Saturday, 30 October 2010

I was There

Hopefully today will bring a similar result

Friday, 29 October 2010

Serious building programme needed, not Coalition housing chaos – McCluskey

Chaotic coalition policies on housing benefit are causing alarm and distress to families and children who have the misfortune to be poor and living in Britain's inner cities, Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey charged today.

"The plan for an ill-considered cap on housing benefit smacks of the sort of political opportunism which has already become the hallmark of the ConDems," said Len McCluskey.

"Reform of the housing benefit system must go hand in hand with a serious programme of house building so that the 800,000 people currently threatened by changes in the system can be catered for. That would bring real benefits to the economy as well as helping to bring down private rents.

"If housing benefit is to be capped, it is obvious that there must be a cap on rents too.

"Instead, we face the prospect of children and their families being forcibly relocated from the places where they are settled, and where their schools and parents' jobs are, to migrate to other areas where there is no guarantee they can be accommodated.

"Schools in those areas will already be suffering from the lack of investment which was one of the first policy decisions of the coalition, so those children will be seeking to continue their education in schools that are already overcrowded and inadequate.

"This is a policy for social disaster, with councils and social services expected to pick up the pieces."

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Cuts will Hit the Poorest in Our Society says TUC whilst McCluskey Vows to Fight for Public Sector Workers

The poorest ten per cent of households will be hit 15 times harder than the richest ten per cent as a result of service cuts announced in the comprehensive spending review (CSR), according to a new analysis
published by the TUC
Brendan Barber TUC General Secretary said
'Our analysis blows away any claim that the spending review was progressive. Even when the effects of benefit changes are taken out of the equation, cuts to services surgically target the poorest households and leave the rich relatively untouched.

Meanwhile back at the Unite General Secretary Election the two leading candidates are diametrically at odds with each other as to how we should react to the Comprehensive Spending review.
Les Bayliss who seems to get more right wing with every breath he takes said before the 2010 TUC Conference we should mount an advertising campaign.
Not much good when the Libraries, swimmoing pools and children's parks are closing.

Len McCluskey has stepped up to the front vowing to fight for public sector jobs and services.
Mr McCluskey said he would lead a decisive fight for jobs against the coalition government's "slash-and-burn policy" of public service cuts.
Speaking before Tuesday's TUC rally against the cuts at Westminster Central Hall, Mr McCluskey said: "While the coalition's double-dippers threaten to unleash job cuts across Britain this week, what people need to hear is a plan for jobs.
"Too readily, some town hall leaders have adopted a programme of cuts to jobs and services which is doing serious damage to local economies.
"Next May's local elections will give communities an opportunity to reject that short-sighted and dangerous policy.
"But meanwhile, unions representing hard-pressed council staff cannot stand by and witness a bonfire of community services."

Ballot papers for the Unite GS Election will be posted to members next week.
For a fighting union Vote Len McCluskey

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Len McCluskey responding to recent press interviews given by Les Bayliss

Responding to recent press interviews given by Les Bayliss, Len McCluskey, leading candidate in the election for Unite General Secretary said today:

"This election is now a clear left-right struggle for the future of Unite and, to a great extent, the trade union movement as a whole. There are two visions on offer - of a union that puts its members first and stands up for them come what may in difficult times.

Or a union that puts managers and ministers first, that rolls over to have its tummy tickled by the employers every time the going gets tough.

This is no time for a lurch to the right. I believe Unite members will understand that their interests lie in having a strong, democratic and independent union led by a General Secretary who can unite the whole union and is not afraid of the challenges ahead."

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Unions Together

Comrades from the Coalition of Resistance gathered in Scunthorpe Town Centre today to publicise the Anti-Cuts Demonstration planned for Wednesday 20th October  Britannia Corner Scunthorpe at 5pm.
So far over 800 leaflets have been handed out to the public and the petition to Keep the Post Public has received substantial support.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Report underlines need for government jobs plan – Len McCluskey

Government plans to cut public spending amount to a declaration of war on working people, union leader Len McCluskey warned today (Wednesday) as a report from accountancy firm PwC showed that a million jobs will be lost through the ConDem strategy to be announced next week.

Speaking in Birmingham, Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey said: "The coalition government seems determined to pour petrol on our smouldering economy to turn it into a bonfire, destroying the hopes of decent working people who have already made great sacrifices to keep Britain from collapse.
"We have warned for months that the ConDem ‘slash and burn' approach to the economy would lead to massive job losses and threaten recovery. Now PwC - the favourite accountants of British business - are spelling out the devastating consequences of government policy. When will the ConDems start to listen?

"Instead of waiting for next week's plan for further cuts, we want to hear where is the plan for jobs. To build a fairer Britain we will need a robust economy which does not depend on the scheming of financial cowboys. We need to start making things again.

"That is why Unite will lead the campaign to bring investment into our motor industry and the other skilled undertakings on which our nation depended in better times.Other countries tackling the recession recognise the importance of sustaining their car industry and crucial manufacturing with loans, and the ConDems need to meet their obligations to do the same.

"We need an investment bank through which government cash can support manufacturing technology and ideas. And if we are to promote development in our regions, we need to recognise the important work of our regional development agencies in generating sustainable economic growth, rather than axing them in pursuit of Tory dogma."

Len McCluskey is the leading contender for election as general secretary of Unite, Britain's biggest union, and is campaigning for
• a manufacturing degree to put design and production skills in the UK on a par with their global competitors

• reversal of the government's disastrous decision to withdraw a £80m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters

• the maintenance of the Regional Development agencies which have worked to bring inward investment to the heartlands but are now to be swept away by the Coalition

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

North Lincs Coalition of Resistance – No to ConDem Cuts!

Below is the open letter sent to Scunthorpoe Telegraph by North Lincolnshire Coalition of Resistance

The ConDem coalition government presents its spending cuts as both justifiable and unavoidable. Prime Minister David Cameron is doing his best to convince us that we should quietly acquiesce to a cuts programme that will affect “our whole way of life.”

We are told that we have to ‘rebalance the economy away from a reliance on government jobs’ and we are ‘too dependent on the public sector for jobs.’ We believe that this is an ideological position with the intention of outsourcing large parts of the public sector as has been shown by the announcement of the wholesale privatisation of Royal Mail.

We are told we are all in this together and should therefore share the burden. But the financial crisis was the fault of the bankers; when in trouble, the banks received generous bailouts to the tune of a staggering £850bn.
We are not ‘too dependent on the public sector for jobs’. These jobs are vital to the functioning of our society. We cannot afford to see them slashed and our public services weakened beyond repair.

We reject the idea that ordinary people must pay for a crisis they didn't create. We reject the current blind acceptance that “we’re all in this together” and that we have to accept changes that will affect “our whole way of life.”
We support the demonstration called by the Scunthorpe anti-cuts group to protest against the cuts on Wed Oct 20th and encourage everyone in North Lincolnshire to attend. Let’s tell the ConDem government that ordinary people and our public services should not have to pay for the bankers’ crisis! (The demonstration will take place at Britannia corner at 5pm on Wednesday October 20th)


Tony Gosling (labour Councillor), Bill Adams (Secretary Yorkshire and Humberside TUC),
Mervyn White (Branch Secretary UNISON North Lincolnshire Local Government Branch),
Scunthorpe No1 Unite Branch, Julia West (Branch Secretary CWU Doncaster & District Amal. Branch), Rich Stephens (Branch Secretary UCU North Lindsey College Branch), Brenda Benstead (Unison representative North Lindsey College) Trev Davey (Branch Secretary GMB North Lincs Council Branch), Steve White (NASUWT Regional Organiser Yorkshire & Humberside), Bill Gray (Scunthorpe Works Craft Convenor Tata Steel), Martin Copson (Unite Senior Steward Tata Steel), Stephen Miller (Unite Shop Steward Tata Steel), Ian Davies (Works Rep BBM Community Union Branch Tata Steel), David Yarnell, Ann Hindley (North Lincs Coalition of Resistance), Dave Gordge (Scunthorpe Right to Work)

All signatories are in a personal capacity.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot

Last week saw the Tories gather for their annual conference at Birmingham. It began with Boris Johnson calling for strike ballots to be ruled invalid if less than 50% of members had taken part. This was obviously a rallying call for the true blue union bashers to join him in his battle with the arch enemy Bob Crow.
If such a rule was applied to the London Mayoral Election of 2008 would mean that his victory would be ruled invalid and most local councils would not be able to function due to insufficient interest from voters.
Then we heard Boy George's plans to scrap the Universal Benefit of Child Allowance to any family where one parent earns above £44,000 per annum. This was designed to give the impression that higher earners would contribute to the austerity measures due to come our way.
This caused some concern to Tory supporters who would suffer from this measure but I bet their not screaming at their employers to negotiate a pay cut.
To celebrate this delegates shamelessly drank champagne after George Osborne's announcement of his savage child benefit cuts.
Ministers and MPs ignored warnings from Tory high command about this year's "austerity conference", necking £50-a-bottle bubbly in the bar of the plush five-star Hyatt hotel.
They were probably gloating that the poor would have to fork out extra in taxes if they decided to purchase White Cider.
Then Lord Hutton joined the fray calling for an end to final salary pension schemes in the public sector. Also on pensions the Tories confirmed plans to raise the age of retirement for both men and women which would significantly affect the aspirations for dignity in retirement of hard working people.

So with all that going on there was an obvious chance for Ed Milliband to eat into the usual rise of support that occurs at Party Conference week.
His Shadow Cabinet announcements were eagerly awaited and he had the chance to set his party on the right path towards creating an economic alternative to these cuts.
He announced Alan Johnson as Chancellor of the Exchequer a man with little experience or knowledge of economic affairs.
Let's try harder next time shall we?

Monday, 4 October 2010

Don't Forget Your Postie

The gathering momentum of opposition to the Public Service cuts with Trade Unions joining forces with   local community groups is a move in the right direction if these cuts are going to be resisted.
Many areas have organised demos and rallies which will ensure the public are involved in the campaign to protect our services.
However there may be a danger that we forget about the Government's intention to privatise The Royal Mail. This move towards privatisation is politically motivated and will not benefit the workers or the public.
You can download the petition and get this motion passed at your union branch or Labour Party Constituency.
Communication Workers Union leader Billy Hayes said the "treasured public service" was not safe in the hands of this government.

In a speech to Labour's conference in Manchester he warned delegates that ministers would introduce a Postal Services Bill in Parliament next month that would "privatise and break up" Royal Mail.
"Royal Mail is not safe in the hands of the Lib Dems or the Tories. If they had their way, Royal Mail would be sold at a knock-down price to people whose sole instinct is the rate of return."

Mr Hayes also warned of indications that ministers could reduce the guaranteed six-day postal service to five days since the six-day service "is not guaranteed in EU law."

Royal Mail made £321 million profit in 2009 and £404 million in 2010 so it is plainly obvious that the usual looters will see this as an ideal opportunity to make a fast buck.
Any local campaign should engage with the CWU rep in the area and get them fully involved in campaigns which will give them the chance to engage with the public and bring their campaign to the forefront of the cuts agenda.