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Sheffield kicks off TUSC election year with 7.6 percent by-election vote

Posted: 8 February 2014

The only party workers smiling at the Sheffield council Arbourthorne ward by-election count on Thursday 6 February were the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners.

TUSC came from nowhere (not having stood in this ward before) to get 204 votes, 7.6%, coming fourth out of seven candidates, a very respectable result.

Though Labour held the seat with just over half the votes cast, their share of vote fell by 10% from the last council election two years ago. UKIP came second but only increased their share on 2012 by 3%, despite two more years of media hype. With a lower turnout their vote actually fell from 544 in 2012 to 482 this time.

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TUSC conference report - opening address by RMT representative

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee , photo by TUSC

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee , photo by TUSC

Posted: 7 February 2014

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference held on Saturday February 1st was opened by an official speaker from the RMT transport workers union, executive committee member Mike Sargent.

Click video to see extracts from Mike's speech and opening comments from TUSC chairperson, and former Labour MP, Dave Nellist.

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Video: Dave Nellist on Going Underground

Dave Nellist on Going Underground, photo RT

Dave Nellist on Going Underground, photo RT

Posted: 7 February 2014

With 625 candidates standing in the May local elections, Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Dave Nellist tells Afshin Rattansi that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition are the real alternative, not Labour.

The extended interview is the first item in this episode of Russia Today's Going Underground. Click on the video below to watch.

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As Labour moves to end union links, trade unionists and socialists plan biggest electoral challenge 'for generations'

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee, photo Paul Mattsson

Mike Sargent, RMT executive committee, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 3 February 2014

As Ed Miliband was announcing the details of what he called 'the most fundamental changes to Labour's structures since its formation' over 200 trade unionists and socialists were meeting in London to discuss organising the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in local elections since world war two.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference was opened by RMT executive committee member Mike Sargent, officially representing the transport workers' union, saying that the RMT "has got form" when it comes to fighting for working class political representation.

"It was our predecessor union, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, which was the main force in setting up the Labour Party in 1900", he said, "and those early representatives achieved important gains, such as the repeal of the anti-union Taff Vale judgement. But Labour is no longer our party and now we are having to start out again".

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What councils could do in next month's budget-setting meetings...

Posted: 27 January 2014

In the next month or so local councils will be deciding their budgets for 2014-2015, the last full financial year before the general election.

There is no dispute that councils face a dire financial situation. Even the Tory chair of the Local Government Association, Sir Merrick Cockell, has warned that the current funding levels for local councils "will not see us through for very much longer". Such complaints from a Tory politician are hypocritical but they reflect the real crisis facing local council services.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee discussed at its January meeting what councils could actually do to meet this crisis.

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TUSC supporters join the striking '3 Cosas' workers

TUSC supporters join striking cleaners, photo TUSC

TUSC supporters join striking cleaners, photo TUSC

Posted: 27 January 2014

TUSC supporters join the '3 Cosas' workers, cleaners and other ancillary workers at the University of London, who have been fighting for a living wage and better conditions for some time, winning some significant victories. Their 'three Cosas', the theme of the current battle, are sick pay, holidays and pensions.

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Rebel councillors slam Southampton's 'sham consultation' on cuts budget

Posted: 27 January 2014

The 'rebel councillors' and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee members, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, have denounced Southampton's Labour-controlled council for holding a 'sham consultation' on this year's city council budget rather than organising a mass campaign to save public services.

The following statement was published in the 'In Our View' column in Southampton's local paper:

In Our View

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TUSC Thunderclap

Posted: 23 January 2014

TUSC is promoting the drive for candidates with a coordinated social media campaign on Sunday morning, February 2nd.

Using 'Thunderclap' a short Facebook and Twitter message about the May elections will be sent out from over 100 people's accounts simultaneously, potentially reaching many tens of thousands, providing we get at least 100 supporters signed up - could you be one of them?

All TUSC supporters with Facebook or Twitter accounts are asked to visit http://thndr.it/1dPHpgF and sign up before 11 AM on Sunday February 2nd, and then re-promote via Facebook, Twitter and email.

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Support the TUSC banner appeal this week

Posted: 17 January 2014

TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist writes:

Dear comrades,

I am writing to ask for your help.

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Council by-elections show TUSC running at 5.2 percent average vote in 2013

Posted: 14 January 2014

LAST WEEK'S national Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee meeting received a full report of how TUSC candidates have performed in council by-elections they have contested during 2013.

The report is now available on the TUSC website: 2013 council by-elections

During the year TUSC candidates stood in 37 local council by-elections. Their mean average share of the vote across those seats was 5.2%.

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TUSC chair Dave Nellist condemns MPs' scandalous 11% pay rise

Former MP Dave Nellist is the national chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, photo Paul Mattsson

Former MP Dave Nellist is the national chairperson of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, photo Paul Mattsson

Posted: 8 December 2013

Interview with Dave Nellist, BBC website, 13 July 2013, reposted on TUSC website 8 December 2013

As many MPs rush to condemn proposals to give them an 11% pay rise, few have taken the lead of the former member for Coventry South.

From his election in 1983 to his deselection by Labour in 1992, Dave Nellist kept less than half his salary.

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Autumn statement: The plan isn't working for us!

Posted: 7 December 2013

TUSC Chair and ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist said "Osborne thinks that austerity is working, but the queues at foodbanks and pay day lenders tell a different story.

"This government of millionaires might think things are improving, but most ordinary working class people are facing a Dickensian future rather than a bright recovery.

"This government of the rich, for the rich, want us to work even longer. It is to be made even harder for unemployed young people to claim meagre benefits. Further massive cuts threaten essential public services and jobs.

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Standing up to Glasgow Labour's cuts - and the SNP's

Jaime Cocozza, photo by Shettleston TUSC

Jaime Cocozza

Posted: 27 November 2013

The by-election under way in Glasgow city council's Shettleston ward (with polling day on December 5th) saw a recent hustings debate hosted by Save The Accord Centre campaigners in Shettleston Community Centre.

The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate, underground driver and Unite member Jaime Cocozza, reports on what happened:

"Only three of a potential twelve candidates turned up. Labour, having already voted to shut down the Accord Centre to make way for a car park for the Commonwealth games, showed exactly what they thought of the campaign by sending their candidate to a meeting with local police instead!

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TUSC councillors lay down fight-back challenge to Labour - who wave white flag in reply

Southampton Councillors Against Cuts, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, photo Southampton TUSC

Southampton Councillors Against Cuts, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, photo Southampton TUSC

Posted: 26 November 2013

After Southampton's council services have suffered £57 million cuts since 2010 the new Labour council (elected in 2012) has announced a further £60 million cuts to come over the next three years.

Last week's council meeting was the last before councillors vote for the council budget in February next year. Southampton Councillors Against Cuts, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, members of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, went to the meeting to urge Labour councillors to reject the cuts agenda and launch a mass campaign to fight central government for the funding the city needs. Through using reserves and borrowing powers to fund the budget gap, as Keith and Don put forward at this year's budget-setting meeting, it would be entirely possible to protect jobs and services. By refusing to implement the cuts the council would give a lead and build the mass support needed that could force a weak and unpopular government into retreat.

Moving their resolution (printed below) Keith said:

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TUSC launched in Derby - and second public meeting organised

Posted: 25 November 2013

A meeting of trade unionists, socialists, anti-cuts and environmental campaigners met in Derby last week (19 November) to launch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and discuss plans to stand across the city in the 2014 local elections.

A second public meeting has been organised in Sinfin on Wednesday 27th November at the Sinfin Moor Social Club, Areleston Lane, Sinfin, Derby, DE24 3DH, from 7.30pm till 9pm. One of the speakers will be Dorothy Skrytek, a member of the campaign against the Sinfin incineration plant and the Friends of the Earth.

The November 19 meeting was addressed by Harry Smith, a former Labour councillor who was part of the socialist Liverpool city council between 1983-87. Along with 46 other councillors, Harry set a budget based on what the city needed to provide jobs and services and built a campaign to demand more money from the Thatcher government. Harry described that whilst other Labour councils were passing on cuts, Liverpool built houses, swimming pools, parks and created more jobs. This shows what a council can do if it is prepared to fight.

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Housing 4 All campaigner Isabel Counihan-Sanchez standing for TUSC in Brent 2014 local elections

Housing 4 All campaigner Isabel Counihan-Sanchez and famiily, photo by Brent TUSC

Housing 4 All campaigner Isabel Counihan-Sanchez and famiily, photo by Brent TUSC

Posted: 21 November 2013

Brent mother of five Isabel Counihan Sanchez, who along with a dedicated group of supporters, has been fighting attempts to force her family out of Brent, has now decided to stand for election in next year's local elections as a Brent Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate.

Isabel and family were made homeless in April 2012 when their benefits were dramatically cut by Brent council and they were evicted from rented accommodation. Despite her husband Anthony working full-time as a bus driver the family were still reliant on these benefits to pay the staggering rent of £690.00 per week for their home in Kilburn. After being evicted they were placed in temporary accommodation in Ealing with an UN-affordable rent of £500.00 per week.

This put the family under tremendous pressures because the accommodation was totally unsuitable due to lack of space. Sarah, A.J, Orla & Aiden were faced with long treks to school as far as Kenton (Brent) and their youngest son, Vinny, who is Autistic was also put under tremendous pressure being completely disorientated by the changes. Added to this they were removed from their local network of family and friends.

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One hundred people attend Hackney TUSC film showing and discussion

Hackney TUSC 2014 candidates , photo by Hackney TUSC

Hackney TUSC 2014 candidates , photo by Hackney TUSC

Posted: 12 November 2013

Hackney and Islington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) organised a very successful showing of the film, 'Riot from Wrong', at the local Rio cinema last Saturday.

Around 100 people attended the event which included the film showing and a panel discussion, with speakers from a number of youth groups including Day-Mer Youth, Voice of Youth (Hackney), and Long Live the South Bank, and chaired by a Youth Fight For Jobs campaign representative.

Over a dozen prospective TUSC candidates for next year's local elections in Hackney and Islington were also presented to the audience (see photo).

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TUSC announces candidate after Liverpool deputy mayor and cuts hatchet man resigns

Posted: 6 November 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is delighted to announce that John Marston is TUSC's candidate to challenge for the Riverside council seat vacated by the deputy mayor and leading Labour Party cuts hatchet man, Paul Brant.

John Marston, veteran socialist, life-long trade unionist and seasoned campaigner, will fight for the Riverside council seat made vacant by Paul Brant's resignation.

Unlike Paul Brant John will campaign for an end to all cuts, and for the immediate end to the evil bedroom tax. He will demand that the council declares it has no intention of penalising those who cannot afford the bedroom tax.

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Posted: 6 November 2013


Nancy Taaffe, Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate said: "Boris Johnsons' increase of 25p on the London Living Wage to £8.55 per hour is an insult to hard working Londoners. The fact that politicians in London think that this will be enough to live on shows how completely out of touch they are with working class people. The London Living Wage can be opted in and out of by employers as they see fit. A paltry 200 employers have signed up to the living wage since it was introduced in 2005. This means that just 11,500 actually benefit from it.

"To actually work, any measures on addressing low wages have be mandatory. This means that the politicians have to stand up to big business rather than governing in their interests as they do now. We say that employers should be forced to pay a living wage rather than offered a tax break to do so. Of course small companies that genuinely need support should get it. But big companies that refuse should be taken into public ownership.

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TUSC stands candidates in twelve council by-elections in next five weeks

Posted: 5 November 2013

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is contesting by-elections in twelve wards in ten different councils over the next five weeks.

This week (November 7th) sees by-elections in the Bootle Derby ward of Sefton council on Merseyside and two contests in Nottingham, in the city council's Dales and Radford & Park wards. TUSC's Bootle candidate is Graham Woodhouse, the secretary of the PCS civil service union Highways Agency North West branch and a member of PCS Department for Transport Group Executive Committee. In Nottingham TUSC is represented by Unite member Cathy Meadows, standing in the Dales ward, and GMB union member Geraint Thomas, standing in Radford & Park (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16848/16-10-2013/nottingham-tusc-announces-candidates-for-two-city-council-by-elections )

A week later, on November 14th, TUSC is standing in the Baddeley, Milton & Norton by-election in Stoke, with Unite member Liat Norris carrying the TUSC anti-cuts banner in a crowded ten-candidate contest (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16850/22-10-2013/stoke-on-trent-by-election-to-have-a-real-anti-cuts-candidate )

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