Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1897

Dated: 17 Apr 2004



Search below by year or month.



Looking for an earlier issue?

Try our search to find a specific issue of Socialist Worker, or use the search at the top of the page to find a specific article.

Enter issue number:  


Is this the peace you promised, Tony B-liar?

In Fallujah's mass cemetery the Jassim family weep for their dead son, one of hundreds of victims of the US massacre...


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Prospect of more action

WORKERS AT the Health and Safety Executive, members of the PCS and Prospect unions, are continuing our campaign for a fair pay rise for all, with a work to rule and withdrawal of good will. This follows our successful one-day strike on 29 March.

Where now for the civil service dispute?

THE STRIKE by around 100,000 civil servants in the PCS union on Tuesday and Wednesday showed the angry mood about low pay. Workers in the biggest civil servant employer the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the prisons service struck for both days. Colleagues in the Office for National Statistics struck on Tuesday. DWP workers struck previously in February, while the prison service struck in January.

New unity against fascism

"I WANT to express our very, very strong support for the new united campaign against the BNP. We are encouraging our activists to get involved." So said Brendan Barber, head of the TUC, at the press launch of Unite Against Fascism in London on Tuesday.

Nestle

NESTLE WORKERS at Staverton, Wiltshire, are fighting to try to keep their jobs as Nestle continues its campaign of shutting factories and moving the work abroad.

Threat to 1,600 offices

PROFIT RULES, and service can go to the dogs-more than 1,600 post offices face closure after a review of the £150 million a year subsidy that sustains the rural network. A fifth of rural post offices may shut as a result of the review by the government and its regulator, Postcomm. The subsidy is due to run out at the beginning of 2006.

Respect in Wales

RESPECT: THE Unity Coalition has been arguing for political groups to the left of Labour in Wales to unite for the Euro elections. We firmly believed that we needed a single slate to maximise the left and progressive vote.

On track for new strikes

Network Rail THE RMT rail union has called a strike ballot for its 7,000 members in Network Rail in a dispute over pay and pensions. The vote will include signalling, maintenance and station staff. "The company has imposed a pension scheme for new entrants that is no better than a glorified savings plan subject to the whims of the market," says RMT general secretary Bob Crow. "In addition their pay offer of 3 percent is the lowest in the rail industry. This is a company whose directors have handed themselves bonuses of up to £450,000 on top of telephone-number salaries. Those same directors are looking at another fat bonus if they keep our members' pay down."

Civil servants' strike has had a huge impact

"THE STRIKE has been brilliant," said civil servant Kate Douglas from the picket line in Oxford on Tuesday. She went on: "We have had a lot of support from claimants who went in and gave the management hell. An Oxford postal worker who is taking part in their stoppage came to our picket line to bring greetings."

Postal workers stand up to bullying bosses

A BITTER battle has been taking place which raises issues relevant to every worker. Over two weeks ago postal workers at Oxford mail centre stopped work in protest at management's failure to take action against a gang of bullies in the office. Hundreds of workers remained out as Socialist Worker went to press. Other postal workers were discussing how best to support them, with some arguing for immediate walkouts.

Nursery nurses still all out

Nursery nurses in Scotland are continuing their all-out strike to win a decent national pay rise and regrading. The 4,500 strikers are members of the Unison union and have been out for almost seven weeks. On Tuesday they marched through Ayr.

War anger fuels mood to demand Respect

IN BIRMINGHAM, thousands of copies of the \"Bliar! Bliar! Iraq's on fire\" Respect postcard were given out in the city centre. \"The response was brilliant. People took handfuls of the cards away with them and left their names to get involved in Respect,\" says Ian, who helped with the stall. It was also quite moving that so many people came up who had relatives in Iraq or who had been to Iraq. They were furious and just wanted to get the troops out now.\"


International


Comment

When the trivial is significant

AS I'M sure Socialist Worker readers are aware, there has been only one story of importance in the British press over the last few weeks. The fighting has intensified, the partnership is weakening, and the situation is rapidly deteriorating. Yes, of course, it is the highly significant story of the relationship between Posh and Becks.


Features

Struggle continues for real liberation

WHEN SOUTH Africans went to the polls this week it marked ten years since black people won the right to vote. A cursory examination of South Africa today reveals deep cracks in the post-apartheid capitalist society. Despite big talk about what has been achieved, the rich continue to get richer and the poor poorer. The majority black ANC government wants South Africans to celebrate and relish the newfound peace, justice and national unity after centuries of conflict, division and injustice.

Culture of solidarity is worth celebrating

TREVOR PHILLIPS, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, caused a storm last week by saying, "We should kill off the word multiculturalism. Multiculturalism suggests separateness."

Teachers call for unity to fight New Labour

THE NATIONAL Union of Teachers (NUT) has maintained a course for bitter confrontation with the government. And it has called for a wider alliance of unions to fight New Labour's "modernisation" of the public sector. The NUT conference in Harrogate unanimously refused to compromise its opposition to the government's drive to bring in teaching on the cheap by replacing qualified teachers with underpaid assistants.

Pickets plus politics produces popularity

MANY SOCIALIST Worker sellers went to striking civil servants' picket lines this week. In Leeds they went to the Eastgate job centre on Tuesday. Sadie reports, \"The pickets were all very friendly. Two of them bought the paper. We had a good discussion with a range of political views. One picket said he thought Respect could give civil service workers a new confidence to take on Labour. Another said he agreed with Respect but was sad that Labour Party members had not been able to change the party from within. All the pickets were grateful we had come to show our support. In the run-up to the strike we sold five papers at Quarry House office.\"

Brutal assault by US stokes the resistance

CURRENT REPORTS say something like 500-600 people have been killed in Fallujah, including estimates of 200 women and over 100 children. There are no women among the mujahideen (resistance fighters)-so all of the above are non-combatants. Many of the men who were wounded told us they were just going about their business.

US caught in a vice

THERE IS something symbolic about the fact that one of the southern Iraqi towns from which the American-led occupation was forced last week was Kut. It was here that in 1916 a British invasion force was besieged by the Turkish army and eventually forced to surrender. Of course, the present occupation of Iraq doesn't yet face a disaster on this scale.

How the US lost the war in Vietnam

AS 1968 began, the top US military leader General Westmoreland declared, \"We have reached an important point where the end begins to come into view\" and talked of \"light at the end of the tunnel\". Within a few weeks all that had changed, and the world knew that the US was facing a bloody and unwinnable war in Vietnam.

Struggle continues for real liberation

WHEN SOUTH Africans went to the polls this week it marked ten years since black people won the right to vote. A cursory examination of South Africa today reveals deep cracks in the post-apartheid capitalist society. Despite big talk about what has been achieved, the rich continue to get richer and the poor poorer. The majority black ANC government wants South Africans to celebrate and relish the newfound peace, justice and national unity after centuries of conflict, division and injustice.


Reviews


What We Think

Occupation forces are thugs and terrorists

\"WERE WE to fail it is more than 'the power of America' that would be defeated,\" Tony Blair said last weekend. \"The hope of freedom and religious tolerance in Iraq would be snuffed out. Dictators would rejoice. Fanatics and terrorists would be triumphant.\"

We stand for genuine equality for women

"We hold these truths to be self evident. All men are created equal." So declares the American Declaration of Independence. Half the world replies yes, but what about women? Formal equality was part of the ideology of early capitalism. More importantly, the birth of the modern socialist movement made women's equality a feature of all progressive thought.


Other Categories

Cruel cuts will harm special needs children

AS PARENTS and staff at Stephen Hawking special needs school we are disgusted by the attitude of Tower Hamlets council, run by the Labour Party, to the needs of our children. That is why we decided to take our campaign out onto the streets, because we know what is happening to our children will make others angry too.

Local councils make a killing from killing

SCORES OF local councils claiming to have \"ethical\" investment policies own shares in Britain's leading arms export companies. The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has uncovered the roll of shame after a study of company documents, and published its findings last week.



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.