Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.27
Monday 12 December 2011
This will be the last bulletin before Christmas. Have a good break. The first bulletin in the New Year will be out on Monday 9 January 2012.

The turnout on 30 November was magnificent. Public sector workers showed they are determined to resist the austerity plans of this government. Why should they pay more, work longer and get less?
The government wants to divide public sector and private sector workers over pensions, pay and working conditions. But we won’t allow them to pit one against the other in the race to the bottom.
Private sector workers in pension struggle too
Some 2,500 Unilever workers walked out on strike last week in protest at the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate’s decision to close its final salary pension scheme, replacing it with a hybrid offering less generous benefits: http://on.ft.com/skJXWG

Bankers cost each one of us £8.40 for every £1 they produce, study shows http://bit.ly/rFHlwq

Profit motive has created corrupt education system, say teachers http://ind.pn/veCWge

Low life reptiles who profit from poverty: http://on.ft.com/sBz5FL

TUSC NEWS

TUSC ELECTION CAMPAIGN CONFERENCE SATURDAY 28 JANUARY 2012 to discuss the platform and practicalities of the 2012 Election Campaign. Further details, including agenda and venue, to follow.
Brighton TUSC campaigns against Green Party Cuts for by-election on 22 December. The Green budget proposals were released on 1st December. In the face of a 33% reduction of funding from central government they are proposing that £35m of cuts are made over the next two years.http://brightontusc.blogspot.com/
We hope to take supporters from London to help the Brighton campaign on Saturday 17 December. If you can come, contact Nick Wrack on 07812 063 409 or nick.wrack@tooks.co.uk

The campaign to stand candidates on the list section of the GLA elections in May 2012 is well under way. If you live or work in London, make sure you sign the petition supporting the call for TUSC anti-cuts candidates: http://bit.ly/uog0Ek It’s easy. One supporter asked 39 pickets on 30 November and 37 signed. Another supporter in the RMT got 35 new signatures at the Neasden RMT branch AGM. Can you beat that?
LU Engineering Branch RMT has pledged £500 to sponsor RMT backed TUSC candidates in the GLA elections. Download copies of the open letter and petition and take them round your workplace to get signatures. http://bit.ly/oZ5hJp
Congratulations to TUSC supporter Daren Ireland, from Merseyside, who has just been elected to the RMT national executive for the North West and North Wales.
Welcome to Croydon & Sutton TUSC, which becomes the latest area to set up a TUSC branch. See their facebook page: http://on.fb.me/vdDeZo - and their website: http://bit.ly/rrLxBm

TUSC Independent Socialist Network Meeting Saturday 14 January, 12 noon 2 Langley Lane, Vauxhall, London SW8 1GB. For independent socialists who are not members of existing socialist groups. http://www.independentsocialistnetwork.org/
For more information contact indsocnet@yahoo.co.uk or phone Will McMahon: 020 8525 6616 or Nick Wrack: 07812 063 409. Follow @TUSCIndependent on twitter.
FROM THE UNIONS

Unions will challenge a High Court ruling that the government was entitled to switch the measure of inflation used to increase pensions. They will seek an expedited appeal against a move they say will cut the value of pensions to millions of private and public sector pensioners http://www.fbu.org.uk/

RMT continues ballot for industrial action on WightLink ferries and prepares for Employment Tribunal as company confirms sacking and victimisation of union rep http://bit.ly/vjyCV7

Labour council sends in agency teachers to break strike
70 NUT members at Langdon School Newham, East London, are in dispute about the all-too common problem of management bullying and excessive workload. Teachers have been on strike for three days a week since the beginning of November. The school is being kept open by agency staff. It is believed that this is the first time agency staff has been used in such numbers and deliberate intent to break a strike. Messages of support and collections to nutlangdon@aol.co.uk

80% vote for strike in ballot at West of Scotland Signaling Centre Rail union RMT has confirmed that members have voted by almost eight to two in favour of strike action and industrial action short of a strike involving staff working at the Signaling Centre http://bit.ly/tARlvP

Damning report reveals real picture of council cuts
UNISON is calling for the Government to refocus on local government services and finances, in light of a damning report on council cuts by the Audit Commission and Local Government Association (LGA). The report shows that councils across England have already made 145,000 job cuts and the number is set to spiral. This will have a devastating impact on the lives of local government workers and communities relying on the vital services they provide http://bit.ly/vrsrel

Sparks defy courts for massive day of strike action across the country The biggest of the 'Dirty 7' big contractors Balfour Beatty (BBES) may have outlawed the strike by their electricians, but 7 December saw protests, stoppages and walkouts all over the country. Unite's strike was won by a 81% margin yet the bosses can run to the courts and use the Tory anti-union laws to stop a just and legitimate strike against imposed new contracts on electricians which will result in them losing up to 35% in pay. http://bit.ly/s4JAmc
Nestle is at it again
The world's largest food manufacturer is showing complete disregard for the human rights of its employees in Pakistan, where -- according the IUF -- contract workers face mass dismissals, jail, beatings and blackmail

Leaders of the teachers' union in Bahrain arrested and sentenced to long jail terms following a series of peaceful protests earlier this year. Their appeal is about to come before the courts. The Education International, representing some thirty million unionised teachers around the world, has called for a major online campaign to press the Bahraini government to drop the charges. http://bit.ly/vJWELn

Workers at Philippines Airlines locked out for over two months. The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) is urging support for an online petition and boycott of the airline http://bit.ly/uPAtrh

DIARY OF EVENTS

Lobby Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Full Authority Meeting Wednesday 14 December 2011, 10:00am Behind Aylesbury Fire Station, Unit 7, Stocklake, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1BD The purpose of the Lobby is to protest against cuts to the fire & rescue service in Aylesbury including the closure of the Aylesbury Command & control room with the loss of over 20 firefighter jobs http://bit.ly/trKdEF

Save Our Railways, No to McNulty: RMT Nationwide Campaigning Day of Action, Thursday 15 December As part of the ongoing campaign against the McNulty Report the RMT is organising a campaigning day of action to distribute campaign postcards during the morning rush hour to passenger at stations throughout the country. McNulty recommends further rail privatization, lower pay, longer working hours, further fare rises and cuts to services http://bit.ly/vh0l1

TUC LGBT Forum 15 December 2011 The TUC LGBT Forum will be held on 15 December 2011 at the Regional TUC office in Leeds 2 -4pm. http://bit.ly/ufvJsv

Sure Start National One Day Conference Saturday 7 January 2012, 9:30am. Friends Meeting House (Behind Central Library), Manchester M60 2LA Unite the Union NW & Save Manchester Sure Start Campaign have jointly organised this Conference because the Con Dem Coalition Government will be pushing for even more cuts in 2012 http://bit.ly/unyYvn
Information Burst

This might appeal if you have a secret Santa present to buy this year, or are short on ideas for distant relatives... http://bit.ly/vJj28C

UK signature missing from key convention on violence against women
Please help petition Lynne Featherstone to commit the UK to sign the Council of Europe's convention on violence against women. The UK holds the Council chair and is claiming to use it to focus on human rights, but its refusal to sign is sending the wrong signal to countries where this protection is badly needed. http://bit.ly/uHsIUz
RMT has written to lawyers for News International demanding to know which journalists were involved in instructing an undercover surveillance operation against General Secretary Bob Crow by former policeman and MI5-trained Derek Webb. RMT is calling for full disclosure of information relating to the News International surveillance, and to any blagging and hacking operation against the union and its General Secretary http://bit.ly/sQ9huy
Unpaid overtime gives a £29bn boost to the UK economy http://bit.ly/tNpwPn

Monday, 12 December 2011

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.26
Monday 28 November 2011
Petition against unfair pension changes has 83,448 signatures. Can we get it to 100,000? http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1535 Please sign.
25,000 elderly will die from cold this winter: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15836494
Egypt's unfinished revolution http://bit.ly/uJSjrU
BBC N30 poll – over 60 per cent support pension strike
An opinion poll for the BBC found that nearly two thirds of people in Britain support Wednesday’s planned strike over pensions by millions of trade unionists in the public sector. The figure is even bigger among young people, with four out of five 18 to 24 year olds backing the action. See the result on the BBC website: http://bbc.in/sD9W0q

TUSC News
All out on Nov 30th!
TUSC members, supporters and branches will be out in force on Wednesday supporting the public sector workers pensions strike – on the picket lines, and on marches and Rallies all over the country showing solidarity and giving out information about TUSC – the organisation providing both a political and trade union response to the cuts
TUSC Election Campaign Conference called for Saturday 28 January 2012
TUSC National Election Conference: The TUSC Steering Committee which met on Monday 21 November agreed to call a conference on 28 January 2012 to discuss the May 2012 election campaign. It is likely to be in London. Further details will be sent out when we have a venue and agenda. The aim will be to get at least one person to attend from every area where we are standing candidates to discuss the platform and practicalities of the campaign.
Ex-Green candidate, Pip Tindall, stands against all cuts for Brighton TUSC in Westbourne by-election'
A member of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), Pip Tindall is standing in the Westbourne by-election, due to take place on 22 December. Pip, who is an NHS worker, trade unionist and welfare rights campaigner, stood as a Green Party candidate for East Brighton in the May 2011 local elections. She had signed the Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition pledge to oppose all cuts and give a political voice to a mass campaign to have central funding reinstated for public services in Brighton and Hove. For more go here:http://bit.ly/vsFE2x
* Some London TUSC supporters are planning to go to Brighton one Saturday or Sunday to help with the campaign. If you would like to help, please get in touch with Nick Wrack on 07812 063 409; nick.wrack@tooks.co.uk
Report on Southwark public meeting
21 people attended the Southwark TUSC public meeting on 24 November on ‘Fighting the cuts and the socialist alternative’ with Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the FBU. St Paul’s occupier JJ performed two of his own poems and went down very well. There were five other new young people who promised to come to December’s branch meeting. Although the turnout was small, everyone seemed to enjoy the discussion and it was an important little step forward for us in Southwark. You can visit the Southwark website here: http://southwarktusc.wordpress.com/
Greetings from the Wigan Borough Green Socialists to all TUSC supporters
We just agreed to affiliate to TUSC nationally and will be standing in the local elections next May in order to provide a pro-majority alternative to Labour who have sold our area down the river. Check out our blog at:http://wigangreensocialists.wordpress.com/
Support grows for TUSC and its Independent Socialist Network. The Rugby TUSC branch has joined the Wellingborough Independent Socialists in unanimously agreeing to support the initiative to establish an Independent Socialist Network within TUSC, and attend its meetings - and both agreed donations
From the Unions
See PCS case against public spending cuts - whilst we fight against the pension (and wider cuts) we are also fighting a barrage of information that accepts cuts have to be made: http://bit.ly/duc20A
London FBU: London firefighters' anger boils over, as 91% vote for industrial action: http://tinyurl.com/c2y629w
RMT slams Cable attack on workers’ rights
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: ‘Vince Cable and the ConDems now want to drag us back to days of hire and fire where workers have to grovel to the boss for the right to earn a days’ pay. Under the proposed EU/India Trade Agreement companies would be allowed to bring in cheap labour and in return European corporations would have access to Indian retail and financial markets increasing job losses and exploitation here and in India.’ See: http://bit.ly/s54YN7

UNISON: Queen Mary University bans trade union victimisation public meeting.
Queen Mary University of London UNISON is currently running a public campaign demanding the re-instatement of it’s suspended Branch Secretary Vik Chechi. On November 10th, a public meeting was convened by workers and students. However, QMUL Security were ordered by QMUL Senior Management to bar members of the public and supporters from the meeting. Not deterred, the meeting continued outside in Library square and took the opportunity to leaflet passing staff and students.
FBU expresses serious concerns about safety in West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire fire crews are warning of major public safety concerns over plans to axe 10 fire stations and lose 135 frontline firefighters. The result will be longer attendance times to 999 incidents with fewer stations and crews. Every area of the 999 response will be hit including fires, road traffic crashes and flooding. The union warns of increased risk to lives and homes, businesses and workplaces. See: http://bit.ly/vWWTqy
NUJ condemns end of Liverpool Daily Post
After a century and a half serving up news and entertainment to the citizens of Merseyside, the Liverpool Daily Post is to cease being published as a daily and will become a weekly in the new year. Seven members of staff will be made redundant. Three weekly titles, the South Liverpool Merseymart, Bootle Times and Star series will no longer be printed separately and distributed free but will be inserted into the Liverpool Echo on a Tuesday. For more: http://bit.ly/vbRNzZ

Southampton Unison, Unite and Ucatt members reject Councils pay cut settlement
Trade Unionists at Southampton City Tory Council have decisively rejected the Council’s latest pay cuts proposals. The Council also linked their proposals to the trade unions agreeing to withdraw a multi million pound law case against the Council for failure to consult on the mass dismissals that took place in April. The rejection of the Conservatives proposals will mean that the legal action against the Council will continue: http://bit.ly/t2MTTG
Biggest Portuguese general strike for 30 years
Portuguese trade unions and disaffected youth movements protesting against painful austerity measures caused widespread disruption on Thursday in what labour leaders said was the country’s biggest general strike in more than 30 years: http://on.ft.com/sB8WU9
Greece’s main trade unions called a 24-hour strike for December 1st.
The New Zealand lamb processor, CMP, has brutally locked out 111 workers at its plant in Marton in order to force them and their union, the New Zealand Meat Workers Union, to agree pay cuts and unacceptable changes to terms and conditions. To learn more and send a message of support click here: http://bit.ly/vwZb9i
Information burst
Shock quote from the Daily Telegraph
'Karl Marx was right. Capitalism has been shown to contain the seeds of its destruction' See: http://tgr.ph/uNTZ88
Occupy movements internationally have continued to develop and also faced a huge amount of police and state repression. There are some excellent trade union and community link ups. Map of occupations and some contacts: http://www.occupytogether.org/
The top one per cent of Americans now takes in nearly 25 per cent of the nation’s income every year, double the proportion 25 years ago. http://on.ft.com/sE1EPP
New Internationalist is running an arms trade special this month. Visit their site for a video and analysis: http://bit.ly/u3pIUH
Spanish United Left makes significant gains
Izquierda Unida made significant electoral progress, going from 2 to 11 deputies, with a net increase of more than 700,000 votes. One view can be found here: http://bit.ly/sro7Sfb
Details of the deaths of 23 children under supervision of YOTs revealed by Youth Justice Board http://bit.ly/uNwFCd
Diary
A long list of all the events happening on Nov 30 can be found here: http://bit.ly/tO8kTE
Protest outside Parliament on Tuesday 29 November against the cuts - which are shredding women's rights: http://tinyurl.com/7pswodv
False Economy’s big birthday benefit
Help us celebrate one year of False Economy – and raise some dosh to keep campaigning! Thursday December 1st 8pm Star of Kings 124 York Way Kings Cross London http://bit.ly/uQmAAS
Disable the cuts’ by working together - Saturday 3 December 2011, 10:00am
Mechanics Centre, Major Street entrance, Manchester, North West region, Manchester M1 6DD The NW TUC Disability Forum is a network of trade union representatives from across the North West who seek to promote action on issues of concern to disabled trade union members. The Forum is holding an event focusing on the impact of reductions in public expenditure and public service reform on disabled people. http://bit.ly/ubKSX0
No political evictions in Battersea
Monday 5th December 7.30 pm Doddington Estate Community Centre, Charlotte Despard Avenue, Battersea Park Road SW11 5HD (behind Tesco) Called by Wandsworth Against Cuts and supported by Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Council and Defend Council Housing.
Lobby of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority
Wednesday 7 December 2011, 10:00am Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Stocklake, Aylesbury HP20 1BD. Members of the Fire Brigade Union, the Fire Service and Buckinghamshire Save Our Services Campaign group will be attending the Fire Authority meeting to demonstrate their opposition to plans to cut the County fire control room with the potential loss of 20 Jobs:http://bit.ly/rJH30R