Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2069

Dated: 22 Sep 2007




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We’ll pay twice for credit chaos

Working people will have to pay twice over for the credit chaos that struck down mortgage lender Northern Rock this week.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Anger and tedium at the TUC congress

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which took place in Brighton last week, showed the tensions between the unions and Gordon Brown’s government.

CWU union announces dates for renewed post strikes

The postal workers’ CWU union has announced a new programme of strikes as part of its dispute with Royal Mail.

Strikers want to see the dismantling of Fremantle

Around 200 residential and daycare workers employed by Fremantle in Barnet, north London, were set to strike on Thursday of this week.

Brent peace march

Brent peace march

Credit crunch could burst the debt bubble

What triggered this crisis?

NUT-backed public sector pay motion passed at TUC

The TUC last week passed an NUT-backed motion attacking the government’s public sector pay policies and calling for public sector unions to coordinate strike action. Thousands of teachers have signed petitions calling on the union to step up its pay campaign.

Two weeks to nominate candidates for NUT elections

Branches of the NUT teachers’ union have two weeks to nominate candidates for its national officers’ elections.

Lack of leadership means NHS pay deal accepted

Hundreds of thousands of health workers are going to receive below-inflation pay awards after union leaders decided on a compromise with the government.

Opposition to Private Equity

Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI, was challenged over the tax arrangements of private equity firms as the unions claimed their jobs and conditions were affected by company takeovers.

John Hutton's rhetoric on employment law disappoints

New Labour’s business and enterprise secretary John Hutton unveiled what the media, reading the press releases, referred to as "a package of new measures" over employment law.

Islington bin strike

Refuse workers in the GMB union in Islington, north London, struck on Tuesday of this week against changes to recycling and collection rounds.

Hundreds of thousands of local government workers prepare for ballot

It now looks increasingly likely that the Unison union will be balloting its members in local government for strike action over pay. The ballot is set to start on 3 October.

Unions plan campaign over single status in Birmingham

A major battle is brewing in Europe’s biggest local authority.

Glasgow daycare staff to ballot for strike action

Adult daycare staff in Glasgow are balloting to take strike action as the centres they work in face closure.

Reports round-up

Housing workers ballot over pay Members of the Unite union at English Church Housing Group (ECHG), part of the Riverside Group, are balloting for action against the company’s 2.5 percent pay offer.

Improved pay offer for Chesterfield Stagecoach bus drivers

Bus drivers at Stagecoach’s Chesterfield depot have voted by a substantial majority to accept an improved pay offer.

Fujitsu dispute settled

A long-running dispute between the Unite union and IT services company Fujitsu has been settled. Unite members at Fujitsu’s Central Park site in Manchester voted by 99.6 percent on an 89.2 percent turnout to accept the company’s offer for new agreements covering union recognition, redundancy and redeployment rights, pay and benefits.

Chainmakers’ festival success

Tony Benn joined over 1,000 trade unionists and activists at the chainmakers’ festival at the Black Country living history museum in Dudley last Saturday.

Respect Stonebridge campaign gets results and roots

A systematic campaign that sunk roots across a working class community paid dividends for Respect supporters in Brent, north west London, as they celebrated coming third in a council by-election on Thursday of last week.

Civil service workers strike at office of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Remploy workers are taking fight to Labour

Disabled workers battling to save Remploy factories are set to join the Unite union demonstration outside the Labour Party conference on Sunday.

Bob Crow, 'chavs' and the new media snobbery

The press coverage of the recent tube strike in London took me back to a different time, a time when union leaders seemed to rank a close third – behind the Moors murderers and cop-killer Harry Roberts – as public enemy number one.

TUC opposes neoliberal agenda on Europe and calls for referendum

The TUC took a stand against the neoliberal agenda in Europe last week and New Labour’s role in the race to the bottom by calling for a referendum on the latest European Union (EU) treaty.

TUC in brief

The TUC also backed a motion calling for a national demonstration in defence of public services.

Gordon Brown has a private agenda on housing

Gordon brown is faced with a major housing crisis and growing support for the fourth option (direct investment to improve existing and build new council homes). Because of this Brown has announced, ahead of Labour Party conference, £500 million for councils which build homes.

Cleaners protest for living wage at Lloyds

Cleaners from the T&G section of the Unite union demonstrated outside the Lloyds building in central London last Saturday.

New strikes to defend Karen Reissmann

Mental health workers in Manchester decided at a 120-strong union meeting last week to take two further days of action during next week’s Labour Party conference.

Nurses threaten to strike in Swansea

Around 150 nurses from the Morriston hospital in Swansea packed an angry union meeting last week, threatening to strike unless a swathe of job losses are reversed. Feelings are running so high that many felt that they should walk out immediately.

Document proves Royal Mail bosses are out to break the CWU

Royal Mail has put its cards on the table. For a small compromise on pay – a 6.7 percent rise over two years – it wants to rip up every national and local agreement between the company and the CWU postal workers’ union.

Germans protest against intervention in Afghan war

Some 10,000 people marched in Berlin last Saturday against Germany’s role in the Afghanistan war.

Post management goes on the offensive over start times

Almost immediately after the break up of talks with the CWU, Royal Mail sent out letters to thousands of postal workers telling them that their start times are to be changed.

CWU union rep hospitalised after clash

A clash took place last week between Royal Mail management at the Oxford mail centre and Bob Cullen, a leading CWU union rep, resulting in a complaint to the police.

NUS backs Stop the War demonstration outside parliament

The National Union of Students (NUS) has joined calls for people to attend the Stop the War national demonstration outside parliament on 8 October.

New Labour ousts key anti-war MP, Bob Wareing

Veteran anti-war Labour MP Bob Wareing has vowed to stand against New Labour after his constituency party deselected him from his Merseyside seat last week in favour of former minister Stephen Twigg.

Post office dispute enters crucial stage

The battle between Royal Mail bosses and the CWU postal workers’ union is at a crucial stage, the outcome of which will determine the future of the union in the industry.


International

Greek election sees drop in support for ruling party

The general election in Greece last weekend saw the ruling right wing New Democracy party retain power with a reduced majority.

Kenyan strike shows trouble brewing for tea giants

A strike by more than 10,000 tea pickers in Kenya in East Africa has won an 8 percent pay increase.

Rich try to sabotage Bolivia’s government

Thousands of poor farmers and indigenous activists marched through the Bolivian city of Sucre last week in support of constitutional changes proposed by President Evo Morales.


Comment

Schools policies fail young people

Children have returned to school after a summer which has seen an increased demonisation of young people.

A ‘sinister’ measure to criminalise our students

Staff at my school returned from the holiday expecting our head teacher to lead a training session on behaviour management. Instead she was attending a summit on gang culture at 10 Downing Street.

How Northern Rock ended up in a hard place

Bank runs were supposed to be a thing of the past, relics of the Victorian era or the Great Depression of the 1930s. But last weekend customers queued to withdraw a reported £2 billion from Northern Rock.


Features

The human cost of the construction site boom

Before the recent launch of a summit on safety with the construction industry, Peter Hain, the work and pensions secretary, said, "I will not tolerate an increase in construction deaths. Booming house building, yes. Booming infrastructure, yes. But not with the blood of workers in the foundations."

The media and young people - hyping up the new folk devils

Today the media portrayal of young people as a "problem" is widespread, but it is certainly not new. The demonisation of young people in Britain dates back at least to the 18th century, and tends to rise and fall in accord with broader changes and tensions in society.

London rapper Professor Green interviewed on the demonisation of young people

You released a track called Upper Clapton Dance that talks about crime and violence. Could you explain why you think it is has become so popular?

Little Rock and the fight to end school segregation

The campaign against school segregation in Little Rock in the US in September 1957 challenged a racist society. Ken Olende looks at the events

Racism and class solidarity in history of the US South

On the 50th anniversary of the campaign against school segregation in Little Rock, Ken Olende looks at how racism and class solidarity have always pulled the South in different directions

Analysing imperialism and resisting the First World War

In August 1914 the First World War broke out in Europe. Lenin, the Russian Bolshevik leader, had long argued that a war could create a revolutionary situation in which workers would rise up against the barbarism.


Reviews

La Radiolina - Manu Chao | Guiding Star - Vusi Mahlasela | Ladysmith Black Mambazo tour

La RadiolinaManu ChaoCD out now The incredibly popular musician Manu Chao returns with his third studio album, his first in six years.

Black Britain: A Photographic History

Rastafarians Malcolm Willidon and John Mills stand outside the Metro Community Centre, Notting Hill, London, which, as the sign says, is "occupied by the youths until the ILEA Inner London Education Authority meets for talks with us".

Dave Randall interviewed about Slovo's Todo Cambia album

The past few years have witnessed a flourishing of artistic and cultural forms that are inspired by the worldwide movements against war and globalisation. The band Slovo, with its latest album Todo Cambia, stands unashamedly in that category.


What We Think

The lies about Iran and the truth about Iraq

The mainstream media is usually keen on opinion polls, yet it curiously overlooked the results of a survey by the ORB agency last week.They asked 1,461 Iraqis how many household members had died as a result of the conflict since the 2003 invasion.


Other Categories

Tim: '...not Northern Iraq'

Leon Kuhn: 'Conviction' politicians

Letters

No applause for Brown I attended the TUC conference in Brighton last week and was present for Gordon Brown’s speech. I feel compelled to comment on Brown’s attitude towards public sector pay.

Who says?

"There are always good days and bad days."Adam Applegarth, the chief executive of Northern Rock

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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