NSSN-lobby September 2023. Photo: Louie-Fulton
NSSN-lobby September 2023. Photo: Louie-Fulton

Come to the National Shop Stewards Network conference to debate how we fight for a workers’ manifesto

Theo Sharieff

The general election on 4 July will be a welcome chance for workers to end fourteen years of Tory rule. But will Keir Starmer’s New Labour represents the interests of trade unionists and workers and young people generally?

Starmer and Reeves recently unveiled ‘Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay’ which represents a further quashing of policies advanced under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party. Ultimately, it defends the right of employers to use fire and rehire (only when they really want to!), proposes a ban only on ‘exploitative’ zero-hour contracts, and pledges to repeal the Tory anti-union laws dating back to 2016, leaving the rest on the statute book.

In Unite general secretary Sharon Graham’s words, “The number of caveats and get-outs means it is in danger of becoming a bad bosses’ charter.” It couldn’t be clearer that after clearing the Tories out of power at the election, trade unionists are going to have to fight from day one to defend and advance our interests against Starmer’s pro-big business Labour.

That’s why this year’s National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference – the last NSSN event before the New Labour government takes power – will be a crucial meeting for all trade unionists wanting to prepare for that struggle. As usual, this will be a meeting to bring together rank-and-file trade union reps and activists to discuss how we can best link up and coordinate our disputes.

But it will also be a chance for trade unionists to discuss what policies we need to fight for – such as repealing all the anti-union laws going back to Thatcher’s era, immediate renationalisation of key industries such as steel and transport – as well as how we can fight to make those policies a reality.

The NSSN has written to different political parties claiming to be an alternative to the Tories – including Starmer’s Labour – to come and address a conference of rank-and-file trade union reps and stewards, to tell us what they would do for our movement and the working class in the first 100 days of government.

This conference will be a chance for workers to have their voice heard politically in this election – and even more importantly prepare for the battles that will follow 4 July! Come to NSSN Conference – support the strikes and join the debate.