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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 March 2010

Support trade union and socialist alternative: Workers reject main parties

Wrexham PCS workers on strike, photo Andrew McCoy

Wrexham PCS workers on strike, photo Andrew McCoy   (Click to enlarge)

BA CABIN crew, civil servants, railway workers... As the general election looms, trade unionists are voting for, and taking, action to defend their rights, conditions and pay against the onslaught from the bosses and the government. We can't afford to wait until after 6 May - we have to fight back now!

Kevin Parslow, Unite branch secretary (personal capacity)
TUSC logo

MPs of all parties voted themselves a pay rise recently, yet the greediest parliament in history tells workers and their families to make sacrifices to 'save the economy'!

These parties expect us to vote for them. But none of the three major parties support workers or trade union struggles.

But we need a voice in politics; without it millions of workers will simply stay at home and not vote in the election.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set up precisely to help to give us that voice and stands up for workers in struggle.

We didn't create this crisis but big business and the government expect us to pay for it.

Behind the Tories' attacks on Labour for the Unite union giving 11 million to Labour in the last three years, is hatred and fear of the potential political and industrial strength of the trade unions.

'Nice Dave' Cameron would keep and strengthen all the current anti-trade union laws. The Tories want to attack collective bargaining as well in local government and the NHS. They will slash jobs and public services.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is a big fan of Margaret Thatcher's anti-trade union laws, and welcomed the defeat of the miners in the 1980s. He has recently reneged on his pledge to scrap university tuition fees. Clegg has stated that the Lib Dems would make "savage" cuts in public expenditure - just like the Tories and New Labour.

But what about Labour? Many workers are reluctantly thinking of voting Labour to keep out the Tories. But the last 20 years or so have seen the 'New Labour' brand openly endorse big business greed.

Labour ministers Brown and Adonis have openly attacked BA workers for daring to take on corporate dictators like Willie Walsh and Co. Now former Labour minster Stephen Byers boasts to a reporter of being paid to lobby ministers, along with others, to get preferential treatment for companies - not their workers!

Trade unions should stop funding New Labour. 13 years of this government and all that workers have had are a few scraps from the table, while big business has gorged on a feast.

But with the recession, New Labour's big business friends have largely deserted them and are supporting the Tories.

New Labour needs the trade unions only to fund the party and particularly its general election campaign. But what do we get in return?

Former Labour minister David Blunkett brutally answered this recently in the Financial Times: "We're saying to the trade unions, 'It's in your interest to back us rather than it's in our interest to back you'"!

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! BA cabin crew are said to be tearing up Labour party cards and stopping paying the political fund to Labour.

But we need a voice in politics; without it millions of workers will simply stay at home and not vote in the election.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set up precisely to help to give us that voice and stands up for workers in struggle.

We didn't create this crisis but big business and the government expect us to pay for it.

The Socialist Party is a central part of TUSC and is standing in the general election to oppose the bosses' onslaught and give workers a real alternative to the misery of capitalism.

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In The Socialist 24 March 2010:

Strikers can beat BA bosses

BA cabin crew can win

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