Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/875/21615
From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2015
Determined mood at Napo conference
Chas Berry, Napo national vice chair (personal capacity)
Probation and family court workers organised in Napo left their AGM last week with a new mood of determination to rebuild their union.
Overcoming significant barriers to achieve a representative conference, with many members having been refused time off by their employers to attend, the AGM agreed changes giving incentives to new joiners and those switching to direct debit. This is an important weapon in our battle to fend off the attempt to crush the union financially through the withdrawal of 'check-off'.
In each debate, speaker after speaker linked the attacks upon us with the need to join with others in the fight against the trade union bill. Guest speaker Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, received a big ovation when he urged members to look beyond our immediate battles and to recognise the need for generalised strike action.
Conference was also addressed by shadow lord chancellor and justice secretary Lord Falconer. Significantly, he was criticised about Labour's record in office and in particular over building more private prisons and for passing laws that allowed probation privatisation.
Disappointingly, like his predecessor Sadiq Khan, he stopped short of committing Labour to tear up current private probation contracts to union busting firms like Sodexo.
This was perhaps the most political AGM for a number of years. Reflecting the wider anti-austerity mood, fringe meetings linking Napo's campaigns with others in the justice field and beyond were the best attended and most enthusiastic of all the sessions.
The first ever Socialist Party fringe meeting attracted 20 members; sixteen copies of the Socialist, six Kill The Bill pamphlets and three copies of Socialism Today were sold, showing a renewed interest in socialist ideas.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 21 October 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Strike to save the NHS
Hands off tax credits
1% owns more than half the world's wealth
Damning report on NHS staffing levels delayed by Tories
Labour MP refuses to back strike
Them & Us
What we saw
Socialist Party features
Corbyn campaign: Opportunity for raising socialist ideas
How can workers resist capitalist cuts and closures?
International socialist news and analysis
World economy: 'biggest danger to capitalism is capitalism'
Germany: refugee crisis and the fight against the racist right
International news in brief
Workplace news and analysis
For a fighting, socialist Unison general secretary, back Roger Bannister
Hull's Labour council in aggressive bid to remove all union convenors
Welsh Government should think outside 'the Box'
Determined mood at Napo conference
Sports Direct action over sacking
Rally opposes the Tory trade union bill
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Organising to defend Corbyn's anti-cuts mandate
Help fund the fight for socialism
Huge support for the Wales March for Homes
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Former war hero fighting for the future: a pensioner speaks out
'Britain First' - tiny and violent
The Socialist 21 October 2015 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook