Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1813

Dated: 17 Aug 2002

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How low will Labour go?

A nurse, a mechanic, a four year old and a six year old. They fled to Britain from the horror of Afghanistan. Blunkett tells them to get out.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Ministers plan to use scabs to break strikes

NEW LABOUR is preparing a scab force to try to break strikes planned in the public sector in the next two months. It has drawn up secret plans against firefighters and postal workers who are fighting for decent pay and against privatisation. Ministers have agreed that the private firm Deya, which delivers Yellow Pages, could handle mail like utility bills during a post strike.

Lowest paid lead drive to reject half-baked deal

HUGE NUMBERS of council workers across England and Wales are up in arms over the pay deal agreed by their negotiators last week. It is now out for consultation among council worker members of the Unison, GMB and TGWU unions. Consultation will last six weeks.

Will Bluebird come a cropper?

BUS DRIVERS employed by Stagecoach's Bluebird company in north east Scotland began balloting last week for a strike over pay. The 340 workers are calling for a pay rise in line with workers on Stagecoach's rival firm First Group.

Steel workers

STEEL WORKERS at three plants owned by the Caparo Group are determined to fight to save their pension schemes. The Caparo Group aims to freeze its final salary pension scheme, effectively stealing the contributions workers have built up over the decades. The dispute is crucial to the tens of thousands of other workers facing similar attacks.


UNISON UNION members in further education colleges are to ballot on strikes over pay. The 25,000 support staff have rejected a 2.3 percent pay rise, worth as little as 13p extra an hour for some workers. They are demanding a "substantial" increase that would see all support staff in England and Wales on at least £11,000 a year.

Workers face catalogue of threatened job losses

THOUSANDS OF call centre workers across the north west of England could ballot from next week for strikes over threats to their jobs. They work for Reality, which is part of the retail and business multinational company Great Universal Stores.

Firefighters must get more than cops

THE MOOD for a serious fight over pay in the fire brigade is hotting up. Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) were to march in Swansea this Saturday and the union has called further demonstrations on the Isle of Wight and in Belfast next week.

London Underground

TUBE WORKERS are to hold a swift ballot for strike action over pay after management broke off talks and imposed a settlement. The move comes as the government presses ahead with its PPP privatisation scheme and follows a highly effective one-day strike by RMT union members on the tube over safety last month.

First North Western

RAIL WORKERS' action over pay has spread to include three rail companies - First North Western, Arriva Trains Northern and Arriva Trains Merseyside - all in the north of England.

Victory in a ballot

TENANTS IN Merton, South London, have voted against the mass transfer of council housing to a housing association. Some 52 percent of tenants voted against on a 66 percent turnout. It was proposed that all Merton's 9,600 council homes should be transferred.


JOURNALISTS AT the Rotherham Advertiser start a one-week strike from Saturday 24 August over low pay. The 13 NUJ union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strikes in a ballot. The NUJ chapel (union branch) rejected a 2.3 percent offer from the owner Garnett Dickinson Publishing. The chapel has put in a claim for a 10 percent rise.

Strikers sweep back Sodexho

DEFIANT STRIKES by 300 workers at Glasgow Royal Infirmary have defeated Sodexho, a brutal multinational that operates in 72 countries. The inspiring news came through on Monday that six days of strikes had forced massive concessions from the firm.

Back this strike against council's privatising plans

MORE WORKERS are joining the ongoing strike against privatisation at Westminster council in central London. Around 250 workers are now striking against the council's privatisation plans. The Tory-run council plans to privatise up to 80 percent of services. But the workforce is making a stand.




Bankruptcy of Blairism

THE LABOUR Party faces its worst ever cash crisis. It has debts of more than £8 million. At the end of last month Labour was having trouble paying its daily running costs and called a special meeting of the trade union liaison committee to beg for a £100,000 emergency handout.

Stop racists on the attack in Eltham

Richard, A 20 year old Afro-Caribbean man, has become the latest victim of a series of serious racist attacks in the area where black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered nine years ago. There have been four attacks in the last three months in Eltham, south east London, where the British National Party had its headquarters.

Swept away by drive for profits

FLOODS, FAMINES, hurricanes - such wild and unpredictable weather patterns seem to have got more common over the last few decades. And there is a growing body of evidence that points to the increasing impact of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution as the cause. The latest report of the way capitalist society threatens people and the planet we live on came this week from a team of scientists working for the United Nations.

Is it a crime to fight for services?

A POLITICAL show trial of 87 people began in Johannesburg this week. The accused face serious charges arising from demonstrations against privatisation and for the right to basic services.

New Labour targets the ill

THE GOVERNMENT recently published a draft bill that proposes tough new laws for people with mental health problems. The measures include giving psychiatrists new powers to force people in the community to undergo compulsory treatment such as injections.

Does a movement need its 'theory'?

THE European Social Forum, which takes place in Florence, Italy, in November, promises to be one of the most exciting political events for years. Thousands of activists, from across Europe and from a range of political backgrounds, will be discussing how we can create a better world.

Mass opposition they can't ignore

OPPOSITION TO a US attack on Iraq is mounting daily. Some commentators suggest Bush and his chief cheerleader, Tony Blair, can brush it aside. It would be foolish to underestimate either the arrogance of the warmongers in the White House or their determination to devastate the people of Iraq.

Is the giant of Latin America next in line for crisis?

BRAZIL HAS become the latest victim of the economic crisis that began in Argentina and is now spreading throughout Latin America. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was forced to issue its largest ever single loan last week to Brazil.


What We Think

Build on popular anti-war mood

GEORGE BUSH and Tony Blair are more isolated than ever over war on Iraq. But the madman in the White House is determined to press ahead, and a Downing Street spokesman insists the prime minister is "not going wobbly". The scale of opposition to the war shows the potential to make Blair more than wobble.

Other Categories


We're more angry than ever before THE ANTI-war mood in Glasgow and across Scotland is growing daily and not just among the usual suspects. For years the Muslim community has been considered quiet and respectable, playing little or no role in active politics.

Not just a bloke thing

NEW LABOUR has decreed that dads explore their caring nurturing side. It has issued a pamphlet to show dads how they can bond with their sons - and instil good old New Labour values into them at the same time.

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