Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1970

Dated: 01 Oct 2005

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Heathrow: plot to break union

British Airways (BA) is out to financially break one of Britain’s most important unions. Union activists at Heathrow ­airport have told Socialist Worker of a management plot to saddle the T&G union with a massive bill that would bankrupt it.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Blair’s hopes lie buried in Basra

Tony Blair hoped that, following the London bombings, he could regain the political initiative and defeat those who have campaigned against his wars for the past four years.

‘George Bush is on the way down’

‘The movement in the US has grown tremendously.

Protest against the government’s new asylum rules

The first national demonstration against Section 9, the new power under the 2004 Asylum and Immigration Act to make families of ‘failed’ asylum seekers destitute, threaten eviction and even to take the children into care — is being held in Bolton on 1 October, this Saturday.

Military families on anti-war protest

Philip Hewitt, a British soldier, was killed in Iraq ten weeks ago. His mother Susan Smith handed a letter in to Downing Street last Saturday calling on prime minister Tony Blair to bring the troops home.

Grampian Foods gives lean deal to its workers

Workers at Europe’s biggest supermarket meat supplier struck on Friday of last week to defend their pensions.

Ballot over pensions at Exel/BP

A pivotal group of oil tanker drivers who currently work for logistics company Exel delivering fuel for BP, is to vote on strikes in defence of their pension rights. Seventy five drivers, all members of the T&G union began balloting on Monday.

Strike vote in the DWP

Members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in London last week voted overwhelmingly to strike over job cuts.

Reports round-up

Fighting cuts at the Driving Standards Agency Workers at the Nottingham headquarters of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) met on Monday to discuss further action in our fight against 50 job cuts.

Firefighters in Nottinghamshire vote for action

Nottinghamshire fire crews have voted four to one in favour of taking industrial action short of a strike over moves to force them to provide an ambulance service. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says the fire authority is trying to impose new ambulance duties without negotiation.

West Midlands fire service cuts threaten safety

West Midlands firefighters have agreed to press for a ballot on industrial action over changes to their working practices.

Middlesex University suspends student president

Keith Shilson, student union president at Middlesex University, London, is fighting against a decision by management to suspend him from the college. Shilson refused to cancel a question and answer session with the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir under pressure from the vice chancellor’s office.

Restaurant workers protest could be ‘tip’ of iceberg

Restaurant workers demonstrated for pay justice in central London on Tuesday.

Co-operation breaks down at the CIS

Financial Advisers working at the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) launched a two-day national strike this week over new contracts that could leave them 30 percent worse off.

Community shocked as Sajid family is deported

The local community in Teesside in the north east of England were shocked last week when immigration officials snatched and deported the Sajid family to Pakistan.

Drivers at First Bus strike in Edinburgh

Drivers who work for First Bus in Edinburgh took two days of strike action on Sunday and Monday of this week as part of their fight over pay.

Anti-war protest at Tower Hamlets council meeting

Tower Hamlets councillors were surprised to see protesters brandishing anti-war placards and housing banners outside their meeting this month.

Selective strike action to start in Sefton

Council workers in the Unison union in Sefton, Merseyside, are to start an escalating series of selective actions in their battle against the victimisation of two union reps.

Tower Hamlets victimises DCH campaigner

Unison shop steward and Defend Council Housing campaigner Eileen Short is facing redundancy after her bosses at Tower Hamlets council in east London attempted to push her out of her job as press officer.

Lecturers challenge pay attack at London Met

Lecturers at London Metropolitan University have voted almost unanimously to accept a new negotiated contract. But another crisis now looms over the university’s refusal to fully pay staff for their work.

Michael Rosen: league tables of pain

Holocaust Memorial Day has become a battleground for people divided over whether it should be a day in which the attempted genocide of the Jews (1933-1945) is commemorated, or whether it should be a "Genocide Day" for all genocides.

Pensions crisis myth exposed

The government is soon going to attack everybody’s pensions — on this question Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are united as one. A consensus has emerged between Labour ministers and big business that we must all work harder and longer to deal with the "pensions crisis".

Spurned by Labour — demanding pension funds justice

‘We protested at the conference this week about the lack of action for people who have lost their pensions when their firms folded.

Unions demand change, but Blair’s not for turning

When Labour chairman Ian McCartney has to shut down a party national executive meeting in order to prevent it endorsing a conference motion backing union rights, you know Tony Blair’s grip is loosening.

Gate Gourmet workers should be proud of their stand

A deal to end the bitter dispute at catering firm Gate Gourmet was announced at the start of this week.

Leaving Labour after 44 years

I’m off. Leaving Labour. After 44 years. After standing for Labour in two general elections in Brighton.

Protest against post privatisation threat

Postal workers met at Labour’s conference on Monday to protest against plans for privatisation and competition with private firms.

Who says?

"I never thought I’d miss Nixon... Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam"placards on last Saturday’s anti-war demo in Washington DC

Blair dumps planet

Blair has announced that he is “changing his thinking” about climate change — falling into line with George Bush yet again, despite his promises to focus on the problem.

Housing democracy denied by demolition plan

Four years ago council tenants on the Aylesbury estate, south London, voted to oppose the transfer of their 2,700 council homes to the private sector.

Southwark council also attacks the elderly

Residents and council workers in Southwark met on Thursday of last week to launch a campaign against another attack launched by the Liberal Democrat led council. The council plans to transfer home care services for elderly residents to a new private company.

Free Omar from Guantanamo

On the day the Labour Party conference began in Brighton, around 300 protesters joined the biggest demonstration yet for the release of Brighton resident Omar Deghayes who has been incarcerated for three years in Guantanamo Bay.

Campaign to save NHS launched

Health activists, trade unionists, academics, MPs and celebrities have come together to launch a new campaign to oppose further attacks on the NHS.


Brazilian left gains as corruption scandal haunts Lula

A growing number of rank and file members of Brazil’s ruling Workers Party rejected the rightward drift of the Lula government and the party leadership in internal elections held on Sunday 18 September.

Kalahari Bushmen driven off their land

Protesters gathered last week outside the De Beers diamond shop in London in solidarity with the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana, southern Africa.

International round-up

Peru Peru’s government, led by president Alejandro Toledo, is facing a rising tide of strikes.

Washington protest biggest since Iraq war started

Hundreds of thousands of people protested in Washington last Saturday showing that the movement against the Iraq war is ­growing in strength across the US.


How Iraq’s dead were counted

A letter in last week’s Socialist Worker asked what evidence there was for the figure of over 100,000 dead in Iraq, which has frequently been quoted in this paper.


The Cathars — heretics who can inspire us today

The popular perception of the crusades is of wars fought by christian Europeans against Muslims who inhabited the holy land. But the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) was fought by Europeans against Europeans in the south of France. It was not about a "clash of civilisations" — rather it was a clash of feudal power, fought by nobles and the church.

Timeline of the Albigensian Crusade

January 1208Pope Innocent III declares a crusade against the Languedoc region of southern France, stronghold of the heretical Cathar christian sect.

Why the left is celebrating in Germany

The election in Germany has plunged the political establishment into crisis and has led to the biggest breakthrough of a radical left force since the Second World War. Gerhard Schröder’s SPD, similar to Britain’s New Labour, stood with a programme defending hated measures to attack the welfare state — Agenda 2010 and Hartz IV. The Tory CDU and its would-be coalition partners, the FDP, had programmes saying they would implement even harsher neo-liberal measures.

Winners and losers in Germany’s election

For the first time since the 1950s there is a nationwide political force to the left of the SPD.

Europe’s radical left welcome Left Party’s success

‘The German elections give a big new impetus to the Party of the European Left. The Left Party successfully accomplished an unprecedented achievement in the history of post-war Germany — mass support given to a party which places itself to the left of the the continent’s biggest social democracy.

Trevor Phillips's groundless fear of racial segregation

Trevor Phillips, chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, gave a widely reported speech on Thursday of last week in which he warned that Britain was "sleepwalking its way to segregation".


The voices, images and history of black people

October is Black History Month and hundreds of events have been organised around Britain to celebrate the lives and achievements of black people.

News from Nowhere: Visions of Utopia

William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 4PPUntil 9 October

Yo Yo Mundi strike a lively note of resistance in Italy

Britain has a folk tradition that goes back two hundred years, that talks about popular movements and trade union struggles, but much of this tradition only talks about the past. How has the Italian folk tradition been handed down? How do artists like yourself try to link the past with the present?

Reviews round-up

Battleship PotemkinTennant/LoweParlophone

What We Think

Blair and Brown: divided by ambition, united by policies

Will Gordon Brown’s future replacement of Tony Blair as prime minister mean more than a change of decor at Number 10 and the inevitable ministerial purge?

Other Categories

Majer Bogdanski 1912–2005

Majer Bogdanski was born in Piotrkow-Tribunalski in Poland on 4 July 1912 and died in London on 4 September 2005. He was a member of the Bund, a Jewish socialist organisation which saw the future for Jews as being in the countries where they had been living for centuries.



Help Socialist Worker raise £150,000

£4,000 was raised for the Socialist Worker Appeal on last Saturday’s Stop the War Coalition demonstration bringing the total raised in just over two weeks to £22,521. Some £64 was collected on just one coach from Liverpool.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events

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