Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2062

Dated: 04 Aug 2007



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An appeal to trade unionists to fight together with the postal workers

Dear brothers and sisters,


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Get on campaign trail for Respect in Shadwell

Respect activists in Tower Hamlets, east London, are hard at work campaigning in a crucial council by-election in Shadwell ward that is due to take place on Thursday 9 August.

Reports round-up

Report boost for Unique workers The seven month long fight by 17 women sacked by Unique care in Huddersfield received a boost last week.

Greenwich council workers lobby over single status

Dozens of Unison union members lobbied Greenwich council in south London last week against attacks on their working conditions and wages caused by single status proposals.

Carlisle Pirelli workers to strike over outsourcing

Around 700 workers at the Pirelli tyre factory in Carlisle are set to strike on Friday and Saturday of this week against management’s plans to outsource five jobs to workers outside the factory.

Coca-Cola workers’ pay strike has bosses in a fizz

Workers at Coca-Cola plants in Wakefield and Milton Keynes took strike action over pay on Thursday and Friday of last week.

Health and Safety Executive: toothless watchdog idles as workers die

Shocking figures released last week by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that 77 workers died on construction sites between April 2006 and April 2007 – a massive 31 percent leap on the previous year.

New evidence in Yunus Bakhsh victimisation case

Campaigners to defend Yunus Bakhsh, the leading Unison union and health service activist, have obtained several important documents that detail exchanges between his employer and his union.

Sheffield health service workers to strike over pay cuts

Workers at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital look set to go on strike over pay cuts after management axed thousands of pounds in allowances. The ballot result was due on Thursday and, if passed, it would be the first strike of its kind at the hospital for 30 years.

Babcock Rosyth strike vote over pension cuts

Members of the Prospect civil service workers union at Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard have voted overwhelmingly in favour striking in their dispute over pension cuts.

Herald group attacks rep

The dispute at Scotland’s Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times newspapers took a nasty turn last week when management suspended union rep Gordon Thomson.

Tube workers fight privatisation chaos

The recent collapse of the Metronet consortium responsible for the maintenance and infrastructure of two thirds of the London Underground under Gordon Brown’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) has shown the disaster of privatisation.

Dan Hind on Kant, the “war on terror” and Enlightenment values

In 1784 a German magazine asked its readers to answer the question, "What is Enlightenment?" Among those who replied was the philosopher Immanuel Kant.

Health workers must reject this new pay offer

A very slight improvement to the government’s pay offer to more than a million NHS staff has been enough to persuade the leadership of the Unison union to put plans for industrial action on hold.

Ballot launched to defend NHS activist Karen Reissmann

Leading trade unionists from across Greater Manchester joined scores of health workers at a 300-strong meeting last week in support of Karen Reissmann.

Judges halt deportations

The deportation of three Algerian men accused of terrorism was halted by appeal court judges on Tuesday who ruled that the government could not be certain that they would be safe from torture after they were sent back.

British helped US in abduction

British resident Bisher al-Rawi last week exposed the horrific events that he endured when he was abducted by US agents and taken to Gunatanamo Bay in Cuba in 2003. He also revealed the role that British MI5 agents played in his abduction.

Oxfam slams the humanitarian crisis in Iraq

The Oxfam charity has issued a damning report on the state of Iraq four years into the occupation.

Nato is bombing and killing civilians in Afghanistan

Occupation forces in Afghanistan have admitted that they are regularly killing civilians in bombings raids when they say are targetting Taliban fighters.

Gordon Brown shows his backing for George Bush’s ‘war on terror’

Gordon Brown sent a clear message this week to all those who have despaired of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and hoped that he would stand up to George Bush and bring the troops home.

Spirited social care workers' strike rocks Glasgow

Around 600 social care workers in Glasgow have entered their second week of indefinite strike against being downgraded in the council’s single status review.

Jail for ex-BNP candidate who stockpiled explosive chemicals

Former British National Party council candidate Robert Cottage has been jailed for two and a half years after stockpiling explosive chemicals.

Domino's pizza delivery workers hungry for justice

Hungarian workers at a pizza franchise in Derby, who took home virtually no pay for months because of wage deductions, have been sacked and now face eviction from their homes.

Postal workers walk out in Hartlepool

Hartlepool delivery office walked out yesterday after management intimidation of a worker.

Strike for safety and against job cuts

RAIl GROUNDSTAFF at the EWS freight depot by the huge Corus steelworks at Margam in south Wales began a 24 hour strike this morning. They are fightng moves to cut the workforce in half.

Post bosses to blame for delivery crisis

Disputes are growing in London over management provocations in delivery offices.


International

Japan’s upper house elections disastrous for ruling party

Last Sunday’s elections to the upper house of the Japanese parliament were a huge defeat for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the right wing prime minister Shinzo Abe. Elections were held for 121 seats – half of the upper house. The LDP only won 37 seats, while the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) gained a majority with 60 seats.

The kidnapping of South Koreans in Afghanistan - a tragedy created by occupation

The kidnap of 23 South Korean missionaries in Afghanistan is a tragedy, but the events can only be understood in the context of the deployment of South Korean troops to aid the US/Nato occupation.

Victory for striking subcontracted miners in Chile

Miners striking against Codelco, Chile's state owned mining corporation are celebrating a victory. After a solid 37 day strike by some 13,000 workers the company made a revised offer. The strikers, subcontractors in the CTC union federation, voted by a large majority to accept the offer and end the strike.

Chilean miners' leader looks to growth of the movement

After the battles of forestry workers in the Arauco region and copper miners working for the state owned Codelco company, subcontracted workers are targeting the private mining industry.


Comment

World economy on the precipice?

The world economy has been floating on a sea of cheap credit for much of the present decade. The sharp falls on global stock exchanges last week may have marked the moment when the financial markets realised this era is coming to an end.


Features

The legacy of Giuseppe Garibaldi - the 19th century's Che Guevara

If you visit Italy, you will notice that, wherever you’re staying, the main street or square will almost invariably be named after Giuseppe Garibaldi. Garibaldi is the national hero who led the movement to unite Italy in the mid-19th century.

Is the government planning a new programme of council house building? The devil it is

Gordon Brown talks of housing as "one of the great causes of our time". Last week his new government launched its "green paper" discussion document on the issue.

Hull - abandoned after the floods

The people of the city of Hull feel that they have been abandoned. On 25 June the city was devastated by floods. Five weeks later tens of thousands of its most vulnerable citizens are still coping on their own with the devastation.

Flood warnings that were ignored by the government

Hilary Benn, the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, said earlier this month, "It is vital that we learn lessons now about how to manage and respond to this type of disaster in the future."

Crushing the tide of left wing resistance

All the contending powers feared the Second World War would end in revolution as the 1914-18 conflict had.

Post strikes reports on Tuesday, 31 July

Cambridge Around 30 trade unionists attended a lively picket line in Cambridge. The CWU members had whistles, megaphones and music in a solid strike. Management tried to bully and harrass those on the picket line by telling them to stop whistling and shouting 'scab' at the few mainly managers who were crossing the picket line and breaking the strike. The picket held firm and workers told them 'You may manage us in there, but this is our picket line and we will not be told what to do'. They soon scurried away and the noise continued.

Unofficial post strike sweeps across Scotland, Tuesday 31 July

Hundreds of angry post workers walked out of their delivery offices in Glasgow unofficially as a protest against bullying management today.

Crash death in Exeter

A strike-breaking post office manager driving a Royal Mail articulated lorry was involved in a fatal accident in Exeter on Thursday of last week.

Many issues increasing the anger among strikers

Asset stripping Royal Mail is to embark on a second massive sale of property assets – just months after concluding a first deal in which 300 sites were disposed of, netting £70 million.

Class unity wins over agency workers in Watford

Picketing post workers in Watford scored a major goal against their management and in favour of working class unity on Wednesday last week when they convinced a coach load of Polish agency workers not to break their strike.

Reports that show spirit of post strike

The third postal workers’ strike last week was as solid as the previous two.

Joint strikes can win battle

After four days of well supported strikes, postal workers should be proud of the stand they have taken to defend public postal services, defy bullying management and defend decently paid jobs.

Unofficial post strikes show feeling for a fight, Wednesday 1 August

A series of unofficial walkouts have demonstrated the feeling to hit back at management in the post.

Unofficial and official post strike grows more determined, Thursday 2 August

Unofficial walkouts are adding to the scale of the ongoing strike action by postal workers across the country.

Breaking news: unofficial post strikers vote to return to work

Unofficial post strikes at Glasgow and Newcastle have ended after mass meetings there voted to return to work. A lunchtime mass meeting in Glasgow today saw a close vote to end the stoppage.

Photos from post strike, 2 August

CWU announces date for national demonstration to support post strike

A national demonstration and rally in support of the Royal Mail dispute will be held on Tuesday 21 August.

Glasgow post workers' mass meeting votes to end unofficial action

Post workers in Glasgow and the west of Scotland have voted to end their unofficial action and return to work. More than 700 postal workers attended a two hour mass meeting in Glasgow. They debated the way forward for their dispute as well as putting questions to CWU union officials and voting at the end of the meeting by a proportion of around five to two to return to work. No agreement has been reached with management about the terms of returning to work.

CWU announces dates of future post strike days

Future days of strike action by the different functions in Royal Mail are as follows:


Reviews

A Disappearing number - Complicite

In A Disappearing Number – Complicite’s much anticipated new producation – the mathematician GH Hardy seeks to comprehend the ideas of the genius Srinivasa Ramanujan in the chilly English surroundings of Cambridge during the First World War.

Science You Can’t See: Dangerous Knowledge

Decent science documentaries are few and far between these days. They have been a prominent casualty of the commercialisation and cost-cutting that has hit the television industry.

Back to Bizznizz: mixing and influence on the music scene

East London rapper Lethal Bizzle’s superb new album Back To Bizznizz defies easy categorisation – and it certainly can’t simply be filed under "grime".

Some great books to read this summer

Half Of A Yellow Sunby Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie rightly won the Orange prize for fiction for this novel set during the Nigeria-Biafran war in the 1960s.


What We Think

How Gordon Brown walks in dead men’s shoes

How to appear to be a breath of fresh air after the bad old days of Tony Blair – while maintaining the hated man’s policies? That’s the central conundrum of Gordon Brown’s premiership.


Other Categories

Tim: Sharks & special relationships

Letters

We shall not be moved While the government talk of creating more "social housing", Hackney council in east London has unveiled plans to "decant" (evict) up to 160 families from the Gascoyne Estate.

Who says?

"Now we have won America can go out of Iraq. Perhaps not today but certainly tomorrow or the next day."Younis Mahmoud captain of the Iraqi football team after scoring the winning goal in the Asian cup final

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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