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Trades councils conference shows that workers won't wait for TUC
Kevin Parslow, Waltham Forest Trades Council delegate
Trades councils - the local arms of the TUC - held their conference in Cardiff on 14/15 June. This year, there was a pleasant sting in its tail!
The very last motion debated was on political representation for the working class, proposed by Swansea Trades Council. It noted that the "lack of a political voice representing the needs and interests of trade union members is a serious concern for the entire trade union movement".
It then called on conference to encourage "trades councils to initiate discussions on how best to secure the kind of political representatives working class people need, considering all options."
Socialist Party members Ronnie Job from Swansea and Katrine Williams from Cardiff TC moved and seconded the motion, explaining how both locally and nationally, Labour Party representatives were divorced from the real needs of working class people.
There was opposition, with some delegates urging conference to 'wait' and be patient, support Unite's political strategy and other arguments against the motion that have been heard many times before.
But the conference decided, by 34 votes to 31, with 4 abstentions, to support the motion. The announcement was received with spontaneous applause!
No doubt the TUC leadership will not be best pleased with this resolution nor with the motion passed earlier in the conference which agreed "to restate in the 2014-15 programme of work that the TUC should facilitate a programme of co-ordinated industrial action involving unions and local TUCs, up to and including strikes".
These decisions show that the grassroots of the trade union movement are not prepared to sit and wait for the TUC to act but are urging action and a class-based political stance.
In The Socialist 18 June 2014:
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