TSSA held this years annual delegate conference in Leicester for the first time since 1889. Once again the farce that is railway privatisation was high on the agenda, as it has been since 1996. In his address to Conference The President condemned East Coast as the Hokey Cokey line. In, out, in, out, back in and once again back out of Privatisation, Failing Greyling becoming the first transport minister since Andrew Adonis to renationalise a railway line. And how he hated doing it. He also called out a fellow trade union for thief appalling treatment of TSSA Company Council Reps on East Coast. The fire should be turned on bad bosses, not each other.
Proceedings were suspended to welcome Jeremy Corbyn to address conference. As ever Jeremy went down a storm. TSSA have been one of his most ardent supporters and he was very much amongst friends here. Jeremy also condemned the mess that Virgin/ Stagecoach has made of the East Coast. He also labelled as disgraceful the mess that both GTR and Northern had made in recent weeks, which have led to chaos and misery for thousands of commuters. He reaffirmed that a future Labour Government would renationalise the railways, something that TSSA had argued for and won as Labour Party Policy first back in 2004. Finally we have a leader that will deliver on the Party position. After a break of about an hour so the obligatory selfies could be taken, and after Jeremy’s frantic aides had finally managed to get him to move on, Conference reconvened.
Starting strongly London Bus and Rail Operators branch condemned the ongoing carnage in the Middle East arguing that Western Imperialism had played a large part in the rise of ISIS and the continued unrest across that region. They also condemned Trump And the failure to honour the Iran nuclear agreement which conference recognises as the best hole for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons across the region
TSSA delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of affiliating to the Campaign to free Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan, founder of the PKK the move for Kurdish independence has languished in a Turkish jail for eighteen years whilst the claims of his people continue to be crushed by an oppressive regime. Motions were also passed affiliating to both the Argentina and Nicaraguan solidarity campaigns. Both victims of right wing Neo liberal governments doing what right wing neo liberal governments do best. Putting self interest and profit before people.
Excellent motions were also moved on Syria and Palestine.
Importantly TSSA reaffirmed its support for Jeremy and Momentum. TSSA has been at the forefront in the Labour movement of supporting Corbyn and his political agenda. We also recognise early that Momentum’s new style of politics was engaging young people in a way that has not happened for generations. It was noticeable that three young, first time delegates stood and moved the motion calling for continued support of Jeremy and his policies.
It is recognised that the best way to help working people, as well as those who need our assistance in life is always going to be with a Labour Government .