Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/811/18598
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2014
Leadership challenged at Usdaw conference
Socialist Party members in Usdaw
Usdaw's 2014 Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM) opened to a backdrop of announcements of job losses and cuts in Tesco. Members' anger at finding this out through social media and the union's complacency peppered their speeches.
As ever, many of the propositions challenging the Usdaw leadership's position never made it to ADM floor. This didn't stop criticism of the union's leadership - delegates made points on the union's annual report, usually a more mundane part of ADM.
Iain Dalton criticised the union leadership. They'd attended an international trade union conference in Argentina and the only official mention of the visit so far was a sentence in the report. If we're sending delegates around the world to discuss with our fellow workers, this should be reported so we can learn from their struggles. He highlighted the inspiring struggles in the US to organise Walmart workers as well as fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage.
This, and other interventions, led to a growing interest in the Socialist Party and its bulletin in the union, the Activist. Over 100 copies of the Socialist were sold, more than one for every eight attendees. Delegates also bought 50 copies of the new Activist pamphlet.
A key debate took place around zero-hour contracts. Unfortunately the composite that was passed mentioned every constraint except abolishing them.
Motions were also passed to campaign to abolish tuition fees and work closer with student unions and the NUS. Renationalising public transport was also supported. A motion congratulating Miliband on his energy price freeze was amended to say that the best means of controlling energy prices was: "to renationalise the energy companies with democratic control including workers in industry and consumers over prices".
In the union's upcoming elections Socialist Party members will be building support for the candidates endorsed by the Broad Left meeting at ADM. These include Socialist Party members Scott Jones, who is standing for the Executive Committee (EC) in the South Wales and Western division and Amy Murphy who is standing for re-election to the EC in the Southern division and for President of the union.
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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- 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 special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 14 May 2014:
Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
For the millions not the billionaires
Fight back at the ballot box on 22 May
Building Labour: when workers first formed own party
Southampton: Showing what's possible
Liverpool City Council 1983-87: "We had a choice"
Why we're standing as TUSC candidates
On the campaign trail with TUSC
Socialist Party news and analysis
Ukip - the establishment's 'anti-establishment' party
Housing evictions - main parties to blame
Gove robs education budget to fund 'Free Schools'
Them & Us
Socialist Party feature
What's socialism got to do with fighting austerity?
International socialist news and analysis
South Africa: The ANC victory, WASP and the EFF
Capitalist politicians can't solve Boko Haram crisis
Ireland: Election campaigns "referendum on austerity"
Socialist Party workplace news
Care UK strike: NHS workers v NHS privatisation
PCS: Re-election of a fighting, socialist leadership
Leadership challenged at Usdaw conference
Brighton: Determined to fight college cuts
Transport workers' international meeting
Workplace news in brief
Fight together for pay rise - Come to NSSN conference
TV review: In the Flesh
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Fight back to scrap junk jobs
Freedom Riders- action brings victory
Building TUSC, building socialism
Donate to the election appeal!
Why I joined the Socialist Party
The Socialist 14 May 2014 |
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