Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/663/11515
Stopping the cuts with the NSSN
Rob Williams, NSSN anti-cuts convenor
The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is at the forefront of the battle against the Con-Dem cuts. The NSSN was initiated by the transport union RMT in 2006 so that rank and file trade unionists could organise together across the union movement and ensure that workers in struggle would be supported.
This role was important in 2009, when workers in the private sector fought a series of disputes at the Lindsey Oil Refinery, the Visteon and Linamar car plants and the Vestas wind turbine factory.
Now it's the turn of all workers, their families and communities as the Con-Dems look to make us pay the price for the bankers' crisis to the tune of £81 billion! They want to take us back 70 years by decimating the NHS, education, public services and the welfare state.
The NSSN has played a key role in the growing anti-cuts movement by lobbying the TUC last September to call a national demonstration against the cuts and initiating marches in London, Bristol, Cardiff, etc on 23 October .
We think that our pressure did help in getting them to organise the 26 March demo - even though it's taken them six months!
From the beginning, our supporters have played a leading role in setting up local anti-cuts campaigns. To aid our anti-cuts work, in January, at a conference of 600 trade unionists, community campaigners and young people, the NSSN launched its anti-cuts campaign with a majority trade unionist committee which includes RMT president Alex Gordon.
We are working with the other national anti-cuts organisations but have insisted that we must fight ALL the cuts, including those of Labour councils, who shamefully have passed on the cuts. Now we must fight the implementation of these cuts - library by library if necessary.
The NSSN has a unique role to play in that we believe that the organised trade union movement has the power to stop Cameron and Clegg's cuts. But the TUC demo can't be the end - instead it should be used to give a lead to all those young and old, inside and outside the trade union movement, to coordinate national strike action to defeat the Con-Dems and their cuts.
In The Socialist 23 March 2011:
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War and occupation
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition