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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2008

Wales TUC: Right wing attack on democracy

Delegates to the annual conference of the Wales TUC, meeting in Llandudno on 21-23 May, face the prospect of a right-wing offensive to undermine the democratic traditions of the trade union movement.

Alec Thraves, Swansea trades council delegate.

A rule change, rushed through by the Wales TUC bureaucracy, with little consultation amongst ordinary members, will attempt to change the conference from an annual motion-based policy making event, to a biennial conference with a smaller consultative event in between.

This blatant attempt to stop delegates discussing and debating the most important issues facing trade unionists each year is designed to stop criticism of New Labour policies and to appease their lap dog puppets in the Welsh trade union movement.

The agenda for this year's conference highlights perfectly why an annual conference has become an embarrassment to New Labour supporters in the trade unions.

Critical motions against public-sector cuts in pay, jobs and conditions, demands for renationalisation of the railways, repealing the anti trade union laws, opposition to nuclear energy and many more motions reflecting the anger of Welsh trade unionists towards this pro-big business government will be discussed and supported by the majority of rank and file delegates.

Unfortunately, with the votes of a handful of the big unions, this rule change will probably go through but no amount of bureaucratic manoeuvring will be able to stop trade unionists in the future from confronting and defeating the attacks from New Labour. Their puppet trade union leaders in Wales will also pay a price for their complicity.

Launch of the North Wales National Shop Stewards' Network Kensington Hotel (on sea front), Llandudno, 7pm, Thursday 22 May

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