Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2057

Dated: 30 Jun 2007




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Postal workers strike against pay limit: It’s a fight for us all

We are asking every worker in Britain to support our strike on Friday of this week to stop Royal Mail’s devastating business plan. This plan will mean cuts in your postal service, fewer collections and deliveries, even more post office closures and cuts to workers’ pay and conditions.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Pat Finucane murder: outrage at 'no prosecutions' announcement

The government stand accused of a cover-up after it was revealed police and soldiers would not be prosecuted over the death of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Unison backing for suspended nurse, Karen Reissmann

Supporters of Karen Reissmann – the psychiatric nurse and Unison activist who was suspended by her employer two weeks ago – were heartened to hear that both the national executive of her union and its health executive have pledged her their full backing.

Reports round-up

Redundancies at Blood Centres across Britain Trade unionists were angry this week as Blood Centres across the country served notices of compulsory redundancies. One of those affected is Sandra Crowley, a longstanding Unison steward from the Blood Centre in Liverpool.

Yorkshire Purchasing to strike over payment methods

Some 340 members of the Unison union at Yorkshire Purchasing in Wakefield are set to take strike action after bosses imposed how they are paid.

Metronet demands bail out from public purse

Metronet, the crisis-ridden private contractor responsible for maintaining and upgrading most of London Underground, is demanding more public money to bail it out of its problems.

Battle looms over bonuses on Network Rail

Members of the RMT union working for Network Rail in Scotland and Cumbria have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over bonuses.

London Metropolitan University plans redundancies

Over the past few months lecturers at London Metropolitan University have been fighting university management over union recognition.

'All out war' at Harlow college

A lecturer from Harlow College spoke to the UCU Left conference about the campaign at the college against the imposition of new working conditions and contracts.

UCU Left conference

Over 120 lecturers came together for the UCU Left conference in London last weekend.

Left Field storming success at Glastonbury

The Left Field at this year’s Glastonbury music festival was a storming success, drawing in crowds at all times and demonstrating the thirst for radical politics among young people today.

Cornwall backing down over fire service cuts

Firefighters in Cornwall are sensing victory in their campaign against threatened cuts to the fire service in the Falmouth and Camborne area.

Striking for agency workers in Salford

Refuse workers in Salford were set to stage a 24 hour strike on Wednesday of this week in a dispute over the use of agency staff.

Greenwich council workers challenge single status proposals

Over 250 Greenwich council workers in south London are continuing their battle against the latest single status proposals.

Unison conference delegates demand a struggle over pay

The Unison public sector workers’ union national conference, held in Brighton last week, was framed by the mood for a fight over pay, and the coming to office of Gordon Brown.

Why are the big charities involved in public services?

Britain has a long tradition of charitable voluntary bodies. Having visited many of their local projects, I admire their dedicated staff. But the structures and policies at the top mean there are elements which reinforce capitalism, the class system and inequality.

European Union constitution: a charter for neoliberalism that our rulers dare not put to a vote

Blair’s final act as prime minister was to negotiate a new European treaty at the European Union (EU) summit last weekend.

Unison conference highlights

Demand for increased state pensions Delegates voted overwhelmingly for the union to push for an immediate and substantial increase in the basic state pension to £138 a week.

Support for Tony Staunton and Yunus Bakhsh built at Unison conference

Over 300 delegates heard Unison activists Yunus Bakhsh and Tony Staunton put their case at a lively and angry fringe meeting at the conference. It was the biggest fringe meeting of all.

Manchester anti-war demo: ‘The war should end with Blair’

Thousands of anti-war protesters gathered outside the Labour Party special conference last Sunday as Gordon Brown was anointed the new leader of the party without a contest.

US surge can’t stop Iraq resistance

The US army are holding 300,000 Iraqis hostage as they lay siege to Baquba, a mainly Sunni Muslim city north east of Baghdad.

Gloucester rallies to save mail

Over 350 people marched through Gloucester last Saturday against the closure of the city’s mail centre.

Teachers' unanimous vote for action on pay

Teachers are also gearing up to join the wave of opposition to the public sector pay freeze.

Unison: biggest public sector union votes for joint strikes

"This year the government and the employers have miscalculated," Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, told delegates to the public sector union’s conference in Brighton last week.

Respect backs pay fight

Around the country groups of Respect supporters are preparing to give striking postal workers their full support.

Kirkcaldy protest against Gordon Brown's policies

Civil service workers, postal workers and other public sector workers were set to march through Gordon Brown’s Kirkcaldy constituency on Wednesday – the day Brown became prime minister.

NUT meeting opposes loss of overseas teachers

Over 170 teachers attended a meeting at NUT teachers union headquarters on Tuesday of this week to address the situation facing hundreds of overseas teachers in London.

Salford council workers strike against casualisation

About 140 workers for Salford council’s direct service – refuse workers, recycling teams and road sweepers – struck on Wednesday 27 June. The workers are members of new Unite union. This was not a strike over pay, but against casualisation.


International

Thai university attempts to victimise anti-coup professor

Authorities at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand are attempting to victimise anti-military junta academic Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Associate Professor of Political Science.

South Africa: continuing strike action drives the political debate

A public sector mass strike in South Africa continued at the start of this week despite a "final" and marginally improved offer from the government.

Nurses' protest camp shakes Poland’s government

Polish health workers are involved in a major battle against the right wing government. They are demanding pay rises.

Workers’ action brings Nigeria to a standstill

The four day nationwide strike in Nigeria from 20 to 23 June has once again demonstrated the revolutionary potential of the working class. Nigeria’s President, Umaru Yar’Adua, said the strike "wreaked havoc on our economy and our people" in a letter to the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).


Comment

Are white boys the new educational underclass?

Growing up in poverty seriously damages your education. This is well known, of course, but new research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Trust provides important new findings and shows how New Labour policies are partly to blame.

New Labour leader Gordon Brown spurns calls to move leftwards

Millions of people in Britain will have been pleased to see the back of Tony Blair as prime minister. Many will have greeted Gordon Brown’s start as premier as an opportunity to put an end to the failed New Labour policies of war and privatisation.


Features

Andreu Nin and the Poum in the Spanish Revolution

Frustration with the timidity of working class leaders who repeatedly insist parliament is the crucial way to achieve change is nothing new. Prior to the First World War there was an insistence within the Socialist and Labour Parties in western Europe and North America on winning gradual reforms through parliament.

Blairaq: Peter Kennard interviewed about his new exhibition

The extent to which Tony Blair’s war on Iraq has dominated political life in Britain can be seen by the way it has seeped into almost every aspect of culture.

The art of intervening in shifting struggle

The revolution in Russia in February 1917 created a very unstable situation with two sources of power – the provisional government and the soviets, or workers’ councils. Lenin called this "dual power".

‘The post is in danger. We must defend it.’

Terry from Liverpool: We need better pay, not pay cuts. I start work at 5am on deliveries. That means getting up at a time which most people would regard as the middle of the night.

Let’s build on this spirit of resistance

At the Save Gloucester Mail Centre demonstration last Saturday it was noticeable that the CWU union campaign and the intransigent attitude of Royal Mail management has had an effect on the membership.

Post kicks off in Kirkby

Around 50 postal workers at Kirkby delivery office on Merseyside walked out unofficially on Thursday of last week. They returned to work on Tuesday this week.

Join postal workers’ pickets says civil service union

Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS civil service workers’ union, is appealing to his members to show solidarity with postal workers who are on strike this Friday.

Postal strike: pickets and solidarity greet Gordon Brown

The post strike brought total closure to Royal Mail today with only a few handfuls in total crossing picket lines across Britain.

Post strike reports from London

West London "Morale is up, the strike is solid and there’s no-one in the sub-offices," reported Paul the CWU rep at Paddington mail centre in West London. Around a dozen pickets gathered.

Post strike reports from around England

Brighton There were about 40 on the picket line and the mood was one of determination not to be pushed around

Post strike reports from Scotland and Wales

Dundee There were around 30 pickets at the Dundee West depot. At the Dundee East depot, the only people in the depot were four managers and cleaner.

Pictures of post strike, Friday 29 June 2007

Posties' Leicester picket shows soilidarity in action

A real feeling of strength and unity was to be felt on our picket line today at Leicester North delivery office. We had been waiting for this day for weeks and as one worker put it "this is our day to shove it right up Royal Mail and Gordon Brown".

Post strike solid at Glasgow Mail Centre

At Glasgow Mail Centre, Springburn, the post strike began with a walk-out at 4.45am. A driver refused to cross a picket line at the nearby Baird Street delivery office. Management suspended him and the 20 or so drivers remaining threw in their van keys and walked off their shift there and then. A CWU union rep said that management had been acting like this up and down the country.


Reviews

Alevanta! – Benjamin Escoriza | Thirty years of Rock Against Racism

Alevanta!Benjamin EscorizaCD out now Alevanta! is the first solo album by Benjamin Escoriza, the former lead singer of the seminal Spanish band Radio Tarifa.

Asylum Monologues: a powerful montage that gives a voice to the voiceless

The Imperial War Museum in London includes a fascinating map of the world that lights up to show, year by year, which countries have been ravaged by conflict since the Second World War.

La Vie En Rose: Edith Piaf’s remarkable voice comes back to life

The tragic life of the French singer Édith Piaf touches at the heart of the struggles over national identity in France.


What We Think

West, not China, is the main polluter

"China overtakes the US in carbon dioxide emissions," ran the headlines last week after a Dutch environmental agency released a report placing China as the world’s number one producer of greenhouse gases.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Crown Brown

Tim: 'Middle East peace'

Letters

Australian plan is racist Outrage is growing across Australia in response to John Howard’s Tory government’s takeover of remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory (NT).

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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