Yorkshire & Humber TUC Join Forces To Fight The Cuts

18 Mar 2013

Conference delegates heard that Sheffield Council had voted to introduce the living wage for all its staff, but private contractor Carillion, which has taken over council jobs, is refusing to pay it - resulting in a strike by school cleaners employed by Carillion.

Public-sector unions Unison and GMB proposed and seconded a motion calling for a living wage for all of £7.45 an hour. The call was backed unanimously.

GMB won solid support for its call to restore democracy within the Labour Party and for local members to have the right to choose election candidates - rather than the party hierarchy.

The conference threw its weight behind the Unite union’s call for the People’s Charter to campaign for a fair economy, a fairer Britain, more and better homes, social justice and a secure and sustainable Britain.

People’s Charter activist Kevin Donnelly laid out a six-point action plan, urging unions in the region to affiliate to the charter and invite representatives to speak at meetings.

National Union of Teachers and University and College Union delegates highlighted the dire effects the cuts were having on children and students. They condemned the privatisation of education and the dramatic rise in tuition fees, which has left many young people unable to afford to carry on with higher education. And Unison highlighted the vicious media attacks on the NHS and its staff in Tory-inspired attempts to convince the public of a “public-bad, private-good” attitude to win backing for the government’s privatisation programme.

Conference resolved that Yorkshire and the Humber TUC would work with affiliated unions to promote the value of a publicly funded NHS, oppose fragmentation and privatisation and support public involvement in commissioning of services.

This Report appeared in the Morning Star on Monday,18th March,2013 by Peter Lazenby.