The action we need
WE NEED a change of direction throughout the labour movement. Every trade unionist, tenant activist, anti-racist and campaigner faces a choice. Do we fight for policies to benefit working people? Or do we accept the grim choice between a treacherous Labour government and a filthy right wing Tory party? Support for the Action Programme to defend jobs and services, first published in Socialist Worker, grew when mass redundancies threatened 18 months ago. Now, with the new wave of threatened closures, wider groups of workers want to see such policies implemented. The Action Programme's demands include:
- Shorter working hours without loss of pay-a 35 hour week would create over a million jobs.
- A decent minimum wage-no one can live on New Labour's �3.60 an hour, with even less for young people. At the very least it needs to be �5 an hour.
- Nationalisation-no boss should be allowed to scrap years of useful investment and destroy their workers' lives through closures. Any company that lays off workers should be nationalised.
- State control of trade and the movement of finance-why should speculators be able to profit from workers' misery?
- Full union rights-there should be full union rights from day one at work. Workers must demand the right to strike, picket and take full solidarity action.
These measures need to be tied to the only thing the multinationals understand-action such as factory occupations and mass protests like the anti-capitalist demonstrations in Seattle six months ago. People who have had enough of New Labour are coming together to fight for these policies and to encourage workers' action against attacks such as at Ford Dagenham.
They are also uniting alongside key trade union leaders against the Tories' scapegoating of refugees. Socialist Worker is putting its weight behind building a fightback and a left wing alternative to New Labour. We urge our readers to raise these policies wherever they can.
Order copies of the Action Programme from Action Programme, c/o Nick Grant, Branch Secretary Ealing NUT, Villiers High School, Boyd Avenue, Southall, Middlesex UB1 3BT. Phone 0958 478643.
Meet to plan fightback
A SERIES of meetings have been organised by trade unionists around the theme "People before profit-defend all jobs".
- ROMFORD: Monday 22 May, 7.30pm, HOPWA Club, Inskip Drive, Hornchurch. Speakers include: Ford worker, pensioner activist.
- EAST LONDON: Monday 22 May, 7pm, Jagonari Centre, Whitechapel Rd.
- WEST MIDLANDS: Thursday 25 May, 7.45pm, United Services Club, Gough St, Birmingham. Chair: Clive Dixon, Jaguar senior steward Staffs TGWU. Speakers include: Dave Nellist, Rover workers.
- EAST MIDLANDS: Thursday 25 May, 7.30pm, YMCA, Shakespeare St, Nottingham city centre. Speakers include: Ken Coates (former MEP), textile worker.