Alex (right) at the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival. Photo: SW Socialist Party
Alex (right) at the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival. Photo: SW Socialist Party

Two trade unionists who are standing as candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the general election, explain why they are taking time out of their election campaign to attend the conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) on Saturday 22 June.

Nancy Taaffe

Waltham Forest trades council assistant secretary; TUSC candidate for Walthamstow

The strike wave that has taken place in Britain over the last two years has seen a new generation of trade unionists who have had enough of austerity cuts and privatisation, and have entered the battle.

These people are the generation that is waking up to the need to struggle to improve their lives. And while it might be expressed in this election as a desire to get the Tories out, these people will be searching for solutions to their problems: the housing crisis, particularly of young renters, and the crisis in pay and falling standards of living.

Putting forward candidates, trade unionists and socialists, is so vital to show that we have to fight on both the industrial and electoral fields. The NSSN conference will bring together the flower of the recent strike wave to prepare a way forward to fight under a Starmer government.

Alex Moore

Plymouth NEU district secretary (personal capacity); TUSC candidate in Plymouth, Devonport and Sutton

I’m standing for TUSC and attending the NSSN conference to support strikes and fight cuts. There are live strikes in Derriford Hospital of health care assistants and junior doctors. GMB security guards at the Jobcentre are also on strike. RMT members in The Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Aslef train drivers have a programme of strike action. I’m standing to give them support, build solidarity and fight for a political voice. But I have also been delegated by Plymouth NEU, which is affiliated to the NSSN, to attend the conference and am organising a follow-up meeting on 13 July for supporters of the NSSN in Devon and Cornwall. Standing for TUSC and building the NSSN are not separate tasks, especially as we face a new Labour government that will not meet strikers’ demands unless they face enormous pressure.

  • Devon and Cornwall NSSN meeting: 2pm Saturday 13 July, Stuart Road Social Club, Plymouth PL3 4EB

National shop stewards network conference

Saturday 22 June 11am-4.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R
Attendance fee – £8.
Email us for more info – [email protected]