04/09/2013 by socialistfight
The TUC must call an indefinite general strike
Build Grass Roots Left as the Rank And File organisation in the trade unions
Election of all trade union officials
Democratise the unions
This year the TUC Congress meets in Bournemouth from 8th-11th September. The crisis of leadership in the trade un- ions is very obvious. The bureaucratic caste in the TUC is still unable to organise any section of the Working class in defence of jobs and living conditions threatened by the onslaught of this Conservative Liberal Democratic Coalition. At last year’s TUC Congress meeting in Brighton the POA, Unite, RMT and PCS proposed a motion “That the TUC General Council look at the practicability of a general strike”. The General strike tactic had first been raised by Len McCluskey General Secretary of Unite at the massive Public Sector Strikes over Pension in 2011. Since that time the General Council has met several times but the mo- tion on the “practicability of a general strike” has lain dormant and no action has been suggested by the bureaucrats at Congress House.
At the recent Peoples Assembly and the Durham Miners Gala both MCCluskey and Frances O’Grady the new General Secretary of the TUC have been silent over the issue. McCluskey who was heckled at the People’s Assembly to name a date would not be drawn on the issue. Of course the trade union bureaucracy has no intention of launching an insurrectionary movement to overthrow this government in the struggle for socialism. At this year’s Congress there is no mention of the general strike. The whole issue has been dropped, proving once again that the reactionary trade union bureaucracy which purports to lead the working class movement in Britain are a bunch of feeble cow- ards and will not fight for anything.
The National Shop Stewards Network a centrist organisa- tion in the trade unions and supported by the Socialist Party has been calling for a 24 hour public sector general strike and will be lobbying the TUC on September 8th. The NSSN supports the so called lefts in the bureaucracy on the General Council like, MCCluskey, Serwokta of PCS, Crowe of the RMT, Wrack of the FBU, and Gillian of the POA. The NSSN will not fight for a rank and file leadership independent of the bureaucracy.
As Trotsky observed “The bureaucracy of the trade Unions in Britain is the backbone of British Imperialism. The trade un- ion bureaucracy is the chief instrument for your oppression by the bourgeoisie state” At this year’s Meeting organised by the NSSN a number of these left trade union leaders will be speak- ing , but you will find no explanation of why the TUC General Council has failed so miserably in carrying out TUC policy with reference to the general strike tactic. There has been no fight for even the minimal demand of a 24 Hour Public Sector strike. The bureaucracy remains prostrate before the capitalist class. It re- mains a loyal servant of the bourgeoisie.
The Con/Dem Coalition Anti Lobbying Bill if passed will mean the destruction of trade unionism in Britain. Any type of action, however minimal will be illegal. What has been the re- sponse of this Bureaucracy, a request to the Coalition to think again and put forward this Anti-lobbying Bill.
The proposed privatisation of the Post Office has led to two consultative ballots in the CWU, the main Union in the Post Office. There has been an overwhelming response by the CWU membership for action to defend their jobs, pay and conditions. The response of the Leaders of the CWU Billy Hays and Dave ward has been plenty of talk but no action. The task in this period is to fight for an alternative leadership in the working class and force the trade union leaders to fight and lead an indefinite general strike or make way for leaders that will.
Socialist Fight and the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International puts the following demands at this year’s TUC Congress.
*Build Grass Roots Left as the Rank and File Organisation in the trade unions!
*Election of all trade union officials!
*Democratise the Unions!
*Defeat and smash the anti-Union Laws!
*Build a national housing campaign to fight for decent social housing for all, defeat the Bedroom Tax. Follow the example of the Counihan-Sanchez campaign in Brent.
*Defend the NHS , no to privatisation!
*Nationalise the Banks and major Industries under the control of Workers and Working class communities
*The TUC must call an indefinite general strike! to bring down the Con-Dem government!
*Rebuild the Revolutionary International, The Trotskyist Fourth International.
We call on the TUC to demand the Greek Government drop all charges against Savas Michael-Matsas a Greek Jewish Marxist intellectual and General Secretary of the Workers Revolutionary Party (EEK) of Greece and Constantino Moutzouris, the former rector of the University of Athens, on 3 September 2013.
This is an extract from the letter handed in the the Greek Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Mr. Anastase Scopelitis on Saturday 31 August 2013: “Savas Matsas is accused of “defamation” against the Greek openly Nazi party, the infamous Golden Dawn, for “instigation of violence and chaos” and “disruption of the civil peace” because, four years ago, in May 2009, the EEK had issued a leaflet calling for participation into an antifas- cist demonstration of protest against a murderous attack by the Nazis against the immigrant communities in Athens covered by the Greek police.
Simultaneously with this preposterous “legal” action, the Nazis have intensified a non-stop, vicious anti-Semitic and anti-communist campaign against the Secretary of the EEK, accusing him of being “an instrument of the World Jewish Conspiracy to foment civil war among Greeks to impose a Judeo-Bolshevik regime in Greece”. Pictures of Savas Mi- chael are presented combined with anti-Semitic insults and openly death threats: “Crush the Jewish vermin!”
We wish to express our total opposition to the Greek state and government collaboration with the Nazi Golden Dawn in bringing these persecutions. We wish to express our outrage at the collaboration of the Greek state and government in failing to oppose and thereby collaborating with the vile anti-Semitic campaign against Savas Michael-Matsas and thereby against all Jews.
We demand that the charges against Savas Michael- Matsas and Constantino Moutzouris be dropped immedi- ately and that the Greek state and government protect the immigrant community against the fascist assaults of the Golden Dawn and cease prosecuting their defenders.
Steve Hedley on behalf of the Rail and Maritime Union (UK)
Weyman Bennett on behalf of Unite Against Fascism (UAF, UK)
D.R. Rayner Lysaght on behalf of Socialist Democracy (Ireland)
David Yaffe on behalf of the Revolutionary Communist Group (UK)
Michael Holden on behalf of the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group (UK)
Michael Pröbsting on behalf of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency
Alex Steiner on behalf of permanent-revolution.org (USA)
Martin Ralph on behalf of the International Socialist League (UK)
William Keats on behalf of the Communist Left (Australia)
Tony Gard on behalf of the Revolutionary Internationalist League (UK)
Movimiento Popular Unificado (Panama)
Juan Marino and Lionel Zivals on behalf of Tendencia Piquetera Revolucionaria (Argentina)
Matías Mlotek on behalf of Frente de Estudiantes en Lucha – FEL (Argentina)
Daiana Asquini on behalf of Agrupación de Mujeres en Lucha Las Piqueteras (Argentina)
Sirimal Peiris on behalf of Workers Voice (Sri Lanka)
Felicity Dowling Cheshire West NUT Solidarity officer (UK)
Martin Jansen on behalf of the Revolutionary Marxist Group (South Africa)
Frank Fitzmaurice on behalf of the United Socialist Party (TUSC, UK)
Martin Thomas on behalf of the Alliance for Workers Lib- erty (AWL, UK)
Marcus Halaby on behalf of Workers Power (WP,UK)
John Byrne on behalf of the Anti Fascist Network (UK)
Mark Fischer on behalf of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Antônio Junior on behalf of Vanguarda Metalúrgica (Brazil)
Humberto Rodrigues on behalf of the Communist League (LCFI, Brazil)
León Carlos on behalf of the Tendencia Militante Bolchevique (LCFI, Argentina)
Gerry Downing on behalf of Socialist Fight, (LCFI, UK)
Yours Sincerely on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee
We call on the TUC to demand of Greece President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that they cease prosecuting Sa- vas Michael-Matsas and Constantino Moutzouris for defending immi-grants against the murderous attacks of the fascist organisation Golden Dawn!