Britain’s Communists have emphasised the need for unity in each sector of the economy between trade unions taking action in the run-up to Xmas.
Johnnie Hunter told the Communist Party’s political committee over the weekend that unions in the health, rail, postal and education sectors have a golden opportunity to replace past divisions with a united, coordinated approach.
‘The industrial battles now taking place should be supported and broadened as they demonstrate their relevance to a new generation of workers’, the general secretary of the Young Communist League declared, urging trades councils and unemployed and retired workers to visit local picket lines to show their solidarity.
The YCL leader also said that socialists and Communists had an essential role to play in winning the labour movement to a ‘class understanding’ of what is in reality a ‘cost of profits’ crisis in Britain.
‘Faced with the spiralling costs of food, energy and transport, the left must put the case for the kind of left-wing programme of measures such as pay rises, price controls and public ownership as the only real alternative to Tory-backed big business profiteering’, Mr Hunter insisted.
He warned that workers and their unions face a new round of anti-strike, anti-union legislation that would have to be resisted by working class unity and mass action.
‘That’s why the current industrial and anti-cuts battles must be a springboard for building a united front that can remove the Tories from office and win a progressive government committed to expanding workers’ rights, taxing the rich and big business, investing in industry, saving the NHS and enhancing public services’, he added.
The CP political committee emphasised that an incoming Labour government would have to be compelled by the labour movement to implement its ‘New Deal for Workers’ policy. This pledges to outlaw ‘fire and rehire’ and zero-hour contracts, repeal anti-union laws – including compulsory postal ballots – and promote trade union recognition, sectoral collective bargaining, Fair Pay Agreements and full employment rights from day one of a job.
In flat contradiction to EU law, Labour’s public procurement policy proposes to discriminate in favour of in-house provision, workplace trade unionism, collective bargaining, environmental standards and corporate tax compliance.
The Communist Party welcomed the widespread distribution of its own pamphlet, ‘The Fight of Our Lives’, with its call for the formation of non-sectarian broad left organisations in the unions. Britain’s Communists also called for a big attendance at the forthcoming People’s Assembly and Stop the War trade union conferences on January 14 and 21, respectively.