The recent TUC conference in Manchester marked a small but significant shift to the left, Communist Party trade union organiser Andy Bain told his party’s Political Committee on Wednesday evening.
He welcomed resolutions on the economy, privatisation, precarious and low-paid work, a ‘New Deal’ for workers, public sector pay, social security and universal credit, the Grenfell Towers and Windrush scandals, a national education service, sexual harassment and fracking.
But Mr Bain warned that TUC policies such as those to renationalise the railways, regulate public services contracts and fully protect all workers against super-exploitation contravened European Union rules and directives.
‘The TUC composite resolution rightly seeks to protect jobs and workers’ rights in the Brexit process, but fails to recognise any of the potential benefits from leaving the EU and its anti-worker, anti-trade union court rulings’, the former trade union president declared.
‘In particular, there is no recognition of why a Labour government must be free from EU Single Market rules if it is to boost public sector investment through central bank funding, limit competitive tendering, regulate imports, revive regional development policies, reform VAT and end the abuse of migrant workers to undermine employment terms, trade unionism and collective bargaining’, Mr Bain added.
The CP political committee condemned the spin put on the TUC decision to ‘leave on the table’ the question of a second EU referendum, which was subsequently misrepresented as positive, unqualified TUC support for the business-funded, pro-EU ‘People’s Vote’ campaign.
But Britain’s Communists welcomed the emergency motion passed by conference delegates condemning the ‘Nation-State Law’ passed recently by the Israeli parliament. Widely denounced by human rights supporters within and beyond Israel, the new legislation institutionally discriminates against the native Palestinian population in what it proclaims to be ‘the Jewish state’.
‘It’s vital that bogus and cynical charges of anti-Semitism neither silence legitimate criticism of Israeli state racism and repression, nor undermine the struggle against anti-Semitism where it genuinely exists’, Mr Bain told the CP political committee.
The Communist Party urged mass support for the People’s Assembly demonstration at the Tory Party conference (Birmingham, September 29), the trade union ‘Day of Action’ against precarious work (October 4) and the TUC national demonstration against racism (London, October 20).
The Political Committee also confirmed plans to hold a day school for new and prospective CP members on October 27 in Derby.