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Unite, the Bakers' union, People's Budget campaigning: a busy autumn ahead

Posted: 15 September 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee met on September 8th to gear-up for a busy autumn of activity - against the backdrop of important new developments towards our coalition's core objective of achieving a new vehicle for workers' political representation.

Foremost was the announcement - days before the meeting - of the election of Sharon Graham as the new general secretary of Unite, with the commitment from her election campaign for a new 'Workers' Politics'. This includes a pledge to oppose bad employers by every means available, including local authority employers regardless of the party they represent.

The steering committee endorsed a draft letter from the TUSC chair Dave Nellist - to go to all members of the Unite executive council - expressing his sympathy with her disgust with Westminster parliamentary 'parlour games'; "as someone who was elected as a Labour MP from 1983 to 1992 on the pledge to be A Workers' MP on a Worker's Wage".

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New edition of the Preparing a No Cuts People's Budget briefing launched

Posted: 11 August 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee has republished the Preparing a No Cuts People's Budget briefing document we first produced in January 2016.

This follows the call made by the steering committee at its June meeting for all local TUSC groups, individual members, TUSC supporters and affiliated organisations in areas where they are active, to lay plans for the year ahead - focusing on local People's Budget campaigns.

As society continues to move on from a Covid-crisis footing, a local People's Budget campaign could play a central role in bringing together trade union branches, campaign groups and community organisations to fight at a council level for what communities will need in the 'new normal' - not the cuts to public services that Tory policies will inevitably demand. The new updated briefing document, available as a PDF at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/450.pdf, will be a crucial facilitator of such campaigns.

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TUSC committee makes call for local People's Budget campaigns

Posted: 17 June 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee is calling on all local TUSC groups, individual members, TUSC supporters and affiliated groups in areas where they are active, to begin to lay plans for the year ahead - focusing on local People's Budget campaigns.

The June meeting of the steering committee agreed that developing and promoting a local People's Budget could form the basis of a vibrant electoral challenge in the council elections scheduled for May 2022. There are over 200 councils with elections then, which will be all-up contests for every council seat in Scotland, Wales, the London boroughs and Birmingham, and with a third of councillors up for election in most of the rest (see the TUSC directory of the 2022 elections at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/448.pdf).

But the committee also agreed that other areas where there are no elections in May 2022 should not wait either. As society prepares to move on from the Covid pandemic a People's Budget campaign could play a central role in bringing trade union branches, campaigns and community groups together to fight at a local level for what communities will need, not what Tory austerity will demand.

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Forward planning: the TUSC directory of future elections

Posted: 4 June 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) directory of the elections taking place in May 2022 has now been published.

This directory was an annual production, referenced once as a resource by the House of Commons Library in 2016, until the TUSC All-Britain Steering Committee decided to suspend its electoral activity under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party in late 2018.

But after the relaunch of TUSC in September last year in response to Keir Starmer's revival of Tony Blair-style New Labourism (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/17410/04-09-2020/back-at-work-tusc-to-stand-in-elections-again-against-pro-austerity-politicians) publication has been resumed.

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TUSC is back - the 2021 elections results report

Posted: 15 May 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood over 300 candidates in the 'Super-Thursday' elections on May 6th. The TUSC 2021 Results Report is now available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/446.pdf

TUSC contested three regional lists and three constituencies in the Scottish parliament elections; all five regional lists for the Welsh Senedd contest; the all-London list for the Greater London Authority assembly and three GLA constituencies; the city Mayoral contests in Bristol and Liverpool; and 272 council seats (in 268 wards or county council divisions) in 89 local authorities.

This was the first TUSC election campaign since 2018.

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Vote TUSC to fight back against Covid austerity

Posted: 5 May 2021

You can't trust the Tories or Starmer's New Labour!

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing over 300 candidates in Thursday's elections.

TUSC is contesting three regional lists and three constituencies in the Scottish parliament elections on May 6th; all five regional lists for the Welsh Senedd contest; the all-London list for the Greater London Authority assembly and three GLA constituencies; the city Mayoral contests in Bristol and Liverpool; and 285 council seats in 90 local authorities.

A complete list of TUSC candidates is available on https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/442.pdf

The TUSC core policies for the different contests can be found at the links below

The Scottish Parliament elections: https://www.tusc.org.uk/17486/01-03-2021/core-manifesto-for-the-2021-scottish-parliament-election

The Welsh Senedd elections: https://www.tusc.org.uk/17487/01-03-2021/tusc-wales-policy-platform-for-the-2021-welsh-parliament-elections

The local council elections: https://www.tusc.org.uk/17485/01-03-2021/tuscs-core-policy-platform-for-the-may-2021-local-elections

The Mayor of Bristol (page 8): https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/443.pdf

The Mayor of Liverpool: https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/444.pdf

On Thursday, where you can, vote TUSC to fight back against Covid austerity - you can't trust the Tories or Starmer's New Labour!


Results reporting

All the TUSC results will be published on this website. Clearly the necessity for Covid-safety measures will affect how quickly the ballots can be counted. Some councils are predicting that not all results will be available until well into the weekend.

A full report of the campaign, with the detailed results of every TUSC candidate, will be prepared for the next TUSC national steering committee meeting on Wednesday May 12th, and will be posted promptly on the Candidates page as a public record as has been the case every year since 2011.


Candidates update: now it's over 330 standing for TUSC on May 6

Posted: 1 April 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee agreed to extend the deadline for further applications to be a TUSC candidate until Monday 29th March. It was a good job we did as the candidates have kept on coming!

Candidates now agreed include an executive council member of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU); four members of UNISON's national executive; two members of the UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive, plus the secretary of Glasgow Unison, the branch which led the magnificent equal pay strike in 2018; a former member of the RMT transport workers' national executive; leaders of the 'NHS workers say no' campaign and two of the original McStrikers.

And along with a number of former Labour councillors standing as TUSC, we now have two TUSC candidates who were previously general election candidates for Labour in December 2019, just 14 months ago.

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Liverpool turmoil: Unite branch 'no cuts' plan points the way forward

Posted: 14 March 2021

Liverpool city council is in turmoil. Late last year the city's right-wing Labour Mayor Joe Anderson, in office since the directly-elected post was first established in 2012, was arrested on suspicion to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

Anderson denies any wrongdoing but has stood aside from his mayoral duties, and withdrew from the Mayoral election that takes place on May 6th this year.

Since then the Liverpool Labour Party has been involved in a process to select a new Mayoral candidate that has seen an initial shortlist of three sitting councillors overturned; a court challenge, unsuccessful, against the Labour Party by one of those excluded councillors who had drawn the backing of Jeremy Corbyn and the national Unite union for her candidacy; and the imposition of just two candidates - both right-wingers - in a new selection ballot, with the result of that not due until the day official nominations open on March 29th.

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TUSC core policies for local elections finalised after steering committee debate

Posted: 2 March 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee finalised the TUSC core policy platform for the May local elections at its latest meeting on February 24.

This followed the discussion on the draft platform at the recent TUSC local elections conference, attended on Zoom by over 500 people. The draft core policies, and the amendments received which were also discussed there (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/435.pdf), had been taken back from the conference to the constituent components of TUSC for debate and a final, consensus, decision at the steering committee.

The steering committee agreed to the proposal to re-word the draft bullet point on social enterprises. This now makes it clearer that TUSC candidates oppose the transfer of existing council services to social enterprises or 'arms-length' management organisations which are the first steps to the privatisation of those services, while not excluding support, for example, to a new community-run facility.

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Resisting Covid austerity at the ballot box - first TUSC candidates in place for May's polls

Posted: 2 March 2021

Last week's meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) steering committee approved the first batch of candidates to contest the various elections taking place on Thursday May 6th.

The February 24th meeting was the first steering committee since the TUSC zoom conference on February 7th, attended by over 500 people. It also finalised the TUSC core policy platform for the local elections in May, which can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/policy - alongside the Scottish TUSC manifesto for the parliamentary contest in Scotland and the TUSC Wales Senedd election platform.

The first set of candidates for May include an executive council member of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), which is currently undergoing a members' consultation about whether they want to remain affiliated to the Labour Party, and two members of the UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive, out of a total of 19 UNISON members on the list.

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President of 'big four' Labour-affiliated trade union joins TUSC committee

Posted: 25 February 2021

Amy Murphy, the outgoing President of the fourth-biggest Labour Party-affiliated trade union, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), was today welcomed as a new member of the national steering committee of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Amy, who is retiring as union president in April and will sit on the TUSC committee in a personal capacity, said: "The government is continuing with its aggression towards trade unions while big businesses are reaping in the profits with one hand as they viciously attack terms and conditions and inflict pay cuts and freezes with the other. They are culling their workforces, firing and re-hiring whilst hiding behind the pandemic, and with no or very little opposition".

"So now, more than ever, there is a real need for change. We need an alternative that will politically and socially defend the working class. One which will give a voice to workers, engage with, support, and fight for them, and build on Jeremy Corbyn's socialist ideas. I believe TUSC is the way forward, a party for the working class".

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Could councils implement the green policy pledges in Labour's 2019 Manifesto?

Posted: 23 February 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition All-Britain steering committee recently published a briefing paper looking at how councils could use their existing powers to implement many of the policies promised in Labour's 2019 general election Manifesto, drafted under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. (See https://www.tusc.org.uk/17462/01-02-2021/new-tusc-report-could-councils-implement-labours-2019-pledges)

The following article examines this question in relation to the climate and environmental policy commitments in the Labour Manifesto 2019, which were presented under the heading, A Green Industrial Revolution.

It has been drafted by Chris Baugh, the former assistant general secretary of the PCS civil servants' union, who held responsibility for developing the union's policies for combating climate change. Chris was a founding member of the TUSC steering committee when our coalition was established in 2010.

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Over 500 at launch conference of TUSC's 2021 election campaign

Posted: 14 February 2021

Over 500 people zoomed in to the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2021 local elections conference on Sunday 7th February.

The conference, convened under the heading, 'Fighting back against the Tories and Starmer's New Labour - including at the ballot box!', heard speakers from all the constituent components of the TUSC coalition. The opening platform speeches are now available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/71MV7OttXFg

The conference also discussed the draft TUSC core policy platform for the May 2021 local elections proposed by the TUSC steering committee, For a working class, socialist voice in the council chambers to resist Covid austerity, and the amendments that had been received (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/435.pdf).

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TUSC local elections conference agenda published

Posted: 2 February 2021

The agenda for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2021 local elections conference on Sunday 7th February has now been published and is available as a PDF at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/435.pdf.

The conference has been convened under the heading, 'Fighting back against the Tories and Starmer's New Labour - including at the ballot box!', and starts at 11am.

The opening 45 minutes will see introductions from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, explaining their position on the broad conference theme.

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TUSC Individual Members' representative elected to steering committee

Posted: 2 February 2021

The long-standing independent socialist Pete McLaren has been elected as the Individual Members' representative onto the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee for 2021.

TUSC is a coalition with an all-Britain steering committee comprised of representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity. The current constituent organisations are the RMT transport workers' union, represented on the steering committee since 2012; the Socialist Party, a co-founder of TUSC in 2010; and the Resistance Movement, established in 2019 by, amongst others, the ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson.

Other individual members of TUSC who are not members of a constituent organisation also have a place on the committee selected, where there is a contest, by individual members at the TUSC conference.

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New TUSC report: could councils implement Labour's 2019 pledges?

Posted: 1 February 2021

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain steering committee has launched a new report examining what policy pledges that were made in Labour's Manifesto for the 2019 general election could be implemented today by the 120 or so councils across Britain that are under Labour control.

The report, available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/434.pdf, goes through in detail what was pledged by Labour in 2019 and what councils have the legal powers to implement now - not after a general election, or after new legislation is passed, but immediately, today. If, that is, there were councillors in our town halls prepared to fight.

And that is certainly one thing the Covid crisis has revealed - how the vast wealth that's there in what is still the fifth or sixth richest economy in the world can be drawn upon to serve public needs when sufficient pressure is applied.

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Spelthorne councillors resign from Labour and join discussion on an alternative

Posted: 24 January 2021

Two Labour councillors on Spelthorne borough council, Veena Siva (representing Staines ward) and Jenny Vinson (Staines South), have announced their resignation from the Labour Party and opened discussions with TUSC.

They have been joined by the chair of Spelthorne Labour Party, Sue Bryer, who has also resigned from Keir Starmer's new New Labour party. In a press release the three explained their decision:

"After a great deal of agonising and soul-searching, we have been left with no option but to resign from the Labour Party".

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Pre-conference discussion: is TUSC ignoring pensioners' demands?

Posted: 24 January 2021

Following the publication at the end of last year of the TUSC draft core policy platform for the May 2021 local elections (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/17426/22-11-2020/tusc-sets-out-core-policies-for-may-2021-local-elections) a number of individuals and organisations have taken up the opportunity to comment.

One question that has come up can be summarised in the blunt heading the correspondent gave to her e-mail: "you have ignored pensioners in your draft council election policies".

Obviously that does not refer to the core policies that every TUSC candidate must commit to of opposing all cuts and closures to council services or their privatisation. But specifically measures to right the injustice suffered by women in particular from the raising of the state pension age by both New Labour and Tory governments.

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TUSC to hold local elections conference in February

Posted: 18 December 2020

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed the agenda and timetable for a local elections conference to be held on Zoom on Sunday February 7th.

The conference has been convened under the heading, 'Fighting back against Starmer's new New Labour - including at the ballot box!', starting at 11am to conclude by 1-30pm.

Platform speakers from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, the Resistance Movement and the Individual Members' representatives, will introduce the single plenary session.

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TUSC sets out core policies for May 2021 local elections

Posted: 22 November 2020

As the Tories discuss their public spending cuts plans to make working class people pay for the Covid crisis the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has set out the core policies TUSC candidates will be committed to fight for in next May's local council elections.

TUSC is an electoral coalition, offering the opportunity to trade unionists, community campaigners, socialists and others to stand candidates under a common anti-austerity banner distinct from the mainstream, establishment politicians.

The core policies are the minimum basis on which someone can stand as a TUSC candidate rather than 'Independent' - the only legal alternative if you are not endorsed by a registered political party - which doesn't say whether a candidate supports austerity and cuts or not.

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