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29 May 2013

Haringey TUSC: trade unions and communities prepare for 2014

Paul Kershaw

Sixty people attended the launch of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's (TUSC) anti-cuts electoral challenge for next year's local elections in the London borough of Haringey.

The meeting was chaired by local UCU union rep Jenny Sutton, who has stood as a TUSC candidate in previous elections.

Platform speaker Oktay Sahbaz, of the Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish group that hosted the meeting, highlighted the plight of refugee and immigrant communities.

Frank Murray, Chair of Weir Hall Action Group and co-chair of Tottenham Concerned Residents Committee, showed how plans to 'regenerate' Tottenham were designed for profit rather than to help local people.

Speakers dealt with a wide range of issues including the murder of Mark Duggan, which sparked riots in the area two years ago, cuts to youth centres locally, and the need for trade unions to orientate to the unemployed and excluded.

From the floor, John Dolan of Haringey Unison quoted Labour council leader Clare Kober from 2011 who said that if a Labour government had been elected in 2010, that would still have meant 42 million cuts over three years in Haringey.

One floor speaker suggested that if the attendance list was used as a candidates list in the council elections, it would be a better and more representative list than Labour's.

Steve Hedley, Assistant General Secretary of the RMT transport union pointed out that a key difference between TUSC and previous attempts to create a left alternative to the Labour Party was the active involvement of the organised working class through the trade unions.

The RMT nationally backs TUSC and he called on people to get their trade unions to support TUSC either at local level or nationally.

Bobbie Cranney is standing as a TUSC candidate in the 6 June Walkergate ward byelection in Newcastle.

TUSC is also standing in the Southampton Woolston ward byelection on 13 June, with Sue Atkins as the candidate.