Socialist Worker

Credit for walkout

Issue No. 1853

'SEVEN WEEKS without money. Minimum wage. Drowning in debt. No money to feed kids.' That's how one woman summed up the impact of the chaos gripping the government's system for paying tax credits. The means-tested credits are the centrepiece of Chancellor Gordon Brown's welfare plans.

But thousands of people are being left in poverty by delays and chaos. Last Friday staff at Inland Revenue offices in Scotland, north east England and Manchester administering the credits stopped work for 15 minutes in protest at the chaos. They say the government and management are to blame, and sympathise with the people suffering from the delay.
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A key press battle

JOURNALISTS WORKING for local papers owned by the Newsquest conglomerate in Bradford were due to start an all-out strike over pay this week. The company owned by US multinational Gannett is taking a hard line in the face of a growing revolt by low-paid journalists across the media industry. Journalists have been organising, winning back union rights, and taking action to boost pay.

The stakes are high in the Bradford fight. If Newsquest wins it will set back the National Union of Journalists across the industry. If the strikers win it will show how hard-nosed bosses can be taken on and beaten.
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Make votes count

CIVIL SERVANTS in the PCS union will start voting in elections for their national executive next week. The union had long dominated by a right wing grouping, which last year tried to launch a coup to prevent socialist Mark Serwotka taking up office after members elected him as general secretary.

A members revolt saw that coup off, and made sure Mark took up his position. Now the national executive elections give members a chance to build on that victory and change the union's leadership throughout.
PCS president Janice Godrich explains the importance of the vote - click here

Revolts on low pay

THOUSANDS OF nursery nurses in Scotland were striking again this week in a fight against low pay. The action is the latest in a planned series of stoppages. It follows last week's Scotland-wide strike which saw up to 5,000 nursery nurses strike, picket and demonstrate.

Meanwhile in England, health workers from Scunthorpe to east London also face a new series of battles over low pay. Strikes were due to get underway as Socialist Worker went to press.
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Article information

Sat 31 May 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1853
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