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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 May 2009

PCS conference gathers

Delegates are gathering for the civil service union PCS conference, which starts on 20 May. Meanwhile group conferences are taking place.

Bill Mullins

General secretary Mark Serwotka spoke at all the group conferences. At the Revenue and Customs conference Mark gave a well-received speech, particularly on the question of resisting the attacks on members' jobs and conditions and the strategy of the union to resist them.

Mark then went on to talk about the idea of delegates supporting the union's national executive motion, which will be debated on Wednesday, which calls for the union to be prepared to stand candidates in elections if necessary.

He asked delegates to imagine if a postal worker candidate stood against Pat McFadden, the post office minister, on the issue of opposing privatisation. Or if a PCS candidate stood against James Purnell, the minister who is attacking the welfare rights of many, including single parents.

He said the resolution, if carried, will set off 12 months of massive consultation with the membership. That will be reported back to the 2010 conference. "We will go to every member in a ballot if the resolution is passed", he said.

He also called for people to vote in the euro elections to keep out the BNP, even though he admitted there is little difference between the main parties. Unfortunately he said no more than that, missing the opportunity to point out that the RMT-led No2EU-Yes to Democracy campaign gives PCS members a chance in these elections to vote for a workers' alternative.

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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.

  • 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.
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  • 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.
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In The Socialist 20 May 2009:

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage


Socialist Party editorial

Swindling MPs are detached from reality


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Rob Williams!

Thousands march for jobs in Birmingham

Visteon workers' victory march


No2EU

Why socialists oppose the EU

No2EU - yes to democracy


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: The guns fall silent but the tragedy continues

End Gaza blockade


Socialist Party feature

Tiananmen 1989: Seven weeks that shook the world


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action

Enthusiastic reception for Youth Fight for jobs


Education

Don't close our schools!

Charlotte Turner

Kings College, London

Lewisham Bridge rooftop protest


Socialist Party news and analysis

BT say they're sorry

Welsh-speaking worker bullied by boss

PCS conference gathers

Construction workers walk out

Union organisation necessary to defend working conditions

Workplace news

Fast news


 

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