The following letter was today sent to the Labour prospective parliamentary candidates across the borough from trade unionists in the local area requesting to meet with them early in 2015.
To: Stella Creasy/John Cryer/Bilal Mahmood
Constituency: Walthamstow/Leyton and Wanstead/Chingford and Woodford Green
Re: Meeting with local trade unionists
We are writing to you as the Labour Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for this constituency to try and arrange a time convenient for you to meet a delegation of local trade unionists and anti-austerity activists to discuss the forthcoming general election.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), co-founded by the late Bob Crow, is determined that working class people shall not pay for a crisis that we did not cause, and we will support parliamentary representatives who take the same stance.
That is why we would like to have a face-to-face meeting with you to ascertain what position you hold on the following issues that we believe are critical to reversing the austerity agenda:
* Trade union rights
Would you support the provisions in John McDonnell MP’s 2007 Trade Union Rights and Freedom Bill (on re-introducing protections for participating in industrial action, unfair dismissal, complaints to employment tribunals, automatic reinstatement, agency labour in industrial disputes, definition of a trade dispute to include associated employers, and industrial action ballots) and the re-instatement of facility time and check-off rights removed by the Con-Dem coalition?
* Restore public services and benefits
Would you support the reversal of all the cuts in public services and benefits that have taken place under the Con-Dems, including the restoration of central government funding of local authorities to at least the level that existed in 2010?
* A living wage
Would you support an incoming Labour government banning zero hour contracts and immediately introducing the ‘Living Wage’ (£7.65 an hour, £8.80 in London) as the minimum wage? In the light of the TUC’s ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ campaign, do you support the lifting of the public sector pay cap?
* Public ownership
Would you support the re-nationalisation of the railways as the first step to building an integrated, low-pollution public transport system? Would you support bringing the Royal Mail back into public ownership?
As you will be aware the above policies are widely supported in the trade union movement. That is why we would like you to explain your views on these issues to a delegation of local trade unionists.
TUSC has accepted from its inception that there will be Labour candidates who share our socialist aspirations and will be prepared to support measures that challenge the austerity consensus of mainstream politics. But it is also committed to standing candidates or supporting others if that is the only way a working class anti-austerity socialist alternative can be articulated at election time.
Please get back to us (reply to this email or call Unite branch secretary Kevin on 07737566167) by the end of the year with a time in January 2015 when you would be able to meet with us.
Len Hockey Unite Shop Steward
Glenroy Watson Chair of RMT branch 0543
Kevin Parslow Unite LE1228 Branch Secretary
Jenny Vaughan NUJ London freelance
S. Cushion UCU London Retired Members Branch Secretary
Dave Knight Unison Branch Secretary, Waltham Forest
Tony Phillips Unison London Fire Authority
Steve White NUT Secretary for Waltham Forest
Nancy Taaffe Unite member
Linda Taaffe NUT Waltham Forest Executive & Secretary WF Trades Council
Patrick Brown Unite Steward
Aiden Taylor Unison Shop Steward
Robin Gilham Unite Shope Steward
TUSC national steering committee-
Representatives from the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT), the Socialist Party, the SWP and the TUSC Independent Socialist Network; plus, in a personal capacity, Steve Gillan , POA General Secretary; Chris Baugh , PCS Assistant General Secretary; Joe Simpson , POA Assistant General Secretary; John McInally , PCS Vice-President; Ian Leahair , FBU National Executive; Nina Franklin , ex-NUT President; Brian Caton , ex-POA General Secretary; Cllr Keith Morrell (Southampton); Cllr Don Thomas (Southampton); Nick Wrack .
Registered officers with the Electoral Commission:
Chairperson – Dave Nellist ; National Nominating Officer – Clive Heemskerk