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Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.19

Monday 1 August 2011

War criminal to get a slap on the wrist?: http://bit.ly/naHKEw


The following resolution on the upcoming GLA elections was passed (unammended,as far as tuscbulletin knows when going to press) at the July Regional Council meeting of the London Transport Regional Council of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers' union

GLA Elections - submitted by Neasden Branch
This branch/Region supports the growing anti-cuts movement and we realise that a successful movement will require an industrial political strategy. We realise that all three major political parties, including Labour, are making cuts in local authorities in London.

The London elections for the Greater London Assembly and mayor present an opportunity for a trade union based anti-cuts challenge involving community and trade union campaigns. This could take place under the name of Trade Unionists Against Cuts, a registered name of the Trade Unionists and Socialists Coalition (TUSC). This would give an anti-cuts electoral alternative to the electorate of London.

We believe the RMT in London should approach other trade union and working class campaigning forces to assess whether such a challenge is possible and to convene a meeting to discuss the possibilities.

To these ends:

This Branch/Regional Council will argue in favour of an anti-cuts electoral challenge at the next GLA/Mayoral elections as outlined above.

The Branch/Region calls on all LTRC Branches to identify a co-ordinator to receive and pass on information about this issue to members. This person may be the Branch political officer.

The LTRC will approach other Trade Unions and campaigns, as outlined above, to raise the idea of such an electoral challenge and to organise a meeting as outlined above.

Note: There are three separate parts to the London election: 14 constituency candidates (first past the post); a London wide list to elect 11 seats by a form of PR; the election of the mayor (2 votes in order of preference).This means it is possible to stand a mayoral candidate while also supporting a second preference candidate against Boris Johnson. http://bit.ly/qOfEnP

Three reports on the recent TUSC Conference can be found here: http://bit.ly/qiBKdN here http://bit.ly/oSOde8 and here: http://bit.ly/nxDHud

From the Unions

FBU steps up preparations for ballot over pensions

The Fire Brigades Union has put the Government on notice of a nationwide fire strike over its plans for fire crews to pay more, work longer and get less. Industrial action looks increasingly likely in the autumn as consultation shows huge support for industrial action. More here: http://mwne.ws/oRfkzB

Prison officers reject pension reform by a landslide

More than 95 per cent of prison officers have voted to reject government pension proposals in a ballot organised by their union http://bit.ly/oMX9IW

The PCS is building locally for co-ordinated action in the autumn

The PCS is encouraging branches to participate in their local trades councils and to build links with other local union branches and anti-cuts campaigns. They have produced a model resolution for local trades council, as part of the preparations for potential strike action in the autumn. You can find the resolution here: http://bit.ly/o1Q5We

NUJ strikes across the UK on Monday 1 August

Today NUJ members at the BBC will take strike action to protect jobs - the second 24 hour strike action to take place in response to compulsory redundancies at the BBC.

More here: http://bit.ly/nYbD3h

North-west tops ACAS strikes league, closely followed by Scotland

ACAS’s 2010/11 annual report shows it dealt with 1,054 collective disputes over the period, up 15 per cent from 2009/10. Pay continues to be the top issue followed by redundancy. The figures reveal that the North West of England saw the most cases with 228, closely followed by Scotland with 220. http://bit.ly/oFdREt

Industrial action at Fujitsu in Crewe looks set to spread following the sacking of union representative Alan Jenney.

Unite is balloting its 800 members at Fujitsu’s site in Manchester on taking action in support of the Crewe worker. Alan Jenney, a 39-year-old IT professional who has worked for Fujitsu for 17 years since leaving full-time education, was targeted for redundancy and then sacked because of his trade union activities. Full story here: http://bit.ly/re0rJl

International News

New property tax is Ireland's poll tax: United left Alliance prepares to fight.

The new household tax in Ireland is a recipe for disaster, reminiscent of the poll tax in Britain that prompted riots 21 years ago. Just confirmed by the minister for the environment, Phil Hogan, it will initially be set at €100 (£88) a year for two years, starting next January. Full report here: http://bit.ly/oDGJKg

Continental demo grows

'Indignant' demonstrators marching to Brussels from Madrid to protest against the attacks on working class living standards are being joined by marchers from cities across Europe as part of a growing protest: http://bit.ly/pXEH9I

The RMT has slammed a decision by the Thai Labour Court to sack seven rail union leaders who organised a strike over safety in 2009

RMT is joining forces with transport unions around the world to fight and expose a Thai Government attack on their rail unions and specifically the SRUT which is the strongest union in their state sector. See: http://bit.ly/rsCLjO

South Korea

The Government of South Korea has prosecuted over 500 public servants and teachers for alleged violation of punitive laws which make it unlawful for public workers to either support or criticise political parties. Thousands more teachers and public servants are facing indictments and prosecution. Please add your voice to the online campaign of protest by visiting here: http://bit.ly/ruiMMO

Information burst

Attacks on Islamic institutions increase
As part of ongoing research on racial violence in the UK, the Institute for Race Relations has documented 21 attacks on Islamic institutions reported by the media in 2011: at least one incident, on average, every ten days. See:

More on the rich get richer

The share of national income going to the bottom half of earners in Britain has fallen dramatically over the last 30 years. These ordinary workers have seen their share of GDP fall by a quarter, at the same time as the share going to the top one per-cent of earners increased by half. See: http://bit.ly/d996QQ

Remember how the end of the ‘Cold War’ would lead a collapse in world military spending? Well, funnily enough, it hasn’t: http://bit.ly/cGuQkI

How to do school bullying http://bit.ly/oAJK3i

RMT reveals that Sir Roy McNulty gets £250,000 for ‘rail review’.

Of course the review, if implemented, would lead to savage cuts in staffing number and huge increases in fares as the private train companies are given a free run to plunder the network for even greater profits. For more: http://bit.ly/mPl4bL

The TUSC Bulletin is taking a summer break and will be back on Monday 5 September 2011 - all donations to support TUSC and the bulletin gratefully received.

TUSC information
You can find out more about TUSC at: http://www.tusc.org.uk/index.php

To donate to TUSC go here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php

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TUSC aims to bring trade unionists, socialists and anti-cuts campaigners together to stand candidates at elections who are committed to representing working-class interests. Resistance to the cuts is vital, but we also need a political alternative to the policies of cuts and privatisation. TUSC believes that a new working-class party is needed that campaigns for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.

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