Motions to LRC conference 17 November 2007

Submitted by martin on 4 November, 2007 - 2:08 Author: Martin Thomas

Below are motions drafted by AWL members and supporters of the paper Solidarity for the Labour Representation Committee conference coming up on 17 November. Several of the motions deliberately overlap with each other in content, so that if some fail to get the support of bodies affiliated to the LRC, or fail to get that in good time, then not all the content is lost.

A. Re-launch to achieve Workers' Representation

The National Conference of the Labour Representation Committee recognises that the decisions taken at the 2007 Labour Party conference at Bournemouth have disenfranchised the affiliated trade unions and Constituency Labour Parties. Unless the major unions can be turned round, and forced to push through a reversal of Bournemouth and a restoration of Labour Party democracy, this marks an historic turning point in the process of change that has taken place in the Labour and trade union movement over the last decade. This crisis of working class representation demands urgent action.

The LRC is in a prime position to play the leading role in addressing this crisis and become an axis to bringing about re-composition in the socialist and labour movement. This requires a re-launch of the LRC so that we work to provide representation to the politically disenfranchised working class.

The LRC must start to work as a broader Workers' Representation Committee - an open, democratic socialist organisation committed to the promotion of internationalism, peace and equality. Our mission is the creation of a socialist society organized on the basis of social ownership of the instruments of social production, with production, distribution and services democratically controlled and administered by the workers themselves.

Our immediate aim of the Workers' Representation Committee is to achieve the widest possible representation of labour in opposition to the representatives of capital.

Conference asks the incoming National Committee to discuss and prepare, for the next LRC AGM, constitutional amendments reflecting these priorities.

Conference sets as its goal the achievement of the widest possible unity under the banner of working class representation. This conference instructs the incoming National Committee to issue an appeal to of all socialists and trade unionists to join our project. The National Committee is further instructed to enter into discussions with those socialist organisations, trade union broad lefts/rank and files etc. that are not affiliated to the LRC and ask them to join the Labour Representation Committee.

Conference resolves to campaign to win Trades Councils and other local representative bodies of the labour movement to join in the formation of local workers' representation committees, as local affiliated branches of the Labour Representation Committee, and drawing together socialists, trade unionists, social movements and working class communities. Local committees will be encouraged to adopt a flexible approach, utilising whatever means available, to secure working-class political representation.

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B. Constitutional Amendment:

The National Conference recognises the need for a re-launch of the LRC and renewal of our organisation and its goals in order to provide representation to the politically disenfranchised working class. As such conference resolves to:

1. Amend section 1 of the Rules and Constitution to change the name to ‘The Workers Representation Committee.’

2. Replace the existing Aims and objectives with a broader goal of:

a)The Workers Representation Committee will organise within the labour movement, social movements and the working class as a whole to achieve the implementation of its aims and objectives and its policies as determined by its AGM.

b) The Workers Representation Committee is an open, democratic socialist organisation committed to the promotion of internationalism, peace and equality. Our mission is the creation of a socialist society organized on the basis of social ownership of the instruments of social production, all means of distribution and the social services democratically controlled and administered by the workers themselves.

c) The immediate aim of the Workers Representation Committee is to achieve the widest possible representation of labour in opposition to the representatives of capital, utilising all the means at the disposal of the Workers Representation Committee to achieve this objective.

d) The Workers Representation Committee will seek to transform the Labour Movement into a body that reflects the interests of all sections of the working class.

3.Replace the existing section of the constitution on Membership to: Full individual membership is only open to all who accept the aims, objectives and rules of the Workers Representation Committee. Membership is subject to confirmation by the national committee.

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C. Campaigning in unions to reverse Bournemouth

The National Conference of the Labour Representation Committee recognises that the decisions taken at the 2007 Labour Party conference at Bournemouth have disenfranchised the affiliated trade unions and Constituency Labour Parties.

We recognise that LRC will have to pay attention to political channels other than the traditional ones which were focused through a sovereign Labour Party conference and political motions to it from unions and CLPs.

Activists from a variety of social movements will play a part in rebuilding working-class political representation. LRC should seek to reach out to, and draw in, activists from those movements.

However, the independent political representation of the working class must be the work of the organised working class itself. There is no substitute or short-cut. The LRC's specific priority must remain the revitalisation, reorganisation, and reorientation of the organised working-class movement in order to achieve accountable, responsive, principled independent political representation of the working class.

AWe note that the union votes for the Bournemouth rule changes were cast without any serious prior discussion and mandeate from the unions. In fact, until only days before the Bournemouth conference major union leaders were vowing to oppose the changes.

The LRC therefore resolves ot make it a major priority in the period up to the 2008 union conferences to campaign to commit the unions to submit rule changes to 2008 Labour Party conference to reverse Bournemouth and restore Labour Party democracy.

Conference also resolves to campaign to rebuild and reinvigorate Trades Councils, and win them to become local workers' representation committees - active campaigning bodies which draw together socialists, trade unionists, social movements and working class communities, and which affiliate to the LRC.

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D. Europe

The LRC conference notes the Tory Party campaign for a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty.

LRC believes that the bringing-down of barriers between the different countries in Europe is a step forward even under capitalism. The proper socialist response to the increasing scope and integration of the European Union is to fight for Europe-wide working-class unity against the European bosses and bureaucrats, not to seek to retain barriers.

LRC is for a democratic unification of Europe rather than the integration through streamlined haggling proposed by the Reform Treaty. We do not endorse the Reform Treaty. But the status quo gives no better conditions for fighting for a democratic united Europe than the Reform Treaty would, and a re-raising of barriers between countries would create worse conditions. We recognise that the Tory campaign is a reactionary one, aimed at re-raising barriers between countries.

LRC therefore resolves to oppose the campaign for a referendum on the Reform Treaty.

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E. Labour movement orientation

The National Conference of the Labour Representation Committee recognises that the decisions taken at the 2007 Labour Party conference at Bournemouth have disenfranchised the affiliated trade unions and Constituency Labour Parties. Unless the major unions can be turned round, and forced to push through a reversal of Bournemouth and a restoration of Labour Party democracy, this marks an historic turning point in the process of change that has taken place in the Labour and trade union movement over the last decade.

In our fight to rebuild working-class political representation on a principled basis, LRC now needs to seek other political channels than the traditional ones which were focused through a sovereign Labour Party conference and political motions to it from unions and CLPs.

Activists from a variety of social movements will play a part in rebuilding working-class political representation. LRC should seek to reach out to, and draw in, activists from those movements.

However, the independent political representation of the working class must be the work of the organised working class itself. There is no substitute or short-cut. The LRC's specific priority must remain the revitalisation, reorganisation, and reorientation of the organised working-class movement in order to achieve accountable, responsive, principled independent political representation of the working class.

After Bournemouth, LRC must direct effort towards rebuilding the roots of working-class representation at local level.

Conference resolves to campaign to rebuild and reinvigorate Trades Councils, and win them to become local workers' representation committees - active campaigning bodies which draw together socialists, trade unionists, social movements and working class communities, and which affiliate to the LRC.

Where necessary, LRC will also seek to encourage other, more ad hoc, local representative bodies of the labour movement to take on that role.

Local committees will be encouraged to adopt a flexible approach, utilising whatever means available, to secure working-class political representation.

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F. RMT-initiated slate for London Mayor/ GLA

AWL is also supporting a motion from an RMT branch asking LRC to welcome, support and participate in the possible RMT initiative for a working-class slate for London Mayor/ GLA.

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