ON TUESDAY, the TUC abruptly announced that it was cancelling a planned cost of living demonstration and march due to take place in Blackpool on March 19 outside the Tory spring conference under the slogan ‘Britain needs a pay rise’, along with demands for decent sick pay and an end to zero-hours contracts.
As late as last Sunday the TUC was confidently predicting thousands of people from across the UK would be attending to demonstrate for these demands.
Two days later this demonstration was cancelled with the TUC issuing a statement that said: ‘The TUC has today (Wednesday) postponed its cost-of-living demonstration and march.’
A TUC spokesperson said: ‘Over the coming fortnight we will be mobilising trade unionists in support of the ITUC day of solidarity with Ukraine on 15 March. And we will support the mobilisations in London and around the UK for the UN Anti-racism Day on 19-20 March.’
The TUC has gone from pleading with the Tories to introduce decent wages and end poverty, to giving its support for the right-wing Ukrainian government’s war to impose fascist rule over all the people of the Ukraine. This is now its number one priority.
Presumably the TUC considers that if they march with the Tories over Ukraine then the Tories will reward them with the restoration of furloughing and ending the bosses’ poverty drive.
As usual the opportunist TUC is making a huge mistake and stabbing the working class in the back.
The Tories will accept their support while carrying on with their policies of imposing massive poverty on the working class.
They will treat the TUC leaders with absolute contempt because of their capitulation that will in fact help the imperialist powers to openly intervene in the struggle in the Ukraine, where, up to now, the imperialists have hesitated to try and impose a no-fly zone.
The requirements of imperialism to crush the anti-fascist regions of the Ukraine and to prepare for war with Russia sees the TUC playing an openly counter-revolutionary role.
The struggle of millions of workers to feed, heat and house themselves is not worthy of even a small TUC protest outside the Tory spring conference.
Instead it is downgraded to promises of small local demonstrations and the vague promise of a march sometime in the summer.
The working class can’t wait until the summer when energy bills, food costs, transport charges are soaring into the stratosphere and inflation has eaten away at the wages and benefits of tens of millions of workers.
Individual trade unions and trade union branches must protest at the brazen pro-Tory, pro-imperialist policies that the TUC is seeking to impose on the workers’ movement.
Workers must fight back and mobilise in their unions to force a rapid change of line and the resignation of the main TUC leaders for their capitulation to the Tories and the Ukrainian right-wing government.
With the biggest ever struggles of the working class directly ahead, bigger than even than the miners’ strike and 1926 General Strike, the working class needs a new and revolutionary leadership inside the trade unions and amongst the millions of youth that are now being forced into struggle.
Leon Trotsky (co-leader of the Russian revolution and founder of the Fourth International) analysed the reformist trade union leadership when he wrote: ‘There is one common feature in the development, or more correctly the degeneration, of modern trade union organisations in the entire world; it is their drawing closely to and growing together with the state power.’
Trotsky noted that: ‘The labour bureaucrats do their level best in words and deeds to demonstrate to the “democratic” state how reliable and indispensable they are in peace-time and especially in time of war.’ (Trotsky – ‘Trade Unions in the Epoch of Imperialist Decay’).
Now is the time to build the revolutionary leadership of the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Young Socialists to provide the necessary revolutionary leadership to boot out the TUC leaders and to organise a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.
There is not a moment to lose – join now!