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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2010

Dover trade unions against privatisation

The recently reformed Dover and District Trades Union Council recently held its first major public meeting against the threat of privatisation of the port of Dover.

The meeting was attended by around 40 people, bringing together rail, maritime and port workers as well as members of the Prison Officers Association (POA), immigration and Jobcentre workers and members of the Socialist Party.

Gwyn Prosser, the Labour MP for Dover, spoke from the platform. He is a passionate opponent of port privatisation, but it is Prosser's government that has wholeheartedly embraced cuts, closures and sell-offs.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT trade union also addressed the meeting, as did Brian Caton, POA general secretary.

The final speaker was Mike Sargent, the secretary of Dover trades council. He spoke passionately about the capacity of ordinary working people to see off the privateers once and for all. He also made the point that working people need a political alternative to the current pro-employer parties. This was echoed by contributions from the floor.

By taking industrial action, port workers can fight back and win. But without a genuine workers' alternative to the establishment parties - the spectre of privatisation will always haunt communities like Dover.

Jacqui Berry

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