TUC leaders must call a general strike or be forced to resign!


THE annual conference of the TUC, due to start a week tomorrow, is the first conference of the leadership of the trade union movement since the election of a majority Tory government.

Last year’s TUC conference was dominated by the overwhelming message not to rock the boat, that the only salvation for the working class lay in the election of a Labour government, despite the glaring fact that the policies advocated by the Labour Party were almost exactly the same as the Tories – austerity cuts in order to pay off the national debt run up bailing out the bankers, albeit with a bit more ‘humanity’ thrown in as window dressing.

To this end, the TUC unceremoniously dropped its existing policy of considering the feasibility of calling a general strike to defend the working class and the welfare state in favour of a policy of doing absolutely nothing.

Now, with the Tories in power and openly stating their intention to take on the unions and working class through a savage programme of wage-cutting and anti-trade union laws that will render striking virtually illegal, what are these leaders proposing?

A glance at the resolutions tabled for the conference gives the answer: no call for a general strike, just another endless round of vague calls for campaigns to change Tory minds. This prostration of the union leadership is illustrated in the motion submitted by the largest union Unite. This calls the outlawing of strikes ‘blatantly unjust’, as is the plan to use agency workers as strike-breaking scabs.

Their proposal to fight this is to call on the TUC to ‘launch a broad, militant and imaginative campaign against this legislation’ and to ‘coordinate a mass protest against the Bill at an appropriate parliamentary stage’.

Once the Bill has passed into law, this campaign will undoubtedly stop, given up as a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to change the mind of a Tory government determined to smash the working class.

The only campaign that the TUC has wholeheartedly thrown all its resources behind and mobilised for is for a march and rally at the Tory party conference on 4th October. To what end? Do these leaders seriously believe that a rally outside the Tory conference will in any way alter the minds of the government – a government that has made it exceedingly clear that it has only one agenda and that is to dump the entire crisis of British capitalism firmly on the backs of the working class?

A government that is prepared to make trade unions illegal is not going to be swayed by a march and the TUC know this full well. The whole charade is designed simply to try and divert the growing tide of working class hatred against the government down the path of peaceful and useless protest.

While preaching inactivity to the working class at home, the TUC is shamefully remaining completely silent on the question of the refugee crisis that is gripping Europe, as thousands of refugees from imperialist wars are daily being killed or hounded by the authorities across Europe as they try to escape the murderous carnage inflicted by a capitalist system intent on re-ordering the world.

The fight against the Tory austerity war against workers at home cannot be separated from the struggles of the oppressed nations and the crisis facing refugees. The masses of the world and the refugees from imperialist slaughter are the allies of the working class – we face the common enemy and the TUC must be forced to take on the fight against this enemy.

This means demanding that the TUC cancel its diversionary march to the Tory conference and immediately call a general strike to bring down the Tory government and bring in a workers’ government that will advance to a socialist society.

A workers’ government will expropriate the bankers and bosses and will welcome every refugee who wants to come and stay as allies in the fight for the world socialist revolution. The Young Socialists will be marching on the TUC next Sunday demanding that these leaders who refuse to fight be removed and be replaced at the Congress by leaders who will call a general strike.

We urge every worker and young person to join the YS lobby. Forcing the TUC to call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government is the issue of the hour!