Plans to run down Rosyth naval dockyard and sack 1,200 workers over the next five years have been leaked to the TGWU union. Babcock Rosyth Defence plans to reduce the number of docks at its Fife yard from four to one by 2006, which would employ less than 1,000 people.
Community Health Council (CHC) representatives and their supporters took part in a lobby of parliament on Wednesday of last week in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the government from abolishing them. Campaigners point to the fact that Scotland and Wales have decided to retain CHCs, leaving England as the only part of Britain without an integrated network of patient watchdogs.
A third mass meeting of over 120 people from a small area in Tottenham, north London, took place last week in protest at proposed charges for resident and visitor car parking. 'This is a council rip off. There is no parking 'problem' round here,' said one campaigner. There were cheers when the campaign was compared to the poll tax fight, and the meeting identified totally with striking tube workers.
Controlled Parking Zones are spreading as councils try to recoup money cut from government grants without putting up council taxes. They do not solve the problem of too many cars-they just push the problem somewhere else. Only a cheap, efficient public transport system can stop people using their cars.
Lecturers in the NATFHE union have the chance to vote for a socialist, Roger Smith from Hull, in the election for the adult education seat on the union's national executive.
A meeting to organise an anti-sweatshop protest focusing on the opening of a new Gap store in Sheffield took place on Thursday of last week. Around 30 people attended, showing the great strength of feeling around the issue of the appalling conditions in which Gap factory workers are forced to suffer. Many ideas were thrown around for the protest, including getting some 13 year old children to go into the shop and demand jobs, as people their age are employed to make the clothes.