TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes reports on an encouraging start of a new campaign.
On Saturday 8th June we launched our Political and Community Organising Strategy for the next General Election. Our aim is to galvanise into action widespread public opposition to our railways being run in the interests of shareholders. We want to create a movement with enough power to force an incoming Labour administration to remove the privateers from our industry.
Trade union, Labour Party and community activists explored elements of a strategy that is designed to fight for public ownership of our railways and workers’ rights through targeted community organising. It was fantastic to see Labour Party front bench spokespersons speaking at the very same event as UK Uncut.
The Coalition’s ideological driven decision to privatise East Coast needs to be stopped at all costs. Taxpayers will foot the bill for this madness at a time when we are being told that there is no money in the kitty! It was great to hear Maria Eagle MP say that the Labour Party will vigorously oppose and campaign against this. It is clear that Labour’s policy on our railways continues to move in the right direction even though we need to keep nudging them on.
Arnie Graf, a veteran American community organiser, highlighted just what is possible when people come together to fight for what is right. As I said when I spoke, it is interesting to see Ed Milliband consulting people like Arnie Graf rather than surrounding himself with the cabal of bankers, financiers and other unpleasant elements that Blair did. The following day, Arnie led an event in Hastings as part of ‘TSSA’s Marginal Seats’ work — 50 union and Labour Party activists came together to plan future campaigning activity in an area not renowned for its socialist leanings.
We want everyone who shares our passions to come and work with us to ensure that the profit motive is driven out of our railways — please join our campaigning efforts!