Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2118

Dated: 13 Sep 2008




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Seize this chance for a united fight over pay

Chancellor Alistair Darling claims that the purpose of his government is to create "fairness". His definition seems a long way from that understood by most people.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Rotherham’s carnival was a show of defiance against the Nazis

The fascist British National Party (BNP) is on the march again – but we can build a mass movement to stop them in their tracks. That was the message last weekend coming from Rotherham and Stoke-on-Trent, two key targets for the BNP Nazis.

BNP plans to hold a fascist rally in Stoke

The BNP plans to hold a fascist rally in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday of next week to whip up race hatred against Muslims.

Reports round-up

Yunus and Tony defend ruling Campaigners for Yunus Bakhsh were angered to hear that Unison is stepping up its attack on him. Yunus was sacked from his job as a nurse for his union activities and is now facing disciplinary action by his own Unison union.

Crucial vote on Sheffield academy

Parents and teachers in Sheffield demanding high quality state education are preparing for a massive no campaign in a ground-breaking ballot on whether a local school is turned into an academy.

Whistleblower dismissed at Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer (M&S) conducts surveillance of its staff, who live in a culture of fear, according to Tony Goode who was dismissed by the company after speaking to journalists.

London cleaners rally for pay justice

Around 25 cleaners, including workers from Eurostar and London Underground who have struck over pay in recent weeks, joined other activists at a meeting in central London last week to discuss ongoing disputes, recent victories and future strategies.

FE lecturers should build on joint action

Further education lecturers in the UCU union have shown that striking works. We were initially offered a 2.5 percent pay deal. But after our members took strike action, management upped this to 3.2 percent from October this year.

Lecturers’ round-up

Barnsley college Over 120 members of the UCU union at Barnsley college joined a lunchtime protest on Wednesday of last week to demand the immediate reinstatement of Bob Willerton, a UCU rep who was sacked the day before.

Convention of the left

Manchester will be a key rallying point against war and free market policies next weekend.

Sheffield star journalists vow to keep future bright

Journalists at Sheffield Newspapers were due to walk out on Wednesday of this week in protest at job losses.

Health cuts could lead to new protests

The prospect of cuts to vital services in hospitals up and down the country remerged last week as an "independent" panel backed health authority plans to downgrade services at two hospitals.

Unite plans action over Health Service pay

The Unite union, which represents over 100,000 NHS workers, is set to continue the fight for decent pay in the health service.

Camden public meeting opposes GP privatisation

A packed public meeting last week buoyed campaigners against the privatisation of the NHS in Camden, north London.

Scotland prepares for next round of local government strikes

More than 120 delegates from Unison local government branches across Scotland met in Glasgow last week to discuss the way forward for their pay campaign.

Early warning signals of attacks on local government ‘green book’

After two fantastic days of strike action in July there appears to be a worrying twist in the fight for decent pay for local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Democracy: Crisis And Renewal

At the beginning of the 21st century there are more countries across the world with governments that are subject to election than ever before in history.

TUC conference: Union leaders reflect growing pay anger

The growing frustration and anger against Gordon Brown’s determination to make workers pay for the economic crisis broke through at the TUC conference this week.

TUC conference: tensions between unions and New Labour

Delegates to the TUC conference were clearly angry with the government not just over pay, but over the direction of the Labour Party.

TUC conference: abortion debate

The TUC overwhelmingly voted to call for an end to anti-abortion attacks on women’s rights and for improved access to abortion services. Their demands included extending abortion rights for women in Northern Ireland.

TUC conference: Fringe meeting on neoliberalism in the EU

A packed fringe meeting organised by the RMT transport workers’ union saw Tony Benn, Unite's Irish regional secretary Jimmy Kelly and the RMT’s Bob Crow speak against the neoliberal drive in the European Union (EU).

TUC conference backs call for windfall tax

All the unions at the TUC backed the call for a windfall tax on the super profits of the energy companies.

Metrobus workers are the latest to join London-wide battle of the buses

Around 1,000 bus workers at Metrobus in south east London are set to join the pay battle on the London buses when they strike alongside 2,500 First Bus workers on Friday of this week.

PCS plans to ramp up civil service pay campaign

More than a quarter of a million workers across the civil service in the PCS union will vote on strike action in protest at the government’s pay policy.

Teachers will ballot for national strike action

The executive of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) agreed unanimously last week to ballot members for discontinuous strike action against a below inflation 2.45 percent pay deal.

Meetings mobilise for Manchester anti-war demonstration

Support is growing for next weekend’s anti-war demonstration outside the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

Victory as the military are kicked off North London campus

Activists at the College of North East London (Conel) in Tottenham won a major victory last week when they kicked the military off their campus.

Death in custody: how did Sean Rigg die?

Investigations are underway into two recent incidents of black men in south London dying after either being chased or arrested by police.

Flooding: another disaster as predictable as the weather

The heavy rains that have hit Britain over recent weeks have led to an utterly predictable disaster – flooding.

Playing the numbers game with immigration

"I’ll swap you one pensioner retiring to the Costa del Sol for one midwife from Nigeria."

Bus workers strike for pay

"We are fighting for pay – but we are also fighting for respect. We want our lives and our dignity back." These were the words of one of 2,500 striking London bus workers employed by First who took action over pay recently.

Photos of Kaiser Chiefs and other acts at Rotherham LMHR carnival

Powerful strikes hit London bus companies

Strike action over pay by around 3,500 London bus workers at two companies brought many garages and bus routes to a complete standstill this morning.


International

Egyptian detainees accuse state of torture

Egyptian security used torture and cooked up evidence against workers arrested following mass protests that erupted in the town of Mahalla earlier this year.

Devastating storm hits poor in Haiti

The Caribbean islands have been struck by three tropical storms – Gustav, Hanna and Ike – in the last three weeks.

Afghan civilian deaths soar

There have been angry protests at civilian deaths in eastern Afghanistan.


Comment

Tough times? Spare a thought for the wealthy

Are you feeling the pinch as the credit crunch bites hard? Is Gordon Brown holding down your pay below inflation?

Ideology behind Gordon Brown’s ‘death wish’

Has there ever been a government with as great a death wish as this one?


Features

Is the voluntary sector an ‘acceptable’ face of privatisation?

Many people were shocked last week to hear that prison reform group Nacro, along with other well known charities, has teamed up with private security and construction firms to bid to build and run two new prisons.

The ‘third sector’ is filling gaps in welfare shortfall

Rachel works in a voluntary sector organisation supporting vulnerable tenants in East London. She has also worked for a national charity working with people with learning difficulties. She spoke to Socialist Worker.

Big profits behind privatised services

Over the past few years New Labour has targeted the employment service for privatisation and outsourcing as part of its drive to get people off benefits.

Can state intervention solve the crisis?

Rising economic chaos is leading to the sudden return to prominence of an economist once thought largely consigned to history.

Iraq: image and reality

Has Iraq finally turned the corner? George Bush certainly wants us to think so. And at first sight, his arguments look convincing. Large sections of the country – including the capital city Baghdad and the restive Anbar province in the west – are being handed over to the Iraqi army.

The SNP’s left wing gloss to pro-business policies

The Scottish National Party (SNP) government in Scotland recently announced its proposed legislative programme for the coming year.


Reviews

Quirks and Vagaries - Liz Atkin

A fascinating selection of recent drawings by Newcastle artist Liz Atkin explores faces of ordinary people. Some are based on photos picked up in charity shops, some on people she interviewed. The images combine anonymity, surrealism and closely observed detail.

In the 7th moon… – Kasai Allstars

In a striking mix of the traditional and the avant garde, a collective of 25 musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo blend a hypnotic mix of acoustic instruments, electric guitars, soul vocals and thumb pianos distorted by extreme amplification.

Memory - Clwyd Theatr Cymru

Eva, an ageing Jewish Holocaust survivor, who still lives in East Berlin, recounts the story of her life just after the Berlin Wall has fallen in 1990.

Tess Of The D’Urbervilles: a compulsive vision of hope betrayed by social rules

The new BBC adaptation of Tess Of The D’Urbervilles is a perfect way to get to grips with Thomas Hardy’s dark and intense novel.

Karen Malpede interviewed on her anti-war play Prophecy

The play centres around Jeremy, a young working class man who joined the army to get money to go to college.


What We Think

US nationalises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as panic grows over crisis

Imagine that a government summons the heads of two of the biggest corporations to its treasury headquarters in order to deliver an ultimatum – either they agree to a state takeover or have one forced upon them.


Other Categories

Tim: Air raid shelters

Letters

Letters



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