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!

Monday, 30 April 2012

70,000 to loose disability benefits

Today's Guardian reports that around 70,000 disabled people will this week lose some or all of their disability benefits. As the Con-Dems limit contributory benefits to one year. This is a cut that strikes at the heart of the idea of a welfare state to which working people contribute in the knowledge that they will be taken care of should something happen that prevents them from working. For shocking individual examples of the callousness of Tory cuts and why we have to fight these and other cuts to benefits, read the full article at: http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/29/sickness-benefit-cuts?cat=society&type=article

Meanwhile as yesterday's rich list was released, it provided further evidence of how the very richest in society have seen their wealth grow. They are doing very well out of the recession in which we are supposed to "all in it together". So while disabled people suffer sleepless nights worrying how they will survive without the benefits the Tories have stolen, the rich are laughing all the way to the bank (bailed out at our expense) to deposit their unpaid taxes.

Stop all benefit cuts and restore those already made!
Defend the welfare state!

Vote TUSC on Thursday for candidates that fight for the millions and not the millionaires.

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Swansea May Day: Save Remploy - Support Strike Action May 10 - Fight all Cuts - Vote TUSC May 3!

A modest Swansea Trades Council May Day March and Rally yesterday reflected the horrendously changeable weather South Wales has suffered recently and perhaps, the fact that there has been something of a lull in the movement generally since November 30. However it was representative of some very important struggles taking place currently. 

The march was lead off by disabled people that work for Remploy; the Swansea Fforestfach plant is one of 7 out of the 9 Welsh plants threatened with closure this summer. As we entered the city centre, shoppers stopped to applaud the Remploy Workers. This is reflective of the enormous public support for keeping Remploy open that exists up and down the country. Les Woodward, who is a shop steward in the Swansea plant and the national trade union convenor for Remploy expressed the anger of Remploy workers to this government and explained why he was standing for the Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition.

Dave Warren, of the PCS, called on all trade unionists present to support the strike action taking place on May 10, of public sector workers in PCS, UNITE Health, UCU and NIPSA and also of private sector workers taking action on the same day, such as RMT. There was also a contingent of Visteon Pensioners, with their ‘Fraud’ banners; ex-Visteon workers have now entered into the third year of their struggle for pension justice from Ford.

Political speakers on behalf of Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party all explained why the cuts of the other parties were worse than those of their party. Ronnie Job, Trades Council Secretary, reminded the rally that the day was also Workers’ Memorial Day; a day to remember the workers who have suffered from capitalism’s incessant drive for profits and to re-commit ourselves to fighting to end it. He said that trade unionism is founded on the principles of solidarity and unity; that an injury to one is an injury to all, and in that spirit, called for a fight against all cuts and a vote for TUSC on May 3.

Friday, 27 April 2012

TUSC Wales response to PCS election pledges

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Wales

1.    I pledge to support PCS campaigns against public service job cuts, to ensure quality public services are delivered to those in need and to support efforts to secure fairer funding for Wales
TUSC fully supports the PCS campaign for the alternative. All the TUSC candidates are committed to campaigning against all cuts and if elected would vote against cuts and argue that councils use reserves and borrowing powers to avoid making cuts. As part of this battle TUSC is also working to build a mass campaign to fight for the funding that we need in Wales to meet people’s needs.  Fast cuts or slow cuts are not an option as we cannot afford any cuts and the resources are there.  We support the PCS demands on closing the tax gap of £123 billion and scrapping Trident which would release the resources to invest in jobs and public services.

2.    I pledge to support the PCS campaign for fair pay and a living wage for workers and to oppose plans to introduce regional or local pay.
TUSC is completely opposed to regional or local pay which would drive down all wages in Wales.  We will support trade unions fighting to defend pay to get a decent living wage for all regardless of age. We support the PCS battle to get national pay bargaining and we argue that the failed experiment of local pay in the MOJ that the last Government introduced should be reversed.

3.    I pledge to protect quality public services and work alongside PCS, community organisations and other trade unions to ensure that no more public services are privatised, outsourced or mutualised.
TUSC is totally opposed to privatisation of public services and fully support trade unions campaigning against this attack on our services. Our candidates have pledged to vote against any attempts to privatise or outsource local authority services, as well as campaigning in our communities to mobilise the opposition to attacks on our services . We also campaign to bring back transport and the utilities into public ownership and for the banks which have been nationalised to be brought under public control so that these resources can be used for the benefit of all in our communities.

4.    I pledge to support the PCS campaign for fair pensions for all; including calling on the government to protect public sector pensions, ensure the state pension keeps in line with inflation, that the government addresses pensioner poverty and that companies are prevailed upon to ensure they fulfil their pension obligations to staff.
TUSC fully supports trade unionists fighting to defend pensions in both the public and private sectors.  We campaign for a living pension for all and oppose the attempts of this government to make everyone work longer, pay more and get less. We will be supporting picket lines on May 10th and encouraging members in all public sector unions to stand together and strike together against the attacks on pensions.

TUSC is standing 14 candidates across South Wales with a range of trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to give voters a real alternative to the main parties that are delivering cuts with just a difference in pace.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Reject Murdoch. Reject Labour. Vote TUSC.

Rupert Murdoch in his evidence yesterday said that he had never asked a British Prime Minister for anything. There's probably some truth in that, politicians, Tories and particularly Labour ones, have been so desperate for his support that he could probably just tell them what to do. With his cosy relationship with the last Labour government and Blair in particular, he would have had plenty of opportunity at theier many sharted social gatherings.

To have a genuinely 'free press' it is necessary to take the means of production of the media out of the hands of the few rich media moghuls and put them under workers' control. In the meantime, vote TUSC on May 3 and read the 'Socialist' - a paper with no rich backers to shape its editorial line and that reflects only the interests of the working class.
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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Double Dip - double the reasons to fightback with TUSC

So the UK's officially back in recession - the dreaded double-dip that all the so-called experts were predicting we'd avoid. Workers don't need official statistics to tell us the economy's in a mess. We see it in every pay slip - frozen pay levels and increased pension contributions (for those lucky enough to have a pension). We see it in the bill every time we buy a week's groceries or top up the car. While government ministers and financial experts have been queueing up to tell us that things are beginning to improve, the rest of us suffer and try to make ends meet in austerity Britain.

The Government of Wales have dusted off their "cuts are too fast, too deep" routine, with Labour First Minister, Carwyn Jones proclaiming this mantra at every available opportunity. But he has no real alternative to offer - a precipitous collapse back into recession under the Tories or a prolonged slide into stagnation under Labour. Either way promises a grim future for working class communities in Wales. Cuts equal misery and further economic problems - end of!

For a genuine alternative to the double-headed support of Tories and Labour for the failing market and cuts, vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on May 3 and come along to one of our public meetings this week.

Thursday: 7.30pm @ Dyfatty Community Centre
Friday: 7.30 @ United Reform Church, Sterry Road, Gowerton

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

TUSC Bulletin

Welcome to our new readers – please distribute this bulletin to your e-mail lists
To subscribe e-mail tuscbulletin@yahoo.co.uk
To get involved with TUSC campaigns go here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/support.php
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Bulletin No.39
Tuesday 24 April 2012
TUSC National Election Campaign News
Latest Press releases:
Tube strike 'A fight for equality that all Londoners have a stake in supporting' - Alex Gordon, RMT president. More here:http://bit.ly/IDeUT6
Other London Assembly candidates speak out in support of the tube maintenance workers strike:http://bit.ly/J7Rpz8
Other campaign news
Nearly 70 local Uxbridge people braved the rain to hear RMT leader Bob Crow argue the case for TUSC on 18th April:http://bit.ly/IPWJJA
TUSC in the Welsh press:http://bit.ly/J5IzbJ  
Over 200 packed the house in Peckham for Ken Loach film and meeting in support of TUSC: http://bit.ly/Ima8Hv  and the Financial Times reviewed the screening here: http://on.ft.com/IP4tLC 
There is now a TUSC leaflet in Bengali: http://www.tusc.org.uk/pdfs/Bengali.pdf
Rugby TUSC reports growing support  - http://bit.ly/HqaK3E and TUSC gets further media publicity – in two Rugby newspapers in same week  Both reported that the TUSC was only political group opposing all cuts at all levels http://bit.ly/JnOmF5
MEDIACITYUK ejects TUSC election candidate: http://bit.ly/IUneAK 
At Haringey’s TUSC public meeting on 17th April, Oktay Sahbaz from the Daymer Kurdish and Turkish organisation explained why Daymer is supporting TUSC: http://bit.ly/JGPyGY
Morning Star carries full page report of TUSC campaign: http://bit.ly/JjpU6H   
Upcoming TUSC Events
Public Meeting: Elections 2012 – Can there be a London Spring?
With George Galloway’s surprise victory in Bradford is there a new space opening up for the left? Can the left copy respect’s “Bradford Spring” here in London? This meeting brings together speakers from the progressive left, Labour, the Greens and TUSC to debate the prospects for the left at the coming election.
Speakers: Natalie Bennett, Green Party (list candidate) Alex Gordon, TUSC (list candidate) John McDonnell MP Labour Party Date: Friday 27th April, 7pm Venue:Housmans bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, N1 9DX
Coventry 'Socialist Alternative' holds Election Rally on Saturday April 28th,  standing candidates in 17 wards across the city in the May 3rd as part of TUSC.   Speakers at the Rally include TUSC National Chair Dave Nellist 1.30pm Coventry Transport Museum http://bit.ly/IcTqiU
From the Unions
RMT – signalers in the Stirling area have voted 100% for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over rosters. http://bit.ly/IBUGtp
Unite members devastated by a further 640 job losses announced by IT firm Comminity Sciences Corporation  http://bit.ly/IjHPgK
Aberdeen Unison wins battle against privatisation with union campaign. http://bit.ly/HYJsA7
Tube Lines strike -RMT warns of secret plan to reprivatise tube maintenance and unleash nightmare of PPP2  http://bit.ly/K4JlQr
Slovenia public sector holds big strike over cuts: http://bit.ly/HU0UbE
Cork Vita Cortex - Four months sit in over redundancy payments continues: http://bit.ly/J6zDSn
Information burst
Graduate starting salaries to fall to lowest real-term level since 2003: http://bit.ly/JnZeB4
Repossession day in court: ten minutes with a lawyer, five before a judge ~ http://j.mp/HIeqJr
Migreurop, a coalition of organisations from thirteen European, African and Middle Eastern countries, has produced an extremely useful and powerful report which describes in detail ways in which the policy of preventing the entry of undocumented migrants is implemented: Download a copy here: http://bit.ly/JY5nou   
Lincoln& District TUC Save our NHS march marking Workers Memorial Day. 12 noon at Castle Square, and there will be a rally at 1pm at Speakers' Corner by the Cornhill. lincolntuc@gmail.com
Witney 11 a.m. Assemble Church Green, Witney, Oxon, in David Cameron’s constituency 12 noon MARCH stopping at Marriott’s Close to remember Altin Balla, building worker, who died on this construction site in 2008.
Coventry 12 noon St Mary’s St/Bayley Lane
Sheffield: Defend Health & Safety international day of action 12.30 Town Hall http://bit.ly/JWkNti
London - 10.30am Assemble at the statute of the Building Worker on Tower Hill next to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
Cardiff          5th May      12.00 Callaghan Square
Coventry    5th May       11.00  Speakers Corner, Council House
Derby          28th April   10.30 Market Place
Dundee        5th May     12.00  Hilltown Park
Edinburgh   5th May     11.00  Johnston Terrace
Glasgow       5th May     11.00  George Square
Ipswich         1st May     11.00 Giles Circus
Irvine             5th May     10.30  Woodlands Centre
London         1st May     12.00  Clerkenwell Green
Manchester  7th May    11.00   Bexley Square, Salford
Newcastle    5th May    11.00    Times Square
Nottingham 5th May    10.00     Forest Recreation Ground
Plymouth     1st May     19.00    Guildhall
TUSC informationYou can find out more about TUSC at: http://www.tusc.org.uk/index.php
To donate to TUSC go here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php
TUSC aims to bring trade unionists, socialists and anti-cuts campaigners together to stand candidates at elections who are committed to representing working-class interests. Resistance to the cuts is vital, but we also need a political alternative to the policies of cuts and privatisation. TUSC believes that a new working-class party is needed that campaigns for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.

Stop parasites sucking funds out of the NHS

The BBC news carried a story this morning about a pharmaceutical company threatening to sue a health trust in England for using a cheaper generic eye drop instead of their patented one. The company concerned claims that patients are being put at risk by the use of a unregulated treatment. Of course it couldn't have anything to do with pricing policies which rob the NHS for greedy shareholders could it?

NHS users in Wales are grateful that we are shielded (for now) from some of the worst effects of the privatisation of huge swathes of the NHS in England, through the mis-named NHS Reform Bill that has just passed. But that doesn't mean that the increasing commercialisation of health care services won't affect NHS users in Wales. Labour in Wales says that there is no privatisation of health care in Wales - in so doing, they ignore the inconvenient fact of the PFI hospital at Baglan Moors.

There are huge profits to be made for private firms in selling medicines, other supplies and services to the NHS. The same big multinational pharmaceutical companies leech of the NHS in Wales as in England, able to charge what they like for drugs that are desperately needed.

With the NHS in Wales facing even bigger proportionate falls in funding than in England, Welsh hospitals are making cuts to beds and services. HTV reported this week that operations are being cancelled due to a shortage of beds. According to the report, nearly 3,000 procedures were cancelled between 2010 and 2011. In these circumstances will Welsh local health boards be tempted to prescribe cheaper, less regulated drugs or will they simply not be able to offer treatments because of price?

A campaign to stop cuts in the NHS that fails to call for the nationalisation of the big pharmaceutical companies that bleed the NHS dry, only addresses a part of the issue. Labour won't make such a call. Cherie Blair by the way has just taken up a lucrative post with a private healthcare provider!

End and reverse all privatisation in healthcare!
Nationalise the giant pharmaceutical firms!
Free healthcare for the millions not private profits for the millionaires!

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Swansea Trades Council May Day March & Rally

From Swansea Trades Council Press release...

Swansea Trades Council May Day March & Rally
Swansea’s traditional celebration of workers’ struggle and unity takes place this Saturday.

May Day March & Rally

This Saturday, April 28th

Assemble at Guildhall at 12:00

March to Castle Square for Rally

Disabled people who work for Remploy are in a desperate fight to save their jobs and factories. & out of the 9 factories in Wales are threatened with closure this summer, including the plant in Fforestfach. Swansea Remploy workers will be heading the march on Saturday. Come along and show your support!

“With jobs in jeopardy, benefits being cut, and no possibility of employment, Remploy workers have no alternative but to fight. Remploy factories are not for sale or closure.”
“It’s acceptable to bankroll RBS but not Remploy. This shows that this is all about cuts saving and austerity and not about helping get more disabled workers into work.”
Les Woodward, Remploy Trade Union Convenor
  •  Save Remploy!

  •  Defend Pensions! Support those unions taking strike action on May 10th!

  • Fight the cuts!

 “This Con-Dem government of millionaires and for millionaires threatens disaster for working class communities like ours. Privatisation and destruction of public services and for the workers that provide those services, pay freezes, attacks on pensions and now regional pay.
But they can be beaten. The huge strike of November 30 showed that trade unionists have it in their power to defeat the cuts and defeat this government, if we stand together. Support the May Day march to show solidarity with Remploy workers and with trade unionists planning to take strike action on May 10.”
Ronnie Job (Secretary, Swansea Trades Council)

For further information:
Ronnie Job      swansea.tradescouncil@gmail.com        ( 07963 454 041)

Con-Dems declare war on disabled

The Evening Post today is reporting that a third of claimants for incapacity and disability benefits are being found 'fit to work' (over 37% in Swansea). This is hailed by the Tories as evidence that they were right to assess everyone on incapacity and disability benefits and that they are rescuing people from benefits and getting them back to work. It shows nothing of the sort.

Firstly, disabled people have no trust in the government's capacity to work tests - I saw a picture of a disabled person on a protest last week, carrying a placard which read "What does ATOS call someone having a seizure? Fit to work!"

Then, where are all these jobs that people who have suddenly been declared fit to work are going to go to? Con-Dem cuts have savaged the public sector and in the process decimated retail and manufacturing. There are no jobs and for the minority of firms looking to take on new workers the government has obligingly provided free slave labour in the form of their Workfare scheme - why pay somebody and train them when you can have as many free workers from the army of a million unemployed youth as you like?

What these figures really mean is that thousands of disabled people now face a cut in income and being harassed to take unsuitable jobs. As the Con-Dems are busy privatising benefit advice, in many cases this will be by a dodgy private firm, of the likes of A4e, paid by results, whose only concern is to get people placed as soon as possible and claim their bonuses.

This isn't enough for the Con-Dems though; they've declared outright war on disabled people on all fronts - adding to their crimes, plans to close 7 of 9 Remploy factories in Wales this summer.

End the harassment of disabled people!
Invest in public services!
No to workfare. For real jobs, with trade union rates of pay!
Save Remploy!

The majority of cuts are still to come

George Osbourne has announced that 30% of the proposed cuts agenda has been carried out over the past 2 years.

Even the numerically weak amongst us can work out that this means we have 70% more cuts to come over the next 3 years!

These cuts will devastate public sector jobs and services but no other political party other than TUSC are prepared to stand up and oppose these cuts.

The election postcard that TUSC has produced really does sum up the position of the main parties:






Sunday, 22 April 2012

Gowerton TUSC Election Rally

Vote against cuts on May 3rd — TUSC Against CUTS

Les Woodward, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for Gowerton ward will address a public meeting this Friday evening. Mr Woodward is the national trade union convenor for the Remploy factories and is currently fighting to prevent their closure. TUSC has never stood in Gowerton before, but Les Woodward is a strong local candidate who is pledged to fight for the people of Gowerton with the same dedication and passion as he has done for Remploy workers over the years.

Mr Woodward said "If elected, I will pledge my heart and soul to fight against all cuts in public spending in Swansea. The good people of Gowerton and Swansea must not be penalised with loss of jobs and services in order to pay for the mismanagement of the financial institutions and the greed of the bankers".

The meeting will be at 7.30 on Friday 27th April at the United Reformed Church, Sterry Road, Gowerton. All are welcome.

See also the Swansea TUSC election rally on Thursday.

Why I'm Standing for TUSC - Les Woodward

Les Woodward is standing as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Gowerton Ward in the May 2012 Swansea council elections. Les is the national trade union convener for Remploy and a Socialist Party member.

I have always lived in Gowerton and over the 58 years of my life I have seen many changes in the village, some for the better, some for the worse. But the people of Gowerton are set just like the rest of the population of the UK to face the most vindictive attack on their livelihoods, their services, and their community, for generations, arguably since the start of the industrial revolution.

As the Government made up of millionaires and bankers friends bail out their comrades in the European Central Bank through the IMF by lending Billions of pounds, the austerity measures imposed on the working class who make up 99% of the population will be made to pay and pay dearly, for the greed of the bankers who caused the crisis in the beginning.

I believe that this is wrong! What I also believe is totally wrong, is the fact that the 1% of the population who are made up of some of the richest people on the planet are getting richer by the day because of this crisis and the way Osborne and his Eton toff pals are running the country.

There is an alternative to the cuts agenda and the austerity programme that is in place and it is quite simple, close every loophole for individuals to avoid paying tax, vigorously chase down anyone who evades paying tax, change the laws so that Companies such as Amazon pay they correct amount of tax in the UK which they avoid at the moment by being registered in Switzerland and tax the rich who can afford it, at a more realistic level.

If elected I will pledge my heart and soul to fight against all cuts in public spending in Swansea. I will argue for the Council to set a needs budget on behalf of the people of Swansea and argue that any shortfall must be paid for through the coffers of Central Government. The good people of Gowerton and Swansea must not be penalised with loss of jobs and services in order to pay for the miss management of the financial institutes and the greed of the bankers.



Follow Les on twitter: @leswoodward

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Labour Breaks Student Support Promise

15% cutbacks to support for Wales' most disadvantaged students represents another broken promise by the Labour-run Welsh Government.

In Spring 2010, NUS Wales, representing all university and college students in Wales, launched a campaign called "Access All Areas" in the run-up to the Welsh Assembly elections. As part of Access All Areas, candidates for the Assembly, including every single Labour candidate, specifically pledged they would not cut the Assembly Learning Grant (ALG) from its then-current level of £5000 per year.

Now, the Assembly has cut the ALG by 6% in real terms from its 2010 level, and by 15% in real terms from its 2011 level. This cut, alongside similar cuts in the Special Support Grant, mean mature students, single parents, disabled students, and students on lower incomes will find it much harder to afford college and university education in Wales.

When the Liberal Democrats broke their 2009 pledge not to raise tuition fees, NUS rallied 52,000 students to a mass march outside Parliament and supported a season of lobbying and demonstrations. With Labour breaking its election promise in Wales, NUS Wales, itself now controlled by the Labour Party, is silent.

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition candidates, who all signed the Access All Areas pledge within a day of its launch, have also promised not to pass on any of the Coalition or Assembly cuts to ordinary working people. Labour's craven abandonment of its principles and promises shows how, both in NUS and in local government, a fighting alternative is urgently needed.

UNISON members need a fight against cuts

Swansea Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates and supporters in UNISON took time out from the council election campaign to leaflet UNISON Wales Council. Unlike other parties, TUSC isn't only an election machine; we are fighting in our unions, workplaces, schools and colleges every day.

Regardless of which party wins in councils across Wales on May 3 they will be faced with the choice of whether to pass on Tory cuts. UNISON members will bear the brunt of any cuts implemented. TUSC candidates are the only ones that are committed to opposing all cuts. Vote TUSC May 3!

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Friday, 20 April 2012

Solidarity with Remploy Workers protesting in London today

Rempoly workers are protesting in London today about the planned closure of their factories, including the plant in Swansea.

Les Woodward, our TUSC candidate for Gowerton ward is attending the protest and echoed the sentiments of the Remploy worker from Oldham on BBC breakfast this morning who said there was little chance of him getting work in 'mainstream employment' under present economic conditions.

Les has pointed out many times that when over 1 million young people can't get work what chance have disabled people got? Exactly!

Remember it was the last Labour government that started closing down Remploy factories and now the ConDems want to finish them off. Not without a fight and TUSC will be fully backing them.

Swansea Remploy workers will be heading the Swansea Trades Council May Day march next Saturday, April 28th, assemble 12.00 at the Guildhall. Come along and show your support!

Why I'm Standing for TUSC - Rob P. Williams

Rob P. Williams is standing as one of the two Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates for Sketty Ward in the May 2012 Swansea council elections.

Why have I become a TUSC candidate?

I was born in Swansea back in 1971 and have lived here all my life. There was a time when, like many working class people, I voted for the Labour Party. However over the thirteen years of the last Labour government it has dawned on many ordinary people that our support for Labour was a wasted vote.

When Thatcher was asked what her greatest achievement was she said, "New Labour", and she was right. The whole character of the Labour Party has shifted until there is barely a shade of difference between them and the Tories. As well as that, the democratic structures of the party has been broken to the point that there is little chance of it ever going back.

Where does that leave the ordinary working class person?

We have nobody to represent us. The main parties claim to represent us but they don't. They all would rather bend over backwards to the demands of the richest in society, to the bankers speculators and bondholders. We are constantly told that there is no alternative to the cuts and that there is no money left.

Well, this is what the rich and their lackeys in parliament want us to believe, but it is not true. There is over £750 billion in the corporate reserves of the biggest companies: they are swimming in money but refuse to invest because they don't expect enough of a return. According to the tax inspectors union PCS, there is over £123 billion in uncollected, avoided and evaded tax. What about the billions spent on futile wars and perhaps over £100 billion to be spent on nuclear weapons... I haven't even started on the bank bonuses yet!

All that wealth is there, but not one of the main parties (Con/Lib/Lab/Plaid) oppose the bankers solution of making the working class pay for the mess that they created. Why should we pay? They gambled and speculated away vast amounts of money in private deals for their own private profits, but they expect us to pick up their losses. At the same time the super-rich are wealthier than ever. This is nothing short of a scandal.

Schools closing, hospitals closing, old peoples homes closed, benefits cut, black and asian people scapegoated, public sector workers sacked, Remploy workers sacked... the list goes on and will continue to go on. The IFS say that 88% of the cuts are yet to be carried out!

You can guarantee, any of the main parties that end up leading Swansea council will put forward a budget of massive cuts; their councillors will dutifully march into the chamber and vote that budget of cuts through. It won't make a blind bit of difference to the people of Swansea whether they do it with a grin on their faces or a tear in their eye. The result will be the same.

The Labour party has no right whatsoever to expect the vote of working class people anymore. A vote for any of the main parties is a wasted vote as they will all do the same damage.

I am standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist coalition (TUSC) to give the people of Swansea a chance to start building an alternative to cuts and to the broken capitalist system.

Vote TUSC. Fight ALL the cuts.

Election Rally: Fight the Cuts at the Ballot Box

There is only one set of candidates standing in the council elections on May 3 committed to fighting all cuts…

…Swansea Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition invites you to join with us to discuss and build a fighting alternative at this election and beyond:

Fight the Cuts at the Ballot Box

Swansea Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Election Rally

Thursday 26 April, 7:30pm

Dyfatty Community Centre (SA1 1NB)

Who should vote for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) on May 3?

Working class people need an alternative, including:

Trade Unionists

13 years of Labour government, with a huge majority, left Tory anti-union legislation completely intact. The Labour Party has refused to support trade unionists taking action against Con-Dem cuts, including the 2 million+ public sector workers that struck on November 30. Labour Councils have passed on Tory cuts, laying off workers and privatising services.


Con-Dem policies are barring the way to further and higher education for working class youth but it was Labour that introduced tuition fees. Many Welsh students are unable to take advantage of lower fees than in England as there has been a 20% cut in places at Welsh universities. The Assembly is cutting support to students with lower incomes by reducing the value of the Assembly Learning Grant.

The unemployed

The Con-Dem’s programme of cuts has seen unemployment climb to close to the 3 million mark; over 1 million young people can not now find work. And this is only the start of their austerity programme! Workfare and Labour’s equivalent programme, now being dubbed ‘Workfare Lite’, offer only dead end slave labour for profit-greedy bosses.

Contact Swansea TUSC

phone Ronnie on 07963 454041 / email: swanseaTUSC@gmail.com

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

That would be TUSC then?

Dave Prentis has hailed the launch of UNISON's election advertising this week. Apparently my union is calling for members and the public to back "the party that cares about public services". Has Dave Prentis, and UNISON's leadership, seen the light and decided to back the only platform in these elections campaigning against all cuts to public services? No - he still means Labour - the party that cares so much about public services that they will not commit to reversing any Con-Dem cuts!

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition cares about public services and we guarantee that whatever our results on May 3 we will continue to build in our unions, workplaces, colleges and communities a campaign to defend all our cherished public services.

Was Labour minister complicit in torture?

So papers are to be served on former Labour minister, Jack Straw, charging him with being complicit in the torture of Libyan oppositionist, Abdelhakim Belhadj, and so helping the Gadafi regime. Surely not?

But then you wouldn't expect a Labour Home Secretary to threaten union leaders with imprisonment for fighting on behalf of their members, as Straw did to John Hancock, then General Secretary of the union for prison officers, the POA, either. Straw later went on to ban the POA from taking strike action. It's not surprising then that the current POA General Secretary has become the third union general secretary to personally back the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the elections on May 3.

A party's ethics and outlook will be reflected in its approach at home and abroad. The trade union movement has to defend its gains, including the right of all trade unionists to take strike action but it also fights for our brothers and sisters abroad to enjoy the same rights. Labour has betrayed its founders on both counts; TUSC is true to trade union principles. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition campaigns against injustice and oppression wherever it takes place in the world.

Vote TUSC on May 3.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Destroy Environment for Private Profit? Frack that!

Communities in South East Wales are bracing themselves for the potential consequences of 'fracking' - the controversial process of breaking up bed rock to release gasses trapped inside. Fracking in the UK had been suspended to allow investigation into 2 earthquakes near Blackpool. Despite an acceptance that fracking was responsible for the earthquakes, the process has now been declared 'safe' and given the green light to go ahead.
In parts of the world where fracking has been practised on a large scale it has been blamed for issues like flames coming out of domestic taps as gas has entered the water supply. The approval for fracking was probably never in doubt - under capitalism, safety concerns are seldom, if ever, allowed to interfere with the drive for profit for long.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition thinks that public utilities, like energy, should be taken out of private hands and controlled by trade unionists in the industry and by the local community so that the supply of energy can be planned with the environment and safety of our communities as the top priority.

TUSC supporting unions not attacking them

Since the Coalition Government was formed, the Labour Party under the leadership of Ed Miliband has attacked proposed or actual strike action involving members of:

Aspect, Association of Educational Psychologists, Association of Headteachers and Deputies in Scotland, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Educational Institute of Scotland, Fire Brigades Union, FDA, GMB, Irish National Teachers Organisation, NAPO, NASUWT, National Association of Head Teachers, Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance, NUT, POA, Prospect, Public and Commercial Services union, Rail, Maritime and Transport union, Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Society of Radiographers, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, Ulster Teachers' Union, Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru, Union of Construction, Allied Trades, and Technicians, UNISON, UNITE and University and College Union.

Just in case you were wondering why Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates were standing against Labour candidates in local elections on Thursday 3rd May.

Monday, 16 April 2012

As cuts bite, firms stash the cash

The government's been stealing from the poor in wage freeze and, cuts in jobs and services then giving to rich individuals and corporations through tax cuts, free labour in the form of workfare and direct bail-outs. One in 10 of the UK's richest individuals pay less than 20% income tax, according to the BBC today. They've been behaving like some perverse, inverted Robin Hood.

All our pain is supposed to be justified on the grounds of incentivising (they destroy language with the same abandon they destroy working class communities) entrepreneurship and investment but it's not working!

Much of the media tries to draw positive messages from a report from financial advisors, the 'Earnest & Young Item Club', which suggests that Britain has avoided a double dip recession. But the interesting part of the report is the section that suggests that despite all the government's efforts to pump cash into the economy, growth has stalled because companies have "stashed the cash". Big private, corporations are sitting on £billions and paying out to shareholders while our public services are being slashed to the bone.

Once again this is confirmation of what the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates are saying - cuts are unnecessary and don't work.

For further examples of how working class people are being ripped off to protect the profits of big business, and for an alternative, read TUSC councillor, Dave Nellist's article in this week's Socialist. http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/14307/11-04-2012/on-3-may-use-your-vote-to-rage-against-austerity

Saturday, 14 April 2012

If she could have found more paid work she'd have done so before!

This was sent to us by a TUSC supporter in Wales:
"Just talking to one of my neighbours, who has lost a lot of her income as a result of tax credit changes. She works as a school 'dinner lady' and kitchen assistant, term-time only (Unison member). In a small village, very limited public transport and no car, how's she supposed to find those extra hours? If she could have found more paid work she'd have done so before!"
This is the reality for millions of workers who have now been disenfranchised from tax credits. And with over 2 and a half million people officially jobless and firms being offered all the unpaid slave labour they want through workfare, where are part time workers supposed to get he extra hours from? The Mirror reported this week that:
"...just 52% of 112,000 vacancies advertised in JobCentres guarantee enough hours to meet the new limit." full article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/only-half-of-available-jobs-offer-785573
This is the reality of austerity Britain. If you want real change vote vote, campaign for and join with Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates.

Life in austerity Britain - tell us your stories

This is a brilliant article from this week's Socialist, which explains the realities of working for nothing under the workfare scheme: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/713/14320/11-04-2012/living-to-work-not-working-to-live

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Wales would like to collect similar stories of how the cuts are affecting you: workers, youth, disabled people, the unemployed, and what you want your politicians to do about it. E-mail stories to Swansea TUSC.

Politicians receive one final payment at our expense.

Today's Evening Post picks up on a story that has been circualting for a couple of days in Wales, of 22 former AMs who were either defeated or stood down at the last election, sharing over £840,000 in resettlement payments.

See article: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/AMs-net-pound-840-000-payout/story-15812579-detail/story.html

TUSC condemns politicians standing down or failing to be re-elected, picking up payments ranging between £27,000 and £51,000. Public sector workers made redundant in some cases by cuts passed on by these politicians won''t be getting payments of anything like this level and if we walk away from jobs to take up other posts (assuming we can get them) we don't receive any payments. Here is the take of TUSC in Wales on this issue form the TUSC Wales Blog site: http://tuscwales.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/failed-politicians-dip-one-last-time.html

Further posts in this blog related to politicians expenses include:

Cuts increase inequality - official!

As councils lay off staff around the country, an inevitable consequence of passing on Tory cuts, evidence is emerging to back up what trade unionists had always expected - that's while cuts, while being disaster for working class communities as a whole, are ruinous for some sections. The GMB union has published a report which shows that 62% of those being made sacked by councils in Wales are women.

Read further details yourself: http://union-news.co.uk/2012/03/women-make-up-75-of-council-job-losses-gmb/

Friday, 13 April 2012

Whose Water? Whose Profits?

We often moan about the weather in Swansea - one of the wettest cities in the UK. Now the high rainfall in Wales has caused £ signs to flash before the eyes of certain people and not just Welsh Water's shareholders.

Plaid Cymru supports proposals to use the scarcity of fresh water in parts of England and its relative abundance in Wales to increase charges to English customers. They say this is to create wealth for the people of Wales. What they fail to explain is how it can benefit ordinary people in Wales to increase charges for 'Welsh' water when water, like all other utilities is in private hands. The only people that would profit would be the share holders of the likes of Welsh Water and, as the other water companies would inevitably pass on any increased costs in higher charges, the people that would suffer would be working class customers in drier parts of the UK.

TUSC is not in favour of boosting the profits of one set of shareholders at the expense of working class customers. We say that water is too precious to be left in private hands. Nationalise water and all other utilities so that our natural resources can be controlled and protected by, and used for, the millions not rich shareholders.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sack ATOS not disabled people!

It's an incredible irony that the Remploy office (not the Fforestfach factory) in Swansea and the GMB (one of the unions representing Remploy workers) office share the same building as ATOS. While Remploy workers and their trade unions, are facing a fight to save their factories and jobs, ATOS is the firm repsonsible for forcing increasing nombers of disabled people off incapacity benefits through new, harsher work capability assessments.

There have been revelations in the Guardian today that doctors working for Atos, a French, private sector firm, are required to sign the UK Official Secrets Act. The article raises concerns that this may be a measure aimed at preventing future whistleblowers exposing concerns with the administration of the tests.
"Atos Healthcare defends blanket security policy for government work amid concerns that whistleblowers may be silenced" Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/12/atos-doctors-sign-official-secrets-act
 There is a further irony, the IT wing of ATOS is a partner of this year's Paralympics. For many disabled activists this is an insult as Atos is seen as the government's axe to cut beenfits for disabled people. Some, such as John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, have called for a boycott of the Paralympics unless Atos withdraw from their £100 million contract to administer the work capability assessments. John McArdle is a Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition (Scottish socialist and anti-cuts candidates, aligned with TUSC), local council candidate in Edingburgh.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates say:
  • No cuts in benefits, jobs and public services.
  • Sack Atos and scrap the Work Capability Assessment.
  • A living wage and provision of respite services for all family carers.
  • Provide free health and social care services to all who need them.
  • Central government and councils to stop using children and family members as a substitute for professional social services.
  • Oppose the closure of the Remploy factories - expand them to create employment.