Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1734

Dated: 10 Feb 2001



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Magnificent defiance

London's tube network ground to a halt on Monday. Train drivers in the ASLEF union threw up picket lines at depots across the capital, and other workers refused to cross them.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fighting privatisation strikes a popular mood

London Underground management was forced to admit that Monday's strike paralysed the tube.

Standing up to cuts

Thousands of Hackney council workers in east London struck solidly for three days last week.

Oxford Postal Workers: 'We're not scared of anti-union laws'

Around 900 postal workers were on unofficial illegal strike in Oxfordshire as Socialist Worker went to press.

March to stop PFI

"We urge our supporters to be on the streets of Birmingham on 3 March. There is strength in numbers and we are determined to get our message against privatisation across to the government."

GM's 'divide and rule' tactics

"This is back to divide and rule." So said a Vauxhall car worker in Luton this week. The result of the strike ballot by Vauxhall workers for action to save the Luton plant was to be announced at the end of this week.

Rolls-Royce workers are not rolling over to globalisation

"We will be on the picket lines from 6.30am on Friday. Rolls-Royce will not listen to us. We don't have any choice but to strike."

The good reasons to dump Keith Vaz

Keith Vaz, the junior Foreign Office minister, is the latest leading New Labour figure to be hit by accusations of corruption. He certainly enjoyed the company of rich people as much as the disgraced Peter Mandelson did.

Why Refugees are not our enemies

There were many important issues that New Labour could have homed in on this week. They included job losses, privatisation, low pay and the state of public services.

Teachers: 'Strike, Strike, Strike!'

There hasn't been a meeting of teachers like the one which took place in London last week for at least 15 years.

Air traffic control

Air Traffic controllers in the IPMS union voted at a delegate conference last weekend to ballot members on strike action if the government continues its plans to privatise the National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

Blair's Britain

The cost of childcare has soared under New Labour to an average of £6,000 a year. A survey by the reputable Daycare Trust released this week found that a typical nursery place for a two year old now costs £110 a week. That's £30 a week more than in 1997 when New Labour was elected. In London the typical cost is now £135 a week, putting childcare "out of many parents' reach", says the trust. At the same time many councils are also cutting back on nursery places. The facts make a nonsense of the government's claims to have put working families with childcare at the centre of its policies.

Corus cuts devastate whole communities

"They call it Corus. It ought to be Con Us. They con us into working harder and harder for them, they get our union leaders and the government to go along with them, and then they throw us on the scrap heap if they can't make enough money," says Henry Williams.

SWP news: Standard rating

Monday's London Evening Standard reported on the tube strike in London that "at least 16 main stations and depots were picketed, with many of the Aslef members being joined by RMT personnel and Socialist Workers Party activists".

Turn up the heat on New Labour

We had a very successful meeting of Brighton and Hove Socialist Alliance last week.

Universities & Schools

Students at Glasgow University staged a "die-in" outside the Student Representative Council offices last week.

Civil servants

Many delegates at the PCS national forum for pay negotiators were angry at the government's tight restrictions on civil service pay.

In Brief

Some 120 people packed into a meeting in York last week to fight proposals to build a shopping centre next to the historic Clifford's Tower.

Unions united in solidarity

Some 1,300 council workers in Knowsley, members of the public sector union UNISON, struck on Thursday of last week against our bosses' plans to make us work longer hours. The strike was absolutely solid across the council.

Union Rights - Unofficial Action

Willerby Holiday Homes was shut down on Thursday and Friday of last week after 300 UCATT union members staged an unofficial strike in support of their demands for full time on-site shop stewards.

Postal workers

Royal Mail workers across Britain are voting on the latest pay deal. After months of negotiations, management and union leaders have agreed a 3.2 percent increase.

Defending asylum seekers

Around 250 people marched through Leicester last Saturday in solidarity with asylum seekers following the death of Ramin Khaleghi, the refugee who took his own life two weeks ago.

Alder case

The Police Federation has failed in its latest attempt to overturn the Christopher Alder inquest verdict of unlawful killing.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Over 120 firefighters attended a Holocaust memorial meeting at London Fire Brigade headquarters.

Israel elects war criminal Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon, the man responsible for the massacre of 2,000 Palestinian refugees in West Beirut in 1982, is now the head of the only nuclear power in the Middle East.


International


Comment

Does Brown back Old or New Labour?

You can tell an election is on the way. Last Monday's Guardian signalled that Gordon Brown is planning a £3 billion package aimed at families with children. Some believe there's more to this than just the usual hustling for votes. Roy Hattersley argues the New Labour project was already dead before Peter Mandelson's fall:


Features

Another world is possible! Thousands attend counter-conference tour

The Globalise Resistance counter-conference tour got under way last weekend with inspirational meetings in Glasgow and London.

A message to our readers

Regular readers of Socialist Worker will have noticed some changes in the paper in the last three weeks. We are devoting more pages than before to reports of meetings, protests, strike ballots and strikes. And on each of the pages there are more reports than before.

The tests treadmill

Have you noticed how David Blunkett is becoming rattier and rattier with every interview he faces?

BSE: They say it's all over-it isn't

BSE-"mad cow disease"- has suddenly become a key issue right across Europe. In France, Italy, Greece, Spain and, above all, Germany, beef consumption has slumped by up to 40 percent in the wake of a sudden rise in BSE cases.


Reviews

The Claim: Frontiers of land rights and wrongs

The Claim is a big screen adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1886 novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, but with a difference.

Earth Story

On the evidence of the first episode the new series Earth Story (7.10pm, BBC2, continues from Monday 12 February) someone in the BBC has remembered the corporation's supposed commitment to "public service broadcasting".

Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years

Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years is the television adaptation of Sue Townsend's diaries of Adrian Mole. Adrian Mole is now 30 and working as a chef at Hoi Polloi, a restaurant catering for yuppies.


What We Think


Other Categories

Letters: Still up against racism

A 1996 report into policing in Tottenham, north London, described how officers believed they were "at war" with the local community. Despite the promises made after the Lawrence report two years ago, that war is still going on. People in Tottenham are sickened by the continuing casualties.

Cabinet full of Frankensteins

Just who will be pulling the strings under new US president George W Bush? Take a look at some of the key figures in Bush's new government.



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