John Vasey, Wakefield Socialist Party
Wakefield Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) held its first public meeting of the new year on 20 January, in person and via Zoom, to deal with the urgent question of working-class political representation.
Sarah Woolley, bakers’ union (BFAWU) general secretary, spoke. Socialist Party member Mick Griffiths also spoke. Unfortunately, the other speaker, transport union RMT member Trevor Howard, had a family emergency, and was unable to be there.
Sarah said her union is breaking the political barrier to non-Labour Party workers. She outlined the role of the Bakers’ union in backing their members who contested seats for parliament while upholding the union’s principles.
This would bring recognition for those employed in the food industry, where she originated, as they were largely unappreciated by society. The critical role they played in feeding the nation was hardly publicised, so it would help get the message over.
Mick Griffiths, our candidate standing as part of TUSC, explained the huge threat the Tories’ Health and Care Bill posed to the NHS, and why local council elections should be utilised to fight it. Mick is the retired secretary of the local Unison union health branch. He has led incredibly successful struggles to defend Pinderfields hospital and its workers.