Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2107

Dated: 28 Jun 2008

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We can strike back

Gordon Brown, chancellor Alistair Darling, and Bank of England governor Mervyn King lined up last week to deliver pious lectures on why workers must accept wage cuts to help stop inflation.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Reports round-up

Fujitsu bosses hit by strike Around 140 workers at the Fujitsu electronic components factory in Birmingham struck on Tuesday of this week in a fight against the transfer of jobs to the US.

What’s Happening: The truth about work and the myth of work-life balance

A number of prominent trade unionists have contributed to a new pamphlet entitled, What’s Happening: The truth about work and the myth of work-life balance.

National Shop Stewards Network conference

The National Shop Stewards Network is holding its national conference in central London this Saturday 28 June.

Soas cleaners gain London Living Wage

The Justice for Cleaners campaign at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) won a major victory last week by gaining the London Living Wage for its cleaners.

Pimlico school strike

Some 66 members of the NUT union at Pimlico School struck on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Second one day strike at Lady Margaret primary school

Members of the NUT union in Lady Margaret primary school in Ealing, west London, held a second one-day strike on Wednesday of last week.

Bolton’s growing revolt against academies

Members of the NUT teachers’ union shut down the Withins School in Bolton on Wednesday of last week by striking over plans to transfer the school out of local authority control and turn it into an academy.

Newcastle doctors’ anger at exclusion from planning

Doctors in Newcastle are outraged that they have been "effectively excluded" from plans to create three new surgeries in the city – and that private medical firms have been allowed to run them instead.

York journalists vow to fight redundancies

Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the Press and the Gazette & Herald in York have vowed to fight compulsory redundancies after the newspapers’ owners Newsquest announced the loss of eight jobs in the editorial department.

RMT conference

Delegates were meeting at the RMT rail workers conference in Nottingham this week to discuss many crucial issues for the union.

Network Rail strike set to go ahead

Around 330 station staff in the RMT and TSSA rail workers’ unions are set to strike for 24 hours from Thursday of this week over compulsory redundancies at Network Rail.

East Midlands rail strike suspended

A planned strike by 130 East Midlands Trains senior conductors in the RMT union set for last weekend was suspended pending the outcome of talks.

Underground cleaners to strike for London Living Wage

Around 700 cleaners on the London Underground are set to strike for 24 hours from Thursday of this week to win the London living wage of at least £7.20 an hour, and for better working conditions.

Unison conference: Labour challenged

Frustration and anger with the government ran through the national delegate conference of the public sector workers’ Unison union in Bournemouth last week.

Unison conference: victimisations

Some 300 people crammed into a Unison union conference fringe meeting in defence of well known activists who are being victimised by their own union.

Unison conference: Fremantle

Workers from the long running battle for workers’ rights at Fremantle, the private firm that runs care homes in Barnet, north London, received rapturous from the conference.

Unison conference: teaching assistants

A debate on teaching assistants heard a series of shocking accounts of management bullying.

Unison conference: Karen Reissmann

Karen Reissmann, the whistle-blowing nurse and trade union activist who was sacked after more than two decades of service, continues to fight her case.

Health workers reject ‘shoddy’ below-inflation deal

Unite’s 100,000 members in health have balloted overwhelmingly to reject three years of pay cuts.

Unison result boosts fightback over pay

The growing campaign against Gordon Brown’s war on workers’ wages took a major step forward this week after local government workers voted to strike.

Edinburgh protest against creche closure

Shell drivers' victory shows how we can beat pay freeze

The victory by Shell tanker drivers last week shows how workers can defend their living standards in the face of rising inflation and attempts by bosses and the government to hold wages down.

Simon Mann, Equatorial Guinea and the reality of Western 'military intervention'

The next time politicians or the media demand that the West should "sort out Africa", we should remember the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004.

'This deal is a springboard to unionise our workplaces'

A sign of the growing confidence many workers feel could be seen at a Unite union meeting for tanker and wagon driver representatives from many different companies on Wednesday of last week.

A challenge to the companies that profit from London's buses

London bus drivers are gearing up for a summer offensive. The campaign, organised by the Unite union, is bringing together 28,000 bus drivers, engineers and supervisors from across the capital and from within the private bus companies.

Martyn Paul Gilleard: the Nazi who had nail bombs

The reality of the intentions of Britain’s Nazis was revealed last week. Martyn Paul Gilleard from Goole was on trial at Leeds Crown Court.

New sponsors for academies: schools go nuclear

Jacobs Engineering Group (JEG) is a "strategic partner" at Atomic Weapons Establishment – which manufactures atomic warheads for the ministry of defence. Sellafield is a nuclear site in Cumbria.

Afghanistan: a war that won't be won by Nato's occupation

According to recent pronouncements by British ministers, US officials and Nato generals, the war in Afghanistan is almost over. All that is required is one final surge of troops and the Taliban will surrender, they say.

UAF march: unions and young people rage against fascist BNP

Thousands of people took to the streets of London last Saturday to join the national march against the fascist British National Party (BNP).

Israel's latest threat to drop bombs on Iran

The dangers of a war on Iran moved one step closer last week as Israel conducted a "training mission" over the eastern Mediterranean sea.

Campaigners out to step up fight to stop the far right

People came to Saturday’s demonstration from up and down the country.

US Democrats back funds for endless war

The US Congress has approved a £83 billion war chest for Afghanistan and Iraq – with the vital votes of the Democrats. The new round of funding will push the cost of the occupations to £330 billion.


Gaza truce is a blow to US and Israel

The ceasefire announced last week between Israel and Hamas will bring much needed relief to the 1.4 million Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip.

Turkish marchers raise their voices against coup threat

Thousands marched in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday against the possibility of a military coup.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe cracks down on opposition

The situation in Zimbabwe continued to deteriorate as Socialist Worker went to press.


South Africa: revolution delayed

Nelson Mandela, jailed for 27 years for fighting the apartheid regime in South Africa, is an inspiration to millions fighting for freedom and justice around the world.

Workers are paying the price for the rising cost of oil

The rising cost of oil is hitting people hard right across the world. By raising the price of all energy, it has a direct effect on people’s ability to heat their homes and on the cost of travelling to and from work.


Inflation: the poor pay more

The rising cost of living is leaving millions of workers in Britain in poverty. Spiralling food prices have pushed inflation to a 16-year high.

Do wage rises push up prices?

Government ministers responded to news of rising inflation figures with a single message – it’s time to crack down on wage rises. Prices for food, fuel and other basics may be going through the roof, but that just means workers must "tighten their belts".

Case studies: how does inflation affect you?

Health worker Fiona, 22, has worked as a physiotherapist at a hospital in Cumbria for 18 months. She works full time and earns just over £20,000 a year.

Crisis and revolt

One year on from Gordon Brown becoming prime minister, we have passed a tipping point. At some time in recent weeks a number of events have added up to create a shift in the political situation in this country.

James Connolly: a socialist rebel against the empire

On 12 May 1916, James Connolly was shot by a British army firing squad for helping to lead the Dublin Easter Rising. His execution shocked the labour movement across the world.


60th anniversary of the NHS

The NHS turns 60 on 5 July and the BBC is marking the occasion with a week of TV and radio programmes looking at the history, development and current state of Britain’s health service.

Unstated - Topher Campbell

Unstated is a powerful story based on the true stories of refugees in Britain.

Mad Men DVD

Mad Men is a fascinating look at the changing social and cultural face of the US in the 1960s through the prism of an advertising agency in New York.

Adulthood: opportunity to undermine the media’s myths missed

Every day brings another headline about young people, gangs and guns. In this coverage – which seems expressly designed to spread panic – attempts to understand what is going on are drowned out by repeated calls for a crackdown.

Tim Sanders: blowing raspberries at the rich and powerful

An Independent Line is a new book and exhibition at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London featuring cartoons by the Independent newspaper’s three editorial cartoonists – Dave Brown, Peter Schrank and Tim Sanders, whose work also graces this paper.

What We Think

Tories’ true colours revealed

Remember the caring, huggable Tory leader David Cameron? This week he returned to form by demanding the government gets "tough" with strikes.

Embracing GM Foods, embracing the powerful

Environment minister Phil Woolas last week appeared to shift government policy towards embracing genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to the food crisis.

Some housing traditions that need reviving

What keeps you awake at night? For many people the answer is housing. A survey this week found that one in four households are suffering stress or depression because of rising housing costs.

Other Categories


Who was to blame for Bush protest violence? I was confused about the reasons why the police reacted so violently to our recent demonstration against George Bush’s visit to Britain two weekends ago – everyone knows that our anti-war protests have always been peaceful.

Who says?

"Look inside your tiny mind, then look a bit harder/’Cos we’re so uninspired, so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbour."Lily Allen in her new song about the BNP

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