Pickets were out in force last Friday in Ansty near Coventry as workers struck for a day at plans by the Rolls-Royce aerospace company to axe 1,300 jobs. 'A one-day strike won't force the company to back down, but it's our first strike for 20 years,' says one worker. 'Most of us have never experienced a strike before, let alone a picket line. We are ready to step up the action.'
Students occupied Oxford University's Bodleian Library last week in defence of seven students threatened with expulsion for refusing to pay tuition fees. Around 250 students joined the two-day occupation. Socialist Alliance prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford East John Lister came to the occupation to show his solidarity as did journalist and campaigner George Monbiot.
We don't see this as the end of our campaign, but as the beginning of building for the NUS national day of college shutdowns against tuition fees on 1 March.
Stamp of victory
Over 900 postal workers in Oxford have won after a week of unofficial strike action, and with the help of solidarity strikes by 200 postal workers in Swindon. The strike was against management harassment and victimisation of workers. 'We beat the bastards', said one jubilant striker, 'because of local and national solidarity. I am proud to have been part of a workforce that is fighting back'.
Students at Warwick University plan protests after learning of their college management's plans to refuse entry to anyone who won't buy a £1,000 IBM laptop computer!
The shocking plan is a way for the college-in the front line of pushing for more link-ups between education and business-to impose extra fees by the back door. Warwick has a multi-million pound deal with computer giant IBM.
For the second Saturday in a row up to 150 parents, children and supporters blocked traffic in Bristol city centre last weekend. The Labour-run council wants to close schools and allow private firms, including the FirstBus transport company, to sponsor education.