Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2126

Dated: 08 Nov 2008




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Ban bonus payouts to bankers

"This is an investment in the banking system that will eventually pay off," says chancellor Alistair Darling about New Labour’s bailout of the banks. And pay off it certainly will – to the enormous benefit of the bankers themselves.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Legal firm that specialises in action against unions

Solicitors’ firm Bircham Dyson Bell was at the centre of legal action against the recent bus strike and the injunction against last year’s post strike.

Detroit family resists home repossession attempts

Demonstrators blocked the doorstep to stop the eviction of 72 year old Rubie Curl-Pinkins, a disabled woman who has lived in her Detroit home for 45 years.

Don’t trust their promises

The government was boasting last month of its plans to ensure that half a million people would be entitled to the full state pension despite not having paid sufficient national insurance (NI).

BT workers will feel pinch

Tens of thousands of telecom workers face having to work an extra five years before they can retire.

The bosses have their eyes on our pensions

Ministers and employers are gearing up for yet another assault on our pension rights – including renewed attempts to raise the retirement age – and we need to prepare to fight back.

Reports round-up

East Midlands unity to stop Nazis Some 120 people came to the launch meeting for East Midlands Unite Against Fascism (UAF) on Saturday of last week.

Scottish Water workers ballot on strike action

Over 3,500 workers at Scottish Water have begun a ballot on strike action over pay.

Solidarity campaigns in Glenrothes by-election

Activists were out campaigning for Solidarity candidate Louise McLeary in Thursday’s by-election in Glenrothes, Fife, as Socialist Worker went to press.

Another Education Is Possible campaign launched

The Another Education Is Possible campaign was launched on Saturday of last week, with 170 delegates from universities across Britain attending the launch conference.

Goldsmiths lecturers reject privatisation plans

This week lecturers at Goldsmiths College massively rejected management proposals to privatise the recruitment of teaching

Build fight over lecturers' pay

On Friday of this week the UCU union will hold a conference of lecturers in higher education to discuss our 2009 pay claim.

Teachers' round-up

New strike at Sinfin school NASUWT union members at the Sinfin community school in Derby began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week in their continuing campaign against plans to turn the school into an academy.

Devon shipyard workers strike

Over 200 workers at the Appledore shipyard in north Devon struck on Friday of last week and Monday of this week over pay.

Unions have to build the fight to save jobs in car plants

Workers at the threatened Ford plant in Southampton have reacted with anger at the company’s announcement that it is to close for a whole month over Christmas.

Video of 'Dancing on the Grave of Capitalism' protest in London, Friday 31 October 2008

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Evictions on the rise as banks scramble for profits

Hundreds of tenants in Colwyn Bay and Pensarn in north Wales and Stoke-on-Trent are facing eviction.

Bus workers set to march on City Hall

London bus workers in the Unite union are to demonstrate at City Hall from 8.30am on Wednesday of next week in the latest stage of their campaign over pay and conditions.

Sacked and slurred Yunus Bakhsh fights on

Imagine that a well-known union activist was sacked as a result of false allegations that he had subjected his colleagues to a campaign of criminal intimidation &#8211; without ever being told of the charges against him. You would expect his union to be up in arms.

People Before Profit Charter

Leading London trade unionists and People Before Profit Charter supporters are joining together to mount a response to George Bush’s International Economic Summit.

Karen Reissmann Legal Defence Fund launched

Supporters of Karen Reissmann – the sacked nurse who spoke out about the dangers of cuts and privatisation in mental health services in Manchester – launched a legal defence fund this week.

Left in Unite organises for election

The attacks on the jobs and conditions of car workers among others in recent weeks shows the importance of the response of the unions to the crisis.

Vote to fightback on pay in health service

The Unite union is balloting 100,000 health workers on a derisory three-year pay award. If a yes vote is recorded, we could see the first national action over NHS pay for many years.

Of Time And The City: Liverpool’s paradise regained?

Themes of poverty, change, urban decay and renewal loom large in the new film by Liverpudlian director Terence Davies. Of Time And The City is a very personal view of Liverpool after the Second World War up until the early 1970s when Davies moved away.

Mark Serwotka: strikes can beat the pay limits

Around 270,000 civil service workers in the PCS union will strike against below-inflation pay on Monday of next week.

Resist government attacks on job centres and the unemployed

At the Marylebone job centre in west London mini computers have replaced the ranks of boards that used to advertise vacancies. For those looking for work, it initially appears that there is plenty on offer.

Student grant cuts attack on education rights

It is a disgrace that 40,000 students will no longer receive the grants that the government promised them. Outrageously the National Union of Students is yet to properly respond to this attack on higher education.

Witnesses say police shot Jean Charles de Menezes without warning him

Police officers who shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in July 2005 say they shouted a warning.

Stop the War launches protesters’ defence campaign

The Stop the War Coalition has launched a campaign to defend demonstrators who were beaten or arrested during a peaceful protest at a visit by George Bush to London on 15 June.

Halloween protest at Canary Wharf

Some 400 demonstrators took to the streets of the Canary Wharf financial district of London on Friday of last week for a lively protest against the bankers’ bailout.

Europe’s growing wave of resistance to the crisis

Greece Greece is still in the grip of a growing strike wave in opposition to the right wing government’s attempts to pass the costs of the economic crisis onto working people.

Union anger at Kirklees council's attempt to impose single status agreement

Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire have launched a major attack on its workforce by writing to all staff covered by single status informing them that they will imposing agreement on them.

Clydebank activists' unity meeting

About 50 trade unionists and community activists attended a meeting in Clydebank on Tuesday of last week to start the process of bringing together working class organisations in the town.

Strikes continue at double glazing plant

Workers at Walker Profiles Northeast double glazing plant in South Shields held their tenth one-day strike on Friday of last week in an ongoing row over bonuses.

Environmental service workers in Brent vote for strike

Workers at private contractor Veolia Environmental Services in Brent are balloting for strike action over a 3.3 percent pay offer.

Labour government blocks workers’ rights

Any belief that Gordon Brown’s government is going to back workers rights took another blow as the government voted down a series of amendments to the Employment Bill that would have given limited rights to workers in industrial disputes.

Obama’s victory captures the mood for real change

Millions of people are celebrating across the world today after Barack Obama was elected as the first black president of the United States &#8211; a momentous achievement in a country with a long history of entrenched and vicious racism.

Teachers vote for action but NUT executive rules out strikes

Teachers in the NUT union have voted narrowly in favour of taking several days of national strike action against their below-inflation pay offer.

PCS decision to call off strike is missed opportunity

The PCS national executive committee has voted to suspend the strike over pay by 270,000 civil service workers, which was set to take place on Monday.


International

Colombia: an inspiring battle for indigenous rights

Colombia’s president Alvaro Uribe bluntly admitted, "Yes, the police fired on the indigenous protesters." This followed several days of attacks by police and the military on the communities of the Cauca region.

Basra rises against wage cuts

Thousands of Iraqi workers took to the streets of Basra on 27 October in a protest at massive cuts in salaries demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Egyptian Mahalla workers back on the streets

Textile workers in the Egyptian town of Mahalla al-Kubra staged a protest on Thursday of last week against plans to privatise the company.

Afghan people face a winter of famine

Famine is stalking Afghanistan and is threatening the lives of millions of its people, international aid agencies have warned.


Comment

Stop this attack on right to strike

A very serious attempt is being made by bosses and their legal jackals to extend the anti-union laws by stealth.

Westfield: ‘Champagne shopping’ an insult to London poor

"Soulless" and "like an airport lounge" – this was the verdict of west Londoner Katie Ducali on the new Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, west London.

Regeneration

Media attention has focused on whether shopping centres such as Westfield London can survive the oncoming recession.

IMF still wields the neoliberal cosh

Neoliberalism is for mugs. This has turned out to be one of the main lessons of the present economic crisis.


Features

Climate change: burning the world to keep up profits

Britain’s carbon emissions, the major cause of global warming, are set to increase despite the passing of Britain’s first ever Climate Change Bill last week.

Emory Douglas interviewed about the Black Panthers in print

The former Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party talks to Ken Olende about the fight for black liberation in the United States and a new exhibition of his art work

The Black Panthers: defiance in the face of repression

The Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.

How the cover-up of exploitation began

Last week we saw how the pioneers of modern economics argued that human labour was the ultimate source of wealth. Adam Smith and David Ricardo developed a "labour theory of value" that formed the cornerstone of their political economy.

Conflict in Congo

The number of people killed in the ten years of war which has devastated the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is truly staggering.

Map of Democratic Republic of Congo


Reviews

Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution

The outstanding Emory Douglas exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester is much more than an art show. Visitors can feel the atmosphere the Black Panthers developed in and the outrage that made the party grow.

Ground-breaking oral historian Studs Terkel dies

American writer and activist Studs Terkel died last week, aged 96.

42 - Red Card Theatre

This play explores the issues surrounding the proposed 42 days detention without trial which, although rejected by the Lords, will be enforced in the event of a terrorist attack.

Not in Our Name

This film explores the response of artists to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hunger: The mundane evil at the heart of the British state

Looking back the shocking thing is just how mundane it was to visit Northern Ireland’s H Blocks of Long Kesh – or "the Maze" as the British called it.

Taking Liberties: documenting the hard fight for civil liberties

When you walk into the British Library and through the door to the Taking Liberties exhibition, the first thing you come face to face with is a copy of Magna Carta.


What We Think

Union trade-offs with Labour don’t work

As unemployment mounts, the refrain from management and media pundits is that you are lucky to have a job and should, therefore, accept below-inflation wage increases.

Is Barack Obama the change we need?

The people of the US were heading to the polls to vote for their new president as Socialist Worker went to press. All the early indications were that Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, is set to sweep aside his Republican rival John McCain.


Other Categories

Tim: Please give

Letters

Planning for plenty I found it fascinating that Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer newspaper felt it necessary to claim that no one apart from "revolutionary socialists" were advocating a "command economy" as an alternative to the chaos and destruction of the crisis of the current system.

Who says?

"There’s absolutely going to be a lot of pain to go around. The big question is how apocalyptic it will be."Josh Lerner, professor of investment banking at Harvard Business School on the credit squeeze facing private equity companies



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