Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/608/8710
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gets started
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, speaking at the London No2EU election rally, photo Paul Mattsson
From Vectis buses, to Vestas, to Fords, to Royal Mail and more; on every strike and picket line in Hampshire in 2009 we encountered workers' anger at their employers' attacks, but also their dismay at the failure of the Labour government to give them support.
Portsmouth Socialist Party
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) recently registered to stand candidates in the general election. This is a vital opportunity to give workers a voice in the fight for jobs and in defence of public services and working conditions.
The No2EU - Yes to Democracy coalition for the June 2009 European election meant that workers, trade unionists and socialists could unite in a common political fight to oppose the bosses' parties and the far right.
Since then the Portsmouth Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) branch has campaigned for the RMT to continue to participate in an electoral challenge.
When asked why Portsmouth RMT supports the coalition, branch secretary Richard Howard said: "Since becoming a union rep, members are constantly asking why we can't do things. I have to explain that the law is not on our side and that past victories on balloting and workplace solidarity have been taken away by the New Labour government.
"The RMT has been evicted from the Labour Party and we want to have a voice. As socialists we have to fight for public ownership and win people to a real alternative."
'No2EU Wessex' has been transformed into 'TUSC Portsmouth' and support is growing to back Mick Tosh, an RMT activist and former RMT executive committee member, as a candidate in Portsmouth North for the general election.
Mick says: "Portsmouth needs a real debate on the things which concern our society. By standing in the forthcoming election and arguing for the principles of the People's Charter, to protect jobs, provide affordable housing for all and renationalise public services. That process will start gathering a needed momentum toward a genuine alternative for the less well off and working people of Portsmouth."
All the main parties are outbidding each other, under pressure from big business billionaires, to slash public services, jobs, wages and pensions in the biggest attack on working class people for decades. Tusc will give a real alternative to their agenda, saying 'we won't pay for their crisis'.
To promote the launch of the new coalition Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, is speaking at a public meeting in Portsmouth on Monday 25 January, alongside local activists.
TUSC Portsmouth launch
Speaker: Bob Crow
Monday 25 January 7.30pm
Unity Hall, Fratton, Portsmouth
Donate to the Socialist Party
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 click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
- Click here to read our full appeal statement
- Click here for our coronavirus articles and reports
- Click here to join the Socialist Party
In The Socialist 19 January 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party review