Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1799

Breathtaking negligence of employers

SOME 7,000 workers a year are struck with asthma through work. Occupational asthma is widespread, and is forcing many workers to leave their jobs due to ill health, according to research for the TUC. Workers often suffer from debilitating asthma without employers recognising that work is to blame.

Swimming pool attendants and teachers are at risk of developing coughing, wheezing and other asthmatic symptoms.

Teachers say 35 hours a week now

SECRETARY OF State for Education Estelle Morris is trying to wriggle out of cutting teachers' working hours in a move that could spark industrial action. All three major teacher unions in England and Wales-the NUT, NASUWT and ATL-have pledged to ballot for strike action unless hours are cut.

The government review by the School Teachers Review Body was set to report this week. Teaching unions are calling for a 35-hour working week.

We pay for royal bilge in the papers

THE ROYALS have been getting much more favourable press coverage recently as the queen's Golden Jubilee tour begins. It might have something to do with 600 journalists being given a reception at Windsor Castle two weeks ago.

They had 90 minutes of white wine and gin and tonic to wash down some heavy pressure from the queen's private secretary, Sir Robin Janvrin, to pump out pro-royal articles. The royals' new media advisers have plenty of incentive to plant the grovelling stories.

Some-such as Simon Walker, on secondment from British Airways-are on as much as £180,000. Others get plush royal apartments to encourage them to drum up public support for the Jubilee celebrations. But the royal lackeys are still worried that this year's Jubilee celebrations will flop compared with those of 25 years ago.

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Article information

Sat 11 May 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1799
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