Dave Nellist Calls For City Link Nationalisation

Dave Nellist Calls For City Link Nationalisation

Former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist

Former MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist

The leader of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), former Coventry Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist, has today called for government intervention to save City Link jobs, saying the company should be nationalised.

The courier firm, City Link, whose headquarters are in Coventry, went into administration on Christmas Day putting hundreds of local jobs at risk.

Mr Nellist said today:

“The callous announcement of these job cuts, after staff had worked flat out in the days up to Christmas to make deliveries, is a disgrace.

Postal and delivery services are becoming more fragmented and insanely competitive –  with bosses seeking profit not from better service, but from trying to push down workers’ wages and terms and conditions, increase zero hour contracts and promote widespread subcontracting and self-employment.

15 months ago I joined City Link workers who were protesting in Coventry precinct against pay cuts of up to £4000, enforced overtime, axing of a bonus scheme and changes in travel arrangements.  Since then many City Link workers have been forced to work as self-employed contractors and, following the Christmas announcement, will get no redundancy pay at all and become ‘unsecured creditors’, last on the list.

Bosses, however, seem to have planned for this for weeks before telling workers. The company appears to have been meeting with insolvency advisors since November, and on December 9th three current City Link directors established a new firm – City Link B2b – based at Baginton.  This has led the transport union, RMT, to claim these directors could be preparing to buy back assets from administrators “at a knockdown price”.

I support the call by RMT general secretary Mick Cash for government intervention to save City Link jobs. The firm should be taken into public ownership and a plan for a nationalised distribution service, including a publicly owned Royal Mail, should be urgently developed.

The government could move in days, if not hours, to nationalise the debts of the bankers.  In my view it is clearly in the public interest that City Link jobs, and the families who rely on them, should be saved.”

Do you agree with Dave? Get in touch!



“We Need To Protest and Fight For Our Jobs” – Interview With a City Link Worker

“We Need To Protest and Fight For Our Jobs” – Interview With a City Link Worker

City Link's Coventry depot

City Link’s Coventry depot

Today one of our members, Dan, interviewed a young City Link worker who was recently made redundant when the company went into administration. He wanted to remain anonymous so we’ve used a false name, George.

Dan: Hi George, thanks for doing this interview today. How long have you been working for City Link?

George: No problem. I’ve been there for a couple of months, it was my first job when I came here from Romania – and it’s already gone.

D: What were City Link like to work for?

G: It wasn’t too bad, the pay is roughly minimum wage – about £6.50 an hour.

D: Do they owe you any money for your shifts?

G: Yes, a few days pay – about £200 overall.

D: Wow – do you know when you’ll get that?

G: No idea. The place was closed today.

D: What will you do for work now? Do you know anywhere that’s hiring?

G: I’m looking for jobs online, but I haven’t seen anywhere. It’s the end of the year, there’s not many jobs about.

D: Why do you think City Link collapsed?

G: The f**king system, mate! It’s the capitalist system! The same thing happened in Romania in 2013 – a company closed down, just before Christmas. How are you supposed to buy presents when you can’t work? How can you pay the bills? Where’s the “goodwill” of the holidays when they’re getting rid of our jobs?

D: So what do you think City Link workers should do to fight back?

G: I think we need to protest and fight for our jobs. It’s not just about me and my friends there – there’s thousands of people in the same situation.

Thanks again to “George” for doing this interview – the Socialist Party will do whatever we can to support City Link workers.

Stop the City Link Robbery – Open the Books!

Stop the City Link Robbery – Open the Books! 

Better Capital boss and Tory/UKIP donor Jon Moulton

Better Capital boss and Tory/UKIP donor Jon Moulton

It is becoming more and more evident that “Better Capital” had one intention from their ownership of City Link, and at the moment they appear to have achieved that aim at the expense of the livelihoods of thousands of ordinary working people around the country, very many in my home city of Coventry.

They appear to have taken the money and ran!

They are even leaving the taxpayer to foot the redundancy bill for those “fortunate” enough to qualify.

Even the bare minimum the publicly funded scheme offers is too much for what is expected to be left, after they cynically walked away on Christmas Eve leaving the RMT the thankless task of spending Christmas Day announcing the collapse of City Link to the press, media and as many of the affected members as possible.

Nobody deserves to find out that their job is very likely to go when they tune in to hear the Queen’s Speech with friends and family!

It just shows the absolute lack of respect the owners showed for those ordinary working people that made their business possible and a total absence of any common human decency.

Some may argue that common decency has no part in business but maybe that is a fundamental problem with the way some people do business?

The owners did nothing except buy a couple of days extra time for themselves whilst they planned their escape route, like bank robbers carrying a well planned and executed heist.

They were in talks with insolvency experts in November. They kept it secret. The administrators have confirmed this.

They intended to hold the news back until after Christmas.

According to the administrators the firm was insolvent on Dec 22nd.

Why WAS it insolvent at any point?

City Link appears to have been asset rich when Better Capital paid just £1 for a company they admitted was well on its way to viability, even under the previous management.

Where are these assets now or the funds they realised from them?

Better Capital doesn’t appear to have put in half the money to the firm that they promised to, and yet City Link has run out of money?

The RMT, supported by an ever increasing number of people and trade unions, are demanding that an immediate investigation is launched into the activities of Better Capital, and that the Business Secretary meets them and affected parties NOW rather than sometime in January before it’s too late.

The company should open the books to the workers and the RMT so we can see where the money’s gone – and the company should be nationalised to save 3000 workers’ jobs.

We need to start fighting back quickly – the bosses  already have a head start!

Lee Cooper, Coventry RMT No. 1 Branch Secretary (elect), personal capacity

City Link’s Scrooge Bosses Lay 3000 Workers Off at Christmas

City Link’s Scrooge Bosses Lay 3000 Workers Off at Christmas

Merry Christmas from City Link

Merry Christmas from City Link bosses

Coventry-based delivery group City Link’s bosses have hit a new low by announcing that almost 3,000 workers are losing their jobs – on Christmas Day. The RMT union has rightly described the decision as “disgraceful” and “brutal”, and workers across the country are outraged.

Companies like City Link should be nationalised, along with the recently sold-off Royal Mail, and run as part of a fully integrated, publicly owned postal service run under workers control. Rather than administrators picking over the bones of the company, they should open the books to show workers and the trade unions where the money’s gone.

Many City Link workers will understandably be in shock at this news – but they and their union, the RMT, along with all other unions and workers in Coventry, should prepare to fight back against the greedy bosses. As one City Link worker said earlier on the news, “we’re on just above minimum wage – the people upstairs are on a lot more than that!”

We will release a more detailed article in the next few days. Solidarity to City Link workers and their families from Coventry Socialist Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Happy Christmas from Warwick Uni VC Nigel Thrift!

Happy Christmas from Warwick Uni VC Nigel Thrift! 

Nigel wondering how much to pay himself next year

Nigel wondering how much to pay himself next year

Nigel Thrift, Warwick Uni’s inappropriately named Vice Chancellor, has once again given himself a pay rise – from £332K to £348K a year! Since Thrift began his term as VC in 2006, his salary has increased by 26% – while other workers at the university have seen their pay decrease by 6-7% in real terms. However, there are almost 160 members of staff at the uni earning over £100K – and one unnamed staff member on an unbelievable £370K – even more than Thrift! These staff were paid £21million between them – at the same time as lecturers saw their pay cut, and staff employed by “Unitemps” were put on zero-hour contracts.

Thrift recently defended the university’s decision to set police on peaceful protesters, despite the police CS spraying and attacking them. He also oversaw the University taking out an injunction against protesters who were occupying the Rootes building, and the disgraceful decision by Unitemps not to pay staff whose shifts were cancelled due to the closure of the building.

While students have to pay £9,000 fees, and lecturers are having their pay cut, it’s nice to see Nigel putting that money to good use!

As Russell Brand prepares to take on Farage…time to build the fight for socialist revolution

As Russell Brand prepares to take on Farage…time to build the fight for socialist revolution!



Many people across the UK are waiting in eager anticipation for the battle between Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Thursday night’s BBC Question Time programme (11 December).

Over the recent period Russell Brand has been an outspoken critic of austerity and the political establishment where all three parties, Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, believe ordinary people should pay for the crisis. The 99% suffer at the hands of global capitalism and the 1% at the top continue to prosper. Brand’s series of shows, ‘The Trews’, have become popular as an expression of anger against the system, while his book, simply titled ‘Revolution’, captures the growing mood for change in society.

Meanwhile Farage has falsely painted himself as an opponent of the same political establishment, which is rich considering he is of true right-wing banking stock and would carry out even worse austerity given half the chance. UKIP, despite how it portrays itself, is very much part of the capitalist system, and part of the problem. For example, its two new MPs were recruited from the Conservative Party!

Fire minister Penny Mordaunt is also on the Question Time panel; three days after the latest firefighters’ strike in defence of pensions see the following footage of the demonstration in Buckinghamshire to defend sacked firefighter Ricky Matthews.

However the debate pans out on Thursday night, the Socialist Party is dedicated to fighting for revolutionary change and putting working people in control. There are sufficient resources in Britain and worldwide for us all to lead much better and fulfilled lives but under the status quo it is in fact the outmoded capitalist system which is holding us back.

If you agree with Russell’s call for a revolution and want to fight for socialism we need to make sure it is not just a pipe dream but that collectively we make it a reality.

The time to act is now – The Revolution needs you! Join us in the Socialist Party and our sister parties worldwide in 45 countries as part of the Committee for a Workers’ International, and let us make it happen!

If you are interested in joining with us to build a revolutionary socialist force in Britain and across the globe fill in the form below and we will be in touch.

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Coventry Council Scrap Planned Cuts to Disabled Children’s Transport

Coventry Council Scrap Planned Cuts to Disabled Children’s Transport

Protestors outside the Council House

Protestors outside the Council House

Coventry Council announced today that disabled children’s transport to school will continue to be funded for at least another year, after protests over the planned cuts.

Over 50 people protested last month outside the Council House, including Socialist Students and TUSC activists as well as members of Warwick for Free Education. The protest was organised by community campaigner and DPAC member Eleanor Lisney.

This victory shows that protest and pressure works, and councils can be forced to back down over planned cuts – however, as the funding has only been guaranteed for another year it shows the importance of keeping that pressure up, both in terms of protest and electoral challenges to councillors who continue to vote for cuts.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students

It is urgent that the Council use the £80million+ reserves to stop any cuts to buy time to build a mass fightback in the city, linking up with other councils, to demand proper funding from central Government.

Warwick Students Hold #CopsOffCampus Protest Against Police Brutality and for Free Education

Warwick Students Hold #CopsOffCampus Protest Against Police Brutality and for Free Education

Over 1000 students gather at Warwick for #copsoffcampus protest

Over 1000 students gather at Warwick for #copsoffcampus protest

During a peaceful sit-in at Warwick University last Wednesday (December 3rd), students were attacked by police and security guards using CS spray and drawing a taser. Video footage clearly shows police brutality, with a female protester being dragged across the room by her hair, and another student being put in a headlock and slammed to the floor by a police officer.

These actions were a disgrace, and the students rightly called a protest the day after in response. This protest was attended by over 1000 people, and a number of people spoke to the demo including Sierra Leonean activist Mohammed Wurie, who brought solidarity from Coventry University SU and Coventry Socialist Students.

After the demonstration around 200 students occupied the 2nd floor of the Rootes building, and immediately began to discuss the aims of the occupation and the movement for free education.


Hundreds of students occupy the Rootes building at Warwick

Dan Crowter, a member of Coventry Socialist Party and TUSC local election candidate, spoke to the occupation to bring solidarity greetings. He read a solidarity statement from Dave Nellist, which was also on hundreds of Socialist Students leaflets that were given out (click here to read the statement)

At the Socialist Students national conference on Saturday this motion of solidarity with Warwick students was passed unanimously:

The right to protest on campus

Proposed by Warwick University Socialist Students

Conference notes:

  1. The brutal treatment of Warwick university students at the hands of police during an occupation calling for free education
  2. Similar violence suffered by students at Lancaster, Manchester and Sheffield universities as well as elsewhere
  3. The defiant, 1000+ strong protest organised by Warwick students in response to this assault on their democratic rights
  4. The solidarity demonstrations organised elsewhere in the country, including London
  5. Last year, students responded to police brutality with a wave of ‘cops off campus’ demonstrations
  6. There are ongoing attempts to undermine the right to protest, including (but not limited to):
  • Police violence used against demonstrators
  • Kettling and other repressive policing techniques
  • The criminalisation and imprisonment of peaceful protesters
  • Repressive anti-trade union legislation

Conference believes:

  1. Attacks on democratic rights have gone hand in hand with austerity and are designed to weaken and repress attempts to fight back

Conference resolves:

  1. To send a message of solidarity to the students at Warwick as well as around the country who have suffered these attacks over the last week
  2. To continue to organise and mobilise for ‘cops off campus’ protests around the country in response to these attacks
  3. To follow this up with a day of action in the new year which raises the demand for free education and an end to austerity, alongside defending the right to protest on campuses.”
Socialist Students national conference showing solidarity with Warwick students

Socialist Students national conference showing solidarity with Warwick students

It is clear that the police were told to back off on Thursday after the events of Wednesday, with only a small number of Police Liaison Officers visibly present. This shows the power we have – when there’s a mass occupation, police keep their distance. It is crucial to harness the power that we hold, especially those who may be new to political activity.

We need to organise more mass demonstrations and occupations as part of a wider movement to fight for free education and to change society.

Solidarity message from Dave Nellist to Warwick student demonstration

 National chair of TUSC (Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition), Dave Nellist, sends solidarity greetings to the Warwick student demonstration held on Wednesday 04-12-14:

(Dave is a former Coventry Socialist Councillor & Coventry Militant Labour MP)

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

‘This generation of students threatens to be the first for decades which won’t be better off than their parents.  Crippling mortgages, having to supplement inadequate pensions, and debts exceeding £50,000 to get a degree, will be difficult to cope with even if students succeed in getting a graduate level job.

For the thousands who don’t, it will be impossible.

Education should be free.

Peaceful protest is a democratic right.  40 years ago several hundred of us, at what is now Coventry University, held a 19 day occupation of the equivalent of the Senate House.  I support the right of Warwick students to protest, including peaceful sit-ins and occupations, to regain genuinely free education.

The actions of the police on Wednesday, as viewed on YouTube, were a disgrace and formal complaints should be made by those present to ensure an investigation takes place.  But internal investigations by the police of themselves, is not enough.  We no longer have proper, democratic oversight and accountability of the police by the communities in which they work.  Present Police Commissioners are toothless and almost all drawn from establishment parties.

We need a new accountability of public sector organisations like the police – to elected committees of local people, including councillors, representatives of trade unions, residents and tenants organisations – and yes, representatives of students and young people as well.

The actions of the police on Wednesday may be an aberration – or it may be part of a pattern that believes kettling and heavy handed policing of student protest is ok.  Either way a proper and genuine investigation is required.

The police need to be democratically accountable to the communities they serve.


Dave Nellist

(Socialist Party and National Chair, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)