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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2006

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.
Dear Bob

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.

Yours Fraternally

Len Hockey, Joint Branch Secretary


Campaign for a New Workers' Party

National Conference

Sunday 19 March 2006, University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1

Local launch meetings coming up

London

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).

Yorkshire

4 February 1pm

SADACCA Club, The Wicker, Sheffield.

Wales

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

email info@cnwp.org.uk or write to CNWP, PO Box 858, London E11 1YG.

Socialist Party pamphlet now online: Join the campaign for a new workers' Party

1 or 2.50 for 5. Cheques made payable to Socialist Publications at PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD. Buy the pamphlet (no bulk discount online)

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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.

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In The Socialist 2 February 2006:

Pensions: 'Back down or we strike!'

United mass action can defeat Blair's pensions plans

Firefighters prepare to strike against pensions' robbery

Building a new shop stewards' movement

Healthworkers back RMT and Socialist Party initiatives

2006: Year of opportunity

100 British victims of Blair's war

Political earthquake as Hamas wins election

Public health not private profit

Campaigning against privatisation of schools in Hackney

Lambeth students' successful boycott

Civil servants strike back at Blair's cuts agenda

Post Office: National action needed to defend jobs

Fighting council cuts in Devon

Defence workers battle privatisation


 

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