Trade Unionists from across the country gather to discuss crisis response

Steffen Lippert and Charlie May

Trade unionists from across Britain gathered at Ruskin House over the weekend to debate the impact of the current capitalist crisis.

A broad platform of labour movement figures were speaking at the Communist Party of Britain's Trade Union and Political School event.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow called for maximum support for the new Peoples' Charter, supporters of which are seeking one million signatures.

He said that the charter gave an opportunity to "put forward a powerful alternative which also combats the inroads the right is able to make by exploiting the crisis
situation scapegoating non-white and foreign working-class people.

"By acting as a class and bringing everyone forward together, the Peoples' Charter will form the basis of a movement leading a progressive way out of the current

Speakers also discussed the fight against unemployment and insecure work.

Young Communist League Women's' Organiser Joanne Stevenson said that a wide campaign with imaginative and militant efforts to defend and create millions of jobs could inspire a new generation of activists to engage with trade unions.

Left Economics Advisory Panel Coordinator Andrew Fisher added that "as the British economy is heavily reliant on consumer spending, higher wages and better workers' rights are part of the solution.

"Not only do wages and conditions need to be defended, they also have to be improved further."

Attendees vowed to step up the fight against the neoliberal agenda, work for broad cooperation on national campaigns for public ownership, in defence of the NHS and Royal Mail and against the new Welfare Bill.