Swansea needs councillors who vote against cuts! No to austerity - vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Don’t waste the opportunity to send a clear ‘no more cuts’ message by voting for Ronnie Job, TUSC: the only no-cuts, socialist candidate in Swansea West in the 2015 General Election!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

TUSC solidarity with Visteon pensioners fighting for justice from Ford

Visteon pensioners have been taking on Ford to fight for justice and for their pensions for 3 years now. Around 40 pensioners from the former Swansea plant are marking the anniversary by staging a picket outside the Neath branch of CEM Day. They are receiving enthusiastic and noisy support from passing cars. TUSC supporters have joined them to bring solidarity. Victory to Visteon Pensioners!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Fuel Confusion - Maude doubly responsible for panic buying and unsafe advice

Francis Maude was the minister responsible for advising people to buy and stockpile petrol in preparation for possible strike action. He later had to withdraw this ludicrous advice after the Fire Brigade Union pointed out the obvious fire hazard and the illegality of storing large quantities of petrol.

The PCS union has now pointed out that the issuing of such unsafe advice could have been avoided if Maude hadn't scrapped the Central Office of Information, the agency previously responsible for disseminating public information, which closed today.

Councillors make us sick celebrating cuts!

Did you know that there is a kind of 'oscars' for the councils that carry out the most vicious cuts? Well there is and the more cuts to services they've carried out, the more workers they've made redundant, the more they've attacked working class people - the more likely your councillors will have taken part in this sickening event.

Representatives from councils, including Labour ones, gathered to toast each others' success in attacking working class people over dinner, champagne and dancing, all at our (considerable) expense of course!

Read Linda Taaffe's expose of this nauseating display in this week's Socialist: http://m.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/14243/28-03-2012/toasting-the-cuts-councils-show-no-remorse

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates are standing in May because we're sick of elected representatives attacking us and celebrating it. If you've also had enough then vote TUSC and join with us.

Bradford West - voters deliver verdict on Labour's ineffective opposition

Labour's stunning election defeat in the Bradford West by-election, to George Galloway, is a judgement on Labour's ineffective opposition to this Con-Dem government of the rich and for the rich.

Despite differences with Galloway, TUSC supporters will see his victory as a sign that working class voters are looking for an alternative to the main parties, which more and more look like 3 wings of the same party. Councils that carry through Tory cuts will be punished in May no matter what their party. At least some voters will have the opportunity to vote for Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates - for opposition to all cuts.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Opposition to NHS cuts in Wales gathers pace

Further evidence today of the gathering pace of NHS cuts in Wales and also of the growing resistance to those cuts. While a silent protest was taking place at Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli against plans to shut the accident and emergency unit, at Withybush over 100 protesters were gathering to voice opposition to cuts there, including A&E services.

TUSC supporters call for all NHS campaigns in Wales to link up to bring pressure on the Assembly not to implement Tory cuts. We also demand that the TUC and health unions call a London demonstration, which could easily dwarf even the huge anti-cuts demo of March, last year.

Who says strikes are ineffective?

Tories always say strikes are ineffective yet it's being widely reported in the media across Wales that petrol stations are already introducing rationing. This is before any strike action by UNITE tanker drivers takes place.

Meanwhile Labour leaders tell us that strikes are a sign of failure and refuse to back the tanker drivers. This is despite the fact that UNITE is their biggest single financial backer, accounting for maybe 40% of donations to the Labour Party.

UNITE members will question why they are giving £millions each year to a party that refuses to back their members' struggles to defend their conditions. UNITE aren't the only union that gives to the Labour Party generously from their members' subs but the 25% of motions for GMB conference which call for the breaking of the link is the music of the future.

Other unions should follow the example of the RMT (who've agreed to allow all bodies of their union to officially support TUSC in the May elections) and instead back election candidates who stand in support of workers' struggles. In May that means supporting Trades Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates.

Defend pensions - now for united national action

The London regional strike by UCU and NUT in defence of their pensions received magnificent support both from their own members and from the public. An estimated 10,000 marched in solidarity with the strike. For excellent coverage, analysis and pictures see: http://electmartin1.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/march-28-report-and-photos-of-londons.html

The virtual media blackout however shows that it is national action co-ordinated across a number of unions that is vitally needed. This should include both the unions that rejected the "heads of agreement" but also those, like my own, who initially signed up to it. Members will have their own say shortly and it is obvious that any agreement based on this framework will lead to members paying more, working longer and receiving less.

Any perceived weakness on our part will result in further aggression from the Tories and their Lib Dem sidekicks; it already has with the proposal to introduce regional pay (a potential disaster for Wales). On the other hand if we regain the unity and solidarity of November 30 - we can win!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Labour failing to provide effective opposition

An example of how Labour fails to provide an effective parliamentary opposition was provided by reports in the media in Wales yesterday. An aide to Ed Balls was forced to admit to a "screw up" as Labour MPs failed to vote against the 45p top tax rate!

Labour were much more organised when acting against the interests of public sector workers. Labour whips instructed their MPs not to vote for John McDonnell's motion to restore RPI as the inflation index for public sector pensions. By the way, only 2 Welsh Labour MPs defied the whips.

Fight for all pensions

Today's a big day in the fight for pensions, public and private.

By now Visteon pensioners from Swansea will be on their way to London to meet with their comrades from the other former plants. They are petitioning Downing Street to demand support in their battle for pension justice and to make Fords recognise its responsibilities to them.

Also in London today, teachers' union, NUT and lecturers' union, UCU, will be taking combined strike action. This will hopefully be a step towards further co-ordinated action on pensions across the entire public sector as early as next month because it is a fight that can be won.

All the time we must remember that we fight for all pensions - public sector, private sector and the state pension.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

TUSC solidarity for Remploy shop stewards

Swansea TUSC candidates send greeting and solidarity to our comrade, Les Woodward, and his fellow Remploy shop stewards meeting today to consider a response to the government's proposed destruction of Remploy. We stand with you in whatever action you decide on to save not just the factory here in Swansea but all 36 factories threatened with closure. Solidarity!

Monday, 26 March 2012

TUSC candidates - the best money can't buy!

The Tories' defence against revelations that their (now former) fund raising organiser had been selling access to the Prime Minister is that all parties do it. They accuse Labour of being in the pay of the unions.

The unions have not bought much influence with the £millions of our subs that they give to Labour each year. After 13 years of Labour government we still have the most anti-union laws in the western world.

The unions set up the Labour Party because the bosses had 2 parties and workers none. Now with Labour's abandonment of socialism, the bosses have 3 and we need a new mass workers' party.

In the meantime, unions need to stop squandering our subs on a party that backs cuts and instead fund genuine anti cuts candidates who will represent trade unionists and the working class in general.

If you agree then ask your friends in your union, in your workplace and in your community, to back Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates on May 3, in the council elections - the best candidates money can't buy.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Halt closure of DVLA regional offices

The Evening Post yesterday picked up on the fact that the PCS union has exposed a falsehood in the government's arguments for proposing to shut regional DVLA offices. The government had claimed that most prosecutions are done through the central office, here in Swanseea but the PCS points out that in fact, only 1.4% of prosecutions are carried out throught the Swansea centre and nearly all enforcement work takes place in the regional offices. Given this falsehood and revelations that drivers' personal sensitive information is planned to be "offshored", it is vital to support the demands of the PCS that the plans to shut the 39 regional offices,with the loss of up to 1,200 jobs, are immediately shelved.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Swansea TUSC supporting Remploy

Off to join my comrades and friends from Remploy in a bit, leafletting and petitioning in town. Please use the model letter in support of Remploy from the National Shop Stewards Network: http://www.shopstewards.net/news.264.htm to get your union to commit to the struggle to save Remploy.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Swansea Council Elections: No Cuts!

Council elections take place across Wales on May 3 and present an opportunity for anti-cuts campaigners to say "this economic crisis is not of our making and we will not be made to pay for it", by opposing all cuts.

This Conservative/Liberal Democrat government is destroying many of the services that so many of us rely on - Council Services/The NHS/Welfare benefits. Unfortunately, the cuts are being passed on by Councils of all shades of political opinion and by a Labour Welsh Government in Cardiff.

It is important to challenge the consensus of all the mainstream parties that cuts are necessary. If we don't do this then the only debate in this election will be in what way will living standards in working class communities destroyed.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is not prepared to see this happen. We are a grouping of socialists, trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners who have agreed on a common no-cuts platform.

There will be TUSC candidates standing in the council elections in Wales. If, like us, you are not prepared to see working class people pay for this crisis, then support the alternative.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition platform for the 2012 local elections in England and Wales:
  • Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions - we reject the claim that 'some cuts' are necessary to our services.
  • Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts.
  • Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services, or the transfer of council services to 'social enterprises' or 'arms-length' management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation.
  • Use all the legal powers available to councils, including powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations, to oppose both the cuts and government polices which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies.
  • When faced with government cuts to council funding, councils should refuse to implement the cuts. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing them on - while arguing that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that the government makes up the shortfall.
For more on TUSC policy: http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy.php