Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2059

Dated: 14 Jul 2007



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Robbed! …and it’s legal in Brown’s Britain

Thousands of the poorest people in Britain are facing debt and misery as they pay the price for the collapse of two companies recently.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Marxism 2007: a festival of ideas and class struggle

It was a festival with so many highlights and different features.

Another ten years of the ‘long war’, says commander of US troops in Iraq

The war in Iraq will last over ten years according to the commander of US troops there, General David Petraeus.

Call for troops home wins wide support at Scotland United Against Terror rally

The Scotland United Against Terror rally held in Glasgow last Saturday was called by a coalition of Muslim organisations.

Final T&G conference debates industrial action and Labour link

This year’s T&G biennial delegate union conference was the last in our union’s 85 year history. The union is about to merge with Amicus, to create Unite, the largest union in the country.

Coca Cola workers in Wakefield plan strike

Workers at Coca Cola’s bottling and distribution plant in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, may strike over pay.

Defend Tony Staunton

Around 30 trade unionists from across the south west of England assembled to lobby the panel hearing the disciplinary charges against leading Unison member Tony Staunton.

Barnet daycare workers strike against wage cuts

Around 200 residential and daycare workers working for Fremantle in Barnet, north London, struck for 24 hours on Thursday and Friday of last week.

Tube train derailed by privatisation

The derailment of a Central Line tube train in London on Thursday of last week is down to the privatisation of London Underground infrastructure. It could have been avoided if management had listened to the warnings of the RMT rail workers’ union.

Cinema and the environment: spectacle of disaster

Ecological catastrophe looms large on the contemporary horizon. Media commentators speculate about "extreme weather", while melting glaciers, extinction of species through loss of habitat, rising sea levels and tsunamis are events familiar to us from news broadcasts and documentaries.

Reports round-up

RMT to ballot over pension rights Over 11,000 members of the RMT rail workers’ union at companies covered by the Transport for London (TfL) pension fund are balloting for strike action over plans to undermine the pension rights of people forced to leave their jobs through ill-health.

Demonstration planned against redundancies at London Metropolitan University

Lecturers and supporters were to demonstrate and rally on Wednesday of this week against redundancies at London Metropolitan University.

FE lecturers’ reject pay offer

Employers have offered Further Education (FE) lecturers 2 percent in August with a further 1 percent in February – an offer negotiators could not accept as they had been mandated not to accept any below inflation offer.

Fight continues over Harlow College redundancies

Almost 100 lecturers at Harlow college in Essex have been made redundant, or refused to re-apply for their jobs on contracts that would mean less pay and longer working hours.

Anti-union law used by Glasgow's Labour council

A threat by Labour-controlled Glasgow city council to use anti-union laws halted industrial action by 600 social care workers.

Burnley demonstration demands justice for Nadeem Khan

Hundreds of protesters marched in Burnley last Saturday seeking answers to questions about the death of Nadeem Khan in police custody.

Tests for Gordon Brown’s new housing policy

After ten years of campaigning Defend Council Housing (DCH) activists are eagerly awaiting the government’s first green paper on housing, which was due to be published this week.

Unison activists plan public rally to defend suspended nurse Karen Reissmann

The campaign to defend Karen Reissmann, the psychiatric nurse and Unison union activist who has been suspended from work, is continuing to gain support.

Health unions get ready to fight over paltry pay offer

The pressure for a decent pay rise for more than a million workers in the NHS rose this week as Unison, the biggest health service union, announced it would ballot its members for action unless the government improved its paltry 2.5 percent pay offer.

Rising food prices

Don’t delay on teachers’ pay

The NUT teachers’ union national executive will be meeting on Wednesday of next week to discuss the timetable for action over pay.

National and local government have abandoned us, say flooded residents

The plight of hundreds of people who are being left to fend for themselves after the recent floods speaks volumes about the priorities of this government.

Respect can hit Labour in Ealing Southall by-election

Respect is urging as many of its supporters as possible to get to west London this weekend to campaign for a left alternative in next Thursday’s Ealing Southall parliamentary by-election.

Breakthrough at Anglian Windows

The strike action at Anglian Windows has been called off after workers voted to accept a deal that will see a change in the company's pay structure.

Bakerloo line rail workers to strike over safety

Around 150 train drivers and station staff on London Underground’s Bakerloo line will strike for 24 hours from 10pm on Thursday July 19 in a safety dispute over lone working.


International

Iranian trade unionist kidnapped

Mansour Osanloo, the President of the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) was kidnapped on 10 July in Tehran, Iran by unknown assailants.

Subcontracted Chilean copper miners strike to demand ‘Same work, Same pay’

The use of sub-contractors has become endemic in Chilean copper mines. In 1980 the state copper company Codelco employed 28,000 workers on fixed contracts. Now only 18,000 work "direct", and 33,300 work for sub-contractors – and the jobs which are "tendered out" are the same jobs that direct workers do.


Comment

Gordon Brown tries to hide war link to bomb attacks

Gordon Brown has a problem – and a plan for how to deal with it.


Features

How the IMF wrecked Jamaica

When Michael Manley and his People’s National Party (PNP) were elected in Jamaica for a second term in December 1976, all who challenged imperialism and racism walked tall.

Rock Against Racism: beating time, beating the Nazis

The 1970s moved from intense struggle between workers and bosses to bitter disillusionment with Labour, mass unemployment and defensive fights to protect services.

Voices from Rock Against Racism

Don Letts, DJ Pioneering musician, filmmaker and DJ Don Letts made his name playing reggae to the emerging punk scene in London the mid-1970s.

Challenging the education regime

There have been many calls recently for an end to the testing regime for pupils in our schools up to the age of 16. Because of this an opportunity has opened up for teacher activists to liberate spaces in the curriculum.

United strike can win for all workers

Every day it becomes clearer that the postal workers’ dispute over pay and in defence of the postal service is crucial for workers across Britain.

‘We need to step up the pressure on Royal Mail’

We have been looking forward to this week’s strike. That’s not because we like losing money, but because we know that unless we hit back the management will walk all over us.

Post bosses cashing in on bonuses

At a time when Royal Mail has told its workers that they are 25 percent overpaid, it has just announced this year’s bonuses for managers. These include: line manager bonus £1,460 after tax, delivery manager bonus £4,000 after tax and shift manager bonus £6,000 after tax.

Solidarity makes a real difference to post strikes

It makes a real difference when delegations of other trade unionists visit our picket lines. Please come this week and for future strikes.

Postcomm: post regulator ‘comforts’ the bosses

The "independent regulator" Postcomm has waded into the current postal dispute.

Post office closure brings parcel problems to Heanor

Postal workers in Heanor, Derbyshire, staged a series of strikes recently against the closure of their office.

Post Office counters staff to hold strike

Counters workers in the big high street post offices are to strike on two days next week rather than this week. They will strike on Monday 16 July from 2.30pm to 7pm, and Thursday 19 July from 6am to 12 noon.

Post workers' voices

"This is all about the government. It’s not just Allan Leighton and Adam Crozier – Gordon Brown pulls their strings. It’s Labour that’s attacking us – let’s stop giving them money."

Reports from London for the 13 July post strike

North London The strike was 100 percent solid at Highbury in Islington, North London. There were 13 people on a confident picket line out of fewer than 40 workers. Union rep Martin Gyan said, "They want to turn us into a part time company. If there is no work you’ll just be sitting at home.

Reports from around Britain of the 13 July post strike

Ayr At the Ayr post office in south-west Scotland there was a good turnout on the picket line. More people signed up for picket duty than last time. Everyone was furious at the news that the bosses will be getting £370,000 and managers up to £10,000 in bonuses for "meeting targets".

Pictures of the post strike on 13 July

Posties' protest song in Glasgow

At the St Rollox office in Springburn, Glasgow, students visited the picket line to show support and one supporter – Stephen Dolan – brought a guitar and together with the strikers they sang a song.

Battlebus inspires post strikers

A "battlebus" organised by the CWU London division toured picket lines across the capital.

Dodgyclaimers – Hey Hey We're The Posties

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Pictures of the CWU battlebus

Respect parliamentary candidate visits CWU Greenford picket

Post workers shut down Royal Mail in second first class strike, Friday 13 July

Striking postal workers, in the CWU union, brought Royal Mail to a halt today in their second 24-hour strike.


Reviews

Summer free festival selection

Kelvedon Festival Saturday 14 July, FreeThe Recreation Ground Kelvedon, Essex

Daily Encounters exhibition

Daily Encounters is a new exhibition of British newspaper photography that has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery in central London. This, taken in 1945, shows a Daily Express journalist taking a "truth drug" as part of an investigation into CIA experiments.

Paines Plough hosts new playwrights from Pakistan

Paines Plough is one of the country’s best known touring theatre companies. It is dedicated to discovering, developing and producing new contemporary works for the theatre.

The Proms: a treasure trove of music for everyone to savour

The BBC Proms each summer offers a treasure trove of great (and sometimes rarely played) music performed by the cream of today’s musicians &#8211; with ticket prices lower than the cinema.


What We Think

Panic over Iraq now grips the Republicans

A debate on US withdrawal from Iraq has suddenly erupted inside the White House. Support for the Iraq war is haemorrhaging among Republican senators – forcing Pentagon chief Robert Gates to cancel a trip to Latin America.


Other Categories

Tim: Campbell's profits

Letters

Labour can’t be fixed Those former comrades of mine in the Labour Party (now New Labour), who were waiting for an opportunity to change the direction of their party, should now think carefully about how much longer they are prepared to wait.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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