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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2009

Wales TUC conference - no good news for New Labour

The Wales TUC annual conference, from 19- 21 May demonstrated, as in previous years, the failure of New Labour in government to win the support of ordinary trade unionists across Wales.

Andrew Price, delegate, Cardiff trades council

New Labour support was restricted to the top layer of full-time officials. A growing number of lay trade unionists oppose New Labour. The Socialist Party is clearly emerging as the leading force to the left of New Labour in the Welsh trade union movement.

Before the conference started the leadership suffered a defeat in their anti democratic move to shift the conference from an annual to a biennial one (see The Socialist 578). A sheepish Wales TUC general secretary had to announce that the rule change was withdrawn in favour of a "root and branch examination of WTUC structure".

Socialist Party member Rob Williams' name was prominent. As convenor at the Linamar car plant in Swansea, he has been subjected to brutal treatment by plant management. Rob was part of the Swansea trades council delegation and his sacking evoked great anger and support for his position from delegates.

He joined Bob Crow and fellow European election list candidate Rob Griffiths at a No2EU-Yes to Democracy meeting, attended by 50 delegates, where he condemned his treatment by management.

Rob's comment that the No2EU list is the only opportunity that trade unionists will have on 4 June to cast a vote against the Tory/New Labour anti-union laws went down well.

In the conference, the emergency motion opposing his sacking was moved by Rob on behalf of Swansea trades council and seconded by Len McCluskey, assistant general secretary of Unite. It was passed unanimously. Every delegate stood up to applaud Rob and a bucket collection for the hardship fund raised over 380.

On the conference floor some of the programme of the Socialist Party on the recession was accepted, as was our position on welfare 'reform' and Royal Mail privatisation.

By the end of conference, 48 copies of The Socialist had been sold and 220 raised for the Socialist Party's fighting fund. We left confident of victories in current and future battles, compared with the sense of foreboding felt by the bureaucracy.

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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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