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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2009

Delegates' anger

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union conference met against a background of the worst recession since the 1930s and in the wake of a budget statement that set out the government's strategy to "deal with the economic crisis" they themselves have created. This is in spite of the fact that this government has sold off more than the Tories ever did.

John McInally, PCS vice president, personal capacity

The anger of delegates at this attempt to lay the responsibility of paying for the crisis at our door was best reflected in motions calling for complete opposition to cuts and privatisation.

But these motions also set out a comprehensive programme to tackle the failure of the unrestrained free market, including the expansion of public services and the nationalisation of banking and finance under democratic control, accountability and scrutiny with full protection of the workers in that sector and compensation for shareholders only on the basis of proven need.

The motions also called for the nationalisation of the major utilities, including transport, and a major programme of public works. There were demands that we need a planned economy in the interests of the many, not the few.

The agreement on pay that the union made with the government before Christmas, which was designed to put more money into members' pockets, has been tested and has failed. The conference agreed a process of consultation with the members on a strategy to take forward the campaign, which will begin in the early summer.

In a genuinely historic debate, conference voted overwhelmingly to launch a consultation with branches and members on supporting trade union candidates in elections.

This move was not seen as some academic exercise but a vital initiative to effectively back up our campaigns on the industrial front with that of the political front.

Everything has changed with the passage of this motion - it means a major trade union, along with the transport union RMT, has now made it clear that a radical change is required. Standing candidates against those who represent the interests of the bosses rather than the workers must be a core part of that change.

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In The Socialist 27 May 2009:

Protest at MPs' sleaze: Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy

No2EU - yes to Democracy: Who's standing and why you should vote for them

Fight for real democracy!

Hear No2EU - Yes to Democracy speakers

Fiddling Tory MP Mackay resigns

UKIP - yet another establishment party

BNP fail to win Salford election


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July

School students organised strikes


Construction workers feature

Construction workers: battle won but war not over

Strike success at Lindsey Oil Refinery and Conoco

An action plan for all construction sites

Diary of a Lindsey Oil Refinery shop steward


International socialist news and analysis

Southampton protest: Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Latvia: 'A capitalist inferno'

Kashmir health workers' victory

Nanjing college students in clashes with police


PCS conference and workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for future battles

Delegates' anger at Public and Commercial Services union conference

Young members' voices heard at PCS conference

Wales TUC conference - no good news for New Labour

National Shop Stewards Network conference


Socialist Party campaigning news

Anger at council school closures

Lewisham Bridge primary school

Why we must Stop the Strip!

"Dump cuts not elderly"


 

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