Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2060

Dated: 21 Jul 2007




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Metronet collapse: Now stop all privatisation

The crisis of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) on London Underground should mean the end of privatisation for our public services.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Labour Party tax increases for the lower paid

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Strike over outsourcing planned at Pirelli, Carlisle

Around 700 workers at the Pirelli tyre factory in Carlisle have voted to strike against management’s plans to outsource five jobs to workers outside the factory.

George Galloway pushes First Solution campaign in parliament

The campaign to demand justice for all those caught out by the collapse of money transfer firm First Solution is gathering pace, with Respect MP George Galloway securing a Commons adjournment debate on the issue scheduled for 4pm on Wednesday of this week.

Holloway protest against deaths in prison

Two bereaved mothers are accusing police officers of manhandling them and shoving them around on a demonstration outside Holloway women's prison in north London on Monday of last week. The demonstration was called by veteran prisoner welfare campaigner Pauline Campbell after the death of Marie Cox in the prison on 30 June.

Respect for Ealing Southall

Salvinder Singh Dhillon, the Respect candidate in this Thursday’s parliamentary by-election in Ealing Southall, joined striking postal workers at Greenford on Friday of last week. Respect supporters were campaigning in the constituency up to the last minute. Check this site for election results

Death in custody: Standing together in Burnley to win justice for Nadeem Khan

The people of Burnley are demanding answers after 28 year old Nadeem Khan – known as Dean – died in police custody on Saturday 30 June.

Coca Cola strike dates in Wakefield and Milton Keynes

Workers at Coca Cola Enterprise's largest bottling and distribution centre – in Wakefield – will stage a series of 48 hour strikes on 26 and 27 July and 13 and 14 August.

Unions sceptical of Walker review of private equity

"The industry has come to be seen as needlessly secretive, feeding suspicion and in some quarters close to hostility," said Sir David Walker at the launch of a review on the private equity industry.

Reports round-up

Durham Miners’ gala PCS civil service workers’ union members were part of the 100,000 strong Durham miners’ gala last weekend

Tortuous manoeuvres in Yunus Bakhsh case

The attempt by the Unison union to discipline Yunus Bakhsh, one of its best known left wing activists, continues to force the union’s leadership into some tortuous manoeuvres.

Defend Council Housing conference delegates demand ‘build more council houses’

Some 200 council tenants and trade unionists joined MPs at the Defend Council Housing (DCH) national conference last week. Many spoke about campaigning for the "fourth option" &#8211; direct public investment in council housing.

Strike to defend union activist Karen Reissmann

The campaign to defend nurse and health union activist Karen Reissmann from victimisation by her management was set to make a big leap forward this week.

London Met is crucial battle for UCU

Over 100 lecturers, students and supporters held a lobby on Wednesday of last week outside London Met university. Lecturers are facing union derecognition and redundancies.

Glasgow council’s use of anti-union laws backfires

Glasgow City council’s attempts to use Tory anti-union laws has backfired.

Overseas teachers’ success

Over 100 activists lobbied the Home Office on Wednesday of last week over the way overseas teachers are being treated.

George Galloway MP’s response to the accusation that he brought parliament into disrepute

"Once more and yet again I have been cleared of taking a single penny or in any way personally benefiting from the former Iraqi regime through the Oil for Food programme or any other means.

A point by point reply from George Galloway MP to the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards

<ol/>On 11 occasions the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards either acknowledges that George Galloway did not personally benefit from "moneys derived from the former Iraqi regime" or accepts that George Galloway did make many declarations of interest over Iraq (Commissioner’s memorandum pars: 281, 292, 306, 308, 315, 321, 322, 325, 331, 336 and 354).

Salford refuse workers on strike

Around 140 workers in Salford city council’s refuse, recycling and street cleansing teams struck on Thursday of last week and Tuesday of this week.

Sandwell bin workers protest against privatisation

Some 200 workers from the bins and street cleansing sections of Sandwell council in the West Midlands demonstrated at the council cabinet meeting on Wednesday of last week.

Mental health matters

After nine years of trying, the government has finally passed its Mental Health Bill. The reason it has taken so long, and been considerably amended, is that many of the government’s plans have been strongly opposed from the start by mental health professionals, service users and charities.

Unions pledge to fight HSE closure plans

A financial crisis is engulfing the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the government agency charged with ensuring that employers abide by health and safety regulations.

George Bush in crisis as Iraq ‘surge’ fails

George Bush is facing a political crisis in the US as it becomes increasingly clear that his strategy for maintaining the occupation of Iraq is rapidly unravelling.


International

Resisting the plans to control Iraq’s oil

The US wants to get it hands on Iraq’s oil wealth and is pressuring the Iraqi government to pass a law that will mortgage the country’s future, says Hassan Jumaa Awad, the leader of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions.

Collahuasi copper miners strike in Chile

This week some 700 miners have come out on strike in Chile’s Collahuasi copper mine, nearly 2,000 kilometres north of Santiago and 5,000 metres up in the Andes. This is at a time when thousands of subcontracted workers in Chile’s state owned copper mines are already out.

Red Mosque raid threatens to backfire on General Musharraf

What is the payoff for being a loyal partner in George Bush’s "war on terror"? For Pakistan’s dictator General Musharraf, it means being granted the means to propagate terror yourself.


Comment

Privatisation in the NHS in the name of ‘tackling inequality’

A government-backed review of NHS services in London last week could lead to wholesale closures of accident and emergency wards, doctor’s surgeries and a number of district general hospitals.

We need more than warm words to deal with the housing crisis, Mr Brown

Gordon Brown has promised three million new homes by the end of 2020.

Gordon Brown – a change of style, but not of policies

Gordon Brown’s first few days in 10 Downing Street have been marked by his determination to tippex Tony Blair out of history and distinguish himself politically from his predecessor.


Features

Dates announced for next post strikes

The CWU union has announced new dates for post strikes. The proposed programme for industrial action over two weeks on a functional/site basis is as follows:

The ABC of Communism: can socialism work?

The recently republished ABC of Communism is a remarkable historical document of the attempt to create a socialist society in Russia after the 1917 October Revolution.

Marco Antonio García interview: questions for the Venezuelan revolution

Can you tell me something about UNT, the Venezuelan national trade union federation that you belong to?

How the great powers appeased Hitler

The legacy of the Second World War echoes in today’s world. Justifying the Iraq war George Bush compared it to the 1939-45 conflict.

Prepare now for crucial battle over start times

A very big issue in the post dispute is the change to delivery office start times that managers are threatening to implement on or around 13 August.

United union action can force Gordon Brown to act

The post dispute is at a crucial stage, and it matters for every worker in Britain. Two hugely successful stoppages have produced not the slightest movement from Royal Mail bosses Allan Leighton and Adam Crozier.

Post workers: 'Pressure, low pay and long hours shape our life'

Neil: "We all work the morning shift. Some of us start at 5.30am, some start much earlier. I start at 4am because my round is very big and the prep (the time we spend sorting out all the mail before we do the delivery) takes a long time."

Post workers' voices

"If the union wants people to keep paying the political fund it had better stop giving the money to Labour. Why must we keep funding the people who are attacking us? In my office four people have stopped paying the political fund."

So that’s what Allan Leighton’s doing

The chairman of Royal Mail, Allan Leighton, has been in secret negotiations to buy BHS, the department store chain, from Sir Philip Green, the retail billionaire.

Oxford post walks out

Hundreds of workers at Oxford mail centre walked out on unofficial strike on Monday after union rep Steve Gill was suspended after a complaint about his behaviour during the last strike.

Winning solidarity across the trade union movement

Bristol: Activists brought eight banners to the CWU picket line at the Patchway office in Bristol at 5am during last weeks strike.

Why post workers strike

Around 140,000 postal workers are fighting to defend the postal service and to get decent pay and conditions.

Post workers’ powerful strike steps up challenge

The postal workers’ strike last week was even more powerful than the one on 29 June. Royal Mail described it as patchy. Maybe it was a bit &#8211; in some places 98 percent of workers were out, in others it was as few as 95 percent!


Reviews

Golden Door | Blind Light

Golden Doordirected by Emanuele Crialesefilm on general release This exquisite French Italian co-production is one of the best films this year.

Heroes: a superpowered science fiction take on the US today

The new US drama series Heroes places people with extraordinary physical and mental powers in a relatively ordinary world.

Zaha Hadid: when the art of building is commanded by capital

Every now and then you’re reminded that there’s Building – and then there’s Architecture. Building is something that comes out of a catalogue or off a production line. It is never credited to a designer, but rather to Barratt Homes, Wimpey or whoever. Architecture, on the other hand is an art, made by an artist – something exceptional.


What We Think

No case to answer for George Galloway MP

If you lie through your teeth and unleash hell on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan you receive a standing ovation in parliament and are appointed "peacemaker for the Middle East".


Other Categories

Derek Allen 1931-2007

Derek Allen, who sadly died last Sunday, was a much loved Socialist Workers Party (SWP) member in Hackney, east London. His passionate commitment to socialism, hard work and incredible generosity made him a popular figure among SWP members and non-members alike.

Leon Kuhn: heavier sacks

Tim: damaging the reputation of the House

Letters

Strike shows the way The recent public sector workers’ strike in South Africa was very successful, although strikes are never 100 percent perfect.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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