Communist Party trade union organiser, Anita Halpin, has welcomed the upsurge in strikes and demonstrations against the Tory-led government’s austerity and privatisation.

 

Addressing the Party’s Executive Committee in Cardiff this weekend, she accused the Tories, Liberal Democrats, and big business of `waging class war’ on workers, the unemployed and their families.
Ms Halpin pointed to industrial action ballots and strikes by higher education staff, teachers, civil servants, fire-fighters, probation officers, and postal workers against privatisation and pay cuts and in defence of pensions, wages, jobs, and public services.
In particular, she urged solidarity with Ineos oil refinery workers at Grangemouth who have been locked out after protesting against the victimisation of Unite trade union convenor, Stephen Deans.
“The refinery is too important to the Scottish economy to remain in the hands of such a bullying, reckless, and union-busting management,” she argued, while calling upon the labour movement to demand that the SNP government in Edinburgh to take the plant into public ownership.
Britain’s Communists also reiterated their call for the Labour Party leadership to pledge to renationalise the railways, energy utilities, and Royal Mail after the next General Election.
“Such a policy would be a vote winner, now that so many people have had enough of the soaring pieces, mass sackings, and fat cat profits that always go with privatisation”, Ms Halpin insisted.
The CP leadership welcomed the formation of nearly 80 People’s Assembly groups in towns and cities across Britain. It was agreed that these should work closely in a “broad democratic alliance” with trade unions and trades councils in their locality to combat austerity policies, defend public services and build solidarity for workers in struggle.
The CP executive committee also finalised plans for this year’s 21st Century Marxism festival at venues around Clerkenwell Green, London, on November 2-3, where speakers include leading South African communist Chris Matlhako, Akel Tarqz of the Palestinian People’s Party, Cyprus MEP Vera Poluycarpou, Jeremy Corbyn MP, historian Louise Raw, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, poet Attila the Stockbrokers, and Lindsey German of the People’s Assembly.
Irish CP general secretary Eugene McCartan addressed the Cardiff meeting, urging socialists and progressives in Britain to support the call for an all-Ireland economic strategy, the transfer of fiscal powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the establishment of a Civic Forum in the north to discuss sectarianism.