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!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Welsh Labour Council attacks union members - same old story

An all too familiar tale..

The sight of a Welsh Labour Council attacking the trade union members who voted and campaigned for their election is becoming the norm in Wales at the moment.

This time it is the majority Labour administration in Swansea who are trying to force through cuts under the disguise of ‘job evaluation’. Last week Swansea Socialist Party reported on the increasingly threatening noises coming from leading members of the council as they poured cold water on the idea that anything could come out of further discussions with UNISON, despite the overwhelming vote by UNISON members to reject the Council’s proposals.

Now the council has gone over the heads of the union and sent out a letter to all council employees telling them to move over to the new contracts voluntarily or be dismissed and re-hired on the new conditions, “..any employee who refuses to accept the new reward package will be dismissed and offered immediate re-engagement under the new terms”. UNISON has correctly accused the Council of trying to bully union members and issued advice not to sign the new contracts, while they seek advice and consult.

Among the workers who stand to lose out from the cuts to allowances, bonuses, etc., are 2,000 plus workers who will have their retainers removed, effectively reducing the number of weeks a year they get paid for. For many, this will cancel out anything they would gain from the Council agreeing to pay the minimum wage this year (which doesn’t however include a commitment to become a recognised minimum wage employer). It has been estimated by the union that nursery nurses could lose 10% of their income.

UNISON has organised a demonstration outside the Civic Centre, where the Council meets, next Tuesday (27th August) at 4pm. It is important that everybody who uses Council services understands that it is impossible to make cuts to the terms and conditions of council workers without destroying morale and having a detrimental effect on the quality of service our members provide. In any case, these are just a taste of the cuts in services to come, now that the Labour Council has shown it is just as willing to carry out Con-Dem cuts as the previous Lib Dem-led coalition and just as ruthless in their implementation. It is vital that other trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners back the demonstration on Tuesday, council workers should not be made to pay, by a Labour council, for a crisis that was not of our making.

It is increasingly clear that the council will not back down unless it meets determined industrial action from the council workforce. Some left Labour councillors may be embarrassed by being lobbied by their own workforce but ultimately Welsh Labour Councils will not baulk at attacking their own supporters and their own workforce to achieve cuts. Labour councils in Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taff after all were pioneers in the early days of the Con-Dem government of using the threat of mass dismissals and re-employment on poorer terms, to drive through cuts to workers’ conditions.

When the Green council in Brighton implemented similar cuts, there was UK-wide trade union backing for GMB members who refused to accept them. The fact that this is a Labour council can not be allowed to hamper the fight and the backing of UNISON members with all the resources they need. These Labour councillors were elected with substantial UNISON support; they have now forfeited any right to further support. UNISON should withdraw funding and support from Labour and instead back candidates who are prepared to vote in the interests of our members; candidates who are prepared to vote against all cuts, like TUSC Wales candidates.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Welsh Labour's seismic council cuts

The level of cuts being implemented by Welsh Labour Councils is now so great that only geological terms will suffice to give an idea of their size. Carmarthenshire Council's Labour leader has described the potential £18 million savings as a "tsunami of cuts". Now Newport's Labour leader is trying to get support from other parties to identify cuts of up to £14 million, which he describes as "seismic change".


It is clear that Welsh Labour councils have no intention of standing up to the Con-Dems and that they will pass on the full level of cuts, albeit with "glum faces" as in Blaenau Gwent.

The working class communities of Wales don't need sad makers of cuts; we need representatives that will vote to protect our jobs and services. It is clear that we need an earthquake in political representation to match the scale of the task ahead. Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Wales is pledged to fight and vote against all cuts and to fight for the needs of working class people and their communities.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Miliband walking in Thatcher's footsteps?

Don't just take my word for it..

UNISON has analysed documents released from the national archive and has found that in 1982 Thatcher and her advisors were looking at making 'reforms' to the link between trade unions and the Labour Party that were eerily similar to those that Miliband will present at his proposed special conference next year.

UNISON calls for a campaign to defend the link and defeat these proposals at the conference. They've done this without publically defending UNITE against Miliband's vicious attacks and reporting to the police.
But Miliband has revealed his absolute contempt for trade unions, referring to our 6-7 million members and their families as a 'narrow, sectional interest'. Not for some time have trade unions and the Labour Party been seen as complimentary partners in a combined labour and trade union movement. Instead, the Labour leadership views unions as little more than a source of income.

That contempt will be shown even more in the run up to Labour's special conference, as egged on by the Tory press to show independence from trade unions, the Labour leadership's attacks on trade unions are likely to increase.

The best answer to Labour's attacks on trade unions would be for unions, like UNISON, to break the link with Labour themselves rather than waiting passively for Labour to neuter their waning influence in the party. With the pace of cuts, destruction of our NHS, declining living standards all increasing, trade unionists need a political voice to represent working class people more than ever. The £millions that would no longer be squandered on a Labour Party that does not represent our interests should not be absorbed back into union funds but instead used to fund a political alternative to act in our interests.

If UNISON, or another major union, was to join with the RMT in affiliating to the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC), it would transform the political situation completely and present millions of disenfranchised trade unionists and working class people with a real alternative.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

In Caerphilly, Penyrheol ward, vote Jaime Davies, Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition Today

It has been revealed that Caerphilly Council spent £156,000 in the last 3 years on spying on its own staff.

One firm has been awarded the contract for most of this spying on council workers and it was revealed in the press earlier this year how the senior council officer responsible for awarding them the contract, was appointed chief executive of the company on leaving his job with the Council.

This is a council rapidly acquiring a dirty reputation. It is the Welsh Labour Council being investigated by police over the 'secret' awarding of huge pay rises to senior council officers. Such was the outcry when that story broke that UNISON members working for the Council, suffering a 3-year pay freeze, held a walk out and lobby of the Labour Party Group meeting. They protested that Labour councillors had voted these awards through at the same time as carrying out cuts to services and to the terms and conditions of their workforce.

Some of the council workers who were spied upon are challenging, with the support of their trade union, whether the Council followed correct procedures designed to prevent unwarranted surveillance from their employer.

Council officers in Caerphilly need to be accountable to the community and today, in one ward ar least, people will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate with clear policies on putting the interests of this working class community before all else. In the Penyrheol ward they can vote for Jaime Davies, standing for the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) on a platform of voting against all cuts to services and to the terms and conditions of council workers.