Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2054

Dated: 09 Jun 2007




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We need decent housing for all

Housing is the biggest headache affecting us all. Fewer and fewer people can afford to buy a home. Those who try find themselves deeper and deeper in debt.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Private equity industry accused of raiding pensions at GMB conference

The GMB union has accused the private equity industry of raiding workers’ pensions and dumping liabilities into insolvent pension funds.

Edinburgh parking attendants vote for strike

Parking attendants working for NCP in Edinburgh have voted overwhelmingly for action over pay.

Polish construction workers walkout at Kings Cross

Forty mostly Polish construction workers at a Metronet site at King's Cross Station in London walked off the job on Friday 25 May in a dispute over late payments.

The GMB conference and Gordon Brown

All the debates of delegates to the GMB union conference in Brighton this week were shaped by Gordon Brown taking over as the New Labour leader.

Tube workers' fight goes on over new rules despite union cave in

Bosses on London Underground have imposed new safety rule books. The rules are absolutely fundamental to the way we carry out tasks.

Boost for Unique Care workers

The sacked women at Unique Care in Huddersfield received a timely boost last week. The independent inspection unit reported its findings into the company after an unannounced visit on 17 March.

Swansea anti-privatisation protest planned

Local government unions in Swansea have organised a lunchtime protest for Wednesday of this week against the council’s plans to privatise services.

Vote for industrial action at Southampton council

Some 800 workers in the new Unite union working for Southampton council have voted in favour of industrial action over plans to privatise services and transfer employees to a private company.

Tesco Livingston strike called off

The Unite union called off a strike involving Tesco distribution drivers in Livingston, near Edinburgh, set for Tuesday of this week.

Sunvic strike off after action forces bosses back

Workers at the Sunvic plant in Uddingston near Glasgow last week agreed to call off their strike and return to work. The workers were in the 11th week of an all out strike against bosses demanding the right to impose lay-offs.

Reports round-up

Ritzy cinema workers strike again Workers at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, south London, struck for a second time on Saturday of last week. The Bectu union members, who voted to strike unanimously, are fighting against poverty pay.

Anti academies alliance challenges Gordon Brown's priorities

Academy schools are fast becoming the education touchstone for Gordon Brown.

UCU conference: minister must try harder say lecturers

The inaugural congress of the University and College Union (UCU) last week brought together two very distinct unions – the AUT and Natfhe, into a new lecturers’ union.

UCU joins pay revolt

The congress of the UCU lecturers’ union heard a storming speech from PCS civil service workers’ union general secretary Mark Serwotka. He outlined a strategy for a united fight across the public sector to break Gordon Brown’s pay freeze.

Motion in support of Palestine passed at UCU conference

On the first day of the UCU congress, delegates voted by 158 to 99 in favour of a motion that instructed the union to facilitate discussion on Palestine and open the possibility of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Twenty-four hour post strike in Luton

Postal workers in Luton will strike tomorrow (Wednesday) for 24 hours from 5am after a delivery postal worker was sacked. The worker had a nine year unblemished record when, under time pressure, he momentarily left the keys in his van while performing a collection and the vehicle was stolen.

Debates and rule changes at UCU conference

It was a good conference for the new union and the left within it. The potential of a union representing 120,000 educationalists organised at the heart of what is fashionably known as "the knowledge economy" could clearly be seen.

Scandal continues of NHS patients who contracted HIV through contaminated blood

"The worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS." Those are the words of Robert Winston, one of the world’s most respected medical academics, on the scandal of thousands of people receiving HIV contaminated blood in the 1980s.

Migrant workers tackling rogue employers in the heart of rural Wessex

‘It started with informal discussions – we decided something should be done to organise among migrant workers in the south coast region.

Marching for migrants rights in Rostock

Monday was flight and migration day of action at the G8 protests. Demonstrator Sasha Simic spoke to Socialist Worker about the events.

‘We’re not asking for help. We are telling them to get out of the way’

There were trade union contingents on the protests against the G8 in Rostock last weekend.

Protesters defy police to rock the G8 leaders

The German authorities mounted the biggest security operation since the Second World War for the G8 at Heilingandamm near the north German town of Rostock.

More cuts despite NHS underspend

The revelation that the health service is predicted to underspend its budget by up to £500 million will come as shock to the thousands of NHS staff who, should they manage to keep their jobs, face a below inflation pay rise.

Local government workers consulting on action

"We are committed to supporting effective industrial action if this is what is needed to secure a fair pay deal."

No to CWU backing Alan Johnson

The CWU conference overturned its executive’s recent decision to back Alan Johnson for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party.

Posties' anger grows at Labour

The CWU postal and telecom workers’ union conference this week saw delegates pass a motion that sets a deadline to ballot on continued funding for Labour.

CWU conference: deep anger in post over pay and attacks

The central issue which has made people vote for strikes is the pay cut. We’ve been offered 2.5 percent at a time when inflation is nearly twice that. The basic pay for a postal worker is £323 a week – for a hard job.

Firefighters march in Cornwall against cuts

Several hundred firefighters and their supporters marched through Truro in Cornwall on Thursday of last week.

Bush’s missile shield is cold war relic

Over 2,000 people gathered in Prague in the Czech Republic on Monday this week to protest against the visit of George Bush.

Iraqi oil workers on shut down

Oil workers have shut down refineries in the south of Iraq as part of a rolling strike. Members of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) launched their strike after the government reneged on a promise to release benefits payments.

Guantanamo trial collapses

The US government faced further legal embarrassment on Monday of this week when a military judge threw out charges against two Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Gordon Brown moves to attack civil liberties

Last weekend prime minister-to-be Gordon Brown announced plans to hand a host of new powers to the police under the pretext of "anti-terrorism".

Stop the War demonstration to greet Gordon Brown in Manchester

A national Stop the War demonstration will greet Gordon Brown in Manchester on 24 June as he is officially anointed as Tony Blair’s successor at the special Labour leadership conference.

Tower Hamlets housing scandal

Gordon Brown and the contenders for deputy leadership of the Labour Party might be making soothing noises about council housing – but the New Labour council in Tower Hamlets, east London, is determined to press ahead with privatisation.

Military families warn Brown on Iraq disaster

Rose Gentle from Military Families Against the War confronted Gordon Brown when he attended the Labour leadership hustings in Glasgow last Saturday.

Luton post strike solid despite management provocation

Around 150 postal workers in Luton struck today (Wednesday)for 24 hours from 5am after a delivery postal worker was sacked.

Iraqi Oil Workers' leaders face arrest

The US backed Iraqi government has ordered the arrest of four leaders of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, including Hassan Jumaa Awad, for "sabotaging the Iraqi economy" by organising a strike.

Postal workers vote for national strike action

Postal workers across Britain in all sectors of the industry have voted overwhelmingly for a strike to defend their living standards and the postal service.

Protest at Gordon Brown's London hustings

Anti-war protesters and workers from the threatened Remploy factories for disabled people lobbied the Labour Party hustings for Gordon Brown and the deputy leader contenders on Thursday.

Health and safety strike at Dragon Liquefied Natural Gas terminal

A thousand construction workers are on strike at the Dragon Liquefied Natural Gas terminal site in Waterston, Milford Haven, Wales.

Strike looms at Breckland council services

A series of one-day strikes could hit Breckland council in Norfolk.

Union demands direct employment for London Olympics

Britain’s biggest construction union has warned that the building of the Olympic Park and venues for the 2012 games will be hit with similar delays, strikes and spiralling costs to those that plagued Wembley Stadium.

Roadchef workers ballot for strike as transport is cut

Migrant workers at Roadchef are balloting for strike action after the company threat to withdraw to the M3 service station with motorway only access and no public transport links.

George Galloway’s reaction to the Charity Commission report into Mariam Appeal

Reacting to the publication of a second report by the Charity Commission into the Mariam Appeal, which was set up in 1998 to provide medical assistance to the people of Iraq, Respect MP George Galloway said: 


International

Palestinians in Lebanon caught in a war of the camps

There are growing fears that the Lebanese army’s assault on the refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared near the northern city of Tripoli will become part of a general offensive against Palestinian refugees across Lebanon.

Biggest strikes in South Africa since the end of apartheid

The biggest strike wave since the end of apartheid is causing a crisis in South African politics – and shaking a government that refuses to increase pay for millions of public sector workers.

Crisis for the ANC

This is not only the biggest strike since the end of apartheid, it is also the first time that masses of workers and their leaders have openly and clearly taken on the African National Congress (ANC) government.

US warship fires on Somali village

A US warship fired missiles on a village in north east Somalia on Friday of last week – a bombardment that was almost completely ignored by the British media.


Comment

Labour deputy leader contenders serenade the left at GMB conference

It’s Monday at the GMB union’s annual conference in Brighton – and the air is thick with calls from senior Labour Party figures to strengthen workers’ rights and build more council housing.

Protesting at the G8 in Kühlungsborn (west of Heiligendamm) and Rostock (east of Heiligendamm)

I set out early Wednesday afternoon to the alternative summit in Rostock. At the station, I was told the train wasn’t running – why, they didn’t know.

US elite knows the ‘surge’ is failing

The US strategy in Iraq is in flux. George Bush’s generals say the "surge" in US troop numbers will continue into spring next year.


Features

Stop and search - racist, then and now

‘We have chosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first. I happen to believe this is misguided and wrong. I believe this is a dangerous misjudgement." So said Tony Blair in a parting shot at civil liberties before stepping down.

When spontaneous struggle is not enough

The name Lenin tends to elicit two very different reactions from today’s anti-capitalists. As an uncompromising revolutionary, dedicated to the cause, Lenin remains an inspiring figure to this day.

Debate sparked by Six Day War 1967 transformed a generation

I was a student at the London School of Economics (LSE) when the "June War" or the "Six Day War" broke out between Israel and Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, 40 years ago this month.

Map of Israel's expansion in 1967

Israel’s six day war on the Arab people

In June 1967 Israeli troops marched into East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and the Golan Heights.

What happened in the Six Day War

Since 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees had been waiting to return to the homes they had been forced to leave when Israel was founded. By the 1960s a new generation was growing up, one which had known nothing but squalid refugee camps.

Rewards to imperialism

By 1967 the US was losing its long and bitter war in Vietnam with the Viet Cong, the peasant-based guerrilla national liberation movement. It was terrified by the prospect of the anti?imperialist movement spreading to the Middle East.


Reviews

Taking Liberties

Taking liberties is a new political documentary film that traces how civil rights in Britain have been systematically dismantled under ten years of New Labour.

Histrionics: drawing out the poison of sectarianism in Scotland

Histrionics is a huge triangular installation by artist Roderick Buchanan at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. It deals with the issue of sectarianism.

Exhibition: memorial to the Iraq War

Visual art has, in general, been slow to respond to the challenge of the occupation of Iraq and the "war on terror" – but now things seem to be changing.

Interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about Half of a Yellow Sun

Although she is only 29 years old, the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has won wide acclaim. Her first novel Purple Hibiscus was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Booker.


What We Think

Meeting of world leaders threatens our future

As the G8 leaders gather on the Baltic there is a growing realisation that we face two threats to the future. One is from global warming. The other is the renewed threat of a nuclear war.


Other Categories

Tim: 'Britain Day' bunting

Letters

Remploy isn’t working I’ve been involved in supported employment for disabled people for over 15 years. In that time I have never seen a situation where a person with a disability could not be supported in real employment with the right support.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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