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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

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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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.

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In The Socialist 2 May 2018:


What we think

Windrush: Rudd resigns. May and Tories must go


Socialist Party news and analysis

Young people trapped in private rental

Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

100k more zero-hour contracts in just a year

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


France '68

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


Opinion

The Socialist inbox


 

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