Swansea needs councillors who vote against cuts! No to austerity - vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Don’t waste the opportunity to send a clear ‘no more cuts’ message by voting for Ronnie Job, TUSC: the only no-cuts, socialist candidate in Swansea West in the 2015 General Election!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Where's your famous 'clear red water'?

The Labour Party in Wales often claims to be different; they talk about "clear red water" not just between the Welsh Government and Westminster but also between Welsh Labour and the parliamentary party. Yesterday Welsh Labour MPs got the chance to prove just how different they are with the vote on the second reading of the Public Sector Pensions Bill, which proposes, amongst other things, to make public sector workers, like me, work to 68 and beyond before we get our pensions.

They failed miserably; just 1 Welsh Labour MP voted against Tory attacks on our pensions. All those MPs who visited picket lines and demanded to speak at strike rallies on N30 sat on their hands while the Con-Dems stole £millions from our pensions.

Never mind 'clear red water', just like their colleagues in Westminster, Welsh Labour are swimming in a sea of muddy-coloured brown fluid. Wales needs a new mass workers' party to fight for working class people because we won't get any fight from Labour. Yesterday's vote should be a wake up call to trade unionists in Wales to stop funding Labour and instead support only candidates and parties that pledge to fight all cuts, like TUSC.

Ronnie Job, Swansea
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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Labour Raises Red Flag of Revolution... but only in commemoration of past

According to some historians the use of the red flag as a symbol of revolution and working class revolt dates from the 1831 Merthyr Rising. Armed workers and the unemployed seized the town, after sacking the debtors' court, and held it for a number of days against troops sent to put down the spreading revolt and associated strike action.

Trade unionists in Wales continue to commemorate the revolt and remember the unjust execution of Dic Penderyn. On August 12 there is a memorial walk organised by NUT and supported by PCS and others, on which participants will be encouraged to carry red flags in memory of the raising of the red flag of revolution in 1831.

At this event they will be joined by Wales' First Minister, Carwyn Jones. The Labour Party, which he leads in Wales, is happy to celebrate revolutionary acts at a distance of 180 years but the current Labour Party spits on trade unionists fighting to defend their terms and conditions. Leader Milliband's demands that PCS members in UKBA not be allowed to disrupt the corporate shop window that the Olympics has become, through strike action after a democratic vote, is consistent with his refusal to back public sector workers striking to defend pensions.

Welsh Labour often claims to be different from their big brothers and sisters in Westminster but the Welsh Labour Government is presiding over cuts that threaten the Labour Party's greatest achievement, the NHS in Wales.

Trade unionists should remember the struggles and martyrs of our movement. The Labour Party has abandoned the symbol of the red flag along with support for workers in struggle. Socialists celebrate working class fighters of the past by dedicating ourselves to supporting struggles today and by struggling for a fairer society, a socialist society.

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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Remploy workers have jobs and are fighting to defend them

The Welsh Government has announced with much fanfare, a scheme to support Remploy workers made redundant by the Con-Dem's factory closure programme. Private firms and, possibly, local authorities, will receive subsidies to take on former Remploy workers.

Swansea Socialist Party members will get the views of Remploy workers at the local plant on the scheme tomorrow when we support them on their picket line. Labour-supporting Welsh trade union leaders have hailed this as evidence of the Welsh Government's support for Remploy but it seems a long way short of their earlier promises to back Remploy workers in every way possible to keep their jobs and factories open.

Remploy workers have jobs. Skilled, productive, socially useful jobs in which they are trained and experienced. The vote by a huge majority, to take strike action to defend Remploy is evidence that Remploy workers haven't accepted the proposed closures. Neither have their supporters in Swansea; the Trades Council, anti-cuts campaigners and Swansea Socialist Party members will all be on the picket lines tomorrow to show their support. Come and join us and bring your banners and placards - Bruce Road, Swansea Industrial Park, Fforestfach.

Save Remploy!

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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Welsh NHS Services Under Threat

It's a much repeated mantra amongst the leaders of Labour-affiliated trade unions in Wales "The NHS is under attack... in England" But, as was explained at the Wales Shop Stewards Network Conference at the weekend, Wales faces cuts in health spending as bad as or worse than any area of England.

It seems that immediate confirmation of this fact has arrived today with the news of the closure of Afallon Ward at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth. Shortages of qualified staff threaten, according to a statement made by the Health Board to BBC Wales, the ability to provide "appropriate and safe care for patients on that ward".

Earlier this year concerned Aberystwyth residents travelled to Cardiff to lobby the Welsh Government over fears that services would be lost from the hospital. Bronglais is part of the same local health board, Hywel Dda, as Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli where residents are fighting to retain their accident and emergency unit and last month held their own lobby of the Assembly.

It is vital that NHS campaigners link up, first on a health board basis and then across the whole of Wales, to take their fight to the Labour Welsh Government and demand they stop passing on Tory cuts. Trade unionists in Wales need to demand that leaders stop trying to hide the scale of cuts taking place to Welsh health services.
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Sunday, 3 June 2012

WTUC Conference: unions need to break from Welsh Labour government implementing Tory cuts

In a leaflet I wrote for the Socialist Part for distribution to delegates at the Wales TUC Conference in Llandudno at the end of last month, I wrote the following:
"Almost every motion on the agenda deals with organising to fight cuts and privatisation of public services. All motions rightly attack the Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition for austerity. But this conference can't afford to let the link between some trade unions and Labour, hamper the effectiveness of the Wales TUC in opposing cuts when they are passed on by a Labour Wales Assembly or Labour councils."
Alec Thraves: Censured!
Reflecting on the conference, I think that although there was an understandable desire for unity, amongst trade unionists facing the worst attacks on our jobs, terms and conditions, services, pensions and our very ability to organise. But there was a significant divide at the conference on some issues between those unions that remain affiliated to the Labour Party and will only fight cuts they can blame on Tories and those that are committed to fighting all cuts, no matter which party implements them. There wasn’t a lot of controversy - apart from TUSC election agent for Swansea during the recent council elections, Alec Thraves, being formally censured for criticising UNISON’s leadership for not allowing members the chance to take part in further strike action on pensions (for more see: http://www.swanseasocialistparty.org.uk/view/news/2012-05-28/150-wales-tuc---a-tale-of-two-conferences.html) – but where there were divided votes it was regularly the unaffiliated unions, including PCS, POA, RMT, FBU and Trades Councils voting against the ‘big 3’ that between them, give £millions of members’ subs to the Labour Party every year.

Welsh Government First Minister, Carwyn Jones, got a standing ovation (although not from all parts of the conference hall) for what I thought was a rather boring speech in which he claimed that there would be no downgrading of NHS services in Wales. At the same time as he was speaking, in Cardiff outside the Senedd, hundreds were protesting at plans to close the A&E unit at Llanelli’s Prince Phillip Hospital! The threat to accident and emergency services at Prince Phillip is part of cuts health Boards are making across Wales as they struggle to find the £290 million of savings that the Labour government of Wales is demanding of them for 2011-12. But this is only the beginning; they will have to save similar amounts, the best part of £300 (by coincidence, roughly the amount that’s stolen from Wales annually through the Barnet Formula for determining funding for devolved areas) or 5% of their budgets, every year for the next 3 years.

In the run up to the conference there has been a heated debate between Labour-supporting trade unionists, such as then-WTUC president Andy Richards and Plaid Cymru. Obviously rattled by concerns that with a new left leader in Leanne Woods, Plaid might threaten Labour’s support in, and finance from, the union movement in Wales, Andy Richards had claimed, “There is only one party for the working people of Wales, the party that the trade unions founded to give a voice to working people – the Labour Party. This is why it is called the Labour Party.”

I support TUSC not Plaid Cymru and I wonder if Labour had got one less seat in the Assembly elections last year, would Plaid now be in partnership with Labour, carrying through same cuts? But the debate has highlighted just how blinkered the Labour-supporting leadership of trade union movement in Wales has become. This fixed outlook, assuming that because trade unions have backed Labour for 100+ years they always will, ignores history and ignores important developments taking place in the more radicalised unions. I’m sure you would have found Liberal Party spokesmen making very similar statements to Andy Richards about the Liberals being the only party for the working person over a hundred years ago when Keir Hardie and others were laying the basis for Labour’s future growth in Wales and Labour Party pioneers were being attacked for splitting the Liberal vote. Within a generation the Liberals went from being a party of government to a broken rump.

PCS was never affiliated to Labour but RMT and FBU were and no longer are; the FBU disaffiliated after a bitter strike dispute against a Labour government. Even in those unions that give the most financial support to Labour, members are not all happy about the uncritical support their leadership gives to a party that has done nothing to support them. They are unlikely to go through but 25% of the motions at this year’s GMB conference are on disaffiliation. Only UNISON’s bizarre rules in this respect – rules that say that only the union’s Labour Link can determine the union’s relationship to the Labour Party – prevent all union members discussing this issue but the leadership will not be able to rely on this to hold back members for ever.

The growth of disenchantment with Labour may be quicker for Welsh trade unionists because, unlike the rest of Britain, we have a Labour government in Wales and, after May’s council elections, Labour in power in many council chambers as well. If, as they have given every indication they will, the Welsh government and Labour councils say they have no choice but to pass on Tory cuts, the disintegration of Labour’s base of support could be extremely rapid. Supporters of TUSC can speed that process up by intervening in struggles against cuts and posing the question of the need for a new, mass workers’ party. TUSC has already taken important, if modest steps, in the direction of attracting trade union support. In the May council elections, TUSC was backed officially by a national trade union, the RMT, for the first time. 3 union general secretaries, from RMT, POA and FBU, gave their personal backing to TUSC. 

Unless the government collapses, which could happen if the tops of the trade union movement prove capable of building a campaign that matches the anger of their members, the only elections in Wales in the next 3 years will be the European ones. The main focus for TUSC supporters now should be the trade union movement, which is where the campaign against cuts and austerity will be fought in the immediate future. All TUSC supporters, particularly anyone who hasn’t been before should definitely try to attend the 6th annual National Shop Stewards Network Conference (see http://www.shopstewards.net/) next Saturday and the Welsh Shop Stewards Network Conference in Cardiff on June 30th.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

After the elections... back to the fight!

Like many Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Candidates, I suspect, I was happy to put the election work behind us this week and get back to the main arena for fighting the cuts - the trade union struggle. Today, around 400,000 members of UNITE, UCU, PCS, RMT and NIPSA took action over their pensions and reminded the government that the pensions struggle is far from over. They were joined in an unofficial walkout by POA members, for whom the last Labour government made striking illegal.

Refusing to cross a picket line of my UCU comrades at the College where I work, I joined other Socialist Party members and fellow delegates to the Trades Council, in visiting a number of picket lines. Everywhere we went there was a determined mood to see this fight through no matter what it takes. Most of those on strike today have laready begun to see the effect of increased pension contributions in their pay packets. The other thing common to every picket line, was the desire to see the other public sector unions commit to the fight, in particular my own union, UNISON.

Today was not a day for the half-hearted picket as the Swansea weather seemed determined to throw everything at us - rain, hail, howling winds. The strike rally has to be moved from Castle Square to the Unitarian Church. Nonetheless it was well-attended and everybody was in fighting mood. Visteon pensioners, fighting Ford for the pensions they've had stolen for 3 years now, reminded anybody that might have forgotten that this struggle is about all pensions - public, private and state pensions too.

Everybody at the meeting was determined to rebuild the unity of November 30 and to fight not just on pensions but against regional pay, in defence of our health sevice and in opposition to all cuts. It is in these struggles that TUSC will be built.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Support May 10 strike action. Defend all pensions.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition urges everybody who voted for us last week and all trade unionists to do what they can to support the strike action tomorrow. Upto 500,000 trade unionists in PCS, UNITE, RMT, UCU. NIPSA will be taking co-ordinated strike action. Visit picket lines to offer solidarity and join the rally in Castle Square at 12:30pm.

Defend pensions - public, private and state pensions.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Welsh Labour's £290 million NHS cuts

Now that the council elections are over, the level of cuts planned by Welsh Labour begins to be revealed. During the elections, the First Minister was adamant that there were no cuts to the NHS in Wales, repeated by Welsh trade union officials ranting against cuts in England. And, while nobody seems to be using the word 'cuts', it appears NHS boards have to meet 'tough savings targets' of £290 million in the coming year and an average of 5% a year for the next 3 years.

This annual saving of the best part of £300 million is roughly the amount that Welsh Labour says is stolen from Wales through the Barnett Formula funding mechanism. Socialist Party members have consistently demanded that the Assembly set a 'needs budget' and mobilise trade unionists and working class people around a campaign for the return of this money, urgently needed for services in Wales.

This demand needs to be linked to the fight to overturn Welsh Labour's NHS cuts, inscribed on the TUSC banner in Wales and taken into the unions representing health workers. Saving NHS services is too important to allow the link between the leadership of the likes of UNISON Cymru and Welsh Labour to derail it. Fail to defeat these cuts and the NHS in Wales will look very different in 3 years' time. But health workers and users of NHS services will have no choice but to fight and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has an important role to play in that struggle.

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Election analysis - video with Pater Taaffe

Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of the Socialist Party, analyses the election results and outlines a perspective for the development of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: http://youtu.be/6u9_GHdoDUA

Friday, 4 May 2012

Swansea TUSC - let's build on this start!

In yesterday's elections, around 550 people in Swansea voted for the 4 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates in the 3 wards where we stood, Castle, Sketty and Gowerton. Even though Labour had not been in power in Swansea for 8 years before last night, leaving it able to portray itself as the anti-cuts party, already trade unionists and campaigners are drawing the conclusion that in order to fight the cuts they need an alternative. These hundreds of votes are the music of the future; Labour now has a dominant majority in Swansea and in councils across Wales; they have nowhere to hide from the key question: will they fight for their working class and trade unionist voters or will they pass on Tory cuts?

You only have to look at the 2 councils that were under Labour control in Wales before last night to see the likely answer to that question. Neath Port Talbot (NPT) and Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) were the pioneers of the threat and, in RCT's case, use of, the 188 notice to tear up national agreements on terms and conditions for local authority workers. Neighbouring NPT implemented a pay cut for its staff, scrapped a raft of allowances, in some case leading to cuts to take home pay for some of the lowest paid of upto 40% and, despite these savings from their own workforce, out-sourced and cut services.

With Labour in power and implementing the cuts it will be TUSC supporters that will be organising the fight back at a workplace, union branch and community level. TUSC is sinking deep roots in the trade union movement, across the UK and here in Wales; amongst the 14 TUSC candidates in Cardiff, Swansea and RCT that contested these elections, were elected representatives and activists from GMB, UNISON, UNITE and PCS, including the national Remploy trade union convenor, an organiser of the 'sparks' rank and file movement that defeated the employers plans to do away with national agreement on wages and conditions and the secretary of Swansea Trades Council. RMT branches in Wales voted to officially back TUSC in this election and. TUSC was backed in a personal capacity by 3 trade union general secretaries.

Trade unionists need a new mass party to represent us, the working class needs a new mass party to fight with us; the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is helping to bring that about. The near 1,500 votes our candidates achieved in South Wales show there is a potential waiting to be tapped and the ability of our supporters to overcome obstacles to reach working class people with our programme. Before the next elections in Wales there will be major trade union struggles against the cuts, beginning with the strike action in defence of public sector pensions on May 10. TUSC supporters will be playing our part in organising for victory in those struggles and all the time we will be pointing to the need for a political party to fight alongside us. We've taken a big step forward in the last few weeks - let's build on that in the fight to oppose all cuts!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Remember to vote TUSC today

Thank you to everybody who has worked hard in the last few weeks to build support for TUSC. Hopefully our vote in Swansea will reflect the work we've done but regardless of the result tonight, our work has helped in further establishing the reputation of TUSC as the alternative to the cuts consensus of all the main parties.

The work of TUSC in Swansea doesn't stop today. This campaign has made clear the need for a new workers' party, based on the trade unions and opposing all cuts. That also means supporting all trade unionists fighting back against the cuts. If you're voting TUSC today in Swansea then please make every effort to support the strike next Thursday, May 10, by visiting picket lines or attending the rally in Castle Square at 12:30pm. Please also continue to support the fight of Remplo workers to save their factories.

TUSC is backed officially by one major union - RMT - and has personal support from 3 union general secretaries - RMT, FBU and POA. More importantly, TUSC is backed by leading activists in many trade unions at national and local levels.

In South Wales, TUSC candidates, standing in a personal capacity, include a UNITE electrician, involved in the rank and file movement that thwarted attempts to undermine national terms and conditions, a GMB shop steward, Les Woodward, who is also the national trade union convenor for Remploy, PCS and UNISON activists, the secretary of Swansea Trades Council and many more.

If, as is fairly likely, Labour wins control of Swansea and begins to implement cuts, more and more trade unionists and working class people will draw the same conclusion - that we need a party committed to fighting all cuts. As this idea gains ground we need to make sure that TUSC challenges for more seats at future elections of all kinds, to offer more people the chance to vote for a genuine alternative.

Thank you once again and don't forget to vote today for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

TUSC supports Police march against cuts

600 police officers from South Wales will be amongst those demanding an end to government cuts to their pay and conditions, when they march through London next Thursday. According to the Evening Post, police officers are in militant mood.

Picking the same day as thousands of public sector workers in PCS, RMT, UCU, UNITE and NIPSA are striking seems like a clear signal that police officers identify with other public sector workers fighting cuts. The Police Federation is also balloting its members to gauge support for fighting for trade union rights, including the right to strike.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is fully supportive of this demand. On Saturday (April 28) trade unionists were assisted by the police in marching through the city centre in Swansea to mark May Day - perhaps next year we will march together and maybe before too long we might strike together as well?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Support Strike Action and Rally on May 10

On Thursday, May 10 a number of unionis will be involved in strike action, including PCS, UNITE Health, UCU, RMT, NIPSA. The PCS union is holding a rally in Castle Square at 12:30pm on the day. This is an opportunity for other trade unionists to show support and solidarity for those taking action. Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates in Swansea call on all trade unionists and members of the public to make every effort to show their support by attending with placards and banners.

Victory to the striking trade unionists on May 10! Oppose all cuts - to public sector workers' jobs, terms and pensions and to the services they provide.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.41 Tuesday 1 May 2012

Welcome to our new readers – please distribute this bulletin to your e-mail lists
To subscribe e-mail tuscbulletin@yahoo.co.uk
To get involved with TUSC campaigns go here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/support.php
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Bulletin No.41
Tuesday 1 May  2012
Good Luck to all Trade Unionist and Socialist candidates and election teams in the 3 May elections from TUSC Bulletin – resisting the cuts and building a mass socialist party of the working class -
Standing in the elections? – then tell us your vote as soon as you know it!
It is vital that the details of the actual results are relayed to TUSC nationally as soon as they are known, so that we can produce an accurate overall picture of the TUSC campaign as rapidly as possible. The information we need for each ward where there is a TUSC candidate is:
The ward name in which the TUSC candidate stood;
The votes for every party/candidate (including independents) in the ward;
The total number of votes cast in the ward (if it is possible to provide this as some councils do not publish this information, although the returning officer will have it).
Some wards that TUSC is contesting are in councils with ‘all-seat elections’, where two or three seats are up for election.  If that is the case we still need to know the votes of every candidate in the ward (and which party they represented) to be able to work out the TUSC percentage.  
Many councils are not beginning their counts until Friday, so the first national overview report we will produce is unlikely to be posted on the TUSC website until Saturday.  But it all depends on how soon the information comes in.  Although the campaign to win votes finishes as the polls close at 10pm on Thursday, the campaign to build a vehicle for working class representation continues afterwards, not least in the immediate task of reporting the election results – to my e-mail address below – as soon as possible!      
In solidarity, Clive Heemskerk: cliveheemskerk@socialistparty.org.uk   TUSC National Agent/Nominating Officer  
Campaign News
TUSC breaks through the national media silence on BBC Question Time here http://bit.ly/InKGXA
and in The Guardian here: http://bit.ly/InKRSL and on the BBC here: http://bbc.in/IKndwQ
TUSC challenge is Southampton is covered in the Guardian here: http://bit.ly/IHLMrG 
Support for TUSC from London Turks and Kurds
Nick Wrack spoke on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) at the 4th GIK-DER Culture and Art Festival in Edmonton on Friday 27 April: http://bit.ly/IjTiJL
Jimmy McGovern endorses Tony Mulhearn for Liverpool mayor
Multi-award winning Liverpool writer Jimmy McGovern has endorsed Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Liverpool mayor candidate Tony Mulhearn: http://bit.ly/IujNhc
Camden TUSC campaigners manned a picket line outside the Royal Free Hospital to protest about privatisation of the NHS, cuts in services and charging for essential healthcare and got in the local press: http://bit.ly/IHQ6tu
Carlisle TUSC election meeting gets good local press even though the attendance was poor as it did clash with the a football game that recently took place in Manchester: http://bit.ly/IpbGDo   
TUSC candidate is quoted in defence migrants: http://bit.ly/Jweyjh
Four-way battle to persuade electorate in estuary ward
TUSC covered in the welsh press here: http://bit.ly/Kt4nJe and here: http://bit.ly/Ihu2Zy
Local Newspaper in Rugby reports that "TUSC would fight all budget cuts"- http://bit.ly/HqaK3E
and Rugby TUSC ups its campaigning in last minute push http://bit.ly/HqaK3E
And TUSC even gets a mentions in Winchester: http://bit.ly/InMhww
Letter of complaint sent today by TUSC to the BBC News producer
Dear Sir/Madam,. I am writing as the national...: www.tusc.org.uk/press260412a.php
Upcoming TUSC Events
If you are holding a TUSC meeting to debate what the election results mean let us know and we will advertise it here in the next bulletin on 10 May the bulletin will also conatin a comprehensive round-up of the election results.
Building a new Left in the UK – public meeting in Milton Keynes
“Building a new Left in the UK” – TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) what it is and how it works. Tuesday 5 June 7pm at Madcap Arts Centre Wolverton: http://bit.ly/IiCyIZ  
Independent Socialist? Want to build a new mass socialist party? Come and discuss how at the TUSC Independent Socialist Network meeting in London on Saturday 19 May starting 12 noon. For more details see here: http://bit.ly/KG5l9z   
From the Unions
Defend public sector pensions  Take Action - 10 May 2012
Defend your pensions - join an action near you
Unite reports that over 94 per cent of the union's NHS members voted for a second time to reject the government's great pensions’ robbery. They will be joined by members from the MoD and government departments sector, along with fellow trade unionists from PCS and UCU, and they all say:  We won’t: Work longer; Pay more; Get less” http://bit.ly/pFrMdp
RMT Royal announces Royal Fleet Auxiliary pensions strike on 10th May. http://bit.ly/IFGwrg
Transport department workers vote to strike over cuts
Civil servants working for the Department for Transport (DfT) have voted for strike action to defend jobs, pay and services. http://bit.ly/Kqddrh
Remploy workers take the fight to Parliament and continue campaign to win http://bit.ly/HXLdfN
600m Gallons Reservoirs Closed
GMB claims that closing reservoirs in the south east while not diverting water from the Severn, as rainfall runs into the sea, is serious mismanagement http://bit.ly/K00MoG
RMT confirms that it is to begin balloting tube cleaners working for ISS and Initial for strike action in disputes over pay, pensions and benefits http://bit.ly/IC2I8t
Argentina - Kirchner nationalises YPF petrol: http://bit.ly/I9pCOR
Tamil Solidarity – Report from last weeks meeting: http://bit.ly/JO5g3E 
Information burst
Legal aid cuts threaten thousands of children  
Campaigners have warned thousands of children could be hit by restrictions on legal aid in housing cases: http://bit.ly/K2mw0n
The greater class divide
Teachers have warned that schools are facing an increase in segregation `along class lines' with the poorest children being the ones to suffer most: http://ind.pn/JLV7Re
Black graduates pay price in jobs crisis as majority fail to find work
Black graduates are 30 per cent less likely to be employed than their white counterparts after leaving university: http://ind.pn/IFnpyr      
After 13 years of New Labour and two years of the Coalition, nearly 4 million children are living in poverty
Guardian reporter Alexandra Topping reports, nearly 4 million children are living in poverty. The article explores what can be done to improve the life chances of young people who are poor: http://bit.ly/HfmLde 
Cardiff            5th May           12.00  Callaghan Square
Coventry         5th May           11am Speakers Corner, Council House
Dundee          5th May           12.00  Hilltown Park
Edinburgh      5th May           11.00  Johnston Terrace
Glasgow         5th May           11.00  George Square
Ipswich           1st May           11.00  Giles Circus
Irvine               5th May           10.30  Woodlands Centre
Redbridge      5thMay            16:00  Rally outside Ilford Town Hall
Manchester    7th May           11.00  Bexley Square, Salford
Newcastle      5th May           11.00  Times Square
Nottingham    5th May           10.00  Forest Recreation Ground
Documentary: August Riots, UK
The August 'Riots' 2011
Seminar and film screening of 'Rebellion in Tottenham 2011'
Speaker Roger Ball (Co-founder of the Bristol Radical History Group)
6:30 pm - 8:30pm  Wednesday 2nd May 2012 126 Mount Pleasant (opposite Catholic Cathedral), Liverpool, UK
North Somerset Unison Save Our NHS May Day Demonstration and Rally 
Saturday 5 May 2012, 11:00am
College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR http://bit.ly/gtSegv
March and rally against pension and public service attacks in London
Thursday, 10 May March: St Thomas’s Hospital, SE1 from 12 noon
Rally: Methodist Central Hall, SW1 from 1pm http://bit.ly/IkE0Wy
Forthcoming Conference: Netpol ‘Total Policing’
Following the success of the Standing Up To Surveillance conference last year, Netpol’s second conference will take place on the 20th May 2012, starting at 10.30am.  This time the focus of the conference is Total Policing – the new London-based policing initiative with an elusive definition. Are we seeing Total Policing? Or a Total Lockdown?: http://bit.ly/IpeAYK
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
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 milli

Food bank users double, while the rich get richer. Vote TUSC on May 3rd for a real future

Today was 'bring a tin to work' day - a day when canned and dried foods are collected for distribution by the local food bank. What a comment it is on austerity Britain that the number of people who have to rely on these sorts of hand outs has doubled under the Tory/Lib Dem coalition.

Britain is not a poor country though. The weekend saw the publication of the rich list - a celebration of the obscene wealth of the richest 1%. While the rest of us, the 99%, continue to struggle to make ends meet, the rich have continued to get richer, their profits boosted by our wage freezes, cut services and tax handouts from their millionaire friends in the cabinet.

When you see these enormous excess - far more than any person could reasonably spend and enough to end overnight the sort of poverty that leaves people dependent on donated food - it proves there is absolutely no justification for cuts at all. Labour's "cuts are too deep, too soon" mantra is still aimed at preserving the system that creates such inequality and hardship.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters want something more than this. Only a socialist society can eradicate poverty and want.

Vote TUSC on Thursday for a society run for the needs of the millions and not in the interests of the millionaires.

Monday, 30 April 2012

70,000 to loose disability benefits

Today's Guardian reports that around 70,000 disabled people will this week lose some or all of their disability benefits. As the Con-Dems limit contributory benefits to one year. This is a cut that strikes at the heart of the idea of a welfare state to which working people contribute in the knowledge that they will be taken care of should something happen that prevents them from working. For shocking individual examples of the callousness of Tory cuts and why we have to fight these and other cuts to benefits, read the full article at: http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/29/sickness-benefit-cuts?cat=society&type=article

Meanwhile as yesterday's rich list was released, it provided further evidence of how the very richest in society have seen their wealth grow. They are doing very well out of the recession in which we are supposed to "all in it together". So while disabled people suffer sleepless nights worrying how they will survive without the benefits the Tories have stolen, the rich are laughing all the way to the bank (bailed out at our expense) to deposit their unpaid taxes.

Stop all benefit cuts and restore those already made!
Defend the welfare state!

Vote TUSC on Thursday for candidates that fight for the millions and not the millionaires.

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Swansea May Day: Save Remploy - Support Strike Action May 10 - Fight all Cuts - Vote TUSC May 3!

A modest Swansea Trades Council May Day March and Rally yesterday reflected the horrendously changeable weather South Wales has suffered recently and perhaps, the fact that there has been something of a lull in the movement generally since November 30. However it was representative of some very important struggles taking place currently. 

The march was lead off by disabled people that work for Remploy; the Swansea Fforestfach plant is one of 7 out of the 9 Welsh plants threatened with closure this summer. As we entered the city centre, shoppers stopped to applaud the Remploy Workers. This is reflective of the enormous public support for keeping Remploy open that exists up and down the country. Les Woodward, who is a shop steward in the Swansea plant and the national trade union convenor for Remploy expressed the anger of Remploy workers to this government and explained why he was standing for the Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition.

Dave Warren, of the PCS, called on all trade unionists present to support the strike action taking place on May 10, of public sector workers in PCS, UNITE Health, UCU and NIPSA and also of private sector workers taking action on the same day, such as RMT. There was also a contingent of Visteon Pensioners, with their ‘Fraud’ banners; ex-Visteon workers have now entered into the third year of their struggle for pension justice from Ford.

Political speakers on behalf of Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party all explained why the cuts of the other parties were worse than those of their party. Ronnie Job, Trades Council Secretary, reminded the rally that the day was also Workers’ Memorial Day; a day to remember the workers who have suffered from capitalism’s incessant drive for profits and to re-commit ourselves to fighting to end it. He said that trade unionism is founded on the principles of solidarity and unity; that an injury to one is an injury to all, and in that spirit, called for a fight against all cuts and a vote for TUSC on May 3.

Friday, 27 April 2012

TUSC Wales response to PCS election pledges

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Wales

1.    I pledge to support PCS campaigns against public service job cuts, to ensure quality public services are delivered to those in need and to support efforts to secure fairer funding for Wales
TUSC fully supports the PCS campaign for the alternative. All the TUSC candidates are committed to campaigning against all cuts and if elected would vote against cuts and argue that councils use reserves and borrowing powers to avoid making cuts. As part of this battle TUSC is also working to build a mass campaign to fight for the funding that we need in Wales to meet people’s needs.  Fast cuts or slow cuts are not an option as we cannot afford any cuts and the resources are there.  We support the PCS demands on closing the tax gap of £123 billion and scrapping Trident which would release the resources to invest in jobs and public services.

2.    I pledge to support the PCS campaign for fair pay and a living wage for workers and to oppose plans to introduce regional or local pay.
TUSC is completely opposed to regional or local pay which would drive down all wages in Wales.  We will support trade unions fighting to defend pay to get a decent living wage for all regardless of age. We support the PCS battle to get national pay bargaining and we argue that the failed experiment of local pay in the MOJ that the last Government introduced should be reversed.

3.    I pledge to protect quality public services and work alongside PCS, community organisations and other trade unions to ensure that no more public services are privatised, outsourced or mutualised.
TUSC is totally opposed to privatisation of public services and fully support trade unions campaigning against this attack on our services. Our candidates have pledged to vote against any attempts to privatise or outsource local authority services, as well as campaigning in our communities to mobilise the opposition to attacks on our services . We also campaign to bring back transport and the utilities into public ownership and for the banks which have been nationalised to be brought under public control so that these resources can be used for the benefit of all in our communities.

4.    I pledge to support the PCS campaign for fair pensions for all; including calling on the government to protect public sector pensions, ensure the state pension keeps in line with inflation, that the government addresses pensioner poverty and that companies are prevailed upon to ensure they fulfil their pension obligations to staff.
TUSC fully supports trade unionists fighting to defend pensions in both the public and private sectors.  We campaign for a living pension for all and oppose the attempts of this government to make everyone work longer, pay more and get less. We will be supporting picket lines on May 10th and encouraging members in all public sector unions to stand together and strike together against the attacks on pensions.

TUSC is standing 14 candidates across South Wales with a range of trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to give voters a real alternative to the main parties that are delivering cuts with just a difference in pace.