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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 August 2010

Con-Dem cuts mean:

We need 'biggest movement since poll tax'

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), meeting this year in Manchester, needs to hear clearly from ordinary trade unionists and activists that the time has come to get off its knees and organise a fightback against the government's programme of cuts.

Bill Mullins, NSSN Steering Committee

Never has a government been so crude in its attacks. They couldn't wait to wield the axe against the workers who supply public services, from the NHS to council social services departments - to the cleaners and refuse workers who work to maintain our streets and environment.

Public sector workers are being demonised every day in the press by an unholy alliance of big business and capitalist politicians.

The main defence that the workers have is their trade unions. RMT transport union leader Bob Crow has called for "generalised strike action and community resistance" on the scale of the anti- poll tax movement. Yet, with the exception of unions like the RMT and the PCS civil servants' union and a few others, there is a deafening silence from the leading councils of the union movement.

The mass lobby of the TUC conference is an attempt to break this silence and demonstrate that an increasingly large section of ordinary trade union activists and members will fight back. The TUC needs to show real resistance.

The general council of the TUC has met twice since the special budget day on 22 June. At both meetings Left unions have attempted to move the TUC into adopting a fighting programme against the cuts. Both the PCS and the RMT unions have separate resolutions on the TUC conference agenda demanding that the TUC call a national demo on 23 October (PCS) and an "immediate summit" of affiliates to "coordinate industrial action" (RMT).

So far the response of the TUC leadership has been muted, restricting itself to vague talk of "regional activities".

The lobby of the conference will have the clear aim of supporting the call by the Left unions for a national demo in the autumn as a prelude to a one day public sector strike.

It is almost as if there are two trade union movements in Britain. One where the right-wing union leaders mutter amongst themselves that there is no support for mass action. The other consists of a growing body of activists and ordinary trade union members who are desperate for a lead at national level.

Your class needs you!

The battle has already started at local level with anti-cuts campaigns springing up. The NSSN will do its best to organise this growing struggle nationally and at the same time organise to put the maximum pressure on the union leaders to act now.

There is very little time. Get your union to put on transport for the lobby. Distribute leaflets in work and among local groups.

If anti-cuts campaigns are developing in your area, inform everyone about this lobby Put it in your diary and make sure you are there! Your class needs you!

Come on the lobby of the TUC conference

Sunday 12 September 12noon,

Central Convention Centre, Manchester.

Organised by the National Shop Stewards Network

Contact the NSSN for more details and report what is happening in your area in support of the lobby.

www.shopstewards.net

info@shopstewards.net

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In The Socialist 4 August 2010:

We need 'biggest movement since poll tax'


Anti-cuts campaign

'Radical' cuts require serious action

Waltham Forest's Labour council faces opposition

Coventry campaigners fight cuts of 140 million

Swansea trades council leads battle for services

Campaigners answer Bristol's 'Big Conversation'

Cuts news: Mental health services facing the axe

NSSN pledged to fight cuts


War and occupation

Troops out now!

Afghanistan: US strategy in disarray


Accademies

Oppose divisive academies policy


Workplace news and analysis

Talks resume at British Airways

Angry workers strike over pay freeze and bosses' bonuses

Fighting fire service cuts

Witch-hunted Unison activist wins tribunal


Workplace Debate

Unite general secretary election


Youth fight for jobs

We won't be a lost generation, fight for jobs and education!

No to privatisation of our universities

For real jobs, not slave labour


Environment and socialism

Profiting from wrecking the environment

Stop the Cardiff incinerator

Save Wanstead Flats


Tamil Solidarity

Daily Mail admits guilt over smearing Tamil hunger striker


Socialist Party LGBT

Campaigning at Leeds Pride


Socialist Party events

Book now for the summer camp!

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate


International socialist news and analysis

Love Parade catastrophe was entirely preventable

Garment workers demand a living wage


Socialist Party news and analysis

Asda profiting from low pay

Tories put profits before patients

Rich just carry on getting richer

Fast news


Review & Comment

The howlers' world and ours

How the banks rip us off


 

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Related links:

NSSN:

triangleNSSN pre-TUC rally

triangleNSSN conference

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

triangleBirmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

Tax:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: How we beat the Poll Tax

triangleTurn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Poll tax:

triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleSouth London tower block residents plan safety campaign

Cuts:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

TUC:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: We're all under attack - TUC call a general strike

Unions:

triangleNHS - build the fightback

RMT:

triangleMerseyrail protest

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

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