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25 February 2021

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Amy Murphy, photo by Mary Finch

Amy Murphy, photo by Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

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

A press release from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Amy Murphy, the outgoing president of the fourth-biggest Labour Party-affiliated trade union, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw), has been welcomed as a new member of the national steering committee of the left-wing 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".

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, hailed the significance of Amy's decision:

"This follows the news from the president of the bakers' union that, in their consultation with members about whether they want to remain affiliated to the Labour Party, only 9% think that Keir Starmer's Labour is serving their interests now".

"TUSC only agreed in September last year that we would resume contesting elections, starting in this May's contests in Scotland, Wales, London and the English councils".

"We had wholeheartedly supported Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies and his defence of working-class people against the 'rigged system' that serves the interests of the billionaires. We saw his leadership of the Labour Party as creating opportunities to achieve working class socialist political representation on a mass basis".

"But everything about Starmer's leadership, from his policy retreats praising big business to the continued suspension of Jeremy from the Parliamentary Labour Party, shows that those opportunities are receding".

"So candidates standing in the elections in May who endorse Jeremy Corbyn's suspension while agreeing to implement austerity measures directed from the Tories in Westminster, cannot expect to be unchallenged at the ballot box and we are confident that more and more trade unionists will draw that same conclusion".

Jared Wood, a national executive committee member of the RMT transport workers' union officially represented on the TUSC steering committee, said:

"Ever since the RMT first formally agreed to participate in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition - at our annual general meeting in 2012 - we have always stressed the importance of building widespread trade union support for TUSC if it is to effectively contribute to what our AGM motion described as 'the hard, long-term task of rebuilding political representation for working class people'. Amy joining the steering committee is another important step forward for TUSC".

Another left-wing former Labour MP, Chris Williamson, representing 'Resist: the Movement for a People's Party' on the TUSC steering committee, said:

"Amy's decision to join TUSC's national steering committee is a further indication that a political alternative is needed. Usdaw has always been very loyal to the Labour Party, so it is very significant that one of the union's most senior figures has thrown her weight behind TUSC".

"We are building a strong coalition of trade unionists and socialists to give people hope that an alternative to the neoliberal nightmare is possible. People are understandably dissatisfied with the existing political status quo and I'm sure that Amy's decision will encourage others to follow her example".

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Related links:

TUSC:

triangleWaltham Forest TUSC: On 6 May - Use your vote to fight education cuts

triangleTyneside Socialist Party: Our TUSC against cuts electoral challenge

triangleLeicester and Leicestershire TUSC: Fight the cuts!

triangleLondon housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back

triangleTUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

Union:

triangleSupport the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

triangleThurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

triangleSPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

triangleRally for sacked RMT rep Declan

Trade union:

trianglePreparing for the revolts to come

triangleTrade union fighters rally to support victimised workers

triangleReinstate Moe - stop trade union-busting at Abellio!

Labour:

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

triangleFormer Labour parliamentary candidate to stand for TUSC

Labour Party:

triangleWarning: Labour Party cutters - careful who you phone!

Article dated 25 February 2021

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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