Dated: 26 May 2007
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As 150,000 postal workers started a strike ballot this week, prime minister-elect Gordon Brown showed his fear of a revolt over pay.
The failure of John McDonnell to get onto the ballot paper for Labour leadership, and the lack of democracy in the Labour Party, has opened up a big debate among people in and around the party.
Over 94 percent of bus drivers at Metroline in London rejected the company’s pay offer in a ballot on Friday of last week.
The campaign in support of victimised Unison union health activist Yunus Bakhsh received a boost last week when the PCS civil service workers’ union conference voted overwhelmingly to back him against management.
The TSSA rail workers’ conference took place in Southport last week. It came immediately after the first report of the Pensions Commission – a body set up by the rail unions and employers to review the current pension scheme.
PCS plans to extend make your vote count campaign
The government announced last week that it was to close 2,500 post offices across Britain.
Greenwich council workers single status protest Over 100 council workers protested last week against plans by Greenwich council in south east London to use the single status pay deal to attack wages and conditions.
The UCU lecturers’ union is balloting its members at six further education colleges in London that are facing cuts to English for students of other languages (Esol) and adult education.
Around 70 campaigners lobbied Bill Rammell, the local Harlow MP and minister for lifelong learning, last Saturday over attacks on lecturers at Harlow College.
The Socialist Teachers Alliance (STA) is backing Roger King as candidate for the upcoming elections for vice president of the NUT teachers’ union. Roger is a leading activist in the NUT.
Campaigners in Waltham Forest in east London are fighting to defend school meals. The council has decided to get rid of Waltham Forest Catering as a way of cutting costs.
The opening of a new Homeless Persons Unit on Roman Road in Tower Hamlets, east London, on Monday 21 May was delayed for hours as council staff protested outside.
Labour Party activists and anti-fascist campaigners in Barking, east London, have reacted with fury to comments from their local MP Margaret Hodge that sought to blame the lack of council housing in the borough on immigrants.
Remploy was set up in 1947 to provide jobs for people with disabilities mainly as a result of the war. Remploy is not the only provider of supported employment in Britain, but it is the largest by far.
The new Scottish parliament has a majority who support the removal of Trident nuclear missiles from the Clyde. That includes the new first minister, the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond.
MPs in the House of Commons voted on Friday of last week to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act that gives the public the right to access information from public bodies.
Councillors, trade unionists and anti-fascists in the east London borough of Barking & Dagenham have refuted claims by Margaret Hodge, the New Labour minister and MP for Barking, that the borough’s housing crisis is caused by immigrants.
Tesco’s attempts to break strike action by over 100 distribution drivers was beaten last week by an inspiring show of solidarity.
Over 40 workers at the Sunvic Controls factory in Uddingston, near Glasgow, are in the ninth week of an all-out strike.
The Stop the War Coalition has launched a national petition to be presented to Gordon Brown as an open letter when he takes office.
Gordon Brown could not ignore the question of the Iraq war as he faced protests, heckling and tough interrogation in Coventry last Sunday, at the first of a series of Labour Party leadership and deputy leadership hustings.
Teachers are also moving towards action over pay. Kevin Courtney is a member of the NUT teachers’ union national executive. He told Socialist Worker, "Teachers are in the second year of a two year pay deal. We received a 2.5 percent pay increase in September 2006 and are due to get 2.5 percent this September.
Local government employers met trade unions this week – and reaffirmed that there is only a wage-cutting deal on offer for a million workers.
Trade unionists in the health service greeted Unison union leader Dave Prentis’s call for united action across the public sector with enthusiasm.
Firefighters in Cornwall will march in protest on Thursday of next week against plans by the county council to axe one in six full-time firefighter posts and cut night cover at Cambourne and Falmouth stations.
The unity necessary to break Gordon Brown’s 2 percent public sector pay limit took a major step forward last week as Unison union leader Dave Prentis called for coordinated strikes.
Postal workers from across Britain have been contacting Socialist Worker. Here is a selection of their views:
The Royal Mail strike ballot is on.
A two and half week occupation of the administration building at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil by over 500 students has sparked widespread mobilisations against José Serra's neoliberal state government. On 16 May the students and the 15,000 strong staff union at the university began an indefinite strike.
The current political turmoil in Pakistan has its roots in the way the Pakistani state was constructed, and tensions that have been present since its birth.
The attack by the Lebanese army on the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon has left a trail of death and devastation.
Iraqi union leaders representing tens of thousands of oil workers across southern Iraq are optimistic that a threatened strike last week has won significant concessions from the US-backed government.
The continuing siege by the Lebanese army of the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp has created a humanitarian crisis. Lebanese and Palestinian organisations are appealing for aid. Go to <a href="http://www.nahrelbared.info" target = "_blank">»www.nahrelbared.info</a>
The brutal nature of the struggle over land and platinum mining rights was underlined in South Africa this week.
Something historic happened last week. It wasn’t Gordon Brown’s coronation. That – and the inability of the Blairites to mount a serious challenge – was entirely predictable.
The Palestinian resistance movement is under attack once again, but this time the Israelis have been joined by a new ally – the Palestinian Fatah organisaition.
The World Social Forum in Kenya earlier this year was marked by a resurgence of interest in the ideas of Frantz Fanon, a thinker whose works have for many years been neglected.
Gordon Brown, who is currently touring the country in the run-up to his anointment as Labour leader, last week outlined his "vision" for housing.
Many people were shocked when Margaret Hodge, the New Labour minister and MP for Barking in east London, called this week for "indigenous" families to be given priority over "new migrants" when it comes to allocating council housing.
"A flood of Romanian gypsy children has left a British town facing financial crisis," screamed the Daily Mail last week. "Roma children flood into Slough," said the BBC.
Barcelona, 3 May 1937, three o’clock in the afternoon – three lorry loads of police and Republican Assault Guards force their way into the central telephone exchange, beginning what became known as the "May Events".
Merdeka (freedom)Various artistsCD out now This compilation of music from around the world has been released in solidarity with the West Papuan struggle for freedom from Indonesian rule.
"If he can preach it, we can sing it." Those were the words of Pops Staples, the father of Mavis, after he heard Martin Luther King speaking in Alabama in 1963.
If you only see one piece of live theatre this year, make sure it is Daniel Kramer’s production of Angels In America. Running to more than seven hours – including three intervals – this staging of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic play is powerfully engaging and deeply moving from beginning to end.
Government proposals to "reform" planning regulations are being presented as making it easier for ordinary people to get their lofts converted, or as a blow against climate change by lifting restrictions on erecting wind turbines.
Bernard Herzberg, a member of the SWP, Respect and active supporter of the Stop the War Coalition, died in his sleep on Tuesday 15 May.
Not licensed to kill I was recently arrested after calling Peter Hain a war criminal.
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