Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1811

First it's your job, then the pension

SOME 300 workers at the Allied Steel and Wire (ASW) plant in Cardiff gathered last Saturday for a meeting over the company's pension scheme. Around 800 steel workers will be made redundant after the company closes the plant at the end of this week. Now workers have heard there is a major shortfall in the company's pension scheme.

The ASW crisis has come after steel workers employed by Carparo and AvestaPolarit faced attacks on their final salary pension funds. The ASW workers have been told that the fund which showed a £21 million deficit on 31 December last year had worsened with the continuing fall of the stockmarket.

Many workers have refused to turn up for work at the Tremorfa plant since the company's receivers, KPMG, revealed earlier this week that the site was closing.

We're not your flexible friends

WORKERS IN the Alliance & Leicester in Bootle, Merseyside, and Ashford, Kent, could go on strike over a threat to 400 jobs.

The company announced last week it will sell off its credit card business. The workers' CWU union has condemned the proposals. It says it will ballot workers for a strike if the company sacks workers on the two sites.

Fighting sell-offs is not a crime

ACTIVISTS HAVE called a picket of the South African embassy on Thursday 15 August in solidarity with anti-privatisation campaigners who face jail. One of them, Trevor Ngwane, will face a court in Johannesburg on the day. Some 87 people face charges of 'public violence' for demonstrating against water and electricity cutoffs at the Johannesburg mayor's home in April.

All of them face the possibility of a jail sentence. Around 50 were held for 11 days without bail at the time of the alleged offences.

Meet 4.30pm onwards, Thursday 15 August, South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London.

Rebuild our union say 150 activists

'I'M THE man from nowhere supported by the people from everywhere-the rank and file.' That was how Derek Simpson described his election victory as general secretary election of AEEU-Amicus to a meeting of 150 rank and file activists last Saturday in Barnsley.

The meeting was organised through the Engineering Gazette group, and discussed the next steps for rebuilding the left inside the union. A key part of discussion was a strategy for winning elections to the union's executive council that have to take place in the next 18 months.

Willie Black, a Scottish Power worker, called for the organisation of members who supported Simpson's election campaign to be maintained. He said, 'One lad remarked it would be good for officials to talk to members first rather than management. It's the old tradition of 'partnership' we have got to break from.'

Legalise cannabis

Around 300 people joined last weekend's 'Legalise cannabis' march through Glasgow

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Article information

Sat 3 Aug 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1811
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