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!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Don't let Swansea's Labour council throw you overboard!

Swansea’s Labour Council will make £45 million of cuts to services and jobs over the next 3 years and they want your help to do it!

The Council’s consultation on what services to cut, as they attempt to make £45 million of cuts, is called ‘Sustainable Swansea’. I tried the web page advertised in the booklet of the same name that the Council has issued; it didn’t work and I got an invalid website message! Not an auspicious start, especially as one of the ideas they put forward to save money is to “Create online digital services so they can normally be the first point of contact with the council.”

“Should the council reduce the number of people it employs?” is one question posed in the consultation. It is quite clear that the Council sees a large part of its savings coming from cuts affecting council staff. The booklet tries to create the impression that these can be achieved through “..voluntary changes to contracts, early retirement and voluntary redundancy.” The idea that workforce changes would be voluntary cannot be taken seriously when, at the moment, the Council is trying to force through cuts to workers’ terms and conditions and council workers have been told to ‘sign or be sacked’.
Services will also be slashed; the booklet makes clear that “..we will not have the money to continue to do all that we do now.” Those services that survive the cuts could well be a lot less accessible to the people that need them most. ‘Value for money’ is a phrase repeated throughout the booklet and there is a proposal to, “Reduce subsidies to services, increase or introduce charges” for council services.
In his Evening Post column, Labour Council Leader, David Phillips, used a strange analogy; he suggested that if the council now is a super-tanker, after the cuts it will be a speedboat. A speedboat might be faster but it only of use to a select few. Does he plan to throw overboard most of the workforce and council service users? Don’t let Labour cut you adrift without a life-jacket, throw them out instead and get councillors who will represent us and fight cuts not implement them. Build Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) as an alternative to fight all cuts and march, protest and strike together, council workers and council service users united, to defeat these cuts.
Ronnie Job, potential TUSC candidate in next Council/Assembly elections

This is a response sent to the Evening Post to today's column 'From a tanker to a speed boat' by Labour council leader, David Phillips, outlining the options the council is looking at to make £45 million cuts.

A Welsh alternative to royal mail privatisation but what's needed is common ownership with workers' control and management...

Plaid Cymru is the first party in Wales to suggest that in the event of Royal Mail privatisation, Wales should go a different way. However while opposed to Con-Dem outright privatisation, the vision put forward by Leanne Wood stops short of full public ownership in the sense that a socialist would understand it.

What she is putting forward is creating an arms-length company that would run mail services in Wales by permission of the Welsh Government, something similar to the position with Cardiff Wales Airport. It is also similar to councils hiving off services to arms-length trusts/companies. Council unions oppose such half steps to privatisation because the drive for profitability inevitably leads to poorer terms and conditions for the workforce and a poorer, more expensive, service to the public.

Socialists and trade unionists in Wales must give all our support to the CWU in their battle to defeat the privatisation of the Royal Mail. This battle has not been fought yet and we shouldn't accept it as lost, especially if CWU members were to link this battle with the struggles of other trade unionists who are also fighting the Con-Dems, such as the FBU who took strike action this week. Co-ordinated action, particularly in the form of a 24 hour general strike would shake this weak and divided coalition and could be an important step to not only defeating Royal Mail privatisation but bringing them down.

We need to fight privatisation and fight to win but should privatisation go ahead, we should demand that the Welsh Government bring the Welsh postal service into public ownership but under democratic public control, which means putting those who understand the service best, workers and trade unionists that deliver it and the public that use it, in charge. This could be a beacon to encourage the fight for re-nationalisation in England as well.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour to make cuts together?

As Labour Councils in Wales are proving more and more willing to pass on Con-Dem cuts, making a mockery of the claim made by too many Labour-supporting trade union leaders in Wales that the Welsh Government protects Welsh workers from the worst of Con-Dem cuts, some trade unionists may be tempted to look at Plaid Cymru as a left alternative.

There couldn't be a starker demonstration that Plaid Cymru is another 'cuts' party, ready and willing to attack public sector workers and the services they provide than the offer publically made this week by Plaid Cymru to join the ruling Labour Group in a formal coalition on Carmarthenshire Council and assist them to find up to £18 million of cuts. The leader of the Labour Group has stated the Council needs to implement what he calls a 'tsunami of cuts' and Plaid Cymru councillors want to help him identify which groups of workers or which services will suffer to pay for them! Plaid Cymru with this statement, confirms its position in the 4 parties of cuts in Wales.

There are no planned council elections in Wales next year, meaning the next chance that most of us will get to vote is the general election. We need to build the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Wales now in order that we can provide a genuine, fighting, socialist alternative to workers, trade unionists and working class communities in Wales. The Con-Dems have 4 parties to carry out their cuts in Wales, isn't it time we had an alternative to fight them?