Stan Newens 1930-2021

We regret to announce that our friend and comrade, Stan Newens, has passed away.
Here is an appreciation of Stan written by his friend Jeremy Corbyn:

Stan Newens – Lifelong campaigner for internationalism and justice
It is so sad to hear of the death of Stan Newens, former MP, MEP, and lifelong campaigner for internationalism, justice, and the people of his former constituencies of Epping, Harlow, and then Central London (MEP).
I first met Stan in 1970 when he was campaigning for Labour in Shropshire, and I got to know him very well as one of the leading lights of the London Cooperative society, then as Chair of Liberation, and much later as the Member of the European Parliament for Central London, which included Islington North.Read on ...

Gerry Kelly R.I.P.

Sad news that blacklisted union activist, socialist and musician, Gerry Kelly has passed away. As a young construction union activist from Birmingham in the 1970s, Gerry was involved in disputes in the midlands and London. After finding it difficult to get work he retrained as a teacher and was active in the NUT, becoming a well known socialist figure in his adopted Waltham Forest. After the Consulting Association blacklist was exposed he spoke on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group at union meetings in East London. Gerry was also a musician, recently being a songwriter and occasional guitarist for The Fred Hampton Appreciation Society, the London soul band named after the murdered Black Panther.

JOINT EDUCATION UNION STATEMENT

Education unions’ statement on the safe reopening of schools
Unions with members in the education sector are today (Wednesday) publishing a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools.
Today’s statement follows a longer statement to the Secretary of State on Friday (8 May), which set out in full detail the principles and tests necessary for the safe reopening of schools. It is signed by AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect, UNISON and Unite.
Full text of today’s statement:

“We all want schools to re-open, but that should only happen when it is safe to do so. The government is showing a lack of understanding about the dangers of the spread of coronavirus within schools, and outwards from schools to parents, sibling and relatives, and to the wider community.… Read on ...

Press Release

TRADE UNIONS CALL FOR BETTER C-19 PROTECTION FOR WHIPPS CROSS HOSPITAL STAFF & CARE HOME WORKERS

With the news of increasing numbers of c-19 infections and deaths in east London combined with the continuing reports of the failure to provide workers with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) and training, trade unions in Waltham Forest have set up an on-line petition calling for swifter action to protect workers and patients lives.

Linda Taaffe, Secretary, Waltham Forest Trade Union Council, said:

We should not be expecting those front line workers who care for and aid recovery of the elderly, unwell and dying to have to risk their lives any more to deliver that care.

Read on ...

Defend a Woman’s Right to Choose

Trades council members joined a counter protest on Saturday 4 October in opposition to the UK branch of the American anti-abortion organisation the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBRUK).

CBRUK have been targeting Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy, using a poster of her image alongside the image of a foetus.

The council has used bylaws to prohibit the image being displayed throughout the borough saying “residents and visitors to our town centre … have the fundamental right to use the town centre without being confronted with distressing images.”

However, CBRUK have sidestepped the order by using different images and have said they will continue the campaign.… Read on ...

Dave Knight

Dave Knight: Trade unionist, Os supporter, fighter of wrongs and so much more

Dave is one of the best known people from Leyton in East London who you have probably never heard of. His activities throughout his life have led him to be recognised seemingly almost anywhere he went.

Raised in Leyton, he went to Leyton High School for Boys and made life-long friendships with pals who “bend not break the rules” and typically faced discipline when they turned up to run in the school’s annual cross-country race dressed and behaving as Monty Python Gumbies, falling over when the starting gun fired.… Read on ...

Extinction Rebellion

WFTC invited Extinction Rebellion (XR) to an Open Forum on July 2nd. Around 35 attended – trade unionists, XR activists, campaigners from Save Our Square, Socialist and Labour Party members, and some just along to find out what’s going on. The meeting started with Samantha Mason of GMB leading the discussion. Then Kevin Wing of XR outlined their plans. After many contributions from the floor we decided to support the call for trade union action on September 20th.

So, WFTC will be doing what we can to encourage workers to pressure unions to call more national action on Sept 20th on the Climate Emergency.… Read on ...

Mayday and Workers Memorial Day



Waltham Forest Trade Union Council hosted two important events in the calendar of the labour and trade union movement in Abbotts Park in Leyton.

People gathered to mark Workers Memorial Day, held every year on April 28th, to pay tribute to workers killed, injured, disabled and made unwell by their work. Workers like young Marian Nemit killed when a wall fell on him at a job near the Bakers Arms and Raymond Holmes who was killed working on the Thames Water site in Coppermill. Raymond’s wife and daughter sent the Trades Council a note of thanks for remembering him and for keeping up the tradition.… Read on ...