Dated: 28 Jul 2007
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Postal workers are engaged in the most important battle this country has seen for many years. Every worker in Britain will feel the implications of its outcome. We are fighting a vicious management that sees this as a crucial confrontation.
The momentum continues to build across the unions for action against Gordon Brown’s public sector pay cuts.
HSE protest against cuts Workers at the Health and Safety Executive in London protested on Tuesday of last week against cuts, closures and the financial crisis that is engulfing the department Picture: Guy Smallman
Defend Council Housing (DCH) campaigners are angry that Lambeth council in south London has declared that a ballot on the future of the borough’s housing stock was in favour of transfer to an arms length management organisation (Almo).
Workers in the Unite union at Coca Cola Enterprises in Wakefield – the company’s largest bottling and distribution centre – are to strike for 48 hour strikes on Thursday and and Friday of this week and 13 and 14 August.
The Unions are stepping up the campaign to save the Remploy factories employing disabled workers.
Around 60 Respect supporters hit the streets of Shadwell in Tower Hamlets, east London, last Saturday to campaign in what is shaping up to be a closely fought council by-election on Thursday 9 August.
More than 1,000 workers at the Heinz food processing plant in Wigan, Lancashire, walked out for 24 hours on unofficial strike action on Tuesday of last week in protest at management’s latest pay offer.
A strike by RMT rail workers' over safety on the Bakerloo line on London Underground severely hit services on the line on Thursday and Friday of last week. The strike lasted for 24 hours.
Health workers Unions across the health service are moving closer to action over pay. Mike Jackson, lead negotiator of the Unison union, which has 450,000 members in the NHS, said, "Health workers feel a strong sense of injustice that the government has welched on a deal and is trying to impose a pay award that represents a pay cut in real terms.
A strike by 400 signallers and supervisors working for Network Rail in Scotland scheduled for Friday has been called off by the RMT after the company tabled a further revised offer on disputed bonus payments.
Some 27 teachers in the NUT union at South Chadderton School in Oldham went on strike last Thursday over changes to pay and the suspension of their union rep.
Lively pickets were out in force as 600 social care workers in Glasgow started an indefinite strike on Tuesday. The mood was very confident as up to 30 strikers joined each picket line across the city.
Around 200 residential and daycare workers working for Fremantle in Barnet, north London, struck for 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday of this week. This follows another 24 hour strike earlier this month.
There is tide of change against the war among the families of US soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Anger is growing at the government's handling of the recent floods. Gordon Brown staged a high profile visit to flood-hit areas earlier this week. He promised help for those affected.
A parliamentary committee has rung alarm bells over Afghanistan, warning that the occupation faces defeat unless the war is escalated.
George Galloway was barred from defending himself in parliament after questioning the motives of those conducting a witch-hunt against him.
The government's much heralded green paper on housing was finally released on Monday. Behind ministers' talk of new homes and "social housing", the reality is the same reliance on the market and private finance that created the housing crisis in the first place.
A North Yorkshire NHS trust has announced plans to axe 600 staff – a third of its workforce – in a bid to save more than £28 million.
New Labour won the Ealing Southall by-election on Thursday of last week, but its majority was slashed almost in half. The Tories came a humiliating third.
It's not often that I agree with Gordon Brown, but I was amazed to read in June that he said, "In the fourth richest country in the world, it is simply wrong that any child should grow up in poverty." I couldn't agree more.
A post office manager driving a Royal Mail articulated lorry was involved in a fatal accident in Exeter this morning.
The Jean Charles de Menezes campaign projected this image on the houses of Parliament on Friday of last week. They were commemorating two years since the 27-year-old Brazilian was shot dead by police. For more go to <a href="http://www.justice4jean.com" target = "_blank">» www.justice4jean.com</a>
The battle to defend Karen Reissmann, the psychiatric nurse and health service union activist, is set to reach a critical stage this week as her Unison union starts a ballot for strike action in her defence.
Around 600 people packed into the Hackney Empire in east London on Thursday of last week for a gig to celebrate 30 years of Rock Against Racism. The event – which raised money for Love Music Hate Racism – brought together stars of the past such as Misty In Roots (pictured) and the Tom Robinson Band with a new generation of musicians taking a stand against racism and fascism. People came away inspired determined to build a movement to stop the fascist BNP. The BNP’s 8.9 percent vote in the Sedgefield by-election last week shows how crucial such campaigns to stop them remain.
Managers in the TSSA union at Network Rail have overwhelmingly supported a call to ballot of industrial action, following a 4.8 percent pay offer – 0.55 percent less than colleagues.
A four-hour strike by Germany’s train drivers at the beginning of July brought large parts of the country’s rail traffic to a standstill. Now the drivers are set for an all-out strike which could cause major disruption to traffic and corporate logistics.
The "socialist battalions" of Venezuela’s new political party met last week in open assembly in various districts of the capital Caracas. This is to be repeated across Venezuela.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) was re-elected on Sunday of last week with a thumping majority in the Turkish elections.
Egyptian postal workers occupied the Egyptian Postal Service building in the capital Cairo last week.
There's a case for saying that the two by-elections on Thursday last week weren’t particularly good news for any of the three major parties. The biggest loser was David Cameron with the Tories pushed into third place in both Sedgefield and Southall.
In the Southend area of Essex delivery post workers are doing the job properly – and it’s causing chaos.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation released two reports last week. One showed that the British public says the gap between rich and poor is too large.
"Suspension should only occur when it is necessary to prevent the risk of further breaches of conduct, to protect employees, property or mail, or to protect Royal Mail’s good image and standing in the community." The Royal Mail Conduct Code
Every public sector worker faces the same attacks that postal workers are fighting.
Everyone needs to get behind the postal workers. If at all possible they need to be fighting alongside them. The strikes are magnificent – overwhelmingly supported, militant and defiant. They have united men and women, black and white, young and old.
Twin your workplace with a local post depot as a focus for solidarity.
Preston There were 14 pickets at Preston mail centre on Wednesday evening, including several part timers.
Tens of thousands of postal delivery workers in the CWU union struck today in the latest stage in their battle for decent pay, against cuts and in defence of the postal service.
The next post strikes are on Tuesday and Thursday next week and picketing will happen at the following times:
Across the country striking postal workers have given a defiant response to the attempt to cut wages, impose harsh new conditions and destroy the present postal service.
Today Winston Churchill is presented as the arch-opponent of the evil Adolf Hitler.
It’s important for socialists to understand the nature of the oppression that disabled people face. There is no question that disabled people are oppressed – but our oppression has somewhat different roots to that of women or ethnic minorities.
NourMaloumaMarabi RecordingsCD out now Imagine a conscious collision between Tinariwen and Natacha Atlas and you’ll begin to picture Nour, the superb new album from the remarkable Mauritanian singer and social activist Malouma.
In 1428 the peasant who would become known as Joan of Arc announced that voices from god had told her she would liberate France from English occupation.
Global capitalism badly needs a Third World success story – a rags-to-riches tale that can wipe out all those bad memories of failed World Bank programmes and crippling IMF debt. And, according to comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar, India fits the bill perfectly.
Four rich people lent millions to the Labour party. They were nominated for peerages. No crime was committed.
Joan Powell, who sadly died last week, was a well-known socialist activist from Manchester. Joan was born in Denton, Manchester, in 1919 into a family of working class communists.
The real home truths The advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently delivered a damning judgement on Crawley council’s campaign to sell off council homes. The ASA judged that a DVD distributed to tenants by Crawley council in West Sussex to promote the privatisation of housing stock had denigrated the membership of Crawley Defend Council Housing (DCH).
"We now have almost no capability to react to the unexpected... I am very concerned about the longer term implications of the impact of this level of operations on our people, equipment and future operational capability."General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British army, in a secret memo revealing the impact of Iraq and Afghanistan on the British military
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