About 90 socialists, trade unionists and community campaigners attended the first Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference since the May general election in Glasgow last Saturday.
The conference discussed and debated a wide range of issues but there was a focus on how to organise against austerity and attacks on the working class and how to build a united left to fight the cuts. And not just from Westminster, but local council and Scottish Government cuts.
Speakers called for left unity as a necessary bulwark against the vicious assault by the ruling class.
It was notable and encouraging that members of the Scottish Socialist Party, Solidarity and the People’s Assembly attended. Regrettably, there was no representative from the Scottish Left Project.
But the conference voted to continue to seek talks with all those on the left to build a genuine socialist, anti-austerity challenge at the 2016 Scottish parliament elections.
The conference also heard from striking workers about the need for unified struggle and increased industrial action.
Representatives of both the Dundee hospital porters and Glasgow homelessness caseworkers’ all-out strikes shared their experience and called for solidarity and action against austerity.
The Save Our School Buses campaign in Glasgow spoke on how austerity is affecting the day to day life of all working people and why we must fight every cut.
Standing up against the divide and rule tactics of the ruling class was a theme that ran through the conference. The need for a strong anti-racist movement was emphasised and the conference sent a message of support to the campaign for Justice for Sheku Bayoh.
Central to this was international solidarity with workers in Greece in their fight to reject the austerity measures being forced on them by Europe’s bosses.
The conference was a step forward for the left in Scotland but we need to redouble our efforts to ensure there is one single united left challenge at next year’s elections.