Socialist Worker

Right to Work conference: Be part of the new wave of resistance

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2186

Get to Manchester this Saturday if you want to fight for jobs, stop the cuts, and don’t think workers should pay for the bosses’ crisis.

The Conference of Resistance and Solidarity is called by the Right to Work campaign. It will bring together hundreds of trade unionists, campaigners, students, pensioners and unemployed people.

It has the backing of around 100 trade union bodies and campaigns. This has come from the National Shop Stewards Network, the Labour Representation Committee and the Stop the War Coalition.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) is taking part. “We want to unite the networks of resistance that have grown during strikes, campaigns and protests,” says Michael Bradley from the Right to Work steering committee.

“But we also want to launch resistance against the cuts that are happening now and that will massively accelerate after the general election.

“The conference will not be a talking shop. We want to build on successful struggles and discuss a programme of activity.

“The steering committee will be arguing for a militant demonstration at the Tory party spring conference at the end of February.

“We also want to support for the 10 April demonstration called by the NPC in defence of the welfare state.


“It will also be crucial to set up local organisation so that people can develop their own initiatives and networks.”

The breadth of the speakers was underlined this week when Sue Glenton agreed to take part. She is the mother of Joe Glenton, the soldier who refused to fight in Afghanistan and now faces a court martial.

Delegations are coming from workplaces, from groups like the London cleaners who have been struggling for justice, from colleges and communities.

Nick Howard, a Sheffield pensioner, told Socialist Worker, “I went to the monthly meeting of Sheffield Pensioners Action Group and raised the conference on the basis of the demands on the leaflet—which everyone agreed with. People started signing up straight away.

“People look at the coming general election and they say there’s no difference between the parties now.”

Students from King’s College are coming too. Rob Jackson, was at the college’s 120-strong campaign meeting against education cuts

“King’s UCU and the No Cuts at King’s campaign organised the meeting—but it was much broader than that,” he says.

“There were trade unionists from across London: SOAS, UCL, LSE, the University of the Arts, and student union reps from more universities and colleges.

“We heard about the strikes at London Met and the 500 students storming the Senate building at Sussex. You got a real sense of a campaign coming together.

“Students initiated the meetings but now there are lots more workers on board.

“It’s part of a process of building links between students and workers at different colleges. People talked about how Right to Work can be part of that, and a stepping stone to build the resistance.”

Right to work, a conference of resistance and solidarity, this Saturday 30 January, 11.30am, Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester. Speakers include: Mark Serwotka (PCS), Sally Hunt (UCU), Tony Kearns (CWU), Clara Osagiede (RMT)


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