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Campaign for new workers' party
Healthworkers back RMT and Socialist Party initiatives
FOLLOWING THE success of the RMT railworkers' union conference on working-class political representation, Socialist Party member Len Hockey, who is secretary of Waltham Forest UNISON health branch, sent the following letter to Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT.
I am writing on behalf of UNISON Waltham Forest Health Branch based at Whipps Cross Hospital east London, to congratulate your union on the excellent discussion conference the RMT hosted on the question of the crisis of political representation facing working class people in England and Wales.
I attended this following a discussion at our last Branch Committee at which frustration was expressed at the continued support given to New Labour by UNISON, to the tune of £3 million annually, in the context of the ongoing assault on public services including the rapid privatisation/marketisation of our National Health Service.
You were absolutely correct when you commented that trade unions could only go so far in advancing the interests of ordinary people and that they cannot change society and that it was the rail unions a century ago that helped lead the campaign to set up the original Labour Party.
Once again, potentially, the conference you called may come to be seen as historically significant in the development of a new independent and inclusive formation based on the trade unions, that would and could at last give the confidence our class so desperately needs to change society and assist in the task of rebuilding union structures, bringing in the young to union activity and establishing the mass shop stewards movement you rightly said was needed.
In conclusion, thanks again for an excellent and overwhelmingly well supported initiative, I understand over a hundred had to be turned away due to lack of space and can I ask if the RMT will be taking any other initiatives? I understand there is a conference planned on 19th March.
Len Hockey, Joint Branch Secretary
Campaign for a New Workers' Party
Sunday 19 March 2006, University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1
Local launch meetings coming up
9 February 7:30pm
West London Trade Union Club, Acton High Street.
23 February 7.30pm
320 Brixton Road, Brixton, London SW9
Speakers include: Ian Page, Lewisham Socialist
Party councillor, Rob MacDonald, President
Lambeth College students' union.
23 February 7:30pm
William Morris Centre, Walthamstow.
25 February 2pm
Goldsmiths College, Room MB2106, Lewisham Way.
1 March 7.30pm
Charterhouse-in-Southwark, 40 Tabard Street (near Borough tube).
4 February 1pm
SADACCA Club, The Wicker, Sheffield.
16 February 7:30pm
Unitarian Church, High Street, Swansea.
Speakers include: Gloria Tanner (PCS), Rob Williams (TGWU convenor, Visteon), Sarah Mayo (PCS) - all speakers in personal capacity.
For more information on the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, go to www.cnwp.org.uk
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In The Socialist 2 February 2006: