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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 June 2010

Wales TUC - rank and file delegates support socialist fightback

By tradition, the annual conference of the Wales TUC takes place over three days. In 2008 and 2009, the right wing leadership tabled proposals to switch from an annual event to one taking place every two years. This undemocratic proposal was rejected by a revolt from rank and file delegates. Not to be thwarted the right wing responded this year by reducing the conference in length to a little over a day on 26 and 27 May.

Wales has a relatively high proportion of its workforce employed in the public sector. But, despite the dangers posed by the cuts policy of the new government, the conference was a relatively low key event with very few motions tabled as to how this government offensive could be fought and defeated.

However, when rank and file delegates, as opposed to full time officials, spoke it was perfectly clear what they thought of this government, and their will to fight back against cuts.

On the final afternoon, there were debates on issues as diverse as the Newport light rail system, the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign, pensions, the anti union laws and welfare reform.

The general council had grouped these motions together for no apparent reason, other than that four of the motions put forward the programme of the Socialist Party. In a lively debate, seven members of the Socialist Party spoke. All were well received by the conference.

After a poor speech by the general council spokesperson recommending opposition to the motions on the YFJ, the anti union laws and welfare reform and a fight from the movers of motions to exercise their constitutional right of reply, conference unfortunately voted to accept the recommendations. Although significantly, among those voting in favour were PCS, RMT, UCU and the POA along with most trades councils.

In the course of this relatively short event 32 copies of The Socialist were sold and 215 raised for the Socialist Party's fighting fund.

Cuts from the ConDem government will devastate communities throughout Wales and in the working class resistance to these attacks the ideas of the advocates of struggle and solidarity will be vindicated rather than the pathetic ideas of cooperation and partnership favoured by many of our 'leaders'.

Andrew Price, conference delegate, Cardiff trades council

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