Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2072

Dated: 13 Oct 2007




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Strikers tell Brown: ‘We won’t bottle it’

This week postal workers have dealt Royal Mail bosses a massive blow with our two 48-hour strikes. The action was extremely solid across the country and management’s prediction that this strike would be the end of the union is now looking very foolish.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Jean Charles de Menezes: Israel advised Met Police on suicide bombings

A senior police officer giving evidence in the trial of the Metropolitan Police over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, said that the Israeli security forces had given advice to the Met on handling suicide bombers.

More evidence of Iraq occupation’s failure

More evidence of Iraq occupation’s failure

Reports round-up

Good sense at Gramsci school Over 90 people attended a dayschool on the revolutionary legacy of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci in Edinburgh last Saturday.

Respect’s concerns over Crossrail plans

The government last week announced that £16 billion funding had been acquired to fund the Crossrail project for London and the south east of England. City businesses, the government and fare revenues will fund Crossrail.

Pensions fight in the offing at Siemens

Thousands of workers at the Siemens electronics group are set to ballot for strikes over plans to close the company’s final salary pension scheme to all members.

HSE to investigate death at Milford Haven terminal

Safety fears over the liquefied natural gas terminal at Milford Haven in Wales were raised again last week after a worker was killed when a maintenance barge collapsed.

More strikes planned for Karen Reissmann

Hundreds of health workers in Manchester mental health trust are set to take further strike action in defence of their Unison union branch chair Karen Reissmann.

SW Appeal reaches £73,029

Help us raise £150,000 – support the paper that's on your side.

Urgent push for yes vote in civil service

Hundreds of thousands of civil service workers in the PCS union are taking part in a consultative ballot about the next stage in their action against 100,000 job cuts, low pay and privatisation.

Industrial action due on London buses

Thousands of bus drivers at companies across London are heading towards industrial action over pay.

Local government activists get campaign for strike underway

Across the country local government activists are campaigning for a huge yes vote in the Unison union strike ballot over pay.

All out strike by classroom assistants in Northern Ireland

More than 3,000 classroom assistants in Northern Ireland went on all-out strike this week.

Local government round-up

Anger at single status deal in Angus Council workers in Angus in Scotland have been hit by a new single status pay deal which has seen wage packets cut by up to £1,000.

Further education strikes in Edinburgh

Further education lecturers in the EIS union at Edinburgh’s Telford College have begun a series of twice weekly strikes to stop the introduction of agency labour.

Lecturers in pay ballot

Delegates representing some 100 UCU union branches in further education colleges across England voted at a special conference last Saturday to ballot over pay.

Marching over gun and knife crime: ‘We can’t just meet at funerals’

A march in north London, against gun and knife crime is set to take place this Sunday. The march has been organised by Communities Against Gun and Knife Crime – an organisation that aims to target the reasons behind crime and campaign for better resources for young people.

Olympic nightmare: the Barcelona experience

The famous architect Richard Rogers wrote in July 2005, when the Olympics were awarded to London, that "the Barcelona standard is what we have to achieve".

Anti-war march to parliament beats the ban

"This has been a bad couple of days for Gordon Brown," quipped a pensioner as he stepped out down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square.

‘Burning flame of anger against injustice’

The rally in Trafalgar Square got off to a rousing start when Stop the War’s chair, Andrew Murray, told the crowd that police had caved in and allowed the march to proceed.

Sense of victory as the protest goes ahead

Campaigners from across Britain shared a feeling of achievement that the movement had beaten the ban and that they had got the anti-war message across.

Video of Not One More Death demonstration

The British Government tried to ban this demonstration using a Victorian law. They were finally forced to allow the march to take place. Police tried to limit the number of protesters in Parliament Square but were forced to allow the march to proceed.

Darzi report’s private threat to health service

The Darzi report into the future of the NHS published last week restated the government’s commitment to the privatisation of the health service.


International

German train drivers in strike over pay

Train drivers in Germany’s GDL union held a successful three-hour strike on Friday of last week, bringing much of the country’s rail network to a halt.

Bangladesh erupts in struggle once again

Hundreds of garment workers in Bangladesh have been fighting pitched battles with the army, police and thugs hired by their bosses in an effort to win basic rights such as having their wages paid and not being assaulted by factory owners.

Iraqi protest against wall

Over 1,000 Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad last Saturday against the US occupation and its plans to carve up the city by building walls between Sunni and Shia areas. They chanted "No to the wall, no to America."


Comment

Labour bottles election to give itself more time to implement its neoliberal ‘vision’

After weeks of speculation Gordon Brown last week announced that he would not call a general election this autumn.

UCU a correction

In our issue dated 6 October we published an article which said London solicitor Anthony Julius had given legal advice to the UCU union. We have since learned that he had nothing whatsoever to do with providing legal advice to the union. In accordance with our usual practice, we take this opportunity to correct this error at the earliest opportunity.

Tory tax plans expose Gordon Brown

What may have saved the Tories from a general election in 2007 was the promise made by shadow chancellor George Osborne last week to raise the threshold for inheritance tax from £300,000 to £1 million.


Features

Why strikes matter

Over the past week many socialists, trade unionists and campaigners across Britain have visited postal workers’ picket lines to express solidarity and support for the strikers. It is taken for granted today that socialists should support strikes in this way.

Colonial revolts and the West

The prominent role of revolutionaries from Asia in the Communist International marked a breakthrough for the world socialist movement.

The true cost of rising food prices

Have you noticed the rise in prices for food in the shops recently?

How uprisings can be stopped in their tracks

We discussed last week how mass movements can transform the lives of their participants – and how they thus contain the possibility, but not the inevitability, of revolution.

Jordan: rebellion of the poor against food prices

The rising cost of food is hitting the poorest hard, creating shortages and kicking off a wave of protests.

Mexico food crisis: life, death and tortillas

Rapid price rises in the cost of tortillas provoked angry demonstrations across Mexico earlier this year. Over 75,000 trade unionists, agricultural workers and others joined the biggest demonstration through Mexico City.

Show of strength on picket lines

Postal workers across the country showed their determination this week and last over four days of solid strikes.

A determined mood in the heart of Essex

It’s just before six in the morning and around 50 striking postal workers have gathered for a gate meeting outside their delivery office in Loughton – the heart of the Essex stockbroker belt of outer east London.

Pressure in Streatham

Managers at the Streatham delivery office in south west London are responding to the union’s "do the job properly" campaign by trying to force workers to break health and safety agreements.

No compromise over job losses, pay and conditions

There was speculation that management and the CWU union may be approaching an agreement to end the dispute as Socialist Worker went to press.

Bullying from Royal Mail

Watford Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier shouts "cobblers" at those who accuse his managers of trying to force postal workers to work beyond their hours to "get the job done".

Strike sparks row over Labour Party funding

An argument is raging about the future of the relationship between the postal workers’ CWU union and the Labour Party.

New dates for action

Mail centres and airports: Monday 15 October from 6pm until Tuesday 16 October, 6pm. Expect continual picket lines, with more at shift changes.Delivery offices: Tuesday 16 October from 3am until Wednesday 17 October, 3am. Picketing from about 5am until 7am on Wednesday.

Nine Elms walks out on unofficial strike, Wednesday 10 October

Hundreds of postal workers at the Nine Elms mail centre in southwest London have today walked out in an unofficial dispute after their management told them that overtime at the office would cease.

Great mood in Ipswich

The last day of the national postal strikes saw a fantastic spontaneous march by 100 postal workers through the centre of Ipswich chanting "What do we want? Fair pay!When do we want it? Now!". This was followed by a mass meeting of 300 posties to discuss how to take the campaign forward in Ipswich.

Unofficial walkouts hit post on Wednesday 10 October

Postal workers walked out unofficially this morning, just hours after many had returned to work following an official 48-hour strike.

More postal workers join unofficial strikes on Thursday 11 October

The stakes in the dispute between Royal Mail and the CWU union grew today as unofficial strike action in Royal Mail continued to spread. Offices in south east London joined striking colleagues in east and south west London, and there is now a real possibility that all offices and mail centres in London will join the action within the next 24 hours.

Adam ‘Cobblers’ Crozier’s Spanish insult is cause for complaint

Royal Mail boss Adam "Cobblers" Crozier is known for his mocking, loutish way of speaking, but by slurring post workers for their supposed "Spanish practices", he has upset more people than usual.

Post walkouts spread across Britain on Friday 12 October

Postal workers escalated their unofficial strike action against Royal Mail today, with scores of new offices in different parts of Britain walking out. Aggressive office managers demanding changes to usual working practices provoked many of the walkouts.


Reviews

Senso

Luchino Visconti is best known for his film The Leopard, about Sicily amid the struggle for Italian unification.

The Lives Of Others

The Lives Of Others tells the story of Wiesler, a member of East Germany’s secret police assigned to spy on Georg, a playwright suspected of being critical of the Communist state.

Gilad Atzmon: taking refuge in the music

The saxophonist Gilad Atzmon is part of a new wave of jazz artists creating exciting music in Britain. His new album Refuge is a tour de force – a work of beauty, subtlety and depth.

John Everett Millais: rebel Victorian who sold out to commerce

The tate Britain’s latest blockbuster exhibition showcases the work of the Victorian artist John Everett Millais. He is most famous for his founding role in the innovative and rebellious Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. But Millais is also well known for subsequently selling out and painting sentimental pictures for commercial gain.

Michael Clayton

This film sees George Clooney playing an Irish-American former district attorney whose invaluable freelance fixing helps keep a big New York law firm on the rails.


What We Think

Gordon Brown triangulates himself into a corner over election

Despite some polls last week no one seriously believed the Tories had a chance of beating Gordon Brown in a general election. But because of his obsession with "triangulation", the prime minister still managed to create chaos over whether or not to call a snap poll.


Other Categories

Tim: 'Cobblers'

Letters

Campaign for Khaled Mudallal The Israeli Supreme Court last week turned down a petition put forward by Israeli human rights organisations in defence of Palestinian student Khaled Mudallal.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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