Socialist Worker

Corbyn’s TUC conference speech gives workers confidence to fight Tories

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans in Brighton
Issue No. 2571

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the TUC conference

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the TUC conference


Jeremy Corbyn injected hope of winning against the Tories into the TUC union federation conference in Brighton today, Tuesday.

Delegates gave the left wing Labour leader two standing ovations before he even began speaking.

Some conference delegates sang, “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” at the end of his speech.

Corbyn said, “We know the advances made in the general election are a powerful springboard to win the radical Labour government we want to see.

“Together we can change our country so it truly works for the many not the few.”

After the speech RMT union president Sean Hoyle told Socialist Worker, “For so long the TUC’s message has been aim low and overachieve.

“The TUC can learn to have a bit of belief and hope—now we can aim high and look to the stars.”

The TUC conference has heard bold speeches about resistance—and Corbyn's message can give workers confidence to fight now.

He said, “The Labour Party totally rejects the Tories’ attempt at divide and rule, to play one sector off against another. 

“A Labour government will end the public sector pay cap and give all workers the pay rise they deserve and so desperately need.”

Chaotic

To rapturous applause Corbyn said, “This weak and chaotic government can be prised out of Downing Street.” But while the Tories are weak and divided—but they are not going to fall by themselves.

That’s why it’s important to build opposition to the Tories and bosses outside of parliament.

Corbyn said, “Winning a Labour government—even one with a programme to transform the country—is simply not enough.”

“We don’t know when the next election will come, we are not in control of that. But you are in control of whether you join a trade union, organise in your workplace or in your community.”

Fighting now can help boot the Tories out—and prepare for the attacks from the bosses that a Corbyn government would face.

Hoyle said, “We don’t know when the next election is, but maybe we can all help him with that.

“Train operating company wants to get rid of the guards. If they do that or don’t give us guarantees, there will be a dispute. So there will be a quasi-national rail strike.”

The mood around the pay cap means there’s more opportunity to coordinate action. “Why don’t we team up with the CWU postal workers, the POA prison officers or the different disputes Unite has got?” Hoyle said.

“We’ve all got disputes, we can coordinate. I’d like to see the TUC do that, but we might have to do it ourselves.”

Corbyn has lifted working class people’s sights.

Now trade unionists need to use that mood to build resistance on the streets and in the workplaces that can break the Tories.


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