Dave Nellist calls for solidarity with firefighters’ strike action

 Dave Nellist calls for solidarity with firefighters’ strike action

Dave Nellist of TUSC and the Socialist Party

Dave Nellist of TUSC and the Socialist Party

We are pleased to carry below comments from Dave Nellist, national chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and the Socialist Party in Coventry in support of the action being taken by members of the FBU starting on Friday at 6pm. For more information about the strike visit the website of the FBU here

“TUSC supporters will be visiting FBU picket lines over the next four days, taking messages of solidarity with firefighters’ strike action in defence of their pensions and our public services.

Only one party standing in the general and local elections next year would reverse all the 20% funding cuts to the fire service implemented by the coalition government over the last four years.

 Only one party would reinstate the 5000 jobs lost and discuss with the FBU not only the reopening of closed stations, but the best places for stations to be to ensure rapid response times.

And only one party would reverse the privatisation across the service, not least in equipment, which all 4 establishment parties would maintain.

That party is TUSC (the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) – and I heartily invite any firefighters reading this, indeed any trade unionist, to consider standing as a TUSC candidate in next year’s general and local elections, where we will be the only working class anti-austerity candidates opposing the big 4.”

Dave Nellist National Chair, TUSC

AGREE WITH DAVE? WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TUSC? FILL IN THE FORM BELOW

(to visit the website of TUSC click here)

J10 in Coventry – report and pictures

J1o in Coventry – report and pictures

Picket at Central Library

Picket at Central Library

This is a brief report of the fantastic action against austerity taken by the trade unions today.

Fuller analysis to come.

Across the country over 1.5 million public sector workers took action today against pay cuts, attacks on pensions and in defence of public services.

6 unions took action in the city, Unison, Unite, GMB, FBU, NUT and PCS and the day had more than a passing resemblance to that historic day of strike action on 30th November, 2011 when we took action over our pensions.

Picket at Fullwood Close

Picket at Fullwood Close

Picket lines were mounted at workplaces around the city, coming together with a rally of around 500 people in Broadgate Square and then a loud, vibrant march around the city centre. This was a real show of unity between the unions, and shows the potential for co-ordinated action. Today needs to be the spring board for future action. It would be nothing less than a crime if this opportunity was squandered as was the case in the aftermath of N30, 2011, as leaders of the larger trade unions allowed the unity between our unions to be destroyed.

Picket of Spire House

Picket of Spire House

The rally heard from some excellent speakers from all the unions involved who highlighted the dire situation facing workers and their families.

There was an international dimension to proceedings, which was very important given that workers in all countries face similar problems – of the 1 per cent trying to make the 99 per cent pay for the crisis of capitalism. Therefore it was a massive boost to hear Ginger Jentzen from the $15now campaign and Socialist Alternative in the USA. Ginger explained to loud cheers and applause how the campaign in Seattle had won $15 per hour minimum wage, taking 100,000 workers outs of poverty.

Ginger Jentzen address the rally

Ginger Jentzen addresses the rally

The sun shone brightly on the action today. Many reports from picket lines explained how in a good number of cases the action was supported even more than during the pensions strike, and it re-stated the importance of picketing with some success in persuading fellow workers not to cross the line.

A section of the march

A section of the march

Today could be a start towards further action. It is critical the days in September that have been ‘pencilled in’ for further action are seriously committed to and built for. Socialist Party members in the trade unions will be putting forward the idea of building towards more co-ordinated action, including a 24 hour general strike. We have to build the biggest possible pressure in the trade unions for further action, the unions have the power, time to use it!

Unison members from John Gulson Primary School

Unison members from John Gulson Primary School

 

PCS picket line

PCS picket line

Fire-fighters rally in Birmingham

Fire-fighters rally in Birmingham

Dave Nellist addresses the FBU rally

Dave Nellist addresses the FBU rally

With just 5 days work, about 150 fire-fighters and their families attended a lunchtime rally on Saturday, June 21 in Victoria Square, Birmingham as part of their campaign against government imposed changes to pensions. Firefighters from Coventry travelled to Birmingham to join their colleagues.

The Tory led coalition is seeking to take the best part of £4000 a year from the wages of fire-fighters in compulsory increases to pension contributions, whilst at the same time raising their retirement age from 55 to 60. If you were at the top of a burning building who would you prefer coming up the ladder to rescue you – a 30-year-old or a 60-year-old?

Many fire-fighters in the audience supported the need for escalation of their action, and in particular welcomed the idea of the FBU joining the action on July 10th currently being balloted for by NUT, Unison, Unite, GMB and PCS.

Pictured is Dave Nellist, national chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition who was invited by the regional FBU to be one of the main speakers at the rally.  The solidarity leaflet that Socialist Party members delivered to fire station picket lines around the country on Saturday can be viewed by visiting this link

 

Happy Christmas from Coventry Socialist Party

Happy Christmas from Coventry Socialist Party

sp logo

Coventry Socialist Party would like to extend greetings to all members and supporters and a warm thank you for your support in 2013. The last year has been another busy one for the party in the local area and 2014 promises to be no different. As the Tory cuts continue to bite and Labour offer no real alternative, the role of the Socialist Party in opposing all cuts and putting forward a socialist alternative to the capitalist system will become ever more important.

Our members have been involved in a wide range of campaigns and activities in the trade unions, local communities and amongst youth and students on a whole number of issues.

In 2014 there will be Local and European elections where as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition we will be the only party firmly opposed to capitalist cuts and austerity.

We urge all of those who support us to think about how you can help build the socialist opposition to capitalism in 2014. Could you make a regular donation to the party, or take out a subscription to our newspaper ‘The Socialist’? If you are at a school or college, would you like help in setting up a Marxist discussion group? We would also urge all those who agree with what we are doing to consider taking the step of applying to join the Socialist Party.

If you can do any of the above or want more information, please fill in the form below

And lastly, please remember to support the FBU who are on strike this evening!

Support Coventry firefighters!

Support Coventry firefighters!

FBU members on the picket line at Radford

FBU members on the picket line at Radford

Members of the FBU took strike today across the country from 6pm-10pm in the ongoing dispute over pensions. The strike took place during the same week it was announced that MP’s would receive a 11 per cent increase in their pay which will also increase their pension entitlement. Who do we value more? Snouts in the trough MP’s or firefighters who do a vital job for our society? Most people will say it should be firefighters!

Members of the Socialist Party and Coventry TUC visited the picket line at Radford to show support. There is a further strike tomorrow evening 6pm-10pm and we urge the maximum support and solidarity for those taking action.

Coventry TUC hosts anti-cuts meeting

Coventry TUC hosts anti-cuts meeting

Coventry against the Cuts

Coventry against the Cuts

Last night saw Coventry TUC host a public meeting on the issue of the cuts and austerity. Around 45 people turned out to hear a wide variety of speakers from many different unions and campaigns.

Dan Crowter of Coventry Against the Bedroom Tax

Dan Crowter of Coventry Against the Bedroom Tax

The main speaker was Kindy Sandhu, author of ‘Layers of Inequality’ which examines the effects of the cuts on minorities. Many good platform speakers followed from Unison, CYWU / Unite and the FBU. Also speaking from the front were members of NAPO and an activist from the Coventry against the Bedroom Tax campaign.

Judy Griffiths of the CWU

Judy Griffiths of the CWU

There was a wealth of figures used which showed graphically how  working class people are being hit by the cuts. The key question now is what to do about it? Many speakers, including Socialist Party members active in the trade unions, pointed out that we need co-ordinated industrial action. It is 2 years since the huge N30 2011 pension strike, which saw up to 2 million workers take industrial action. This serious momentum was squandered by many of the TU leaders and now the task is to rebuild confidence in the workplace and amongst people more widely that these cuts can be challenged and beaten.

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

However as Dave Nellist pointed out, there has to be a political strategy linked to an industrial one. Earlier this year every single councillor in Coventry, including every Labour councillor, voted to implement the cuts and pass on Tory brutality to the people of the city. In this context it is necessary to build an alternative to the main establishment parties which can begin to popularise the ideas of socialism, in opposition to capitalism which forces us time and time again to pay for a crisis not of our making.

Firefighters take strike action – report from Coventry

Firefighters take strike action – Radford picket

FBU members on the picket line at Radford Fire Station

FBU members on the picket line at Radford Fire Station

Firefighters took industrial action today across the country over the government’s proposals on pensions. Members of the FBU walked out at 6.30pm and will take further action on Monday morning, from 6am – 8am. There was a solid response at Radford Fire Station with a good picket despite the pouring rain. Many motorists beeped their horns in support.

The FBU action follows on from the university strike yesterday, with probation officers due to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Once again the question of co-ordinating the action needs to be put on the agenda.

FBU members

FBU members

To read what the Socialist Party is putting forward regarding the need for a united fightback please click here

If you would like to send a message of support to the FBU, please fill in the form below and we will send it on to local FBU reps