Fight to save fire engine
Firefighters and their supporters will flood the streets in east London next Tuesday in protest at life-threatening cuts to the service.
Bethnal Green has the greatest density of high rise flats in Britain — and these homes are the most likely to see fire deaths. Yet the London Fire Authority is cutting Bethnal Green’s fire cover in half by removing an engine.
The local FBU firefighters’ union is angry at these cuts, particularly as this is the area where firefighters Bill Faust and Adam Meere died last July responding to a call to a blazing building.
Respect has supported the battle against the cuts from the start, and George Galloway MP made it a central focus of his election campaign. Respect urges as many people as possible to back the protest.
Blockade to stop the removal of the Bethnal Green fire engine, Tuesday 7 June, 8.30am onwards, Bethnal Green Fire Station, Roman Road, London E2. For more details go to www.respectcoalition.org
City academy fails the grade
In a fresh blow to New Labour’s schools privatisation programme, a city academy in Middlesbrough has been declared a failing school.
The Unity City Academy was one of the first schools set up under the government’s academies scheme, which hands schools over to private outfits that run them independently.
Far from improving education for the pupils of the two schools it replaced in 2002, the Unity City Academy has proved an expensive disaster.
The parliamentary education select committee has called for a moratorium on building new academies. But the government wants to increase the number of such schools from 19 to 200.
Activist sacked for being ill
Mary Dwyer, secretary for the North Thames (LT&S) branch of the RMT rail union, was sacked last week following an angina attack. RMT officials say management has been victimising Mary for sometime for her trade union activities.
The company has brought in a sickness procedure that workers say penalises them for being ill. Staff are expected to report to consultants Active Health whenever sick or absent.
If you are not back to work in three days, they call you at home — with all information kept on record for ten years.
Mary has been in the forefront of fighting this scheme. The RMT is organising a mass meeting of Mary’s workmates on Thursday of next week.