Tuesday, 30 March 2010

BA Dispute

My trade union UNITE announced yesterday that it will be implementing a mandatory 2% levy on our members subscriptions to help finance the BA strikers in their battle against the brutal Willy Walsh and the rest of BA's bully boy management team.
Fair enough. Let's maximise support for these strikers because a victory for them will be a boost for all workers facing the increasing number of intimidating managers.
This levy will raise a much needed £700,000 for the strike fund and be a big boost in sustaining the strike.
However, I can't be the only one thinking why have we given over £11 million to the Labour Party since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister and why are we bankrolling Labour's general election campaign to the tune of another £3 million!
BA strikers are being shackled by Thatchers' anti union laws which a Labour government has done nothing to repeal in 13 years of being in power. I would say to Gordon Brown - sorry Prime Minister but we do not agree with your comments that this strike is 'deplorable' and we need that £3 million to support our members at BA. I would then add, unless you immediately promise to get rid of the anti union laws you will not be getting another penny from UNITE. That may have a bigger impact than throwing our members money into a Party whose government is openly supporting big business and attacking our members.
I also think that to show the support from the rest of the trade union movement a national demonstration and rally should take place near Heathrow in the next few weeks.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Busy week end!

Anti BNP
On Saturday morning I joined other anti racists campaigning in Morriston town centre against the Nazi BNP who are standing a candidate in Swansea East for the general election.
The UAF stall was the start of the election campaign to expose the divisive and racist programme of the BNP in Swansea East and we will be assisting where possible, particularly with some of our younger SP members who are supporters of 'Youth Against Racism' the anti racist youth organisation which played a prominent role in closing down the BNP headquarters in Welling during the 90's. If you want to help in future anti racist activities then contact me for more info.

Socialist Party Campaigning
Straight into the city centre then to join other Socialist Party members on our regular Saturday stalls in Oxford St.
Despite having the obstacle of the open air market on our usual spot we had two stalls out with one campaigning against the proposed council cuts and one opposing the continuing war in Afghanistan.
As usual we had a great response on both stalls with around 60+ copies of the Socialist being sold and many people agreeing with our socialist alternative.

Coventry Campaign
It was an extra early start on Sunday morning with clocks going forward. Several car loads of SP members from Wales travelled to Coventry to help with their mass canvas to help Socialist party councillor, Dave Nellist in his attempt to get elected in the general election for Coventry North East.
Dave, an ex-Labour MP who was expelled from the Labour Party for his links with Militant, the forerunner of the Socialist party, has a tremendous reputation in Coventry as a working class fighter.
In particular his stance when he was an MP of only taking a workers' wage and donating the rest back to the labour and trade union movement. What a difference to the corrupt and grabbing lot we have now! Like Dave and other socialist party TUSC candidates, I have pledged to be a Workers' MP on a Workers wage if elected and not become divorced from everyday life and people like most MPs'.
After several hours of successful canvassing we joined a packed rally to finish off a tiring but enthusiastic day.

Evening Post.
If you look hard at today's Post then you will see that I have finally made a news spot on the bottom of page 13. It's not the half page which the Independent headmaster candidate had last week but it's at least a start and its a good report as well.

Election Campaign
I will be out with other members and supporters tomorrow night leafleting ready for the start of the 'real' election campaign which looks set to be announced next week. If anyone wants to give us a hand in putting forward a socialist alternative in Swansea West then get in touch with me.
By the way, the Socialist Party are discussing "Why socialists stand in elections" in this week's branch meeting on Thursday - 7.30pm in Dyfatty Community Centre at the top of High St

Friday, 26 March 2010

Evening Post censorship?

Today's Post has almost a full page report of a Swansea headmaster who is standing as an Independent candidate in Swansea West because he is fed up with the corruption of the mainstream parties. Fair enough, it just shows the cynicism and anger out there towards these 'in it for themselves' politicians.
What annoys me however id the Post's apparent censorship of our TUSC campaign in Swansea West. Having been in the Post almost every week last summer when Linamar tried to sack me the opposite is now the case after I declared that I would be standing as a TUSC candidate for Swansea West.
None of our press releases have been used, our Welsh launch of TUSC, held in Swansea, was not covered and it smells of political bias against a trade unionist and socialist candidate. It is not a secret that the Post's editor is no friend of the trade unions nor of the Socialist Party but this blatant censorship should have no place in the local press.
It will be interesting to see if our latest complaint and press release, sent of today, gets published. Don't hold your breath!

Trade union struggles

A Spring of discontent? Well it looks like heading that way after the announcement by the RMT and TSSA unions yesterday that there will be 4 days of strikes after Easter. This is on top of industrial action at BA, in the civil service and proposed action in British Gas.
It's refreshing to see a trade union leader like RMT General Secretary, Bob Crow being openly upfront in defending his members interests. No nods and winks, no backroom deals, no sucking up to bully boy managers, just a solid defence of his members terms and conditions as well as protecting rail passengers safety. Well done Bob, I will be down on the picket lines with our SP members giving our full solidarity.
Good luck also to the BA workers who start their second strike tonight. I was up at the Heathrow picket line last Saturday giving support and must say the mood was determined and angry.
Willy Walsh, on his £720,000 a year wants to break the union so he can pay poverty wages like the cheap fare airlines Ryanair and Easy Jet. That's the job he has come in to do. There are millions of workers, with similar bully boy managers, who want to see BA members keep their hard won terms and conditions and give Walsh a bloody nose.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Budget of cuts

Big surprise. Nothing for us in Darling's pre-election budget except a promise of £11billion cuts in public expenditure.
All the main parties are offering us the same menu - cuts for starters, cuts for main meal and cuts for dessert.
Labour has promised huge cuts but won't say where until after the election, the Tories want to start slashing straight away and as usual the Lib Dems are somewhere in the middle but they all agree that it is ordinary people who will be forced to pay for the bankers crisis.
It really annoys me when these politicians say what else can we do? What we would do instead of giving £200 billion of our money to fat cat, billionaire bankers is use that to build tens of thousands of affordable council homes, providing jobs and apprenticeships with decent wages for young people, scrap tuition fees and restore grants for students, protect our public services and look after our old age pensioners. No chance of a budget like that from any of that lot and that's why I am standing as a TUSC candidate to give us a socialist alternative!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Support the PCS civil servants on strike

As I have to be in work by seven o clock I show my solidarity with striking civil servants by visiting the early picket lines which start at 6/00am.
On a wet and windy morning today I brought greetings from my own union branch and the Socialist Party to pickets at the Pension Centre and around the corner at the Land Registry.
Despite the weather these are two of the liveliest and well attended picket lines in Swansea. They need to be, because if the government can get away with it then there will be further cuts in terms and conditions which will also mean a worse service for us, the general public.
Roger Langley, the branch organiser at the Pension Centre told me that he will be pointing out to the ITV reporters in his lunchtime interview that his members are not prepared to pay the price for the bankers crisis. I agree 100% with those sentiments.
It's time our trade union leaders stood up to this big business government and its an inspiration to see ordinary members taking a lead in a fighting union like PCS.
Hope that everyone taking action today will be on the Swansea Trade Union Council May Day march and rally to stop these cuts. We have to show whichever government comes to power that we will all stand up to defend our public services.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Swansea TUSC election rally

7.30pm, Tuesday May 4th
Railway Club, Wind St

Yet more New Labour sleaze

well well another 3 Labour ex-ministers open for business for cash. Yet BA workers were lectured last week by Labour MPs and an elected labour Lord. All SP TUSC candidates are standing on a workers wage.