Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2496

Social work students hold campaigning conference

Around 250 people attended the Social Work Action Network’s (Swan) first student conference last week.

They discussed radical social work and how to fight for better services. There was much discussion of the impact of cuts on social work practice and the growing culture of managerialism.

They looked to the Roma team in Glasgow, one of very few to still practice community social work.

Only by understanding the class basis of society can we work with communities to challenge their oppression.

Rory Anderson


Final curtain for Opera pay dispute

Chorus singers at the English National Opera called off a planned strike last week. Their union Equity agreed to a £5,000 wage cut—bosses had wanted a £10,000 a year cut.

The singers had planned to strike against wage cuts and plans to reduce the chorus from 44 to 40 singers.

Equity “reluctantly” agreed to the deal due to cuts to Arts Council funding.


Holiday hold-up for hot cross buns

Workers at Allied Bakeries in Cardiff were set to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday.

The Bfawu union members are fighting plans to change holiday entitlements and shift patterns. The strike will hit the production of 90,000 hot cross buns before Easter.


Electric action at Network Rail

RMT union members working for Network Rail in track renewals and electrification were set to strike for 48 hours from 4pm this Saturday. They want better terms and conditions.


Heathrow Tube strike takes off

RMT union members on the Piccadilly Line are set to strike for 24 hours from 9pm on Wednesday over “abuse of the disciplinary process and breaches of our agreements”.

The walkout would hit travel to Heathrow airport. Further 24-hour strikes are planned on 19 and 21 April.


Buses set to stop around Manchester

Stagecoach bus drivers are preparing to ballot for strikes in Greater Manchester after rejecting a two-year pay offer.

The ballot covers 1,300 Unite union members. Bosses refused to pay an extra 5p an hour for the second year.


Coop lorry drivers win talks at Acas

The Unite union called then suspended a two-day strike of up to 700 lorry drivers at the Co-op last week.

Bosses want to outsource 87 workers based in Coventry to Eddie Stobart. The union suspended the strike after the Coop agreed to talks.


London left rallies against bosses’ EU

GROUPS arguing a left wing case against the European Union (EU) planned to meet in London this week.

It’s urgent the anti-EU case isn’t left to the right. The left case needs to be heard.


Stop student’s deporation

Dozens rallied outside the Home Office in London and Edinburgh against the deportation of Strathclyde University student Lord Apetsi on Monday.

Lord was detained on Saturday and was set to be deported to Ghana on Tuesday night. He has lived in Britain for nine years and has children here.

Strathclyde Students Association president Gary Paterson joined the London protest. He told Socialist Worker the response had been “phenomenal”.

“Students were horrified to hear Lord was going to be taken out of his studies.”

Lord’s supporters say the decision to deport him is based on an admin error.

Tom Kay

Write to immigration minister James Brokenshire at james.brokenshire.mp@parliament.uk or tweet him at @JBrokenshire using the hashtag #SaveLord.


March to take on the Nazis

The racist English Defence League (EDL) plans to march in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, this Saturday.

They are trying to capitalise on a child abuse scandal in the town.

But Rotherham Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is planning a protest. Phil Turner from Rotherham UAF said this would be “a mark of respect to Mushin Ahmed and his family”.

Two men were convicted of the murder of Mushin Ahmed earlier this year. He died in August last year after being called a “groomer” and viciously beaten.

Phil said, “Saturday’s planned demonstration is another attempt to demonise Muslims and increase the risk of racist attacks.”

He added, “We say Muslims have every right to defend themselves and stand up for their families.

“No more racist murders, justice for child sex exploitation victims—Nazis out of Rotherham.”

  • Around 230 anti-fascists outnumbered 30 Nazis from the Scottish Defence League in Edinburgh last Sunday.
     
  • Anti-fascists in Swansea were preparing to counter a “White Pride” march this Saturday.
    Go to Facebook event Stop the Nazi NF White Pride March in Swansea

Union head backs Trident

Unite union defence workers met in Preston on Monday.

Unite head Len McCluskey said the union “will defend every last job in the defence industry”. He said, “This union will never support any policy which throws our members on the scrapheap.”

McCluskey argued against scrapping Trident. He called for “a Britain-first manufacturing procurement policy,” with more spent on defence and less going to foreign firms.

McCluskey stressed that the main target was the Tories—not anti-Trident Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

But it’s a myth that Trident safeguards jobs. Backing the imperialist war machine is a dead end for workers.


Fresh strikes in pay battle

Workers at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh are escalating their long-running pay fight with six weekend strikes.

The PCS union members have been in dispute for more than three years after bosses withdrew weekend working allowances for new staff.

They have struck a number of times and are still determined to win.

Starting at Easter, they will strike over six consecutive weekends, running over the Scottish election period.

Steve West


Lambeth council cofirms demolition

A Lambeth council cabinet meeting descended into chaos on Monday as it debated whether to demolish the south London borough’s Cressingham Gardens estate.

There were cries of “Liars!” as Labour councillors tried to justify their plan. Resident Gerlinde Gniewosz said, “Who is accountable here? There are blatant lies in your report.”

People chanted, “Shame on you!” after councillors confirmed demolition.

lFor more information on the campaign go to bit.ly/1RwLtDf

Glasgow immigration raid

Activists in Glasgow blockaded a Border and Immigration Agency site on Monday in an attempt to stop the deportation of an LGBT+ activist and her son.

Cops arrested Beverley Vaanda Kanjii in a dawn raid earlier that day. She says she was assaulted during the arrest.

Her neighbours were shocked.

One asked, “Why are they taking that lovely lady and her son from upstairs away?”

Beverley fled physical violence and forced marriage in Namibia as well as persecution for her sexuality.

The Home Office claims she will be safe if she simply moves to another part of Namibia.

Over 30 cops with dogs broke up the protesters’ roadblock, pulling apart hands that were superglued together.

Beverley was to be deported on commercial flights on Thursday of this week, the same day as Strathclyde university activist Lord Apetsi (see page 19).

A chartered jet full of deportees was also set to leave Gatwick airport for Nigeria on Tuesday night.

Supporters are encouraged to call the airline KLM to complain on 0207 660 0293

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News
Tue 22 Mar 2016, 17:14 GMT
Issue No. 2496
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