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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2015

Unite rules conference

Britain's biggest union could reconsider funding Labour after leadership elections

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Kevin Parslow, Secretary, Unite Waltham Forest LE/1228 (personal capacity)

As we go to press, members of general union Unite are discussing major political changes at our four-yearly rules conference. Although the union's leadership has headed off calls to leave Labour, it was pressured to promise a new conference if the situation changes.

The union's leading body, the executive council, tried to avoid votes on a number of anti-Labour motions. To do this it produced what many members will see as a bland holding statement. This delays deciding on Labour affiliation until after the races for the party's London mayoral candidate, and its national and Scottish leaders, conclude.

A number of Socialist Party members took part in the debate to speak against the statement. But left-winger Jeremy Corbyn's leadership stand helped the executive convince conference to give Labour one more chance.

The statement passed. However, the leadership was not immune to growing pressure to leave Labour and build a new mass workers' party. This May, 196 Unite members stood in the elections for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which includes the Socialist Party.

Special conference

General secretary Len McCluskey promised the executive could call a special conference following Labour leadership elections. This alone would justify TUSC's stand.

Len did not give any specific criteria for this to happen. But Socialist Party members, along with many others in Unite, will be pushing for a recall conference should Jeremy lose.

Even many of those who voted in favour of the statement are questioning the Labour link. 30 attended a TUSC fringe meeting, including strikers from south London's Bromley council. Their branch secretary, Kathy Smith, addressed the meeting.

Increased sales of the Socialist at this year's conference also reflect growing interest in the Socialist Party's ideas.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 8 July 2015:


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Mighty class-based 'NO' shakes bosses' EU


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cuts for us, handouts for rich

Terrorism and classroom spying

Janner case: more establishment child abuse cover-ups

Stop hammering low-paid - 10 an hour now!

ESA under the cosh

Low-income tenants face rent hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

NSSN conference 2015: "We could stop austerity in its tracks"

Migrants flee horrors created by capitalism


Socialist Party workplace news

Hospital porters mop up in NHS pay battle triumph

Tube union: why we're striking

Britain's biggest union could reconsider funding Labour after leadership elections

Education under attack! Reports from the front line of the fightback

Yorkshire firefighters demonstrate against crew cuts

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Party LGBT group plans fightback against attacks and austerity

Bitter fight to save Bitterne walk-in centre continues

Scotland and North-West England hold TUSC conferences


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Why I joined: 'the Socialist Party has given me political confidence'

TV review: Picasso - Portillo's peculiar perspective


 

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Related links:

Unite:

triangleNationality and borders bill

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

triangleSt Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

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Labour:

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

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trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

Socialist:

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Socialist Party:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Defend a woman's right to choose

TUSC:

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Elections:

triangleBatley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour

Council:

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Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleEaling parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy

Workers:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

Len McCluskey:

triangleLeft candidate needed for Unite general secretary election

Bromley:

triangleBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleGoodlord strikers fight fire and rehire as part of day of action

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