Thursday, 14 January 2010

Responding to the crisis: can the left get its act together?

This month's Right to Work Conference appears to be building momentum. The conference is in Manchester on 30 January and you can book online HERE. You can also find transport details from a number of areas on the site. The full timetable will be circulated soon.

The focus is on resisting job losses, but the event brings in other issues and will hopefully become the springboard for a more general political movement. With the recession biting and a widespread desire for unity in the working class movement, the potential is there for a unified campaign addressing some of the big issues related to the current crisis.

Organisers report: 'The support for the conference continues to gather apace, with over 550 advance bookings and over sixty trade union branches/organisations backing the event. With two weeks to go this looks set to be a fantastic conference...

The following organisations have joined the growing list of sponsors: Stirling Uni UCU branch, Fujitsu Manchester Reps Committee and Fujitsu UK Combine Committee of Unite, Unite Tyneside Engineering branch, FBU London Region and Bolton and Bristol NUT branches, Manchester Green Party, Edinburgh No1 branch of Unite and RMT Camden No 3 branch amongst others. A full list of sponsors can be found on the website.

Speakers include Mark Serwotka PCS, Dot Gibson NPC general secretary, Pete Murray NUJ, Clara Osagiede RMT, Sally Hunt UCU, Dave Chapple NSSN chair, Tony Kearns CWU, Nahella Ashraf Grtr Manchester STWC and speakers from many other trade union, anti-racist, anti-fascist and anti-war and community campaigns.'

It is encouraging to see this event gathering support - and I hope it develops into a co-ordinated network of broad-based local groups with roots in every area. I argued for a national Right to Work (or similar) campaign many months ago - as can be seen HERE and HERE - so it is, while belated, a source of optimism.

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