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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 April 2007

Ammanford home care workers march

ABOUT 200 protesters attended a GMB, T&G and UNISON-organised march in the ex-mining town of Ammanford on 30 March against Carmarthenshire county council's plans to privatise the in-house home carers service.

Mark Evans, UNISON assistant branch secretary, Carmarthenshire county branch - personal capacity

There is clear evidence from service users that the service is being dismantled. The march and rally demonstrated the willingness of union members and the public to fight the local authority's plans.

This march was the beginning of that campaign. A letter had gone to all councillors, asking them to support our campaign but they, including New Labour councillors, were conspicuous by their absence.

Alec Thraves, speaking for the Socialist Party and the SOS NHS campaign, spoke on the need for a new workers' party that could represent working-class people and oppose New Labour's attacks on our working conditions and living standards. The Socialist Party sold 40 papers on the march.

This demonstration helped gain public support and gave union members a sense of their own strength. Unfortunately public opinion is, on its own, unlikely to win this dispute. The New Labour led Welsh Assembly is encouraging the local authority to take this course of action.

Unfortunately, previous union negotiating stances encouraged the employer to go on the offensive. At the rally, Jeff Burns, GMB full-time officer, admitted that the unions had compromised with the employer in previous negotiations over pay and conditions, including for home carers. He bemoaned the council's response and said that as a result the gloves were off.

But the council threw off the gloves and put on the knuckle-duster a long time ago. The unions' weakness has invited the employer's aggression. If we are to win this dispute, we will need to move quickly. Many home carers are understandably reluctant to take industrial action due to the effect it could have on vulnerable service-users.

However many carers see that only industrial action will force the employer to back down. We should be campaigning amongst home carers now and balloting them soon to take industrial action.

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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.

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In The Socialist 4 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

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