Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 1993

Protesting at Matthew Boulton (Pic: Pete Jackson)

Protesting at Matthew Boulton (Pic: Pete Jackson)

Blair's 'visit' to Matthew Boulton college

Over 200 students from Matthew Boulton College, and Aston and Birmingham universities demonstrated against Tony Blair’s planned visit to Matthew Boulton College on Thursday of last week. For “security” reasons Blair stayed away, but the students demonstrated all afternoon to make sure he didn’t sneak in, and finished with a victory march.

Herts fire cuts are a threat to us all

Hertfordshire’s Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has hit out against secret plans by the local fire authority to shut down or downgrade seven fire stations in the county.

The proposals are outlined in a confidential fire authority document leaked to the union. “This hit list shows that no community is safe from the threat of cuts and no fire station is safe from the threat of closure,” said Tony Smith, vice chair of Herts FBU.

Firefighters in the county are already campaigning against plans to close Bovingdon and Radlett stations and downgrade Watford and Royston. County councillors are voting on the issue on Tuesday.

Virgin strikers in a bitter battle

Guards on Virgin Cross Country services held their 12th day of strike action on Friday of last week in a long-running dispute over Sunday payments.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are involved in a row with the company over a deal aimed at reducing working hours.

It would cost the company £6 per Sunday shift to settle.

New campaign for public services

The “Public Services Not Private Profit” campaign will be launched next week. It aims to fight the government’s attacks on public services.

The campaign aims to bring together trade unions from across the public sector, linked to supportive MPs, and organisations representing those who depend upon our public services.

The campaign is coordinated by John McDonnell MP. The unions taking part are Aslef, CYWU, FBU, Napo, Natfhe, PCS, NUJ, POA, and RMT.

Rally and launch, Wednesday 29 March, 7pm, Committee Room ten, House of Commons

Truth about war on terror exposed

More than 250 people packed into a crowded hall to hear Moazzam Begg speak in Edinburgh last Thursday. Moazzam was detained at Bagram airbase and then at Guantanamo. 

He was freed in 2005. We were shocked and moved by Moazzam’s account of his experience and inspired by his determination to lay bare the reality of the “war on terror”. 

The meeting was organised by Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition in conjunction with Scotland against Criminalising Communities, Edinburgh University Islamic Society and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Pete Cannell

March backs Gate Gourmet fight

The sacked Gate Gourmet workers have organised a protest for this Saturday 25 March to raise solidarity for their continuing struggle.

The demonstration assembles at 1pm, Sidmouth Avenue, Isleworth, west London.

International paper

Some 400 workers at International Paper in Inverurie, Scotland, have voted by four to one for industrial action.

The Amicus union members have given notice of a four-hour work stoppage set for Thursday of this week.

Bosses at the company are demanding that paper workers take a pay freeze this year and receive a small, one-off payment in 2007. Workers responded with the resounding strike vote, calling a freeze an “insult”.

Over two consecutive years, Inverurie paper workers had 3 percent weekly deductions taken from their earnings to fill a pension gap.

Guernsey Dairy

About 100 staff at Guernsey Dairy walked out on strike last Wednesday over plans to cut their hours which would result in pay cuts of £60 a week each.

The strikers, members of the T&G union, maintained a picket to block vehicle entry to the site, while management attempted to process and package milk. The workers voted unanimously to continue their action following a meeting on Monday morning.

Justice for Nuur Saeed

Campaigners for Nuur Saeed have called a picket of Plumstead police station, south east London, on Saturday 1 April at 1.30pm to protest at the suspicious death of 22 year old Somali man Nuur Saeed as a result of a police raid.

E-mail [email protected]

Save Shrewsbury pool

Around 45 protesters held a lively demonstration in Shrewsbury last week against plans by the local Tory council to close the town’s only swimming pool. For more information go to

Striking on budget day

NUJ journalists’ union members at the Independent and Independent on Sunday chapels were set to strike on Wednesday of this week.

They voted to strike after a very well attended meeting held on Friday of last week.

Despite efforts to reach a settlement, the company’s managers have been busy setting up a strike breaking operation amid fears the budget day coverage will be seriously affected.

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Sat 25 Mar 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1993
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