Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside a meeting of Islington council in north London on Monday against plans for a new Arsenal football club stadium. The proposals are about big business trampling over the needs of ordinary people.
Arsenal wants to turn the old stadium into a luxury residential project, with the old pitch becoming a private pleasure park for yuppies. There is intense anger about the plans, including from many Arsenal fans. Islington council, run by the Liberal Democrats, backs the plan.
Manchester airport bosses have announced that they intend to slash up to 140 permanent jobs. These cuts are on top of the 90 workers already in the firing line. Airport bosses aim to cut their security budget by 30 percent.
Community health campaigners in Glasgow vowed to step up the fight against the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) last weekend. The Save Greater Glasgow Hospitals group held a meeting of over 50 representatives from community health councils, community organisations, pensioners' groups and trade unions. They are opposed to government plans to halve the number of hospitals in the greater Glasgow area.
Thousands of Royal Bank of Scotland staff are being balloted on strike action. Finance union Unifi says the bank is denying Scottish workers the day off on 2 January. Between 2,000 and 3,000 staff in Scotland are being called to vote to strike on that day instead. Other high street banks are treating the day as a holiday. Unifi official Andy Colognori says, 'Our consultation has shown just how angry staff are over the mean way the bank is behaving. It would not cost the bank much to recognise that 2 January is a traditional bank holiday in Scotland.'
Glasgow teachers voted last weekend for a ballot for industrial action if local education bosses impose compulsory redundancies.
A strike by janitors at schools and education centres in Edinburgh last week had a big impact. It saw at least 14 schools closed. The protest is over payments for irregular and anti-social hours. Unions argue that primary school janitors should receive this allowance, which is already paid to secondary school janitors. On Tuesday last week five schools were closed, and on Wednesday another ten shut after cleaning staff refused to cross picket lines.
Workers at military installations lobbied parliament this week over jobs and privatisation. Unions fear a government review could lead to job losses at naval bases in Devonport, Portsmouth and on the Clyde.
The cuts prove that military work does not provide any sort of job security. The money should be used for socially useful projects which provide more, and more secure, work.