HomeLatest NewsFighting for a workers’ manifesto – on July 4 and beyond

Fighting for a workers’ manifesto – on July 4 and beyond

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Hand-written sign in the 2017 Birmingham bin-workers strike against a Labour council. What will a Starmer government deliver?

One of the few time-specified promises in Sir Keir Starmer’s 136-page manifesto unveiled on June 13th appears to be the commitment to “introducing legislation within 100 days” drawing from what it calls ‘Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People’. 

But a reading of that document, published on May 24th, shows it full of talk of ‘reviews’, “comprehensive consultations” with businesses, and references to many areas “of the New Deal [that] will take longer to implement” than others.  Never mind the substance of what’s actually in it.  The whole thing more than justifies the comment of the Unite general secretary Sharon Graham that it “has more holes in it than Swiss cheese”.  And that workers will have to fight every inch of the way for any gains they get.

That fight must include establishing their own mass political vehicle, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) chairperson Dave Nellist will be arguing, alongside an official speaker from Unite, from the platform at the conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) on Saturday 22nd June. 

When the Labour government does present its Employment Rights Bill, its Procurement Bill, and the other non-primary legislative instruments and reviews in the New Deal plan, Dave will say, it will be vital that union pressure to ‘fill the holes’ has its own independent political arm.

The NSSN conference will, as usual, be giving a platform to leaders and rank and file reps from unions involved in industrial disputes to build support and solidarity for their action, including a Port Talbot Tata Steel Unite shop steward Jason Wyatt. 

But this year, with the conference being held just days before the general election, the event has also been opened up to debate what needs to be done politically – on polling day but even more importantly in the battles that will follow.  Speakers have been confirmed from Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project, the Green Party, and TUSC, with George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain also invited. 

But significantly no Labour spokesperson has agreed to attend – a foreshadowing of how the battlelines will shape up after the coming Tory rout on July 4th.

All TUSC supporters are welcome to attend this important event. ■

NSSN conference 2024: Saturday 22 June

11am-4-30pm, at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

For more information email [email protected]

* Download a ‘Trade Unionists for TUSC’ sign-up sheet at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Trade-Unionists-for-TUSC-sign-up-sheet.pdf

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