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Grass Roots Left agrees platform

Fifty rank and file union activists, mainly but not exclusively from Unite, gathered in Birmingham on 5 November for the Grass Roots Left’s (GRL) second conference. Held six months after the GRL’s launch in May, it was a much more productive meeting, reaching agreement on a platform and a constitution.
The platform voted on called for the election of all union officials, who would also be subject to recall, rank and file control of disputes, militant action to fight all the cuts, defiance of the anti-union laws, a mass unionisation drive and the building of rank and file organisations across the European trade union movement.
A debate took place on whether to include the call for nationalisation under workers’ control of enterprises laying off staff, with one speaking preferring to call for mutualisation, and another arguing that the call for workers’ control would be too prescriptive. A Workers Power supporter countered that the scale of the economic crisis meant that we would be entering a period of struggle, in which this slogan would acquire greater relevance and popularity.
Conference also passed a Workers Power resolution on the electricians’ dispute, calling for rank and file organising meetings to prepare for industrial action on 30 November, to coincide with the public sector strike, and to campaign for an all-out strike.
Conference was a good step forward, but GRL remains a small organisation. Its supporters’ main task now is to build the organisation in the struggles that lie ahead.

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