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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 April 2015

Labour Party link dominates CWU conference discussion

Socialist Party members in the CWU

The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) 2015 conference started on 26 April in the aftermath of Dave Ward defeating Billy Hayes to become the union's new general secretary.

Dave's election campaign had a more critical position over the Labour Party and, on the first day of conference, the major debate was on the union's relationship with Labour. Socialist Party members were prominent in this debate.

Paddy Meehan from Northern Ireland moved a motion to support anti-austerity candidates in Northern Ireland. But the motion was opposed by the leadership, despite Labour not standing candidates in Northern Ireland, and defeated. However, the motion got a very good response from delegates.

There were many motions on the agenda for the Labour Party debate, including those supporting the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. However, the leadership backed a motion that recognised that the Collins Review changes to union affiliation rules would lead to reduced donations from the union to Labour, but that money instead should go to TULO (Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation).

This really means the money would still go to Labour through the back door. The motion was a device that, when passed, stopped all the other motions being debated.

Labour's policies

The debate happened just after Labour MP Angela Eagle had addressed the conference to claim that her party was totally different from the Tories.

But, as Judy Griffiths from Coventry said, Labour doesn't stand for the CWU policies of renationalising Royal Mail and BT, nor will it get rid of the anti-trade union laws. Even though the leadership's motion was passed, there was a lot of sympathy for Judy's opposition to it.

The deputy general secretary, Andy Kerr, argued that 'we shouldn't be having this debate eleven days before a general election'. But Socialist Party members pointed out that the union's link with Labour will be further tested after the election, especially if Miliband gets into government.

Dave Ward closed the conference saying that our priority shouldn't be whether we fight within or outside the Labour Party, it should be about increasing our industrial strength. CWU activists will be concerned that would signal taking the union down a non-political road. However, the last passed motion of conference committed the union to fight for any future Labour government to renationalise Royal Mail.

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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.

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In The Socialist 28 April 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS in crisis

After the election: prepare for the battles to come

Establishment witch-hunt in Tower Hamlets

Rent controls? Another Labour fudge

And the rich just get richer!

Them & Us

The Socialist election schedule


International socialist news and analysis

125 years of May Day: Learn lessons of past struggles

Ireland: crucial stage for water charges

Greece: gold mining meeting


Special feature

Socialist plan or capitalist chaos

Why you should join the socialists


Elections 2015

Why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition?

Why I'm standing

Key working class fighters rally to TUSC

Anti-cuts councillor set to defend seat

Pop star and activist Jawad Ahmad backs TUSC

Why many class fighters won't vote Labour


Socialist Party workplace news

Labour Party link dominates conference discussion

Dundee porters force NHS bosses to retreat

Glasgow homelessness caseworkers' strike

MoD IT workers demand decent pay

Bromley workers escalate strikes

Bradford bus drivers strike against job losses

Wales: Hundreds protest cuts to adult education

Barking bin workers walkout over pay cuts


May Day Greetings

May Day Greetings in the Socialist 2015 - pdf


 

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Related links:

CWU:

triangleBattle with BT management needed to win real pay rise

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

trianglePostal workers force Royal Mail back

triangleRoyal Mail dispute: Interview with a CWU branch secretary

Labour Party:

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triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

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NSSN:

triangleCome to the NSSN conference

Dave Ward:

triangleSinister moves against Corbyn can be beaten by clear socialist policies

Royal Mail:

trianglePostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

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