For a 100% publicly owned post service

The government’s plans to hand crucial chunks of Royal Mail to a private company such as TNT are a fundamental assault on a key public service. If implemented, they will inevitably lead to a far worse postal system, mass job losses, dozens of mail centre closures, continual demands for undermining of workers’ conditions and pensions, and pressure towards full privatisation.

Everyone should join the campaign to defeat these plans and to defend a 100 percent publicly owned Royal Mail. There are already signs of the potential for revolt among sections of Labour MPs. But, with the Tories enthusiastically supporting the scheme, this is unlikely to be enough. We hope all supporters of the Charter will support the CWU union and other groups in their campaign to halt this privatisation.

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People Before Profit Charter

Inflation and recession are now tightening their grip on the economy with every day that passes. Working people face rapidly increasing prices, especially for food and fuel; government led pay restraint; rising unemployment and a disastrous housing crisis.

At the same time the super-rich continue to enjoy huge profits, salaries and bonuses – yet pay less tax than under the Tories.

The desperation felt by many is having equally serious political effects: the resurgence of the Tories and an increase in anti-immigrant and fascist arguments.

We need a coordinated response to these threats. As part of this response please add your name to this Charter and then move support for the Charter at your trade union, party or campaign organisation.

  1. Wage increases no lower than the rate of inflation as given by the Retail Price Index. No to the government’s 2 percent pay limit.
  2. Increase tax on big companies. Introduce a windfall tax on corporation superprofits, especially those of the oil companies.
  3. Repeal the Tory anti-union laws. Support the Trade Union Freedom Bill.
  4. Unsold houses and flats should be taken over by local councils to ease the housing crisis. No house repossessions. For an emergency programme of council house building.
  5. Stop the privatisation of public services. Free and equal health and education services available to all.
  6. End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and use the money to expand public services. Stop the erosion of civil liberties.
  7. Abolish tax on fuel and energy for old people and the poor. Re-establish the link between wages and pensions.
  8. No to racism. No to the British National Party. No scapegoating of immigrants.
  9. Reintroduce grants and abolish tuition fees for students.
  10. Increase the minimum wage to £8.00 an hour.

Many workers and trade unionists are now engaged in strikes and protests to defend their pay, jobs and services. We pledge ourselves to support their action and to support the campaigns that are dedicated to protecting working people, including:

  • Unite Against Fascism
  • Public Services not Private Profit
  • Defend Council Housing
  • Stop the War Coalition
  • Keep Our NHS Public

Please return to: People Before Profit Charter, BM 6035, London WC1N 3XX or email your name and details to peoplebeforeprofitcharter@googlemail.com

An alternative to the Washington economic summit

On 15 November the leaders of 20 nations will gather in Washington, United States, for a summit to set out a “global economic agenda”.

London trade unionists will head up a protest in the capital on the eve of the summit.

Angry that the Bush-Brown bail out of the banks is allowing the recession to continue to rip through the lives of the poorest while protecting the richest, the protest is called by the London region of the University College Union and the People Before Profit Charter and is supported by Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Fire Brigade Union (FBU), and National Union of Teachers (NUT) members.

The protest will be outside the Treasury, Whitehall, between 4.30pm and 6pm, Friday 14th November.

The protest is designed to send a message to the summit from working people in Britain demanding that they not be asked to shoulder the cost of an economic crisis that they did not create.

The protest will be followed ten days later by a People’s Alternative Economic Summit on Monday 24th November in University of London Union, Malet Street, Bloomsbury. The meeting will begin at 7pm and speakers include Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Sasha Callaghan of the UCU and Tony Kearns, deputy general secretary of the CWU.

Leaflets for both are available heretreasurydemo3peoples-summit-leaf2

Successful meeting on responding to the economic crisis

Over 300 people came to the meeting on The Economic Crisis at Conway Hall in London, hosted by supporters of the People Before Profit Charter. You can view the speeches at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=3AE42D9C2FB7B4BC After the meeting, the audience broke into groups to discuss further campaigning activity, and this has already led to a very successful organising meeting in Hackney, bring together a broad range of groups.

A letter from Green MEP Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas, the Green MEP for the south east of England, has sent a letter strongly supporting the Charter and suggesting some amendments. The letter is attached.carolinelucas1

Protest in Bristol, 10 October

“We won’t bail out the bankers”
Friday 10 October, 4pm – 6pm
Outsite Bradford and Bingley, Bristol city centre

Bring whistles, drums, and instuments.

  • No job cuts
  • No home repossessions
  • End student poverty

The economic crisis: public meeting, 16 October, London

THE ECONOMIC CRISIS—How bad will it get? What can we do about it?

Thursday 16 October, 7pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1 (Holborn tube)

SPEAKERS:

  • JEREMY CORBYN MP
  • LARRY ELLIOTT Economics editor, the Guardian
  • MICHELLE STANISTREET Deputy general secretary NUJ
  • CHARLIE KIMBER People Before Profit Charter
  • PAUL BRANDON Unite union 1/232 Holloway bus garage

CHAIR: Kevin Courtney NUT NEC

All speakers in personal capacity 

Hosted by supporters of the People Before Profit Charter

Successful protest in Cardiff

Protesting for a windfall tax

Protesting for a windfall tax

Around 30 supporters of the People Before Profit Charter held a lively picket outside British Gas’s Cardiff headquarters on Saturday 27 September demanding a windfall tax on energy company super profits.The protest was supported by a wide range of individuals and organisations. Plaid Cymru members of the Welsh Assembly Leanne Wood and Nerys Evans attended, as did veteran left-wing Labour councillor Ray Davies. Several members of Cardiff Trades Council attended, as did representatives from Cardiff Young Greens, the SWP, the Socialist Party and Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society).Leanne Wood described how some estimates suggest up to 25,000 people could die from cold this winter as pensioners and poorer people switch off their heating to save money.”As long as these companies are looking to make profits, people are going to die. The only way to prevent that is to take these companies back into public ownership. If it was good enough for the banks, it’s good enough for British Gas too!”

During her speech to the crowd, Leanne Wood told how she had been sent a letter by British Gas urging her not to attend the protest, as had the representative from the Welsh Language Society.

Adam Johannes was one of the organisers of the protest. He said that the Charter was having an impact. “We’ve received coverage for this protest in the local newspapers and regional television news. The protest was the top news story on Cardiff’s Red Dragon Radio all day and was only beaten on Real Radio by the US presidential debate!”

Charter supporters agreed to move forward by setting up a public launch rally for the Charter in Cardiff.

– Jonny Jones, Cardiff.