Wednesday, 30 March 2011

TUSC launches election campaign

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition only campaign calling for no cuts

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) launched its campaign for the Welsh Assembly elections in Cardiff today.The Socialist Party joined TUSC when it was formed to provide a united campaign of socialists and trade unionists for the 2010 general election. Among prominent supporters are Bob Crow and Alex Gordon general secretary and president of the RMT rail and maritime union, Janice Godrich president of PCS the civil servants union and Dave Nellist socialist councillor in Coventry.

TUSC is standing 24 candidates in two regions putting forward a fighting alternative to the man parties in the assembly elections. The main policies it is putting put forward are:

  • No cuts in public services in Wales. The Assembly should agree a budget that meets the needs of the people of Wales and launch a mass campaign to return the rest from Westminster.
  • Support for a 24-hour public sector general strike to force the government to retreat from cuts, job losses and pension cutbacks
  • A campaign for renationalisation of the railways and utilities
  • A regulation from the Assembly to prevent Labour councils like Rhondda Cynon Taff and Neath Port Talbot threatening to sack their workforce if they refuse to accept lower wages
Alec Thraves, a TUSC candidate in South Wales West said: “Thousands of trade unionists travelled to London on Saturday to demonstrate against cuts but none of the main parties are representing them. The demonstration was one of the biggest in British history and shows the depth of opposition that exists. Most supported the call for a 24 hour general strike. We need Assembly Members who will support workers taking action against the cuts. All four main parties accept some form of cuts to pay for a crisis created by the greed of the very rich”.

Adding that TUSC representatives in the Assembly would spearhead the fight against the government and local council cuts Ross Saunders, a candidate in South Wales Central said: “We absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of Labour councils in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Neath Port Talbot threatening their workforce with the sack if they did not agree to cuts in their pay packets of as much as 40%. TUSC will campaign for the Assembly to step in to prevent any Welsh councils doing the same again.

“We do not agree with Labour and Plaid in the Assembly in cutting spending on the already-stretched National Health Service. Nor do we accept that hundreds of jobs should be under threat in the re-organisation of higher education.

“Our representatives will not passively pass on these vicious cuts to the most vulnerable in society as Labour and Plaid councillors in Wales are doing.

“We believe the Assembly should refuse to pass on the cuts and instead demand that a Westminster Government fund a budget which meets the needs of people in Wales and this alternative can be funded by reclaiming £123 billion unpaid tax, reclaiming the hundreds of billions in bail-outs to the banks and cancelling Trident.

“The £1.8 billion of cuts to the Welsh assembly’s budget could be wiped out by bankers’ bonuses at state-owned RBS in 2009 and if Barclays Bank paid full tax on its profits in 2009”.

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