Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2130

Dated: 06 Dec 2008




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Three steps to save jobs

The threat of redundancy is hanging over the head of millions of workers as the economic slump deepens. Every day seems to bring new announcements of huge job losses at factories, shops and offices around the country.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fighting job cuts in Salford

Around 100 workers and students protested on Wednesday of last week against proposed redundancies and cuts at Salford University.

Electric wildcat strike is winner

Electricians at Fiddler’s Ferry power station in Cheshire have won their unofficial strike against lay-offs.

Journalists plan cuts fightback

Journalists working on three of Britain’s biggest regional newspaper groups were called to an emergency NUJ union meeting last weekend.

Derry occupation gets results

Workers at Calcast in Derry, Northern Ireland, have won better redundancy pay after occupying their factory. The plant makes parts for Ford. Some 90 redundancies were announced there.

York march for jobs: ‘We won’t be thrown on scrapheap’

Hundreds of workers marched through York last Saturday in protest at attacks on jobs and services.

Solidarity gives boost to Dover dock strikers

The potential of solidarity to win crucial industrial disputes was seen in Dover on Thursday of last week.

Unions and activists beat back the BNP

Troubles are piling up for the fascist British National Party (BNP) in the wake of last month’s leak of a list of the organisation’s members and supporters.

Blocking the BNP in Liverpool

Some 300 people came to a rally to demonstrate against the fascist British National Party (BNP) in Liverpool on Saturday of last week.

Kick fascism off campus

‘The way to challenge the Nazis is to bring people together. We collected the names of people who wanted to campaign against the BNP at our freshers fair.

Marching against racism in Glasgow

More than a thousand people marched through Glasgow on Saturday of last week on the annual Scottish TUC anti-racist demonstration.

Unite lobby for legal services

The credit crisis means that thousands more people will need free legal advice on redundancy, repossessions and debt.

2 Sisters Food Group workers reject poultry offer

Workers at the 2 Sisters Food Group in the Unite union are balloting for industrial action over low pay.

Eurostar workers vote for strikes

Train managers in the RMT and TSSA transport unions at Eurostar have voted overwhelmingly to strike after the company imposed new rosters. This breaches an agreement that requires new shift patterns to be negotiated and approved by union reps.

Patients occupy to defend NHS

Patients at the Laurels Healthy Living Centre in Tottenham, north London, were incensed last week when the local primary care trust (PCT) board meeting refused to hear our case against the proposed privatisation of our GP surgery.

Build day of action against pay cuts

Health workers are being treated like dirt by Gordon Brown’s government. We face pay cuts, privatisation and job losses.

PCS takes bad deal

The fight for decent public sector pay was delivered a heavy setback this week as the national executive of the PCS civil service workers’ union voted to accept a government agreement in its long-running dispute.

Pulling the plug on Scottish Water’s below-inflation pay

Up to 2,000 Scottish Water workers struck on Thursday of last week in protest at a below-inflation pay rise.

Alternative summit meets

As part of a response to the economic crisis, the London region of UCU took the initiative in calling an Alternative Economic Summit on Monday of last week.

Defending council housing

Some 200 people attended the Defend Council Housing (DCH) conference on Tuesday of last week.

Tell it like it is in Manchester

Around 100 teachers, parents, and children braved the Manchester rain to listen to contributors to the book "Tell It Like It Is – How our schools fail black children" on Monday of last week.

Lecturers take on the market

Over 30 UCU union members from the Yorkshire and Humberside and Northern regions attended a conference in York last Saturday titled, "Challenging the market in education".

Lifelong learning launch in north east London

Community groups, students, teachers and a wide range of local people from Hackney, Tottenham and Islington in north east London came together on Thursday of last week to a local launch meeting of CALL (Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning). Around 120 people packed into the meeting.

South west postal workers prepare for strike

Postal workers in south west England were preparing for strike action as Socialist Worker went to press.

McPherson’s haulage strike

Welfare reform will risk increase in childhood poverty

It’s official. You’re 500 billion times more likely to be bailed out if you’re a banker than if you’re a single mother.

'Single parents are working hard to stand still'

I am appalled at the government’s new welfare reforms. Most single parents won’t be able to work full-time as it’s so exhausting bringing up your child alone.

Students build demo for free education

Students are building for a national demonstration for free education and living grants next year – but the National Union of Students (NUS) is not supporting it.

Crucial votes in bus pay fight

Three crucial ballots will take place on the London buses in the next week. The outcome of these votes could decide the future of the Unite union’s campaign to win equal and higher pay and better conditions across all the bus companies in London.

‘I fear that Islamophobia will increase’

‘My initial reaction was shock and horror.

Press targets British Muslims

The British press has responded to the events in Mumbai with a frenzy of sensationalist and unsubstantiated claims about the involvement of British Muslims in the attacks.

Mumbai massacre: War threats will only fuel terror

The horrific terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai last week left up to 200 people dead. Countless more ordinary people’s lives will be lost if the tensions in the region escalate into war between India and Pakistan.

A major defeat for US in Somalia

The US has suffered a bloody defeat in the "third front in the war on terror" after Ethiopia announced it will be ending its occupation of Somalia at the end of the year.

Iraq deal will not end occupation

The Iraqi parliament has approved the Status of Forces Agreement that sets a date for the withdrawal of US combat troops from the country by 31 December 2011.

The bank that very quietly went bust

London Scottish Bank is bust. The bank specialised in lending money to people with poor credit, as well as running a door-to-door debt collection business.

Market chaos brings down Woolworths

The Woolworths in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre in south London is a depressing place at the best of times. But last week things got a whole lot worse for those working there.

PCS union signs up to bad deal

The national executive committee of the PCS civil service workers’ union this week delivered a setback to all those fighting against cuts in services and the cap on public sector pay.

PFI con keeps costing us more

Figures hidden away in the government’s pre-budget report last week show that the price we are paying for privatisation is spiralling out of control.

Trouble in China

The dramatic fall in the US economy came as official unemployment rates in China were set to rise to 4.5 percent – the highest in a decade.

Hoover campaigners say job losses suck

Campaigners against the closure of the Hoover factory in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, are gearing up for a protest meeting planned for Wednesday of next week.

US bank bailout doubled but recession continues

News that the US economy has been in recession for a year will come as little surprise to millions of Americans facing job losses and home repossession.

Jobs slaughter continues as bosses slash production

Signs that Britain faces the worst recession in more than 20 years were confirmed by a collapse in the value of the pound, a sharp drop in the value of shares, and reports of a dramatic drop in demand by British manufacturers.

Protest against the Nazi BNP in Hastings

Anti-fascist protesters will gather in Hastings tonight (Monday 8 December) to demonstrate against a meeting called by the BNP.

Protest against Channel 4 giving platform to convicted Holocaust denier

Channel 4's offshoot channel More 4 is planning to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by giving a platform to the Nazi sympathiser and convicted Holocaust denier David Irving.


International

Democracy crisis shakes Thailand

As Socialist Worker went to press the two airports in Thailand’s capital Bangkok were still closed – occupied by thugs from the misnamed People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

A second “coup for the rich” in Thailand

Today Thailand’s constitutional courts dissolved a democratically elected governing party for the second time, forcing the government to resign.


Comment

Let’s block the dock to win this crucial fight

The dispute at Dover is potentially a totemic one for the Unite union.

Building a radical left for the future

Mass movements and rebellions can erupt suddenly. The left must win these movements to new, revolutionary ideas and lead the rejection of the old ideas that, if re-established, can dissipate and restrict movements and their demands.


Features

How workers resist recession

The growing recession threatens the living standards of millions of workers across the world. Bosses will try to make workers pay for their crisis – and we will need mass resistance if we are going to stop them.

Map showing partition of Kashmir

A bloody struggle to keep Kashmir partitioned

The Himalayan valley of Kashmir, which sits on the most northerly border of India and Pakistan, has been a repeated source of tension and war between China, India and Pakistan. But the wishes of those who live there have rarely been considered by those who have fought over it.

Meena Menon: ‘Demand justice and peace’

Combating terrorism needs political will, not a military solution or draconian laws, more CCTV, and metal detectors.

Mumbai is a city of extremes

Mumbai is India’s largest city and home to some 14 million people. It is also the main financial and business centre of the country – and has been at the sharp end of the contradictions caused by India’s turn to globalised capitalism.

How the state got away with murder in Gujarat

The anti-Muslim pogrom that killed an estimated 2,000 people in the western state of Gujarat in 2002 remains an open wound and an injustice at the heart of Indian politics.

What’s behind the Mumbai attacks?

Millions of people across the world have been horrified by the scenes of terror as gun-men attacked hotels, shops, hospitals and railway stations in the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) last week leaving more than 170 dead.

Workers’ councils had power to run society

Around a million German workers joined mass strikes against the First World War in January 1918, after almost four years of slaughter.


Reviews

1968 - The Year That Changed The World

John Tusa, the former director of the BBC World Service, uses contemporary archives and music to trace what made 1968 such an important year.

Ring It In: songs of peace and justice for the holiday season

The Seattle Labor Chorus has been performing throughout the north west of the US since 1997 in support of everyone fighting for a living wage, and against war and injustice.

Movements For Peace

This informative, well-documented and inspiring 50th anniversary exhibition of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) starts with a film of the first CND march to Aldermaston in 1958.

Some great novels to read over the Christmas period

There are few things better than receiving a good book for Christmas. Socialist Worker suggests some of the best novels of the year. They are all available from Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop. Phone 020 7637 1848 or go to <a href="http://www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk">&raquo;www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk</a>

Babylon: Myth and Reality

There are two parts to Babylon: Myth and Reality, the new exhibition at the British Museum. The first gives an idea of what this great, historic city of ancient Iraq was like.


What We Think

Learning the wrong lessons from Baby P tragedy

The horrific case of Baby P should have highlighted how cuts to welfare services are putting more children’s lives at risk. Instead it has opened a vicious assault on social workers by the right wing press, which the government has had no hesitation in joining.

Whistleblowers and the right to the truth

A group of heavily armed anti-terrorist police raid a house and, for a change, it is met with criticism in the media. The reason is that the raid targeted a Tory MP, Damian Green, who was arrested for conspiring to get government leaks from a civil servant.


Other Categories

Brian Rose 1938–2008

Brian started his political life as a committed activist in CND in Kent, among other things getting jailed in Wareham prison for a week for breaking into a missile site.

Leon Kuhn: Kick starting the world economy

Tim: Woolworth voucher

Letters

Why didn’t Darling hit the ‘wealth creators’? A Tory MP was wheeled out on BBC News 24 last week to tell us that Alistair Darling’s plans to increase income tax on the super-rich by 5 percent would "only" raise £2 billion.



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