SLL statement:

Council Leader should apologise for picket line debacle 

Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) has called on Sheffield Council leader Terry Fox to apologise for crossing a picket line yesterday in direct contravention of the principles of the Labour and Trade Union movement. 

An SLL spokesperson stated ‘Solidarity with workers on strike is the first principle of the Labour and Trade Union movement and Councillor Fox, and those of his colleagues from the Labour Group who also crossed the picket line, should hang their heads in shame’. 

The UCU (University and College Union) are supporting around 50,000 staff at 58 universities across the UK who have a mandate to take industrial action over pensions, pay and working conditions.

Some members of Sheffield’s Labour Group used a side door of a university building to ‘avoid’ the picket and hold a Labour Group meeting. That meeting, subsequently voted not to cross the same picket line later in the day.

SLL believes there is no excuse or justification for crossing the UCU picket line, either by a side door or the front door, and that the Labour Group leadership should take responsibility for their mistaken actions.

A number of Labour councillors, to their credit, refused to enter the building.

Sheffield Labour Left believes that what is needed is a simple apology, an admission that they got it wrong and a commitment to ensure that Labour councillors do not cross picket lines in the future.

The SLL spokesperson added ‘Perhaps the donation of their councillor allowances for Wednesday to the UCU hardship fund might be a good starting point to any apology’.

Ends

Solidarity Statement

SHEFFIELD LABOUR LEFT STATEMENT:

Solidarity with Supporters of Socialist Appeal!
Sheffield Labour Left condemns the right-wing proposal, to be discussed via a motion at next week’s meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee, that Socialist Appeal be a proscribed political organisation. Labour Against the Witch Hunt, the Labour In Exile Network and Resist, the new political organisation founded by former Labour MP Chris Williamson, are also included in the NEC motion. This initiative marks the beginning of the latest phase of the right wing’s witch hunt of the left in the Labour Party.
It is reported that the NEC motion cites Chapter 2, Clause I.4.B of the Party’s Rule Book in support of the proposal for proscription; in other words, if this motion were carried, support for Socialist Appeal (such as selling or writing for the newspaper of Socialist Appeal, running Socialist Appeal street stalls, or describing oneself as a supporter of Socialist Appeal) would become incompatible with membership of the Labour Party.
This rule is intended to exclude people who support political organisations which stand candidates against the Labour Party in elections. Yet supporters of Socialist Appeal have always campaigned in support of the Labour Party, in both local and general elections.
Sheffield Labour Left suspects that it is the work that supporters of Socialist Appeal have done to promote socialist ideas within the Party and their expression of no confidence in the current leadership, that is the real reason for the proposed proscription, and it asks why right-wing organisations, such as Progressive Britain and Labour First, have not been proscribed, given the damage their supporters did to Corbyn’s leadership and to the Party’s chances of success in the General Elections of 2017 and 2019. Moreover, it recalls what the Party said in 2012, when the GMB union proposed that Progress, a right-wing political organisation that merged with Policy Network to form Progressive Britain, be proscribed: that the Labour Party is a ‘broad church’ and is ‘not in the business of excluding people.’
Sheffield Labour Left therefore opposes any expulsion of supporters of Socialist Appeal from the Labour Party and stands in solidarity with them and with the hundreds of other Party members who have been unjustly suspended and expelled in previous phases of the witch hunt against the left.
The leadership of the Party must change, the right wing in the Parliamentary Labour Party must be held to account through a process of mandatory reselection, and Party officials, including the General Secretary, must be elected, not appointed. We want the Labour Party to become a mass political party of the working class that is led by socialists who will fight for the interests of the working class.
We call on Labour Party members in Sheffield to join us in our fight against the persecution of the left in the Labour Party.No to the 

Open Meeting: ‘International Solidarity with Palestine & Latin America’

Date:  Wednesday 21st July.
Time:  7pm until 9pm.
Price: free
Public Anyone on or off Facebook
With international institutions, and local Israeli organisations, now publicly calling Israel an apartheid state, plus the ongoing attempts to oppress socialist-orientated movements in South America and elsewhere, it is as important as ever that socialists here show solidarity with those oppressed and fighting back for a better world.
This meeting is open to all, there will be plenty of time for questions and contributions.
Speakers:
Musheir El-Farra – Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign
John Smith – Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Author of ‘Imperialism in the 21st Century’.
Maria Vasquez-Aguilar – Activist and trade unionist, Co-founder of Chile Solidarity network.
The meeting will be chaired by Martin Mayer, the Chair of Sheffield Labour Left.
(SLL reserves the right to deny entry.)