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Sheffield Labour Left  - For Socialism

A bulletin for Labour Party Members who supported the direction the party moved towards under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
Opposing racism, antisemitism and political Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.

SLL E-Bulletin #66 - 12 November 2021

Throwing democracy in the bin

Democracy – or more relevantly the lack of it – is in the headlines as the Tory “I’m a sleazy MP, Get me out of here” corruption scandal continues. But what of democracy at a local level? 

Remember that we now have Local Area Committees (LACs) across the city – a product of the inept last days of Julie Dore’s Labour Group that allowed a Green/Liberal campaign to secure a referendum forcing a committee structure on the Council. 

So what kind of “local democracy” can we anticipate from this latest layer of top down bureaucracy? 

The reality is quickly clear – these were forced on the Labour Group and, while there is a desire to appear in support of them, they are just another airing for the cracks and fissures that exist in local politics in the city. 

First up, they are made up of local councillors and specifically exclude members of the public from being on the LAC. Council officers won’t attend – probably because cuts in staffing mean they haven’t got enough to go round – and “partner organisations” cannot be members either. 

So, at the first hurdle of being a real attempt at local democracy, they fail. They become just a glorified surgery for local councillors to hear about community grievances. 

Will they bring more money to the city? No. Will they allow local people to control what happens in their area? No – only if their local councillors agree. Will they be given powers and resources to tackle local deprivation, poor housing, failing schools etc etc? No – that still resides at the town hall. 

This is just window dressing – forced on the council by a clever political campaign designed to cement the impending return of the Lib Dems at the council’s helm next May. 

Meanwhile, as a Tory central Government continues its devastating austerity policies and more homelessness and poverty are created by cuts in Universal Credit, rising food prices and a hike in National Insurance, the Labour Group stands by as one of its contractors denies some of its lower paid workers a decent pay rise. 

Refuse collectors across the city voted to take strike action as Veolia – the outsourced contractor in charge of the council’s service – rejected a cost of living pay demand. 

Just as Starmer and his cohorts are doing all they can to distance themselves from the trade unions at a national level, so our local Labour leaders have been washing their hands of this dispute which has included the use of scab labour to break the strike. 

It is not too late for the Labour Group to remember the origins and roots of the Labour Party and locate a backbone to support such low paid workers and tell Veolia to meet their demands for a decent living wage. 

Sheffield Labour Left


Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) is a network to help co-ordinate the genuine Labour Party left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield.
We have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 60 or so bulletins.
We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.

Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.

Please consider submitting this motion to your CLP if the dispute is not resolved:

Solidarity with the Sheffield Bin Strike
 
This CLP notes –

1.       Bin workers in Sheffield are demanding a 6% pay increase from their employer Veolia.

2.      Veolia offered a 3% pay increase and £250 bonus.  When workers rejected that offer the employer withdrew the £250 bonus.
 
3.      Workers began strike action on Monday 8th November and voted to demand a 6% pay increase and £250 bonus at their picket that morning.  They also voted to escalate to a week of strike action from 22nd November.
 
4.      Workers marched to Sheffield Town Hall and called on councillors to pressure their employer, Veolia, into seriously engaging in negotiations to resolve the dispute.
 
This CLP resolves –
 
1.      To support the bin strike and write to Sheffield GMB to express our solidarity.
 
2.      To echo the workers’ calls for Veolia to engage in negotiations to resolve the dispute with an offer acceptable to the workforce. 
 
3.      To demand Sheffield Labour Councillors and MPs write to Veolia to express this and raise taking the contract off Veolia as a consequence of not meaningfully engaging in resolving the dispute.
 
4.      To write to our Labour MPs and councillors calling on them to attend pickets.
 
5.      To demand that our Labour councillors bring forward plans to take refuse management in house.
 
6.      To send this motion to the next LCF meeting.
 
7.      To encourage branches to invite a speaker from Sheffield GMB to talk about the strike.



Select Left Labour Candidates for City Council

Congratulations to Minesh Parekh in being selected to fight in the Crookes & Crosspool ward, and to Jackie Kennedy for being selected in Gleadless Valley ward.  These two now join Nabeela Mowlana selected for Park & Arbourthorne.

Sheffield Labour Left urges supporters to attend your Labour Party Branch meetings and shortlist/select the remaining left candidates:

Craig Gamble-Pugh
Abdullah Okud
Lee Rock

Local labour movement meetings and events in mid to late November:


Saturday 13th November:  Emergency Demonstration:  'End the U.S blockade   on Cuba!'. For 60 years the USA has attempted “to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government” through a vicious economic blockade. President Biden is continuing this policy, hoping to turn economic crisis into political crisis by funnelling millions of dollars to “dissidents” to organise counter- revolutionary protests. The aim is to create a pretext for further escalation. Protest outside the Town Hall from noon until 1pm.

Wednesday 17th November:  Y&H Regional Left Labour meeting.  Invite Only.  If you would like to attend please contact SLL.  7pm start.

Thursday 18th November:  'Latin America & the fight to save planet Earth'. Speakers:  
Miriam Palacios, Cubans in the UK & 12 October Platform
Andy Higginbottom, Colombia Solidarity Campaign & 12 October Platform
Wendy Emmet, Cuba Solidarity Campaign 
7pm until 9pm.  Zoom link: https://tinyurl.com/bks46926

Tuesday 23rd November:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) meeting.  All trade union members welcome.  Only delegates can vote.  7.00pm start.

Saturday 27th November:  'Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians'. Rally outside Town Hall from 11am until noon.


Labour Party Meetings:

LCF monthly meeting held 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Brightside & Hillsborough CLP monthly meetings held 1st Thursday of the month.

South East CLP monthly meetings held 3rd Friday of the month.

Central CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.

Hallam CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.

Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month

Heeley CLP monthly meetings held last Thursday of the month.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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