each ward.

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'Bedroom tax' protesters lobby Newham's councillors outside Town Hall

Newham Recorder 24/6/13

Newham Recorder 24/6/13

Posted: 26 June 2013

Newham Recorder, Monday, June 24, 2013

Campaigners marched on the Town Hall last week to urge councillors not to evict people hit by government housing cuts.

Around a dozen protesters from newly-formed No Bedroom Tax in Newham (NBTN) loudly lobbied cabinet members as they made their way to a meeting on Thursday to get them to refuse to enforce the policy.

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Coalition party launch a petition calling for the resignation of Brent councillor living in Brighton

Brent and Kilburn Times

Brent and Kilburn Times

Posted: 26 June 2013

Brent and Kilburn Times, Monday, June 24, 2013

Brent Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) hope to 'shame' Rev Cllr David Clues into stepping down

A coalition party have launched a petition calling for a councillor in Brent who lives 80 miles from his ward to resign.

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TUSC support for One Housing workers' pay-cut protest

Camden New Journal 24/6/13

Camden New Journal 24/6/13

Posted: 24 June 2013

Camden New Journal, 24 June 2013

A HOUSING association's chief executive had to walk through a picket outside its headquarters yesterday (Wednesday) as workers protested about a cut in salaries.

Mick Sweeney was faced with around 50 demonstrators at the One Housing Group's offices in Chalk Farm.

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New TUSC broadsheet available appealing for 2014 local election candidates

June 2013 TUSC broadsheet shot

June 2013 TUSC broadsheet shot

Posted: 24 June 2013

A NEW A3 folded TUSC broadsheet is now available appealing for candidates to stand in next May's local elections.

Elections are being held next year in 160 local councils in England, with nearly half of the councils affected under Labour control.

The full list of councils with elections is available at 2014 council profiles. The recent TUSC national steering committee agreed to plan for our widest-ever challenge in these contests.

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Waltham Forest TUSC Local elections 2014 press launch: Payback Time!

Posted: 18 June 2013

3rd July, 7pm

William Morris Community Centre

Greenleaf Road, E17 6QQ

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Walsall councillor's challenge - don't evict for bedroom tax arrears

Posted: 17 June 2013

THE WALSALL Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), whose candidates stand for election on a platform of refusal to implement Con-Dem attacks such as the notorious 'bedroom tax'.

This week Walsall DLP councilor Pete Smith submitted the following resolution to be debated at the next full council meeting:

"Given that this council at a recent meeting on 8th April 2013, unanimously expressed its opposition to the so called 'bedroom tax' and resolved to call on the government to scrap the 'bedroom tax', this council now calls upon the Walsall Housing Group (whg) and other social landlords of properties in the borough of Walsall to give assurances that they will take no eviction action against any of their tenants, solely as a result of arrears resulting from the imposition and impact of the 'bedroom tax'."

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UKIP challenge for Labour - and TUSC - in council by-elections

Posted: 16 June 2013

TWO RECENT council by-elections in Southampton and Newcastle have underlined the mounting challenge to Labour posed by UKIP.

They have also confirmed that translating the support that exists for TUSC's anti-austerity message into votes is not simple or straight-forward when the underlying anger at the establishment parties has an alternative outlet.

UKIP had not stood a candidate in Newcastle's Walkergate ward or Southampton's Woolston ward the last time these seats were contested in full council elections in May 2012, but came through to finish second in both seats this time.

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TUSC discusses 2014 election plans

Posted: 11 June 2013

THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met last week to begin the discussion on what intervention could be made in next year's scheduled elections.

Thursday May 22nd 2014 will see elections being held in 160 local councils in England, including mayoral contests in Watford and the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets. The full list of councils with elections next year is available at 2014 council profiles

Labour controls 76 of these councils - with 54 Tory-controlled, 22 under no overall control, and eight Lib Dem-led - covering all the metropolitan areas of England, including the 32 London boroughs.

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Lewisham TUSC presents The Spirit of '45 by Ken Loach

The Spirit of '45 leaflet

The Spirit of '45 leaflet

Posted: 11 June 2013

Friday, 28 June: Special Question and Answer showing of 'The Spirit of 45' Film by Ken Loach hosted by Lewisham Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

The Spirit of '45 is a documentary, interviewing people who remember the mass movement to create the welfare state following World War Two. Ken Loach was asked after the film showing in Cardiff why he made the film.

"I want people to be angry," Ken Loach said. "This is not about history. It's about the fact that society doesn't have to be this way.

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Hackney and Islington TUSC film presentation

Posted: 11 June 2013

'Don't Mention the 47' is a documentary on a crucial chapter in British history, when a group of 47 elected Labour councillors refused to transfer the cuts implemented by Margaret Thatcher's government onto the Liverpool community they represented.

Thursday 27th June at 7pm

At the Halkevi Centre, 31-33 Dalston Lane, Hackney E8 3DF

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TUSC standing in council by-elections in Brighton, Southampton, Salford and Plymouth

Posted: 3 June 2013

THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has agreed candidates for forthcoming council by-elections in Plymouth (polling day, 27th June) and Brighton (11th July), running alongside the previously announced by-election campaigns in Newcastle (this Thursday), Southampton (13th June), and Salford (20th June).

The Brighton by-election follows the resignation of the sitting Green Party councillor for the Hanover and Elm Grove ward.

The contest will be taking place against the backdrop of a dispute between the Green Party leadership of the city council and the council workforce over cuts to terms and conditions.

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Lambeth TUSC Forum

Posted: 3 June 2013

Building on the Brixton Hill byelection campaign

Planning now for the widest possible anti-cuts challenge in Lambeth in 2014

Saturday 8 June 2pm at Vida Walsh Centre, Saltoun Road, Brixton SW2 1EP

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Labour votes down rebel councillors 'no bedroom tax evictions' motion

Sue Atkins with Don Thomas and Keith Morrell, photo TUSC

Sue Atkins with Don Thomas and Keith Morrell, photo TUSC

Posted: 31 May 2013

THE SOUTHAMPTON council meeting on May 15th debated a motion moved by the 'rebel councillors' Keith Morrell and Don Thomas that the council remove the threat of eviction if a tenant falls into arrears because they are unable to pay the 'Bedroom Tax' increase in their rent.

The motion was quite straightforward. It read:

"Further to the resolution of the council concerning the under-occupation penalty (so-called 'Bedroom Tax'), Southampton council further resolves not to evict any tenant who goes into rent arrears because of the 'Bedroom Tax' and calls on other local social housing providers to do the same.

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Sixty at Haringey TUSC meeting

Posted: 30 May 2013

SIXTY PEOPLE attended last week's meeting to launch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's anti-cuts electoral challenge for next year's local elections in the north London borough of Haringey.

The meeting was chaired by Jenny Sutton, a local University and College Union (UCU) rep who has stood for TUSC locally in previous elections and achieved creditable results.

Platform speaker Oktay Sahbaz of the Day Mer Turkish and Kurdish group that hosted the meeting, explained that austerity policies, supported by all the major parties, were unnecessary and had made the rich even richer at our expense in the period since the financial crash.

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Southampton by-election: Labour non-answers show why anti-cuts councillors are needed

Posted: 23 May 2013

"CAN YOU guarantee that this time next year, Sure Start, local libraries, and Woolston youth centre will still be open?" Twice Carol Cunio, one of the Labour councillors for Southampton's Woolston ward, where a council by-election is taking place on June 13th, was challenged by Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Sue Atkins.

Chairing the TUSC Woolston by-election campaign launch meeting, anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell invited the Labour councillor to answer.

The meeting was met with silence. It revealed to everyone there why electing a third anti-cuts councillor in Southampton is an urgent task for those fighting to protect jobs and services from Con-Dem cuts.

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Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No 52

Posted: 22 May 2013

TUSC News

Is there a 100,000 voters club? - If there is, TUSC has joined it.

This May's local elections saw the number of votes cast for candidates standing under the TUSC umbrella pass the 100,000 mark since its formation in 2010.

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Haringey TUSC public meeting

Posted: 16 May 2013

THE HARINGEY Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has organised a public meeting to discuss standing anti-austerity candidates in next year's council elections in this north London borough. All welcome.

Haringey TUSC to stand anti-austerity candidates in elections

23rd May 2013 @7pm

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UKIP surge continues, squeezing TUSC in Rotherham by-election

Posted: 17 May 2013

THE UKIP advance in May's local elections continued on Thursday as they took a seat from Labour in the Rawmarsh ward council by-election in Rotherham.

When this seat was contested in the 2012 borough council elections Labour won with 1,685 votes (66%) to the BNP's 531. The only other candidate was a Conservative, who polled 328 votes.

This time the UKIP candidate, who had some profile from contesting the Rotherham parliamentary seat in the 2010 general election, won with 46% of the vote, with Labour falling to 42% on only a slightly lower turnout. The BNP collapsed from 531 (21%) to 80 votes.

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