Trades Councils

Anarchists disrupt May Day rallies

Published on: Wed, 16/05/2012 - 07:10

Members of the Anarchist Federation in Nottingham, the “Autonomous Nottingham” group and some individuals staged a protest at the Nottingham May Day rally which ended up disrupting the whole rally.

The anarchists opposed the inclusion of Mansfield Labour MP Alan Meale on the platform of speakers.

Meale is undoubtedly a self-serving, middle-of-the-road Labour MP. He was once a supporter of the miners in their battle against the Thatcher government, but any vestiges of explicit working-class politics have long since vanished from sight. Meale has been knighted by the Queen. He was embroiled in

New Trades Council in Essex

Published on: Wed, 22/06/2011 - 13:08

In most areas, Labour councillors have been implementing cuts. Not all can be tarred with the same brush.

In north Essex the Labour Party has been the most vocal against cuts, in areas where there is not a trades council.

Clacton Labour Party and the GMB union have been the driving force behind resurrecting the Tendring District Trades Council, which was formally set up in a meeting last week.

A number of different unions discussed possible campaigns for the future, including setting up a local anti-cuts group. They also agreed to travel to neighbouring Colchester to support strikers on 30

May Day turnouts signal a big job for Trades Councils

Published on: Mon, 02/05/2011 - 09:31

The Leeds Trade Council May Day march this year was much bigger and a lot livelier than it had been for many years. Young UK Uncut activists, and fresher trade unionists, outnumbered the ageing Stalinist stalwarts.

Glasgow also had an improved turnout. Even so, the numbers, 400 in Leeds and 3000 in Glasgow, were modest.

Generally, across the country, turnouts remained around the poor levels of recent years, showing that the revitalisation of Trades Councils necessary for vigorous rank-and-file-level coordination between different unions against the coalition government cuts has not yet got

We can beat cuts!

Published on: Wed, 16/03/2011 - 17:56

Wirral TUC relaunched Wirral Against the Cuts in order to campaign against closures of care homes.

We leafleted care homes, organised meetings, and a lobby of the budget meeting, and one of the users of the Fernleigh centre who we met put in for a legal injuction.

The Fernleigh centre is the only centre providing support and respite for those with mental health problems.

Now Wirral council have backed down and Fernleigh is to stay open for at least 12 months.

We need to let people know that it is possible to win precious small victories by organising campaigns such as this.

Sheffield Trades Council: this isn't what democracy looks like

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 12:06

Numbers at the recent Sheffield Trades Council AGM were high — 50 delegates and plenty more observers. For me it was a little lesson in democracy — a negative lesson I think.

John Campbell was the sitting President. Knowing he’s unpopular, and his position was up for election again, he turned out masses of Unison local government members. That branch has 70 potential delegate places but it’s rare if even one turns up.

A good speech was heard from Bill Greenshields from the NUT and People’s Charter. Unfortunately, John Campbell in the chair didn’t give him a chance to talk about how the TUC

Leeds unions unite to fight cuts

Published on: Thu, 23/09/2010 - 10:08

Patrick Murphy, Leeds NUT

At a well-attended meeting in September Leeds Trades Council launched a Leeds Against the Cuts campaign. Delegates from Unison, PCS, NUT, CWU and Unite were present at the first meeting.

Two events have been organised around the comprehensive spending review in October.

At 5pm on October 20th trade unionists will leaflet people in the town centre leaving work to let them know what the spending review announcements mean for them and what they can do to resist them. Local reps from public sector unions will also hold a press conference to give our response. A bigger public demonstration against

Rejuvenating the labour movement

Published on: Wed, 22/09/2010 - 17:36

To defeat the cuts, the labour movement will need industrial action, organised by workers in particular sectors to resist cuts in jobs and services in their particular sector.

We will also need a broad and lively network of local committees in which people from trade union branches come together with community, service-users', and tenants' groups.

The struggle will probably not be one "big bang", but a rolling, up-and-down series of smaller and bigger "bangs", some national but many local.

A network of local anti-cuts committees can be pivotal for resisting the cuts, and also for rejuvenating

How to build a trades council

Published on: Thu, 15/07/2010 - 20:51

Alex Halligan

Alex Halligan from Salford Trades Council spoke to Solidarity about building up a trades council.

The trades council was defunct but we have been building it back up over the last year. We now have the highest amount of affiliations for a long time.

We have held a lot of public meetings in the community. It’s all about reaching out and getting your average worker involved in trade union struggle.

We have organised a number of actions — for example, we had a demonstration against the new Budget outside the local government buildings. We’ve organised shop stewards’ committees on a ward-by-ward

Trades Councils conference: reinvigoration needed!

Published on: Wed, 26/05/2010 - 16:07

Elaine Jones

At this year’s Trades Councils conference there were around 70 councils represented (there are now 157 Trades councils and 23 County associations registered with the TUC which is an increase of 31 from the previous year).

In workshops there were reports on anti-cuts campaign, some victories, and how the trades councils were trying to organise opposition to local council cuts and academies. We suggested that the Trade Union Councils Joint Consultative committee should attempt to co-ordinate anti-cuts campaigns and try and facilitate the linking up the campaigns. There was also recognition of

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