Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2112

Dated: 02 Aug 2008

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Tax the energy giants and cut fuel bills

Millions of people across Britain are struggling with soaring household energy bills. The government could act to ease the pain by taxing oil and gas firms, or imposing a limit on price rises. Instead it refuses to do anything that would harm profits.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Argos workers vote to continue strikes

Warehouse and distribution workers in the Unite union at retail giant Argos have overwhelmingly voted to continue with their programme of strike action against below inflation pay.

Strikes are just the ticket on Metroline buses

Bus workers at Metroline in north and north west London have voted overwhelmingly to say that they are prepared to go on strike over pay. Some 98 percent of drivers – 1,609 to 37 – voted in favour of taking strike action in a consultative ballot held on Friday of last week.

PCS debate: ‘Why DWP executive voted against joining the July Public Sector strike’

DWP union leaders made right decision by Jane Aitchison and John McInally

Croydon teachers may ballot over academies

The NUT union in Croydon, south London, may ballot for industrial action over plans to reorganise secondary education and introduce academies.

Argos workers win concessions on pay

Strikes have forced bosses at high street giant Argos to improve their 3.8 percent pay offer to warehouse and distribution workers. The company now says it is prepared to give workers 4.1 percent immediately, to be followed by 2 percent in December and 2 percent in August next year.

More strikes on Network Rail

Around 12,000 maintenance workers at Network Rail struck for a second time last weekend in their fight for the harmonisation of pay and conditions across the company.

London Underground workers strike for colleague’s reinstatement

Around 100 London Underground staff at Elephant & Castle, Charing Cross and Lambeth North struck for 24 hours from Sunday evening to demand the reinstatement of a colleague.

Passport workers walk out

Up to 3,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union at the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) struck for three days from Wednesday to Friday of last week over a restructuring that threatens over 100 job cuts, and over other issues.

Promen's pay strike continues in Beccles

Workers in the Unite union at Promens plastic packaging in Beccles, Suffolk, have stepped up their campaign for decent pay as they enter their third week of industrial action.

Reports round-up

Build support for Karen Reissmann Karen Reissmann, the nurse who blew the whistle on the crisis in mental health care in Manchester and was subsequently sacked, is taking her employers to employment tribunal in the autumn.

Talks in council dispute

There are new talks in the local government dispute against Gordon Brown’s pay curbs that saw over half a million people on strike last month.

Against the witch-hunt in Unison

Around 70 activists from Unison and other unions came to a meeting last week to discuss "Is there a witch-hunt in Unison?"

Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals strike

Members of the Unite union at Arrowe Park Hospital and Clatterbridge hospital in Merseyside struck on Friday of last week in response to attempts by managers to impose monthly pay. Support staff, including catering staff and cleaners, walked out.

Reopen the health service pay deal

The three year pay deal for NHS workers, agreed in April, is now under such severe strain that there is almost universal agreement across the Unison union that it needs to be reopened.

The battle for the post

CWU’s national conference passed a motion that prepared the ground for a national fight over pensions, office closures and the threat of privatisation.

Knife crime: Survey reveals young people’s growing fears

Politicians and the media continue to call for crackdowns on young people as the way to deal with knife crime.

Join the march in Kent to stop the multinational companies polluting our planet

Environmental activists and trade unionists will demonstrate this Sunday 3 August against the proposed building of a new coal-fired power station by private company E.on at Kingsnorth in Kent.

Rallying Stoke to drive back the fascist BNP

Stoke day of action Campaigners are stepping up the fight against the fascist British National Party (BNP) across the country.

Protest for Guantanamo detainee

On Thursday 24 July Binyam Mohamed turned 30. For six years he has been held without trial by the US in Guantanamo Bay.

West fights a losing battle on Afghanistan

One year ago British defence secretary Des Browne was asked if the occupation in Afghanistan had "turned the corner".

US troops have Iran in their sights

The US is planning to send tens of thousands of troops to Iraq’s border with Iran in a move that threatens to escalate tensions across the Middle East.

Government ban on Iraq oil workers' union withdrawn

The Iraqi government has withdrawn an order banning eight key union organisers belonging to the powerful Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU).

Hospital march in Bridlington

Labour’s Glasgow East defeat is down to policies

Labour’s defeat in Glasgow East last week was historic. The constituency is one of Labour’s heartlands.

Anger at plans to sell off post offices card account

New Labour ministers are set to put up for sale a public service that is vital to the lives of pensioners and some of the poorest sections of the population.

No expense spared when it comes to booze for MPs

New figures have revealed the massive subsidies doled out to MPs in the bars of the House of Commons. They have also exposed the government’s hypocrisy over "binge drinking".

Charter backed by workers, pensioners and students

Support is growing for the People Before Profit Charter, which aims to defend workers’ living standards in the face of looming economic disaster.

Join the hundreds signing petition for Egyptian Mahalla detainees

Solidarity with the people of Mahalla – Stop the show trial of Egyptian protesters We the undersigned express our full solidarity with the 49 Egyptian citizens, whom the Mubarak regime has decided to prosecute in an Emergency High State Security Criminal Court, accused of involvement in the two day uprising in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla in April.


Italy’s communists shift left after defeat

The largest party of the European radical left, Rifondazione Comunista of Italy, held its national congress last weekend and made a decisive shift to the left.

Anger at Zimbabwe ‘unity’ talks

Negotiations aimed at ending Zimbabwe’s political crisis were stalled as Socialist Worker went to press.

Assault on Hamas intensifies in Palestine

Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas have launched a crackdown on the Hamas resistance movement in the occupied West Bank.

Protest march in Zimbabwe

About 300 members of Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) marched through the country’s second city Bulawayo yesterday afternoon.


Gordon Brown is in a hole but keeps digging

For many people the one thing Gordon Brown had going for him was that he wasn’t Tony Blair. But in less than a year Brown has managed to make himself more unpopular than Blair, both inside and outside the Labour Party.

The WTO: trading in the rights of the poor

Gordon Brown often seeks refuge from a disastrous domestic scene by banging on about the Doha round of international talks on trade liberalisation.


Hadrian and the limits of empire

Insurrection in the cities of Iraq. Mass resistance across Palestine. Foreign troops bogged down and facing defeat. A crisis for western imperialism in the Middle East.

Unions need to build among migrant workers

To read the newspapers you would think that migrant workers were a new phenomenon – and a problematic one at that. What concerns the media though is a certain kind of migration.

Poland’s left turn

Poland has been presented as a neoliberal success story in eastern Europe. And against the background of recession and near recession in several European Union (EU) countries, Polish economic growth looks quite healthy – it is currently 6.4 percent.

Voices from Poland’s left: ‘We must organise working people or remain on the margins’

Boguslaw Zietek – leader of the August 80 trade union and the Polish Labour Party (PPP) ‘A formation is needed that is rooted in society, which will implement a programme aimed at wage earners in general.

Poland timeline

1945 Poland falls under Russia’s sphere of influence following the Second World War. A dictatorship modeled on Joseph Stalin’s Russia is imposed on the country.1956 A workers’ uprising breaks out in the city of Poznan involving over 100,000 people. It is brutally put down by troops but inspires the creation of workers’ councils in factories in other parts of Poland. It is two years before the movement is crushed.1980 A strike movement sweeps the country in response to an increase in food prices. The Solidarity trade union is formed. It wins massive support and becomes the main opposition to the regime, which is f

Battling US capitalism and union corruption

The early decades of the 20th century in the US were dominated by dramatic changes in capitalism – and profound resistance by ordinary people.

A ‘fertiliser bomb’, secret services and fertile imaginations?

Seven men were arrested in March 2004 following the discovery of more than half a tonne of chemical fertiliser in storage in west London.


Pollok Family Day

A day long festival with four entertainment arenas showing live music as well as games, a craft fair and food stalls.

3rd Dimension Graffiti sculpture exhibition

An exhibition of cutting-edge 3D street art and graff sculpture, featuring the world’s most groundbreaking and renowned graffiti artists.

Eclectica Music Festival

Big names and small share the bill at this Love Music Hate Racism supported festival.

West Side Story: one hell of a production

The fiftieth anniversary of the musical West Side Story is celebrated by a new stage production, with superb choreography and music that brings this saddest of tales to life.

Batman: Taking the Dark Knight back into the shadows

The latest Hollywood superhero blockbuster, The Dark Knight, has broken all box office records, raking in almost $160 million on its first weekend in the US.

What We Think

Space travel: say goodbye to the rich

Virgin’s Richard Branson is laying on a three and half hour trip 70 miles up into the stratosphere to the edge of space for the world’s super-rich, where travellers can experience just four to six minutes of weightlessness.

Lessons for the left on supporting coalition governments

Where the radical left has participated in centre-left governments the results have been universally disastrous.

Olympics: Repression behind corporate festival

In the final weeks before the Olympic games begin in Beijing, the Chinese state has cracked down on "undesirables" – human rights activists, migrant workers from western China and the city’s poor.

Other Categories

Tim: Drunk MPs



Who says?

"Many of the generation that some have called Thatcher’s children – the lost generation – were sadly denied the chance to progress."Gordon Brown blames his tea guest Margaret Thatcher for the problems he faces today

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