Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2137

Dated: 07 Feb 2009

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Blame the bosses not ‘foreign workers’

Millions of working people across Britain are fearful and angry at the mounting economic crisis. Manu­fac­turing industry is now shedding jobs at a rate of 30,000 a month.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


SWP Democracy Commission

The Democracy Commission was set up at the recent Socialist Workers Party (SWP) annual conference. It is made up of ten elected members and four members appointed by the SWP’s Central Committee. Its first meeting will be on Saturday 7 February.

Tamils demonstrate in London against offensive in Sri Lanka

Over 50,000 British Tamils led an angry march through central London over the ongoing military offensive in North Eastern Sri Lanka on Saturday of last week. Several thousand of demonstrators occupied Westminster Bridge for several hours demanding to know why the BBC, which covers the Indian continent more than most news services, has ignored the plight of ethnic Tamils.

Waterford Crystal: ‘We’re occupying this plant to save our jobs’

Workers at the Waterford Crystal factory in Ireland have delivered a powerful example of how to take on the recession – they are occupying their plant to keep it open.

Europe-wide action at Hewlett Packard/EDS over jobs

Members of the PCS and Unite unions at Hewlett Packard/EDS joined other workers across Europe in a day of action on Thursday of last week against plans to axe jobs and freeze wages.

Voting due to start in Amicus leadership election

The election for general secretary of the Amicus section of the Unite union is set to begin on 16 February. This will give hundreds of thousands of workers the opportunity to vote for their choice to be the union’s leader for the next year.

Seven teachers are still solid in Barnsley

The strike action at Joseph Locke primary school in Barnsley continues. Seven NUT union members continue to support their colleague who is losing £260 a month due to reorganisation at the school.

Lecturers set to strike over pay

Further education lecturers in eleven colleges will be out on strike on Thursday of this week.

Challenging the market in education conference

Some 55 UCU union members from across the north west of England last week joined an inspiring conference in Manchester on Challenging the market in education.

Jobs fight at London Metropolitan university

Members of the UCU and Unison unions at London Metropolitan university are fighting attacks on their jobs.

Lobby in Leeds to support ENEHL workers

Over 100 workers joined a lobby of Leeds councillors on Wednesday of last week to support workers in East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) and Unison union convenor John McDermott.

Essex council puts services up for sale

Essex county council intends to put huge swathes of council services up for grabs to private sector "partners".

Spread the solidarity for Glasgow council’s indefinite strike

The indefinite strike by Glasgow community service supervisors is entering its fifth week.

Video of Waterford Crystal workers occupying the receiver’s offices in Dublin

Workers from the Waterford Crystal occupation occupy the head office of the company’s receiver Deloitte and Touche in Dublin, Wednesday 4 February 2009

Scottish unions take up fight over future of housing

Scotland faces its biggest housing crisis in 60 years. The economic collapse has destroyed the myth that competition and the "free market" can deliver on housing.

Keep pushing Gordon Brown over council houses

Gordon Brown announced last week that is he is backing down over rules that have stopped councils from building council housing.

Wage cut for Morning Star journalists

Management at the Morning Star daily left wing newspaper effectively imposed a wage cut on its journalists last week.

Protest at Glasgow council school closure plans

Large angry meetings have been held across Glasgow in protest at the council’s plans to close 13 primary and 12 nursery schools to save £3.7 million.

Unite Against Fascism activities

Anti-fascists in the West Midlands are mobilising to protest against Adam Walker, an active member of the fascist British National Party (BNP) who worked as a teacher and is accused of using school equipment to post racist statements on the web.

Workers’ anger at Argos ultimatum

Bosses at the high street giant Argos have delivered an outrageous ultimatum to workers – let us slash your terms and conditions, or we will slash your jobs and pay.

Metroline bus drivers still hold key

The Unite union was set to announce a strike ballot of over 2,000 bus drivers at Metroline in north and north west London as Socialist Worker went to press.

Transport job cuts will be resisted

Tube unions have pledged to fight any plans for Transport for London and London Underground to impose compulsory redundancies.

Which economy will be bottom?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) put Britain at the bottom of the class in its revised forecast for the world economy last week. At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Gordon Brown was forced to refute suggestions that London was now "Reykjavik on The Thames" – a reference to Iceland’s economic crash.

Crisis grows for occupiers in Afghanistan

Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House has had a bloody beginning. January has seen the highest number of coalition troop casualties in Afghanistan.

Israeli blockade stops aid to Gaza

Israel and its Egyptian ally are continuing to hamper the entry of desperately needed humanitarian goods into the Gaza Strip after Israel’s assault on the Palestinians there.

Student protests for Palestine remain strong

Resistance to Israel’s aggression and its siege of Gaza has continued to rage on college campuses across Britain.

Keep up the solidarity with Gaza

A magnificent movement of solidarity with Gaza is rolling out across the country.

Revelations in Yunus Bakhsh case shake the union

Attempts to witch-hunt well known health worker Yunus Bakhsh from his job and his union continue to cause a storm – particularly in the north east of England.

Karen Reissmann NHS whistleblower tribunal is settled

Leading health trade unionist Karen Reissmann has settled her employment tribunal case against Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

The bitterness that lies behind the wildcat strikes

The anger against the growing impact of the economic crisis broke out last week in Britain.

Subcontracting: companies are the problem

Companies say they use subcontracting firms to carry out specific parts of a project to try and reduce costs. This is opposed to direct labour – workers being employed directly by the main contractor.

A tradition of unity that can take on the bosses

The Italian workers live in barges on the Grimsby docks. They are allegedly paid the national rate for the job – although deductions are taken for "bed and board".

Labour’s attack on workers’ union rights

Derek Simpson, joint Unite general secretary, has said that moves should be taken to overturn European legal cases that allow employers to undercut wages and conditions as part of resolving the dispute.

Unite steward: ‘We need a positive movement’

All the militancy and strength we have seen needs to be put into a battle against the bosses that involves everyone in the fight for jobs.

Ex-Ford's worker: 'This is a recipe for divide and rule'

Berlyne Hamilton is a retired car worker who used to work at the Ford plant in Dagenham, east London. He spoke to Socialist Worker about his experience there as a shop steward.

‘British jobs’ and backing a united fight on the buses

Many union activists on the buses are worried that the "British jobs for British workers" slogan will set back their struggle to build unity among workers.

Gaza occupation grows at Manchester University

The waves of student occupations in solidarity with Gaza show no sign of stopping as Manchester university and Strathclyde university went into occupation this week.

Scottish students solidarity with Gaza

Students in Scotland have been raising solidarity with Gaza through

Statement of support for student occupations over Gaza from members of the UCU union NEC

As members of the University and College Union National Executive Committee, we would like to send solidarity greetings to the students in the 17 universities who have occupied their universities in protest over the Gaza crisis. This is the largest wave of occupations for over a quarter of a century. Too often, the media seek to portray this generation of students as ones who do not share the aspirations of the 1968 generation – and deride you as, "Generation Apathy". Your actions have decisively dispelled this myth.


Sri Lanka: what lies behind the latest violence?

After more than 25 years of civil war, the government of Sri Lanka believes it is on the verge of finally crushing the rebel Tamil forces on the island.

Russian protests at the economic crisis

Defying riot police, protesters took to the streets of Vladivostok, Moscow and other Russian cities in protest at the economic crisis.

Greek protests continue to pressurise government

Farmers’ protests in Greece have increased the pressure on the country’s right wing government, which had already been rocked by riots, strikes and protests in December.

Millions in France on strike against Sarkozy

"Nobody notices when there’s a strike anymore", French president Nicolas Sarkozy declared last summer. On Thursday of last week he was made to eat his words.


Obama’s economic plan won’t fix the crisis

Barack Obama’s plan to save the US economy has been caught up in a growing panic among world leaders over protectionism.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn: Defend this key Thai socialist

Sometimes the really important social conflicts between exploiter and exploited find expression by distorted means, via conflicts among the exploiters themselves.


Sexuality and the system

It seems hard to imagine that people’s personal lives were different in the past. Family, friendship and sexuality seem deep-rooted and part of our personalities.

Exposing myths of a segregated Britain

The popular perception that parts of Britain are becoming "ethnic no-go areas" is based on a misreading of the facts, population expert Ludi Simpson tells Anindya Bhattacharyya


Why I Don’t Hate White People - Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay grew up in rural Lancashire in the care of Wigan social services. He never met another black person until he was 18.


Gomorrah is a film that gives a fictional portrayal of the Camorra, the Mafia-like organisation based in Naples and nearby Caserta in southern Italy.

The Tivoli - National Service

If you live in Rotherham or support Rotherham United Football Club, you may have already heard the first single from The Tivoli’s debut album, National Service.

Red Oil: profits, poverty and redistribution in Venezuela

Imagine going into work to find a government supporter urging you through a megaphone to "say no to imperialism" and defend "our beautiful revolution".

What We Think

House of Lords? Off with their heads!

One is in jail for fraud. One is a convicted perjurer. One is a convicted arsonist and insurance fraudster. Some 92 are there only because of their thieving ancestors.

No model democracy in Iraq

With the elections in Iraq behind them, warmongers in Britain and the US have been quick to declare once again, "mission accomplished". Iraq, they say, should become a model for democracy across the Middle East.

Women are not to blame for children’s unhappiness

The Good Childhood Inquiry report commissioned by the Children’s Society tries to explain why children in Britain are the unhappiest in the developed world.

Other Categories

Tim: They cause unemployment


Trading in the planet Carbon trading is one of those ideas which has always proved a sticking point with socialists involved in environmental campaigns.

The week in quotes

"British jobs for British workers."Gordon Brown borrows an old National Front slogan for his 2007 Labour conference speech

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