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Open an industrial front in the battle for a Labour government, trade unionists say at Morning Star fringe

THE Labour-union link was the theme of this year’s packed Morning Star fringe meeting at TUC today.

Editor Ben Chacko was joined by Unite’s Gail Cartmail, Amanda Martin of NEU, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack and CWU leader Dave Ward in a discussion on co-ordinating industrial and political struggle.

Ms Cartmail praised the transformation of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, saying she was proud of Unite’s role in delivering the party’s new progressive leadership.

And Mr Wrack said the gulf between Westminster politics and ordinary workers could be bridged if more MPs came from working class backgrounds and had been involved in organising industrial action.

Asked by the Telegraph’s Chris Hope how many MPs would need to be deselected before the parliamentary party was representative, Mr Wrack said those campaigning for democratic reform in the party were not targeting individuals but simply calling for an open selection process so that members could choose their candidates.

Ms Martin looked at the way Labour policy is now developed in consultation with unions, stressing the potential of the proposed national education service to transform our schools, while Mr Ward said the world of work needed to become “the number one political issue” so that the blight of insecure work and shrinking wages could be ended.

Morning Star management committee vice-chair Carolyn Jones highlighted the role of the paper in promoting industrial struggle, pointing to the online Campaign of the Week form and calling on trade unionists to fill it in so the paper could share their campaigns with the whole movement.

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