Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 1974

Unite blocks the Nazis in St Albans

A Unite Against Fascism mobilisation on Wednesday of last week sent a clear message to the British National Party (BNP) to stay out of St Albans, Hertfordshire.

The Nazi BNP had booked a room in the Duke of Marlborough pub and attempted to set up a clandestine meeting place at the Abbey station.

But the presence of 25 demonstrators clearly put them off. We went on to peacefully occupy the pub — much to the landlord’s concern — until it became clear that the Nazis had decided to slope off to wherever they had come from.

Among the Unite demonstrators were representatives of the CWU, Natfhe, NUT and TSSA unions, as well as former Labour MP Kerry Pollard.

Jon Berry

New film shines a spotlight on Asbos

A documentary made by young people from north west London about anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos), racism and education will be screened on Tuesday of next week.

The documentary, entitled Spotlight On Us, contains interviews with Hazel Blears, New Labour’s Asbo minister, and Shami Chakrabarti, director of the Liberty civil rights campaign group.

The film also includes interviews with young people and their parents discussing their lives and their rights.

Spotlight On Us will be shown at 9.30am at the Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn High Road, London NW6.

The premiere will be accompanied by a panel discussion about the issues raised. Phone the Tricycle Theatre’s box office on 020 7328 1000 to book seats.

GMB organises black history event

The GMB union and the trade union education department at the College of North East London are hosting an educational day to celebrate Black History Month this Saturday.

Brian Richardson, editor of Tell It Like It Is, the acclaimed new book examining how schools fail black children, will speak at the event.

Other speakers include Dawn Butler MP and TUC regional secretary Roger McKenzie.

There will also be a variety of workshops covering music, dance and poetry.

The event takes place at the College of North East London, Tottenham High Road, London N15, from 12 noon to 4pm.

Doncaster College all set to strike

Lecturers at Doncaster College are set to strike next week in protest against 95 threatened job losses.

Members of the Natfhe union have voted for a walk-out on Thursday if the college’s management refuses to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

As well as 95 part-time lecturers’ posts, a further 40 management positions are under threat.

Tanker drivers

A battle over pension rights could see a five-day strike by crucial oil tanker drivers at BP starting on Friday this week.

The 74 drivers, members of the T&G union, were transferred to BP from Exel this month — but their final salary pensions schemes did not come with them.

BP insisted on an inferior money purchase scheme. “BP is a disgrace, quite frankly,” said an angry Ron Webb, T&G national secretary for transport. “Is this company, which weighs its profits rather than counts them, pleading poverty? Nonsense.”

Defending refugees

One hundred protesters marched in Cardiff last week to demonstrate their opposition to government policy on asylum seekers. Labour councillor Ray Davies said, “The rights we have built up over the last 100 years are being lost.”

Pierrot Ngadi, who was representing the Voice of the Congo media organisation, said, “Congolese people are here because they are facing war, bad governance and human rights abuses in their own country.”

Co-op workers

Workers at Co-op Insurance Services remain unhappy after the imposition of new contract on 2,000 insurance advisers. The contract involves a 30 percent cut in salary.

The advisers are members of the Usdaw union. They have taken strike action on four separate days recently.

Last week the union decided to end the industrial action. It wants to ballot advisers on setting up a working party to monitor the operation of the new contracts.

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Sat 29 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1974
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