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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 May 2013

POA conference - Prisons should not be run for profit

Ian Pattison

In May the prison officers' union POA met for their national conference in Southport. POA is increasingly at the centre of the battle against austerity and a leading trade union in the fight against the cuts. Tens of thousands of POA members have lost their jobs under Tory, New Labour, and Con-Dem governments. The number of prison officers has gone down, at the same time as the prison population has been increasing.

POA trade union facility time is under constant attack.

POA are challenging prison privatisation. Reactionary Tories are foaming at the mouth to condemn the entire public sector and welfare state whenever there is a scandal in an NHS hospital, usually resulting from under-funding and PFI privatisation. But they remain silent on scandals in privatised prisons. POA made it clear they will fight prisons being run for profit. It's bad for prison officers and prisoners.

Rob Williams, national chair of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) addressed the conference.

The NSSN's demand for a 24-hour general strike to stop austerity has been buoyed by the POA motion on a general strike passed at September 2012's TUC conference.

Although most trade union leaders are twiddling their thumbs over whether to call a general strike, the TUC general council has been forced to discuss it and the POA's motion has helped to promote the idea.

The Socialist Party, the only left group present, got a fantastic response at the conference. 43 delegates bought copies of the Socialist. Socialist Party and POA national executive member John Hancock addressed an anti-racist fringe meeting, linking austerity measures and the rise of the far right, and what the Socialist Party and NSSN have done to combat that.

The POA's left leadership has done a considerable amount to combat divisive racist ideas, even inside POA. Unlike some trade unions, racist BNP members are barred from POA membership.

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In The Socialist 22 May 2013:


Fight the bedroom tax

End this 'evil bedroom tax'

Anti-bedroom tax federation launched in Merseyside

Bedroom tax campaigning in Leytonstone, Birmingham and Newham


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories in turmoil over Europe

Big business tax avoidance scandal

Another blow for workfare

NHS staff under the cuts cosh

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Fighting cuts in wales


International socialist news and analysis

South African economy: Mass sacking threat demands mass action

Sri Lanka: Isolate the murderous Rajapaksa regime


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton TUSC rally

Anti-blacklisting campaigner run over

University backs down: students and workers win!

Support for Mid Yorkshire Health struggle in the Mirror

Strike against legal aid cuts

March against the G8

London Socialist Party regional conference


Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting back pays off: Thera East Midlands forced to make concessions

POA conference - Prisons should not be run for profit

Support Carling brewery workers at Burton-on-Trent

Sacked Tesco drivers on the march again

PCS members fight Land Registry privatisation

Firefighters prepare for pensions battle

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

Cuts kill: Con-Dem benefit 'reforms', mental health and suicide

Why I joined the socialists


 

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Related links:

POA:

triangleClick here for a report. Speakers included: Sharon Graham - newly-elected Unite gen sec; Sarah Woolley - BFAWU gen sec; Carmel Gates - Nipsa gen sec (designate); Joe Simpson - POA deputy gen sec; Joe Kirby - RMT NEC & offshore worker

triangleWales is Europe's prisoner capital: capitalist cutters' crimes to blame

trianglePOA walkout over government failure to make prisons safe

trianglePrison crisis: a catastrophe of cuts and privatisation

triangleNSSN conference 2018: Mood for fighting action and coordination

Prisons:

triangleWomen and the criminal 'injustice' system

triangleOliver Campbell - Still fighting for justice

triangleThem & Us

triangleKnife crime - a product of capitalist misery

Prison:

triangleOliver Campbell - 31 years fighting for justice

triangleBobby Sands - Nothing but an Unfinished Song

triangleJudge rules against Julian Assange's extradition but refuses bail

Union:

triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Socialist:

triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: What now for Ukraine and Russia?

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