Monday, 31 March 2014


An excellent mid day turn out today of Probation Officers on their demonstration outside their office on Festival Park. They are angry and are fighting back against the government's attempt to dismantle the important service they provide.

The government's austerity measures are affecting millions of working class people. We are all being forced to pay for an economic crisis created by top bankers, big business and successive governments.

This while the rich carry on getting richer! Workers need to support each other when fighting back.

Probation Officers will be on strike again tomorrow from 8am onwards. Please do your best to visit the picket line to pass on your support for their fight.
If you have a union banner bring it along.

How to find it? Turn off the A53 onto Forge Lane where the Sentinel Office is on Festival Park. Drive past the Sentinel Office and the Probation Office building is about 200 yards on the right.

Napo strikers in Gravesend
Napo strikers in Gravesend   (Click to enlarge)

For more information about this dispute check out ......................

TUSC supporters join the YOUTH FIGHT FOR JOBS protest in Newcastle town centre.

Youth Fight For Jobs activists hit most of the fast food outlets in Newcastle town centre today with the campaign to SCRAP ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS and for a LIVING WAGE OF £10 AN HOUR.

TUSC-YFJ 2014 FFR Newcastle 2
Youth Fight for Jobs team ready to hit the Newcastle’s fast food outlets

Leaflets were given out to workers in McDonalds, KFC, Costa Coffee, Sports Direct, Subway, Pizza Hut and others. YFJ is working in association with FAST FOOD RIGHTS, a campaign initiated by the Baker’s Union (BFAWU). BFAWU organises fast food workers.
You can join the Baker’s union by returning the form found here …. You can find out more details about YOUTH FIGHT FOR JOBS at If you want to join the campaign text join, plus your name and post code to 07749379010

STOKE & NEWCASTLE TUSC  backs campaign against Zero Hour contracts and for a Living Wage of £10 an hour

TUSC organiser Andy Bentley said, “We are in Newcastle today as part of TUSC’s election campaign. We will be standing candidates in Newcastle to fight against the government and local council’s endless cuts, closures and privatisation.

Today we are highlighting the Tory government’s plan to hand over £1.2 billion worth of front line NHS services to private companies in Stoke, Newcastle and the rest of Staffordshire. This must be stopped. But we are also supporting YFJ’s and the Baker’s union’s fight against zero hour contracts and for a proper living wage”

TUSC 2014 Newcastle
TUSC ‘KEEP PRIVATE VULTURES OUT OF THE NHS' campaign stall in Newcastle

TUSC’s campaign also went well. At times people queued to sign our petition against this massive SELL-OFF of NHS front line services. All took leaflets about our public meeting on Friday 11 April at the Holy Trinity Community Centre, London Road (A34), Newcastle at 7pm and leaflets were given out inside the University Hospital of North Staffs.

Friday, 28 March 2014

An appeal to anti-austerity campaigners - help us build the most effective possible local elections challenge

Over 350 people have now put themselves forward to stand as anti-austerity candidates under the common banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the local elections on May 22nd.

Congratulations are due to everyone who has been prepared to take such a stand. So far at least 69 councils, out of the 160 with local elections this year, will see a challenge to the establishment parties, and UKIP too. 
Fighting these elections is important. Evidence emerges daily of how councils - Labour, Tory, and Lib Dem alike - are acting as local agents of the austerity agenda.


TUSC local election candidate Ritchie Steele, who lives in Silverdale, led the TUSC election team in today. We set up our campaign stall outside the Co-op and explained to local people about the need to stop the £1.2 billion NHS sell-off in Stoke, Newcastle and the rest of Staffordshire and why we will be standing candidates across the country to fight against all the cuts which this government is implementing. 

Many people congratulated us on our stand. “It’s about time somebody said no to cuts. We can’t expect Labour to do anything  about it. All they do is just carry out the cuts for the Tories” one woman told us. 
Most people we spoke to hadn’t heard of TUSC before – they have now! Over 60 people signed our petition and took away leaflets. Many made a small donation of a £1 coin or more to our campaign fund which in total added up to around £20. This money will help us to pay for more leaflets, posters, petitions etc.
While Ritchie and Matt were speaking to people on our campaign stall two other TUSC supporters delivered over 500 leaflets to homes on Parksite estate.
Tomorrow we will take our TUSC anti-cuts campaign stall to Newcastle town centre where we will also be supporting a protest against Zero Hour contracts which is being organised by Youth Fight For Jobs - 10am opposite entrance to Roebuck Shopping Centre

Thursday, 27 March 2014


Campaign details for tomorrow (Friday) and Sat 29 March
  • KEEP PRIVATE VULTURES OUT OF THE NHS! - building opposition to the £1.2 billion sell-off of local NHS services to private companies.
  • HANDS OFF OUR YOUTH SERVICES! – calling on Newcastle Borough Council to draw up immediate plans to ensure that no youth services are closed across Newcastle
  • SCRAP ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS! - 6 million workers now on these 'contracts'. TUSC is fighting to get them scrapped. We want Newcastle council to ban Zero Hour contracts for their own workers and not to do any deals with firms who use them.
Friday 28 March (tomorrow)
our election campaign stall will be out in Silverdale from 10am onwards outside the Co-op in High St and we will also be delivering leaflet to hundreds of homes.

Saturday 29 March 
our campaign stall will move to Newcastle town centre opposite the entrance to the Roebuck Shopping Centre starting at 10am. TUSC will also be backing the Youth Fight For Jobs Day of Action which will be protesting outside nearby fast food outlets against Zero Hour contracts and for a living wage of £10 an hour.


Please come along if you would like to help out tomorrow (Friday) or on Saturday. Or get in touch if you want to find out about the weeks ahead or just want to find out
more about TUSC locally.
Please call or text 07845893607 or you can email
TUSC Stoke & Newcastle Newsletter No. 8 - 2014


We mourn the loss of Bob Crow - a true fighter for the working class and co-founder of TUSC. Our tribute to Bob Crow will be to redouble our efforts to build the new mass party that is so desperately needed to give ordinary working class people a political voice. 
Newcastle local elections update:

  • Great news! - another candidate, Jack Williams, has decided to stand as a TUSC anti-cuts candidate in Newcastle on 22 May.

BOB CROW memorial meeting
We are proud to announce that Stoke & Newcastle TUSC is helping to host this event with North Staffs RMT.
Thurs. 3 April - 7.30pm London Road Sports & Social Club, London Rd, Stoke ST4 5AG.
Speakers include;
Darren Ireland and John Tilley - RMT North West Regional organisers
Tim Breed - North Staffs RMT
Andy Bentley - Stoke & Newcastle TUSC
* * * ALL WELCOME * * *


The government plans to hand over £1.2 billion worth of front line NHS care to private companies in Stoke, Newcastle and Staffordshire. Stoke & Newcastle TUSC are fighting against this plan - we are against cuts, closures and privatisation of the NHS.

That is why we campaign to bring back all previously privatised services into a fully funded and publicly owned NHS. TUSC Stoke & Newcastle has organised this public meeting as part of our campaign to discuss the best way to stop the governments plans. We hope you will do your best to come along.
If you would like to stand as TUSC candidate on 22 May, can help our campaign in any way or just want to find out more please get in touch. Call or text 07845893607 or

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Why I’m standing up against NHS privatisation in Staffs - by a Stoke NHS worker        

The propaganda war has well and truly begun.

The massive NHS privatisation project ‘Transforming cancer and end of life services’ in Staffordshire is currently exciting the market and accepting offers of interest from private companies and NHS Trusts. Their website  presents the privatisation not only as inevitable but as a progressive move to benefit the people of Staffordshire, while whitewashing over the fact that one lucky company will stand to make hundreds of millions of pounds out of the service at the tax payers’ expense.
The deal has been split into two lots: a £687m contract to provide cancer services across Staffordshire; and a £535m deal to provide end of life and care for old people in the county. The affected services will include nursing; breast surgery; colorectal surgery; pain management; radiotherapy; oncology; diagnosis and investigation; radiology; breast screening and disease screening.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) in Staffordshire are working with Macmillan Cancer Support, Stoke-on-Trent Council and Staffordshire County Council to embark on what the Financial Times call ‘the biggest and most wide-ranging outsourcing of [NHS] services so far’. Macmillan run the risk of ruining years of good will afforded to them by the people of Stoke on Trent. Their hospice has provided end of life care for many people in the area. However, people should rightly question why such a beloved local institution is so closely involved in the privatisation of NHS services.
The Financial Times also claim that the deal is being closely watched by other NHS Trusts across the country who are seeking to ‘redesign’ their own services. In reality, if this is allowed to go ahead it will give the green light to these Trusts to accelerate the privatisation of their own services.
It is no coincidence that Staffordshire is being used as a guinea pig in such a large-scale privatisation. The Mid-Staffs hospital ‘scandal’ is being used as a stick with which to beat NHS workers and services across the country. The main underlying factor at Mid-Staffs, largely unreported by the press; was of course the hospital trust’s growing financial deficit,  currently standing at £46.6 million, which led to over 260 front line staff loosing their jobs at the site. It stands to reason that standards would slip and basic care needs would not be met (for some) if a hospital couldn’t afford to staff wards adequately.
One lesson we can learn from the campaign to support Stafford hospital is that protests alone are not enough. Not even a protest with a conservative estimate of 50,000 people in a town with the population of 60,000 was enough to stop the breakup of Mid-Staffs Hospital. Industrial action taken by NHS staff, supported by the wider community may be the only way to stop the sell-off. To quote Arthur Scargill ‘what you need is not marches, demonstrations, rallies or wide associations, all of them are important. What you need is direct action’.
To this end, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Stoke and Newcastle are hosting a meeting (see poster below) on the 11th April to bring together members of the public with representatives from the affected union branches to discuss how the sell off can be stopped. I hope to see as many readers as possible there.


Monday, 24 March 2014






 © PA
We couldn't be at Bob Crow's funeral today but we marked the occasion by carrying on his fight against cuts, closures and privatisation with a campaigning stall against the government's plan to privatise NHS front line services across Staffordshire. 


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Join the picket line at 12 noon 31st March and 8.30am on 1st April opposite old Sentinel Office on Festival Park

 Napo strikers in Gravesend
 Napo strikers in Gravesend   (Click to enlarge)

"The impending implosion of the Probation Service"
a guest article from recently retired Senior Probation Officer after 40 years and 61 days in the Probation Service - Mick Gough (in a personal capacity)

Of the many and varied problems thrown up by the banking crisis the piss poor performance of the Probation Service is not one of them. In fact, the Government's own figures show that all of the 35 Probation Trust Areas were either "Good" or "Outstanding" when measured against the Government's targets.  "Shucks" said Tory Robot, Chris Grayling to himself " but hey never let the facts get in the way of a surefire winner.  Probation needs a radical overhaul because - er - I say so!  OK so I know absolutely nothing whatsoever about Probation but what's that got to do with the price of eggs?  Anyway I'm breaking the eggs because I'm making an omelette - and anyone who says I can't cook or says they don't like my omelette won't be invited to the party where I divvy up the half of the Probation Service which is going to be privatised".
If you think that the above is away with the fairies the original plan was even worse! Grayling's initial bright idea was to hive off 70% of the Service - this number being arrived at on the "think of a large number between 0 and 100" principle.  It mattered not that privatisation in any form was devaluing the work of a small but important part of the Public Sector. However parcelling off 70% of anything is obviously ridiculous.  So who was going to tell the Emperor about his clothes - or rather the lack of them? Well very few as it turned out.  The main challenges came from NAPO and UNISON and to a lesser extent the Boards of 3 Areas - Leicestershire and Rutland, Derbyshire and Warwickshire- who wrote to Grayling ask for implementation to be delayed.
Pickets at Snaresbrook crown court, 5.11.13, photo Martin Reynolds
After months of burying his head in the sand Grayling eventually conceded that he couldn't sell off 70% so had to settle for 50%.  Probation Trusts whose ranks include placemen, cap-in-hand chancers, self-important academics and the like simply bottled it.  These employers of Probation staff ultimately had no commitment to the cause, abdicated all responsibility to staff care and cravenly capitulated when told to do so by Grayling and his cronies.
NAPO and UNISON have endeavoured  to work together but have been going at different speeds - NAPO has been going slow and UNISON slower.  NAPO is working to rule, has had a one day strike and starts a one and a half day strike at 12.00 midday on 31st March 2014.  This industrial action is aimed at stopping the changes happening but without an escalation in industrial action along with a reinvigorated campaign to save Probation it is likely that the sell off of half of Probation will go ahead.
Labour's Sadiq Khan has promised to rip up any agreements with private sector organisations if Labour wins the general election but whether Ed Miliband would have the stomach for this is highly unlikely in my view, given that he has not exactly been at the forefront, up to yet, of the fight to save Probation!
The Probation Service supervises offenders on Court Orders and also on Licence as part of a custodial sentence.  All offenders are assessed as to the level of Risk of Serious Harm that they present.  In the new arrangements, High Risk and Very High Risk offenders will be supervised by the National Probation Service(NPS).  Medium and Low Risk offenders will be supervised by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs). The assessment of risk of serious harm is exactly that - it is an assessment not an exact science.  Yet Chris Grayling is happy to carve up a national asset based on such assessments.  He does not actually value the work that is being done - with offenders to help them improve their lives, with other agencies to try to reduce levels of offending, safeguard children and provide information to victims (or victim's families) of serious crime. Instead he is prepared to take risks because he says this will save some public expenditure and also because it will provide opportunities for the private sector.
Grayling is glossing over the fact that in order to establish the NPS and the 21 CRCs (!) there will have to be additional bureaucracies to oversee the transfer of offenders from one side to the other. This is because the assessment of risk is not static and thus there will be additional management and administrative activity to attend to this.  So much for the Tories and their love of lean management theory - Grayling's new organisations will haemorrhage money on actions that do not add value.

Southampton Napo picket, 5.11.13, photo by Nick Chaffey
Southampton Napo picket, 5.11.13, photo by Nick Chaffey   
(Click to enlarge)
In summary, Grayling has cocked it up on a massive scale.  People who were powerful enough to    stand up to him, bottled out and did not do so.  The 2 main Unions, NAPO and UNISON , have mounted resistance but not enough and they have not coordinated their efforts. Labour has been very weak - methinks they do not protest enough! The losers are the public, public protection and the public sector.  

Of course, the winners are the hyenas currently circling around awaiting the scraps that will be left when the Probation Service has been killed off.  NB 2 especially naught hyenas - Serco and G4S - are not currently allowed to bid because they have been far too greedy elsewhere.  This is scant consolation because there are plenty of other parasites waiting in the wings prepared to say all the right things in the knowledge that they will get a sizeable piece of pie. Bastards!

Probation workers to strike again ...................................


poster for the meeting

For more info about the government's plans to hand over these £1.2 billion worth of NHS services to private companies click on link below

Friday, 21 March 2014

TUSC's local elections challenge grows - with candidates now in sixty councils

Another forty applications have been approved this week by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee to be TUSC candidates in May's local elections.

This takes to 251 the number of candidates - so far - joining the TUSC challenge to the pro-austerity consensus of the establishment parties. This is already the biggest trade union and socialist based left of Labour electoral challenge in local elections since the immediate aftermath of world war two.

Candidates will be fighting seats in sixty out of the 160 councils with elections in May - already an impressive spread, and with five weeks left before nominations close. A full list of the candidates approved so far, broken down into regions and including this week's applications, can be found at

The steering committee is processing candidate applications on a weekly basis, with those approved posted up on the TUSC website at the beginning of each week. The formal Certificates of Authorisation, which candidates or election agents need to hand in to council Returning Officers with the official nomination papers, will be sent out to agents from the end of March. A guide to these and other electoral requirements can be found on the website at 
To apply to be a TUSC local election candidate in 2014, complete the council candidate authorisation application form available on the Candidates page of the TUSC website at and e-mail it to Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, at

Monday, 17 March 2014


Darren Ireland – RMT North West Regional Organiser
Tim Breed – North Staffs RMT, Andy Bentley -Stoke & Newcastle TUSC and others

* * * ALL WELCOME * * *

TUSC_header copy         NSSN supported by logos

Sunday, 16 March 2014


The Sentinel on 14 March revealed the government's plans to carry out a £1.2 billion sell-off of our local front line NHS services. In the report, Stoke-on-Trent South Labour MP Rob Flello said: "I smell a rat from the sheer haste of all this when much thought and sensitivity is needed. This is being railroaded through so quickly that I suspect the companies have already been chosen and this process is merely for effect."
From Rob Flello's comments we can only assume that he is not opposed in principal to the government's plan to launch the biggest ever privatisation project on our local front line services in the NHS but only that it needs more “thought and sensitivity” and that it's happening too fast!

Newcastle Labour MP Paul Farrelly says, “This could lead to massive changes”.

No mention from either of them about launching a campaign to stop this plan.

If this major attack on publicly owned health services was being planned in some remote part of the universe then their staggering complacency would be understandable but this is happening in Stoke, Newcastle and the rest of Staffordshire! 

The fact is that today's Labour Party like the other establishment parties support privatisation of the NHS and other public services.

Meanwhile in the real world, an article written by Staffordshire TUSC agent Andy Bentley, appeared on this website two days before the story broke on the front page of the Sentinel. But unlike the Sentinel and our local 'Labour' MPs it spelled out what was at stake and crucially a strategy which if taken up particularly by the health services unions could stop the government's plan in it's tracks.

And of course, again unlike today's Labour Party, for the Socialist Party life is not just about words. It's about action as well. It's about fighting and campaigning against what we think is wrong and fighting for what we think is right.

This is why Stoke & Newcastle Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition supporters and local Socialist Party members and  were out on the streets of Newcastle on Saturday giving out leaflets explaining that we need to fight back against this mega sell-off and asking people to sign a petition against the Con-Dem government's plans.
 TUSC supporters campaigning in Newcastle town centre on Saturday
We got an excellent response with over 100 people signing our petition and taking away leaflets. Many took leaflets to pass out at work or to friends. Many also spoke about their sadness at the recent deaths of veteran Socialist campaigners Tony Benn and Bob Crow.

Like Tony Benn, railway worker's union leader Bob Crow spent his life fighting for the working class. Bob was also a co-founder of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in 2010 because he recognised the need to build a new party from the bottom up to represent working class people.

When asked recently about TUSC, Bob Crow said, “The Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition does what it says on the tin – without any of the baggage and big-business agenda of the main political parties. Who else you gonna vote for?”



Friday, 14 March 2014

£1.2 billion NHS sell-off in Stoke & Staffordshire Keep private vultures out of the NHS!  

The government has launched its biggest single privatisation of NHS services so far by inviting private companies to bid for £1.2 billion worth of contracts to provide frontline cancer treatment in district hospitals and care for the terminally ill across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Private companies will compete to deliver cancer and end-of-life treatment for children and adults across the area – involving diagnosis and treatment such as radiology, radiotherapy, breast screening, chemotherapy, nursing and surgery for patients in hospitals, hospices and at home.

After the government and media’s relentless four-year barr-age of largely untrue attacks on Stafford District Hospital they think the ground is well prepared to force through its first large scale privatisation of frontline NHS services in Staffordshire.

The government has also rushed through parliament an amendment to the Care Bill known as the ‘Hospital Closure Clause’ (HCC).

This allows unelected Trust Special Administrators who take over any ‘failing’ NHS Trusts in England to speed up closures or privatisation of nearby hospitals even if they are performing well.
So, conjuring up just one ‘failing’ hospital in every region would give the government the pretext to cut, close or privatise whatever they want nationwide.

But rushing the HCC through parliament also shows that the Con-Dems are still afraid of the opposition that these measures will face.

In response, Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health spokesperson, said: “David Cameron has placed the NHS on a fast track to fragmentation and privatisation. The next election presents the last chance to change course.”

But we cannot afford to wait for a general election hoping that Labour will save the NHS. The last Labour government saddled the NHS with a total of £215 billion of repayments for big business projects worth only £55-65 billion.

And decisive action is needed now to stop the government’s latest privatisation plans.
Stafford march
Last year, 50,000 marched through Stafford against the government’s plans to dismantle Stafford District Hospital, followed months later by over 1,500 at the first of six sham public consultation meetings.

This opposition, along with tens of thousands marching in Lewisham and elsewhere, gives a glimpse of the massive anger which exists nationwide against the crusade of closures and privatisation of the NHS, as did last year’s trade union organised demonstration at the Tory conference.

It is now more urgent than ever that a plan of action is drawn up by the health trade unions, other unions, local communities, local campaign groups, etc, against the dismantling and privatisation of the NHS, including strike action and standing ‘no cuts’ candidates in the May elections.

Such a campaign would receive the support of millions across Britain, have the potential to stop the privatisation juggernaut in its tracks and herald the end of this government even before the next general election. It would also be a warning to any incoming government to keep their hands off the NHS.


image (3)
TUSC supporters on the Stafford march in 2013
The Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) also campaigns against cuts, closures and privatisation of the NHS. TUSC Staffordshire will be standing Anti-Cuts candidates in the local elections on 22 May.

TUSC supporters and others will be out on the streets of Newcastle town centre tomorrow from 9.30am with a petition against handing over £1.2 billion of NHS money to private companies.


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bob Crow, TUSC steering committee member, 2010-14, in his own words

Bob Crow speaking in Waltham Forest, East London, during TUSC's 2012 GLA elections campaign, photo Senan
Bob Crow speaking in Waltham Forest, East London, during TUSC's 2012 GLA elections campaign, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Bob Crow was a co-founder of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) from its very beginning in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

He sat on the TUSC national steering committee, initially in a personal capacity but, after the decision of the 2012 annual conference of the RMT transport workers union to be officially represented within TUSC, as one of the union's official nominees.
Yet obituaries in the mainstream media have completely ignored his role in TUSC, with the BBC's website typical in stating that "Mr Crow was not a member of any political party when he died".
But the facts of Bob's commitment cannot be erased. There are many videos of Bob in full flow putting the case for a new vehicle for working class political representation, which he saw TUSC as an important step towards.
Here are links to just some of them:
Bob Crow speaking at the Durham Miner Gala, July 2013, days after Ed Miliband's attack on Unite over the 'Falkirk affair'. On YouTube at 
Bob giving the RMT's official backing to the TUSC candidates in the 2012 London elections. At
The 2010 launch video of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, including comments by Bob welcoming "a force coming together which is going to be a political force and an industrial force". At 
Last year we asked Bob for a quote to go on the TUSC appeal for candidates to stand in the May 2014 local elections.
He came back with, "the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) does what it says on the tin - without any of the baggage and big-business agenda of the main political parties.
"Who else you gonna vote for?". What don't the BBC and other establishment media understand about that?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

TUSC chair Dave Nellist pays tribute to Bob Crow

Bob Crow speaking at TUSC's 2012 London Assembly election campaign launch
Bob Crow speaking at TUSC's 2012 London Assembly election campaign launch   (Click to enlarge)

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supporters will be shocked and saddened to hear that RMT union general secretary Bob Crow has died.

TUSC national chair Dave Nellist said: "Bob Crow was an inspirational union leader who tenaciously defended his members' jobs, pay and conditions - head and shoulders above most other union leaders.
"Bob also recognised, well before most other union leaders, that the overlapping austerity agenda of the big parties meant working people have to start again and build anew.

"His union, as the Society of Railway Servants, founded the Labour Party 114 years ago and for the last 5 years in particular we had worked together to start to create a new voice for workers rooted in the organisations and communities of working class people.

"As part of his legacy on May 22nd, TUSC (the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) will stand the largest number of left of Labour candidates seen in this country for over 60 years.

"Our sadness is that Bob won't be with us on that day, and inspiring hundreds of TUSC candidates around the country.

"In his union, and in the new working class politics he championed, he will never be forgotten."

Monday, 3 March 2014

TUSC authorises more candidates for May, and writes to Left Unity seeking dialogue


 Reports Pete McLaren from the Independent Socialist Network
Check out Pete's report here

TUSC campaigners cause stir at Labour rules change conference

Miliband being followed by TUSC supporters, 1.3.14, photo by Paul Mattsson

A press release from Newham TUSC

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supporters protested outside the Labour Party special conference on Saturday 1st March in opposition to the Collins Review proposals being voted on inside the Excel centre in east London.
Protesters had their mouths gagged and held placards saying: "Don't let Labour silence trade unions".
Outside Labour's special conference, 1.3.14
Outside Labour's special conference, 1.3.14   (Click to enlarge)
The conference was held in Newham, the borough where trade unionist Keir Hardie was originally elected as a West Ham South MP in 1892 before he went on to become the first Labour Party leader.
Former Labour MP and TUSC national chair Dave Nellist said: "Labour's real regard for the unions is shown by them devoting a mere two hours of conference to overturn 113 years of shared history."
One of the speakers at the protest was TUSC's prospective mayoral candidate for Newham, Lois Austin: "Keir Hardie would be turning in his grave if he saw this conference.

"I joined the Labour Party when I was 15 as I wanted to be in an organisation that fought for working class people. I was also the national chair of the Labour Party's youth wing in the late 1980s.
Lois Austin speaking, outside Labour's special conference, 1.3.14
Lois Austin speaking, outside Labour's special conference, 1.3.14   (Click to enlarge)
"But socialists like me were forced out or silenced by people like Tony Blair who were backed by big business to rid the party of socialists. The Collins Review is the last nail in the coffin of trade union representation within Labour."

TUSC protester Bob Severn said: "If you shop at Sainsbury's, you don't get to 'opt in' whether your purchases will end up funding the Tory party. These rules changes are about ending the remaining influence of organised working class people in Labour, to secure it as a pro-austerity, pro-big business party."

Following the conference, which voted for the changes, TUSC campaigner Paula Mitchell said: "The deed is done. TUSC welcomes trade unionists as Labour closes the door."

TUSC is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation. It involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA, and socialist groups.

Dave Nellist is available for interviews on 07970 294 237.

Bob Severn can be contacted on 07432 593 149.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Another successful TUSC campaign stall in Newcastle town centre

People queue up to sign our petitions and take away leaflets. One petition was to scrap Zero Hour contracts and the other was to stop the closure of Youth Services across Staffordshire.

TUSC 2014 stall 1

The Youth Services TUSC petition says;
  • We call on Staffordshire County Council to stop this attack on our young people and protect jobs and youth services instead.
  • We also call on Newcastle Borough Council to a) put maximum pressure on the County Council to stop their plans and b) to pledge that no youth centres in Newcastle will be closed.
  • Newcastle council should call on other district, town and parish councils across the county to do the same.