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From: The Socialist issue 869, 9 September 2015: Now build austerity fightback

Search site for keywords: TUC - Union - Cuts - Labour - Brighton - NSSN - Strike - Shop Stewards - Tories - National Shop Stewards Network - Jeremy Corbyn - Rob Williams - Trade union - Unions - RMT - Trade unions - General strike - FBU - CWU - Anti-union laws - PCS

Most important TUC Congress for decades

Rob Williams, Chair, National Shop Stewards Network

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) meets in Brighton from 13-16 September in the most important Congress since 1984. Then thousands of striking miners lobbied the Congress to demand that the TUC come out in solidarity with them and their union, the National Union of Miners.

Thatcher, with her pit closure plan, sought revenge for the earlier defeat inflicted on the Tories and their previous anti-union laws by the working-class and especially the miners.

Kill the Bill!

The slogan used by many trade unionists against Heath's Industrial Relations Bill was 'Kill the Bill!' It is being revived by activists now, including the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN), who will be lobbying TUC Congress before it starts on Sunday.

The lobby will be building pressure for the TUC to step up what is an inadequate lobby of Parliament planned for 2 November, when the Bill has its third and final reading.

The NSSN is calling for a mass demonstration to march on parliament on that day, warning Cameron and the Tories that if it is passed, they will be met with mass co-ordinated strike action on the scale of a 24-hour general strike.

Motions from the RMT, FBU and the CWU explicitly call for action on this scale and should be supported individually or if composited.

The link has to be made between the Tory anti-union plans and their new cuts package. PCS's motion on fighting the cuts, including the pay cap with co-ordinated strike action at its centre should be supported.

Jeremy Corbyn

Congress begins the day after the Labour leadership election is announced, with the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn addressing delegates as Labour leader.

His support is a reflection of the real defiant mood that is building in society generally, which is demonstrated by the increasing number of industrial disputes.

Trade unions should put demands on Corbyn on fighting the anti-union proposals and resisting the cuts, in particular Labour councils refusing to implement any more Tory cuts.

NSSN public rally and lobby of TUC Congress in Brighton at 1pm Sunday 13 September at the Charlotte Room in the Grand Hotel, 97-99 King's Road, BN1 2FW (next to the Brighton

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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Article dated 9 September 2015

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RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

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