Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/660/11287
CWU youth conference 'ready and willing to take action'
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) held its annual youth conference on 12 February in Birmingham.
Young workers from all sections of the union were represented to discuss the movement against cuts and privatisation. They also debated how best young workers can take part given the role young people have played already.
Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, correctly spoke about the importance of youth to the union and the labour movement. But despite quoting the great socialist writers and leaders Karl Marx, VI Lenin and Leon Trotsky in his speech, he failed to give any real answers to young members who wanted to know what will come after the TUC Demo in March.
Young members pointed to the importance of the demo as a step towards a public sector general strike rather than just letting off steam. Frustrated with the lack of direction, a number of delegates shouted 'we need leadership!'
In the second half of the conference there were very good debates and discussions over motions submitted by branches to instruct the youth advisory committee (YAC) in its work. Lenny Shail from Coventry branch moved a motion calling on the conference to oppose "all cuts, job losses and fee rises and recognise the importance of linking the struggles of young workers, students and unemployed" into one mass movement to defend the rights and benefits won over generations.
He called on the YAC to continue to work with Youth Fight for Jobs and to build support for and send delegations to future demonstrations of young people.
He pointed out the link between the attacks in education and the job losses and privatisation of Royal Mail that CWU members are currently facing. Lenny also pointed out the problems with the CWU's affiliation to the Labour Party who would be making huge cuts if they were in power too.
The motion was supported by the YAC and was passed unanimously by conference. The conference was an indication that there are many young trade unionists who are ready and willing to take action and build a truly united anti-cuts movement to fight every attack on the working class.
A CWU young member from Coventry
In The Socialist 3 March 2011:
International socialist news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party congress 2011
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history