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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 June 2010

Prepare for the battles ahead

Come to the NSSN conference

Socialist Party member Rob Williams and Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary,  speak at a rally for Viseton workers at Unite conference 2010, photo Mike Gard

Socialist Party member Rob Williams and Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary, speak at a rally for Viseton workers at Unite conference 2010, photo Mike Gard

The fourth annual conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) takes place in London on Saturday 26 June. The network was set up in 2006 after an initiative by the rail union RMT. Many rank and file stewards had become frustrated by the conservative approach of many trade union leaders, some of whom had been dubbed the 'awkward squad' in the early part of the decade when they had been elected to replace right-wing union leaders.

Rob Williams, Unite convenor, Linamar Swansea, personal capacity

When it was established, the NSSN was operating in a period where there was a low level of strikes. We were preparing for an upsurge of struggle. That new period is fast emerging as workers reel from the effect of the recession and the looming public sector cuts.

Last year's conference celebrated the victories in key private sector disputes with speakers from Lindsey, Linamar and Visteon. This year, the emphasis is very much on the public sector as these workers, along with communities, prepare for the Con-Dem cuts.

As well as the main conference, there will be up to ten workshops, giving delegates the chance to discuss many issues that face them at work and in the labour movement generally.

The final session is an international rally, with speakers from Spanish and Greek trade unions who will be reporting from their general strikes. This crisis is global and our response must be as well.

Cameron reckons that Britain will never be the same after the cuts. He means that everything that workers have taken for granted in terms of jobs, public services, terms and conditions and pensions are under threat.

This conference is a vital event for stewards and rank and file trade unionists to take stock, learn from each other and prepare to fight back.

Build the trade union fightback - come to the National Shop Stewards Network 2010 conference

Saturday 26 June, 11am-4.30pm.

South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1 1RG (near Kings Cross/St Pancras)

To register send 5 to NSSN, PO Box 58262, London N1P 1ET, with your details, including workplace and trade union.

Encourage your trade union branch or workplace to sponsor the conference - suggested minimum 20.

For more details see or email

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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 16 June 2010:

Millionaire ministers savage public services

'Bloodbath budget' day protests and meetings


Comprehensive education under attack

Opposing 'Dickensian' academy schools in Waltham Forest

National Shop Stewards Network

Come to the NSSN conference

Unison local government conference: Delegates face huge struggles

Northern Rock throws workers on the dole

Wales Unison: Socialist Party member elected

NHS Scotland - ConDemned to terminal decay

Southampton library staff strike to save jobs

Save the Big House

Socialist Party editorial

Labour leadership contest dominated by right wing

Socialist Party news and analysis

TUSC plans for future elections

BP's value plunges as oil spill worsens

Willetts approves tuition fees hike

Bloody Sunday report appears 38 years late

IDS's 'anti-poverty drive' attacks the poorest!

High speed trains and high priced fares

Why we don't back the Queen's pay claim

Fast news

Diary dates


Tower Hamlets: Jobs, homes and services - not the racist EDL!

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: A test bed for 'austerity' and resistance

Spain: Millions of public sector workers strike over brutal cuts

Portugal: Mobilisation against austerity reaches new level

Socialist Party Scotland launched at packed and inspiring meeting


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