Socialist Worker

Reports round-up - rage at arms bosses’ feast

Issue No. 2637

Protesting against British arms sales to Saudi Arabia during the visit of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman last year

Protesting against British arms sales to Saudi Arabia during the visit of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Every year the arms trade holds a fancy dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. On 23 January they will face a protest from the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

The Aerospace, Defence and Security dinner will bring together arms dealers, MPs and military personnel to schmooze, swill champagne, and feast on expensive food.

At the same time, some 14 million Yemeni people are at risk of famine, starved as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing of their country.

Many of the bombs are made by the arms companies present, and have been sold with the support of the politicians in attendance.

The war in Yemen has caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 85,000 children under the age of five have died from malnutrition.

The British government is directly involved in causing this suffering.

It has licensed almost £5 billion of weaponry to the Saudi regime since the bombing began in 2015.

British-made planes are dropping British-made bombs in Yemen.

Stop arming Saudi, Wed 23 Jan, 6.30pm, Grosvenor House Hotel, 86-90 Park Lane, London. Nearest tube Marble Arch

Build Turkish solidarity

Campaign group Solidarity with the People of Turkey (Spot) is holding its annual conference on Saturday 9 February in London.

It will give an opportunity to hear from those who have seen and experienced the reality of life under president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian regime.

Spot will lay out its plans for building stronger international solidarity and call to account both the actions of the repressive Turkish state and the complicity of the British government.

Go to for details and to register

Unite says no to Scottish LG deal

Action against the local government pay deal in Scotland could be on the cards after the Unite union announced it is recommending rejection of the latest offer.

The proposd deal would mean a 3.5 percent rise for 2018, a 3 percent rise for 2019 and a further 3 percent in 2020.

The union will now hold a consultative ballot on the deal ending on 29 January.

Elaine Dougal, Unite regional coordinating officer, said, “The reality remains that even with the slight increase for 2018, it still does not restore us anywhere close to the real-terms pay level from a decade ago.”

But the Unison union is recommending the deal is accepted.

CWU union members protest outside a BT office

CWU union members protest outside a BT office (Pic: The CWU)

The CWU union held a rally outside the BT centre in London on Monday to protest at the firm’s proposed outsourcing of its facilities services division.

The union believes the outsourcing represents a mass betrayal of employees

Ministries face series of strikes

Workers at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) plan to strike from 21 to 23 January.

BEIS workers, who are in the PCS union, will be out on the first two days only.

There is a strike planning meeting at the United Voices of the World headquarters this Saturday.

For more information go to

Taxi drivers say the bosses must pay

Over 100 minicab drivers protested outside the Transport for London (TfL) headquarters on Monday.

They were demanding TfL does not remove an exemption on them paying the congestion charge without stipulating it must be paid by the employer, not the individual driver.

James Farrar from the workers’ United Private Hire Drivers organisation—part of the IWGB union—said the protests would happen every Monday “until we get some respect”.

Security guards want more security

Security guards at Goldsmiths College in south London have launched a campaign to be taken back in-house.

The guards, employed by CIS Security Ltd, are members of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union.

Suffolk printers set for further strike

Workers at printing firm CPI William Clowes in Beccles, Suffolk, were preparing to strike on Wednesday this week.

The 75 Unite union members plan action against the company’s two-year pay freeze.

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