Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Tuesday 9 April 2013
Liverpool fans chanting 'We're going to have a party When Maggie Thatcher Dies' v Sunderland: http://youtu.be/37Cmzvt549Y
There are quite a few items in this action packed bulletin so here are some of the headlines:
♦ TUSC gets 8.5 per cent in Knowsley Council by-election http://www.tusc.org.uk/press060413.php
♦ If you are an independent socialist then join the Independent Socialist Network in TUSC: http://bit.ly/q8RyiS
♦ TUSC stands over 120 candidates in May 2nd elections
♦ Election leaflet and poster available: http://www.tusc.org.uk/resources.php
♦ RMT and Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) form new alliance: http://bit.ly/10E7SEs
♦ On Saturday 13th April, UK Uncut will be using civil disobedience in London against a massive wave of cuts that will hit millions of people across the country: http://bit.ly/14l6jl
♦ There is also a report of the first meeting of the TUSC Trade Union Forum
Third place for TUSC in Knowsley with 8.5 per cent
TUSC candidate Steve Whatham won a respectable third place in a Knowsley council by-election on Thursday 4th April. Labour held the Prescot West seat with 44% of the vote and the Lib Dems kept their second place position from last May’s contest. Steve came in with 8.5% of the poll, ahead of both the Tories and the Greens. The Merseyside borough of Knowsley remains a ‘one-party’ council – all 63 councillors are Labour – but the by-election showed again that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition banner can still be picked up by anti-cuts campaigners to mount a credible working class challenge to the pro-austerity consensus.Knowsley borough council, Prescot West ward: Labour 441; Lib Dems 403; TUSC 86 (8.5%); Conservative 62 (6.1%); Green 14 (1.3%).
Are you an independent socialist that supports TUSC?
Then join the Independent Socialist Network (ISN). The ISN has representative on the TUSC national steering committee where independents who are not members of either the SWP or the SP can have a voice. If you are an independent socialist (not a member of an existing left group eg SW/SP/SR/AWL or the like) follow this link and sign up: http://bit.ly/q8RyiS . You find the report of their latest meeting here: http://bit.ly/10RlsqI . The ISN is organised on a one person one vote membership basis.
Rugby TUSC organises Benefit Gig to support local community facilities
Rugby TUSC supported the campaign to support and save the Rehearsal Rooms/Studio on Lower Hillmorton Rd in Rugby by organising a TUSC Benefit Gig there on Saturday April 6th. There were three live bands. The event was also the official launch of Rugby TUSC’s 2013 Election Campaign. A small amount of cash was made to help with the upcoming election campaign, and publicity both for the studio and TUSC was gained in the local media. http://bit.ly/mn4I9R
TUSC electoral challenge gathers strength - Over 120 candidates standing for TUSC on May 2nd
Five per cent of the seats in the local council elections will have a fighting anti-austerity alternative on the ballot paper on May 2nd. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 121 candidates, in 20 of the 35 councils with elections this year. In addition there is the TUSC candidate for the mayor of Doncaster, Mary Jackson, and TUSC candidates in two council by-elections taking place on the same day. This contrasts with when these particular seats were previously contested in the four-yearly local elections cycle. In 2009, for example, a year after the financial crisis broke and when Labour polled just 24% of the vote, there were literally just a handful of candidates presenting a working class alternative to the pro-austerity consensus.
It is mainly county councils up for election in May, overwhelmingly Conservative controlled – although Cumbria has been run by a Labour-Conservative coalition! But they administer a range of services – from education, adult social care and youth provision, to libraries, highways and emergency services – that cover a population of 24 million, control combined budgets of £43 billion, and employ 750,000 workers (including school staff). TUSC’s platform for these elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy.php) offers a distinct alternative in contests where Labour candidates, not actually in power locally, may try to present themselves as ‘anti-cuts’.
TUSC candidates include national executive committee members of the RMT transport workers’ union and the PCS civil servants’ union and regional and branch officers from both. There is a Unison health sector group executive member, a Communications Workers Union regional organiser, POA branch officers, and numerous Unite, Unison and National Union of Teachers local union reps. There are college students standing, and an 89-year old activist in the National Pensioners Convention. In 2011 TUSC stood in 2% of the seats being contested, in 2012 in 4%, in elections for the metropolitan councils. This time, in probably a more difficult terrain, TUSC is standing in 5% of the seats. The TUSC challenge is not uniform across the country: in the West Midlands region over 15% of the seats contested will have a TUSC candidate, for example, more than in other regions. But it is still another important step forward for TUSC in fulfilling its function as a vehicle for trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to present a common banner against the establishment parties. For a full list of the candidates see http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php
Election leaflet and poster available
A TUSC local elections leaflet is now available, for printed copies to be sent out by post or a PDF version that could be copied-printed locally. On the front there is space to overprint details of local candidates and, on the reverse side, is the TUSC ten-point ‘core policy platform’ for council elections. An A3 election poster, Where will your vote go?, is also available.
Check out the resources page on the TUSC website http://www.tusc.org.uk/resources.php
Can you donate to the May election challenge?
It is an achievement for TUSC to be able to get candidates on the ballot paper so widely in the county council elections – not forgetting, of course, the challenge for the Mayor of Doncaster in Ed Miliband’s back-yard (he is the MP for Doncaster North). It is another task though to raise the funds necessary for vital campaign material .But you don’t have to live in Leek Rural (a county council division in Staffordshire), or the other areas with elections being contested by TUSC candidates, to support the campaign! Anyone can make a donation. Use the PayPal donation facility on the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php or make out a cheque payable to the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and send to TUSC, 17 Colbert House, Colbert Avenue, London E1 4JP. Everything helps.
First meeting of the TUSC trade union forum
The TUSC conference last September discussed a resolution from the RMT transport workers’ union to build support for TUSC in the trade unions, including the establishment of a TUSC trade union forum. The forum meet for the first time on April 6th with national or sectional executive level trade unionists present from the RMT, PCS, NUT, Unison, Unite and the UCU. RMT executive members Daren Ireland and Sean Hoyle are preparing a report on the meeting and the proposals rose.
One proposal from the forum is the idea of TUSC organising, in each parliamentary constituency, local union delegations to take concrete demands for trade union freedom and workers’ rights to every Labour MP and prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) to sign up to in the run up to the 2015 general election.
The results from these delegations would be monitored at the regular TUSC Steering Committee meetings and used to decide ‘TUSC Target seats’ for 2015 with, for example, public meetings being organised in those constituencies where the MP or PPC refuses to sign up, to appeal for a trade union candidate to come forward to stand under the TUSC umbrella in 2015.
This campaign, which could extend over 2013 and 2014, would generate a rolling series of announcements in the run up to the general election – the delegation, the MPs/PPCs response, the local meeting to discuss it, the endorsement of a TUSC candidate – that would keep the issue of trade union rights to the fore. It could draw out for members of Labour-affiliated unions what exactly the position is of their local Labour candidate on this ‘dividing line’ question for the labour movement – the right to organise. It would also be an ideal way to build a local TUSC group with trade union involvement – a local steering committee or branch – in areas where they are not already established. The details of this, and other proposals from the day, will be discussed at the next meeting of the TUSC steering committee in May.
From the Unions
RMT and Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) form new alliance
The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) and the UK-based National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) announced today that both unions have agreed to a "Trans-Atlantic Alliance," : http://bit.ly/10E7SEs
Mass walk-ins show strength of HMRC strike
Tens of thousands of PCS members took part in strike action at HM Revenue and Customs today Monday April 8th: http://bit.ly/Zigdg7
Save Our Royal Mail
Today April 8th saw the launch of the new Save Our Royal Mail campaign which aims to highlight the threat an autumn Royal Mail sell off will place on postal services throughout the UK: http://bit.ly/Y8pSqd
Chancellor accused by Britain’s largest union, Unite, of conducting class war on the poor while giving handouts to the rich; http://bit.ly/11AKMm6
NASUWT/NUT Rallies - April and May 2013
The NASUWT and NUT have announced a series of joint rallies. Teachers, parents, governors and families are welcome. They take place in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds on Saturdays 27th April and 11th May http://bit.ly/17nx3lk
Government hits firefighters with increased pension costs again
The Fire Brigades Union has condemned central government for the imposition of further increases in firefighters’ pension contributions: http://bit.ly/14ZDjAq
Parents express confidence in teachers but no confidence in Government education policies
In an NUT/YouGov survey only 8% of parents think this Government, after three years in power, has had a positive impact on the education system. There are more interesting poll results here: http://bit.ly/10LBJwg
The Spirit of '45is now available on iTunes: http://dogwoof.org/12DtsQ2
Impromptu street party in Brixton, London celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death - video http://gu.com/p/3f267/tw
Margaret Thatcher’s true legacy was the war criminal: http://bit.ly/16MdAaU
Bad management and broken promises: asylum housing gets the G4S Olympic experience:http://stopg4s.net/node/61
Lobby Coventry council against the bedroom tax
Thursday 11 April 2013, 1:00pm Coventry council house. Coventry Council’s Housing Cabinet meeting is on April 11th - we will be lobbying outside to demand the councillors oppose evictions. http://bit.ly/10LrVSZ.
UK Uncut and the bedroom tax - Who wants to evict a millionaire?
Saturday 13th April, 11:30am King's Cross St Pancras Station, UK Uncut will be using civil disobedience in London against the massive wave of cuts: http://bit.ly/14l6jll
Birmingham Uncut Bedroom tax protest
Saturday 13 April 2013, 12:00pm Meet in Pigeon Park, Colmore Row: http://bit.ly/10zsO2m
Sheffield benefit justice: campaign to smash the bedroom tax
Wednesday 17 April 2013, 6:00pm United reform church 60 Norfolk Street Sheffield S1 2JB,
We aim to bring together members of our communities from all corners of the city to build a united campaign to fight the bedroom tax. http://bit.ly/XziV6L
North Staffs Bedroom Tax Protest
Saturday 20 April 2013 1pm Hanley Town Centre, ST1 2JE http://bit.ly/ZvwnJW
Leeds 20 April demo - fight the bedroom tax
Saturday 20 April 2013, 12:00pm Victoria Gardens (Outside the Art Gallery), http://bit.ly/10sUiUk
Stop the cuts/scrap the bedroom tax protest as Clegg is at Lib Dem conference in Cardiff
Sat April 20th 12 Noon Mercure Cardiff Holland House http://on.fb.me/17mXgjY
Save our Hospital: Join the GMB Protest
Sat 27th April Assemble at Southhall Park or Acton Park to march to rally at Ealing Common for 11am. “Join us to stop the hospital closures” http://bit.ly/11JHH3j
Unite exhibition to celebrate election of Liverpool 47
Who would not vote or implement Tory cuts. They also built 5000 houses, froze rents and much more. Sat April 27 9.30am Adelphi Hotel, Lime Street, Liverpool Opened by Len McCluskey Unite, Tony Mulhearn and others http://on.fb.me/12AXro1
Teeside solidarity movement May Day march
Saturday 27 April Assemble 11am at Albert Memorial Park, Middlesbrough followed by a march down Linthorpe Road through the town centre for a rally at ‘Bottle of Notes’ sculpture, Centre Square, Middlesbrough. http://bit.ly/14RK46U