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Morning Star Incorporating the Daily Worker

For peace & socialism­ Tuesday September 14 2010





UNITED IN THE FIGHT SHOW OF STRENGTH: Union leaders stand shoulder to shoulder in Manchester pic: Sid Frisby


TUC kicks off with clear message to Con-Dems: No Cuts by Louise Nousratpour in Manchester THE spectre of nationwide resistance is haunting the ConDem axemen after TUC delegates from across Britain returned to the birthplace of the movement yesterday to organise joint action against the cuts. The right-wing media were hard-pressed to find the hopedfor cracks in the movement as one union leader after another stepped onto the Congress platform to declare unequivocal support for co-ordinated industrial action across all sectors. In his opening speech to delegates in Manchester, TUC leader Brendan Barber attacked the “demolition government” and said it was “time for us to build a diverse, dynamic and progressive alliance for change — a coalition against cuts.” There was a consensus among delegates that it was vital to build “progressive alliances” with service users, community activists and charities to bolster public support for action. Congress rejected claims that public-sector cuts were necessary, arguing that the TUC’s alternative proposals for progressive taxation and investment in manufacturing and other productive industry would wipe out the deficit, create jobs and stimulate economic growth. The emergency Budget would cost over a million jobs, drag the economy into depression, increase inequality, hammer women and children, turn the NHS into a mere logo and “rip the heart” out of Britain’s welfare system, it declared. Moving a composite motion on defending public services, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis vowed to build alliances with charities and local groups, and “move to co-ordinate industrial action” to defend services.

This special issue of the Morning Star is Professional Trades Union for Prison, sponsored by POA The Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers

“The coalition is taking a chainsaw to our services, hoping no-one will notice the amount we lose every year in tax evasion and avoidance by big corporations — more than enough to wipe out the deficit at a stroke,” he said. “If there is money available to bail out banks, if there is money for war, for Trident, there’s money for our public services.” Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail warned that women were in the firing line. “Seventy-two per cent of the cuts will hit their income as they make up 65 per cent of public-sector workers. It will set back by decades the already unacceptable gender pay gap.” FBU leader Matt Wrack said: “This is a Cabinet of millionaires who do not need or use public services and therefore don’t care a hoot about them.” GMB national secretary Brian Strutton reported that his union would “begin preparation for national industrial action next month,” while Unison and PCS have already teamed up for co-ordinated action. PCS leader Mark Serwotka said tax evasion cost the Treasury £120 billion and added: “There is no need for a single job cut or a single penny cut in public-sector spending.” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “We can pass all the resolutions we want but, ultimately, we either lay down or stand up and fight.” The composite motion was passed by all but one of the 700 delegates — Balpa leader Jim McAuslan, who insisted it was wrong to say that “not a penny” needed to be cut and that the “tone” of the debate would not resonate well outside the conference hall.

Star comment: p12


This special issue of the Morning Star is sponsored by POA The Professional Trades Union for Prison, JOHN LISTER: P12 TUC SPECIAL: P14-18LAU...

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