The Scottish Socialist Party’s Socialism 2005 got off to a rousing start on Friday of last week with Colin Fox, George Galloway and Gill Hubbard addressing the opening rally. Over 400 people, many young, attended the weekend of discussion. There was lots of enthusiasm for the anti-war movement. There was also a lot of interest in the meetings on Latin America.
‘Where are the Sajid family?’
Around 30 campaigners for the Sajid family protested in Teesside on Wednesday of last week against the family’s deportation to Pakistan.
Raheela Sajid and her two children Muhammad, 14, and Shahtaj, 11, were snatched by immigration officers while visiting a police station three weeks ago.
They had fled from domestic abuse in Pakistan in 2002 and settled in the north east.
Local campaigners gathered last week outside the police station. They chanted, “Free our friends.” They held banners reading, “Where are the Sajid family?” and “Sending people back to a death sentence”.
Christine Stubbs, a family friend, said, “We want to make sure the Sajid family are not forgotten about.”
Strike action possible at BBC
Media unions at the BBC were meeting this week to discuss whether to take action over the size of the retraining packages being offered to workers taking voluntary redundancy.
BBC workers struck in May against director general Mark Thompson’s plans to slash over 4,000 jobs. The unions agreed a deal with Thompson guaranteeing a year’s moratorium on compulsory redundancies.
The BBC is paying less than £500 per person for retraining purposes, less than half the usual amount. It is also forcing workers to spend their own money on in-house careers advisers.
The unions plan to suspend the deal over redundancies.
The Bectu, Amicus and NUJ unions were set to meet this week to decide whether they should call industrial action.
Because workers voted in favour of a strike earlier this year action could be called with seven days notice.
Job cuts at South Wales newspaper
Member of the NUJ journalists’ union at the South Wales Evening Post newspaper were set to protest on Friday of this week.
The owner, Northcliffe, is driving through devastating job cuts. The print room has already been lost and the paper is now being printed in England.
Protest at 1pm, Friday, at the South Wales Evening Post, Adelaide Street, Swansea
Postal workers grassed up
Postal workers in E14 (Poplar), east London, walked out unofficially for a brief period last week after two workers were suspended.
A member of the public had complained that a postal worker had been seen on his duties smoking a joint.
A manager, who had no connection with the E14 office, went to Poplar, saw two workers smoking on their break, claimed he could smell cannabis and suspended them. Workers immediately held a walkout.
The suspended two have now returned to work. An investigation will be held, but the only evidence against them is the testimony of the manager’s nose.
A CWU member