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Wednesday 26 January 2022

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Unite and the bakers' union to speak at TUSC conference

As Keir Starmer's Labour welcomes a Tory MP to the parliamentary party - while confirming Jeremy Corbyn's exclusion from the PLP at its January national executive committee meeting - the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference on Sunday February 6th will hear speakers from Unite the union, currently Labour's biggest affiliate, and the recently disaffiliated BFAWU bakers' union.

The TUSC conference has been convened under the heading, 'Vote for a socialist recovery from the Covid crisis!'. It will be discussing the TUSC intervention in this year's May local elections, with the context being what local councils should be doing to protect working class communities from the establishment politicians' attempts to make us pay for the impacts of Covid.

Unite were invited to speak to explain the extremely significant decision of its recent policy conference to call on "Labour councils to set legal, balanced no cuts needs based budgets" rather than meekly accept the Tories' austerity agenda, and the union's Lead for Local Government, Onay Kasab, has been formally deputised to do so. He will be speaking alongside Ian Hodson, the president of the BFAWU, who will explain the union's historic decision last autumn to disaffiliate from the Labour Party after 119 years of membership.

The other platform speakers will be from the current constituent components of the TUSC steering committee - the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, the TUSC Individual Members section, and Resist, who will be represented by the former Labour MP, Chris Williamson. The event will be hosted by the ex-Labour MP and TUSC chairperson, Dave Nellist.

The TUSC core policies for the May elections

The conference will also discuss the draft minimum core policies platform TUSC candidates will be committed to fight for in May's local council elections (see the TUSC website at https://www.tusc.org.uk/17587/10-12-2021/vote-for-a-socialist-recovery-from-the-covid-crisis-tusc-core-policies-for-mays-elections).

Comments on the draft platform are welcome from the constituent organisations and local TUSC groups - and also from individuals and organisations not yet participating in TUSC - and can be sent to the TUSC National Election Agent, Clive Heemskerk, at [email protected] to be received by Monday 31st January.

Electing the TUSC Individual Members' reps

Monday is also the deadline for nominations to be received for places on the TUSC All-Britain Steering Committee.

TUSC is a coalition with a steering committee with representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity. Other individual members of TUSC who are not members of a constituent organisation also have places on the committee, elected by individual members at the TUSC conference.

If you want to stand as an Individual Members' representative on the TUSC steering committee please submit a maximum 250-word candidate statement to Clive Heemskerk at [email protected] - again, by Monday 31st January.

The statements will then be published on the TUSC website and all those attending the conference on February 6th who are not otherwise members of one of the constituent organisations will be able to meet at the end of the conference to make their choice.

Conference registration

The conference, on Sunday 6th February, starts at 11am, to conclude by 1-15pm. The Zoom details (registering in advance) are at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqcuqgrT8pH9Z8IjrVnhzZxwuD2FFiIo4h

Could you be a TUSC candidate in May?

The TUSC steering committee is now considering candidate applications for the May 2022 local council elections. Could you join the fight against the austerity politicians at the ballot box? You can check out whether there are elections in your council area this year in the TUSC elections directory, available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/448.pdf.

Under UK electoral procedures, candidates who wish to appear on the ballot paper using the name and logo of a registered party have to submit to the council election staff, along with their nomination forms, a Certificate of Authorisation to use a Party Description, signed by the registered Nominating Officer of the party. TUSC has produced a form to process applications for a TUSC certificate for local council elections, which is available on the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/454.doc.

There is also a summary guide for candidates and election agents looking to contest the local elections available as a downloadable PDF at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/455.pdf, which would be useful to read before submitting an application form.