Dated: 10 Jun 2004
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X Respect: The Unity Coalition (George Galloway)
Four ex-councillors in the West Midlands have issued this statement calling for a Respect vote:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT employers have put forward a new offer-but it is still awful. The dispute is extremely significant because it affects the pay and conditions of around 1.5 million workers. The previous offer was 7 percent over three years (equating to 2.3 percent a year). To make it even worse, the employers had attached punitive strings such as ending national premium rates.
IN ANOTHER blow to New Labour's flagship scheme for the NHS-Agenda for Change-ambulance workers in north east England have voted to strike against changes to their conditions.
HUNDREDS OF activists in the PCS civil servants' union were gathering in Brighton for our union conference this week. The conference takes place at an extremely important time for the union.
IF ANYONE needs an argument about the need for effective trade unions, they should note recent events at Kwik-Fit. The company was fined £13,000 last week after a legal case resulting from an injury to an employee at its Hatch End branch. A month before the injury the company had been warned it was breaching safety rules.
POSTAL WORKERS in several parts of Britain have been refusing to deliver BNP election material. Socialist Worker has received these letters supporting them.
Airport strike is on the runway AIRPORT WORKERS employed by Aviance were waiting this week for the results of possible new talks between their union officials and management.
GLASGOW'S Labour-run council has used the worst rogue employer tactics to force 700 striking nursery nurses back to work. It threatened to sack every one of the low paid workers last week using Labour's notorious anti-union law that allows an employer to dismiss strikers after eight weeks of action.
THE GOVERNMENT and the fire authority employers have seized on the firefighters FBU union leadership's latest climbdown over night working to demand more concessions. "This was entirely predictable," says Tam McFarlane, secretary of the FBU South West Region. "Every time we have made concessions the employers have come back for more. That's why members in my area were saying we should not compromise over the stand down time, but should resist. That's what delegates voted for when they agreed to suspend our conference last month. There really is no alternative now to drawing a line in the sand and saying we are going to fight back."
TALKS ARE taking place between the RMT union and Network Rail in the pay and pensions dispute that has already led to a successful strike vote. Both sides have described the talks as constructive, "but it will take a big change from management to deliver anything worthwhile," says one Network Rail worker.
THE BITTER dispute at Euro Packaging in Birmingham ended last week with mixed emotions among the strikers. There was a feeling of triumph and achievement at achieving union recognition in the teeth of ruthless opposition from a hardline boss.
WORKERS IN the Amicus union at the NCR factory in Dundee are demanding a ballot for industrial action over a new pay and conditions package. Union officials are attempting to avoid a ballot. Angry members have twice overwhelmingly rejected a deal recommended by union officials at meetings. The US company has offered the 760 workers a 3.1 percent pay rise and a one-off payment of £350.
The US president's attempts to use the D-Day anniversary to win support for his war went badly wrong as protesters took to the streets of Rome and Paris
NO ONE should have any illusions about the fact that the occupation of Iraq is in deep trouble. To see why you have only to look at the chaotic formation of the new "provisional government" in Baghdad last week. As sold by George W Bush and Tony Blair, this was meant to be a decisive step towards Iraq regaining its sovereignty.
A SERIES of hysterical articles attacking Respect appeared in the liberal press last week. These come from journalists who pose as left wing humanitarians. Yet they strongly support Bush's war on terror and hate the anti-war movement.
IF YOU live in the same place for more than 20 years, you start noticing things. You find yourself thinking things like-Didn't that used to be a school? Wasn't that a park? I've lived in the London borough of Hackney for nearly 30 years so I have a sense of things changing.
EVERY RESPECT activist and voter will want a copy of next week's Socialist Worker. It will have results and analysis telling the truth about what the votes show. The paper will be printed early, on Monday evening, and be with sellers on Tuesday. It will include:
Leading Respect candidates George Galloway and Lindsey German urge supporters to keep up the campaign until the ballot closes
Hardly a week passes without racist scare stories in the press directed against refugees and asylum seekers. The racism is not just directed against asylum seekers. Two new reports give damning evidence of the rise in racism against Muslims since 11 September 2001.
THE LIBERAL Democrats are trying to grab the anti-war vote. But they dropped opposition to the war once the bombs starting raining down on Baghdad. Mark Oaten, the Liberals' home affairs spokesperson, said on Radio 4 last Thursday, "We took the view that when the military action happened, when the vote was taken in the Commons, that the worst thing we could do would be to undermine our troops. When the troops went into action we took the moral judgement to support them as best we can. On the fundamental issue of troops it would have been wrong to call for the troops to withdraw. It is still wrong."
Millions will never forgive Blair for the war. But even before the war, his policies turned people against New Labour. Helen Shooter looks at seven years of betrayal
Hysteria gripped the press last week over rising oil prices and the prospect of new fuel protests. JOSEPH CHOONARA looks at the politics behind the panic
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me." When Aretha Franklin belted out those eight simple words in the summer of 1967 the music world was turned upside down.
PUT AN X wherever you see the name Respect, the Unity Coalition (George Galloway) on the ballot paper. Make sure you fill in all the ballot papers. For the European elections (except in all postal vote areas) local polling stations will be open on Thursday from 7am to 10pm. You do not have to have a polling card to vote. If you are registered, just go along and give your name and address.
THE WORLD'S leaders have been effusive in their praise for Ronald Reagan, the former US president who died on Saturday. "He will be great missed by many friends and admirers on this side of the Atlantic," said Tony Blair.
THE UNITE Against Fascism Manchester carnival came to Liverpool on Sunday 30 May. Despite Manchester police's best efforts to stop the event, and with only three days to build it, nearly 3,000 people turned up.
SIMON HUGHES, the Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor, made a surprise announcement at the Muslim Council for Britain hustings last week. "I want to bring the troops home immediately," he said. "That's the first time I've heard that," shot back Lindsey German, Respect's mayoral candidate.