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Socialist Worker

Issue: 1985

Dated: 28 Jan 2006

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Into battle for pensions – 1.5 million workers to ballot for strikes

Around 1.5 million workers from at least ten unions could soon be on strike over pensions. It is a prospect that will frighten Labour ministers and give heart to all those who want to put an end to the slaughter of workers’ pensions.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Dock workers show Europe how to fight

Dock workers across Europe have won a victory against the push for more neo-liberal measures across Europe.

United we can beat back Livingstone on the underground

London Mayor Ken Livingstone and London Underground Limited (LUL) management are out to destroy the power of our tube trade unions.

T5 bonus deal insult provokes more action

Workers at Terminal 5 (T5) at Heathrow airport struck from Friday of last week to Tuesday of this week in their dispute over bonus pay.

Bus workers aim to defend sacked driver

Three thousand First Bus workers in Glasgow are set to ballot for strike action in support of a driver who was sacked.

Reports round-up

London Firefighters The London regional committee of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is recommending a ballot of its members in defence of the shift system.

Lecturers ballot for strike

Unions representing university academics and academic related staff – the AUT and the lecturers’ Natfhe union are currently balloting their members for strike action.

Respect meeting in Hackney

An exciting Respect meeting took place in Hackney, east London, on Tuesday of last week. Around 60 people attended to select candidates for the May council elections.

Bosses’ national assault on postal workers needs a national response

Royal Mail management is making an outrageous attack on postal workers’ right to strike. It requires a national response.

Housing round-up

Edinburgh Edinburgh council is set to re-ballot tenants after losing the stock transfer ballot in December of last year.

Justice for the British residents in Guantanamo Bay demo

A lively demonstration of 600 people made its way through central London to the US embassy last Saturday demanding justice for the British residents in Guantanamo Bay.

Westminster council threatens jobs move to highlands

Tory run Westminster council in London and its partner Westminster Vertex last week announced that 400 council jobs will be moved to the Scottish Highlands. No consultation with the workers has taken place.

Political representation meeting discusses future for left

Around 350 people met in London last Saturday for a meeting organised by the RMT union on the crisis in working class political representation.

Asylum seekers

Bereket Yohannes from Eritrea killed himself last week at Harmondsworth detention centre. He became the seventh asylum seeker to die at his own hands while incarcerated in a British detention centre.

Matt Wrack: ‘Firefighters are ready for a struggle over pensions’

The government is proposing legalised robbery of the pensions of firefighters and emergency control room staff.

Pensions round-up

NHS pensions agency Over 200 members of the PCS civil service union working at the NHS Pensions Agency in Fleetwood, Lancashire, struck solidly on Friday of last week against the government’s plans to privatise the agency.

Who says?

"I’d be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven’t seen the movie."George Bush, on the film Brokeback Mountain

Justice for Jean Charles De Menezes vigil

Over 100 people attended a vigil at Stockwell tube, south London, last Sunday to mark six months since the shooting by police of Brazilian Jean Charles De Menezes. Family members made moving speeches remembering Jean’s life. The Independent Police Complaints Commission have now finished their report into the anti-terrorist operation that saw Jean killed. They have passed their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Family members urged that the CPS should move rapidly to prosecute the police involved in the shooting.

Incinerating health and the environment

Activists across Britain are stepping up their campaign against New Labour’s plans to increase the use of waste incinerators. These incinerators will lead to more pollution.

New plans mean blaming the sick

Doctor Gerard Reissmann is a GP working in Newcastle. He spoke to Socialist Worker about the government’s plans to financially reward GPs who get patients who receive incapacity benefits back to work.

Civil service workers: fighting to save jobs and services

Over 90,000 civil service workers in the PCS union working in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were to strike on Thursday and Friday of this week. They are protesting against New Labour’s plans to cut 30,000 jobs in the DWP.

Escalate to beat the government

Our strike on Thursday and Friday is part of a crucial battle.

Blair on the ropes over attacks on comprehensive education

The opposition to Tony Blair’s education plan is growing. Last week a crammed meeting saw Tony Benn and Alastair Campbell in the audience as activists Fiona Miller and Melissa Benn launched their new pamphlet defending comprehensive education.

Debating prostitution

Beyond the tired and familiar "zero tolerance" rhetoric spouted by Blair’s ministers as a solution to deter any type of behaviour that is "less than ordinary", there are some important positive changes to prostitution management in the strategy announced recently.

Chavez backs 18 March day of action

At the final session of the World Social Forim in Caracas, Venezuela, on behalf of the Stop the War Coalition I made the call for a global day of protest against the occupation of Iraq and any further new wars on 18 March. This was the first activity agreed at the activist assembly of the World Social Forum which brought together more than 100,000 people representing social movements, trade unions and anti-war groups attending the Social Forum.


The WSF in Caracas, Venezuela and Bamako, Mali

Nicolas Van Labeke and Neil McAlister write from Bamako the capital of Mali in West Africa

The other side of the Chinese boom

In early January, thousands of Chinese farmers fought a pitched battle with police in a village in the southern province of Guangdong.

General strike called in Nepal to demand ‘total democracy’

Opposition political parties in Nepal have called a general strike, set for Thursday of this week, to protest against direct rule by King Gyanendra.

Portugal: Left Bloc wins 5% in presidential election

In last Sunday’s Portuguese presidential election, Francisco Louça, the radical Left Bloc candidate, gained 5.3 percent.



Shut out of the Thames Gateway

The lesson of history is that the rich like to push the poor around. From the Highland Clearances in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, to forced removals in apartheid South Africa and Chinese dam projects, those with power want to tell those without it where and how to live.

Sarah Ruiz: 'They'll drive the poor out of Newham'

The planned redevelopment of east London will carve out local people. The plans, and the lack of consultation, show how little democracy and representation lies at the heart of the New Labour councils which run the area. Sarah Ruiz, a Respect councillor in Newham, spoke to Socialist Worker about the impact on local communities.

Changing the system to benefit the rich

In last week’s column, I looked at the way in which the continuation of neo-liberal policies by New Labour has resulted in the maintenance of high levels of poverty and huge increases in inequality and insecurity.

LCR congress: striving for unity in France

Since the public sector strikes of November-December 1995 France has been in the vanguard of the resistance to neo-liberal policies in Europe. The French referendum on the European constitution on 29 May 2005 marked a decisive defeat for this attempt by the ruling classes of the continent to hard-wire free market policies into European society.

Daniel Bensaïd on the possibilities for the LCR

The victory in the referendum is important but its effects are over-estimated. It’s clear that the tone of the no vote was given by the left, but nevertheless 20-30 percent of the no vote came from the right.


Munich: exploring the oppressors' troubled conscience

Munich explores the moral disintegration of the Israeli hit squad assembled by Mossad, the Israeli secret service, to track down and execute the Palestinian "terror gang" known as Black September.

Refreshingly hard hitting songs for hard hitting times

In the world of what is known as folk or roots music, performers often seem to be more concerned with being part of the heritage industry than relating to contemporary political movements.

Reviews round-up

Ken SpragueFund international political cartoon competitione-mail <a href=""></a> <a href="" target = "_blank"></a>

What We Think

A new politics in the rebellions to come

Tony Blair's speech on Monday, in which he stated his determination to press ahead with the planned education bill, shows he wants to use his final months in office to drive neo-liberalism into every corner of our lives.

Other Categories


The threat of ‘Asbo TV’ As a resident of Shoreditch in east London, I am outraged that we are being encouraged to sign up to "Asbo TV’.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events

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