Despite running an intense elections campaign finishing on polling day, May 22nd, this doesn’t mean Socialist Party members are taking a break from campaigning. The workers movement has to continually fight and build itself and we have to be there fighting alongside them.
Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Socialist Party
On the Friday, we were up bright and early for a 7am start before heading over the count, bringing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner with us. Unite ran a recruitment drive as part of a day of action outside the contruction site at Leeds Met to inform workers about changes to their pay and working conditions and to persuade them to join the union. It recieved a good responce from the workers and most of them took leaflets and joining forms.
On Saturday, the GMB held a protest outside NEXT in Trinity Leeds calling for NEXT to pay a living wage. They presented the managers with an ASBO calling on them to divert a £300m special pay out to shareholders, and instead use the money to increase the wages to £7.65 per hour (£8.80 in London) and to offer staff longer hours if they want it.
It’s important that socialists don’t just fight elections, but we help build the trade unions and help them to fight for the rights of their members. We need to build up a mass fightback against austerity and link up the community and trade unions to fight together. One step towards this would be a 24 hr general strike.