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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 May 2018
Usdaw conference 2018: Outgoing leadership's attacks on socialism contrasts with fighting mood of conference
Socialist Party members selling the Socialist paper outside Usdaw conference 2018, photo Becci Heagney (Click to enlarge)
Liat Norris, Usdaw ADM delegate (personal capacity)
In the run up to Usdaw's annual delegate meeting (ADM) rank-and-file activists discovered that the Socialist paper was denied a press pass to cover the conference.
This was met with outrage from ordinary Usdaw members who couldn't believe a decision to bar a paper that covers trade union issues, and supports workers in struggle. Some called for emergency motions to criticise the decision.
Socialist Party members didn't let this stop us from selling the Socialist to conference delegates - selling over 100 copies assisted by Socialist Party members in the North West.
As reported in the last issue of the Socialist, this was just one of the attacks made by the Usdaw leadership against the Socialist Party with more being made by Usdaw general secretary John Hannett during the debates on affiliation to the Refugee Rights Campaign and National Shop Stewards Network.
The latter debate saw a massive walkout of delegates over rule-breaking during the vote, forcing a re-run and a narrow defeat in a card vote.
Despite these votes falling, there was a mood on the conference floor for increasing the union's campaigning and it's clear among ordinary Usdaw members that there is a desire to fight against low pay and poor conditions.
There is no better example than the election of socialist Amy Murphy to the union's presidency. Contrast this with commemorations marking Hannett's retirement coming at the end of conference from Tony Blair, Sir Brendan Barber and a representative of Tesco!
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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 2 May 2018:
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Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs
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Windrush: Whitehall demo shames Tories and Blairites
Labour members' fury at expulsion of anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth
Lib Dems backed benefit sanctions to win 5p carrier bag charge
200 years of Karl Marx
200 years of Karl Marx: Marxist ideas more relevant than ever
May 1968: Police attacks on students spark mass revolt
Socialist Party workplace news
May Day McStrike: "A symbol for all workers"
Hull college workers and students protest redundancy plan
RMT members reject Labour affiliation calls at London debate
Radiographers' union discusses coordinated action
Usdaw conference 2018
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Stop Trump! Build for mass walkouts and protests on 13 July!
Building fund appeal smashes £150,000, keep it coming!
Salford nursery campaigners take fight to parliament
Parents and campaigners protest Leeds disability travel cut
Obituary: Roy Corke 1945-2018
Leicestershire NHS campaign launched
Local elections 2018
TUSC causing a stir in Haringey
Groundswell of support for TUSC in Huddersfield
TUSC stands against gentrification and cuts in Waltham Forest
International socialist news and analysis
Spain: 'We don't want to be brave, we want to be free!'
Catalonia: thousands on the streets
USA: Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant
Malta: right-wing Labour leader's insult to May Day
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