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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 March 2013

North West TUC fails to debate councillors and cuts

Andy Ford

The North West TUC met on 9 March at a crucial time for the trade union movement. Motion after motion spelt out the miseries of poverty, austerity, cuts and privatisation. Of course the key question is - what are we going to do about it?

Thankfully, Motion 25, from the Merseyside Trades Councils, calling for a general strike, was passed unanimously, although unfortunately with any mention of the TUC 'naming the day' removed.

I had succeeded in raising a motion of support for rebel Warrington Labour councillor Kevin Bennett. Kevin, himself a delegate, spoke at the conference. To be allowed onto the agenda, an emergency motion needs two thirds support.

When the vote was taken we had 62 to 34, but not the necessary margin, so the motion was not taken. It looked like Unison, CWU, NASUWT and Ucatt voted against, with Unite, RMT, PCS plus most of the Trades Council delegates voted for the motion.

The result was that one of the key questions confronting the unions in local government - do they accept or oppose Labour councils voting to make their members redundant - was not even debated.

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In The Socialist 20 March 2013:


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Axe the bedroom tax!

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Fight grows against privatisation at Sussex Uni

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