Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2140

Dated: 28 Feb 2009

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‘We need to fight every job cut’

"If our unions fight back when bosses announce redundancies, then we’ve got a chance to save jobs. But if we’re told to quietly walk away, then we’re all done for."

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Men arrested on Gaza convoy are released

A high profile raid on activists joining a humanitarian convoy to Gaza has highlighted how the police are using "anti-terrorism" laws to harass campaigners.

Preventing Violent Extremism: who defines ‘extremism’?

For the last two years the government has attempted to divide the Muslim community in this country by launching a programme called Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).

‘Pay or holidays’ offer for bus workers at Metroline

Talks to end the long-running pay dispute at the Metroline bus company in north west London are continuing.

Lobby supports cleaner Jose Stalin

Up to 100 trade unionists, activists and students lobbied a disciplinary hearing for union activist Jose Stalin Bermudez at Soas university in central London on Tuesday of this week.

Launch of United Left in Unite

The United Left, the broad left of the new Unite union, held its inaugural conference in Birmingham last Saturday. Around 200 members of the old Amicus and T&G broad left organisations attended.

Threat to sack 800 at London Metropolitan University

In one of the biggest assaults on workers in higher education yet seen, management at London Metropolitan University have announced that up to one quarter of all workers will lose their jobs by the end of the next academic year.

Packed Scottish Stop the War conference prepares for resistance

Over 350 people gathered in Glasgow for the annual Scottish Stop The War Coalition conference.

Wrong target at Staythorpe construction protests

The battle over jobs in construction and the direction of the fight is continuing.

Lobby of business awards for Tyne & Wear Metro

Campaigners against privatisation lobbied the HSBC rail business awards in London on Friday of last week as part of their fight to keep Tyne & Wear Metro public. Nexus, the regional passenger transport executive, has lined up three private-sector bidders to compete for the right to run its operations and some infrastructure. The Metro is Britain’s last wholly public sector rail service, and is the country’s best performing rail network.

10,000 rail workers start crucial fight for jobs

Strike action by rail workers could severely disrupt Britain’s train network after two unions announced ballots of over 10,000 members at Network Rail and three other major train companies over job and pension cuts.

Caught in a debt trap

We are now in the midst of recession and the levels of personal debt dwarf anything debt advisers have ever dreamed about in their worst nightmares.

Wave of student revolt is transforming colleges

The student movement in support of Gaza shows no sign of slowing. Occupations, protests and campaigns continue to be a major feature on Britain’s campuses.

Campuses debate where next for the movement

The recent wave of occupations has brought hundreds of students into political activity for the first time.

Liberate our universities from corporate control

The growing corporate culture in universities over recent years has involved a serious erosion of students’ ability to organise.

Family left with £50 a month

There was a shock for Doug Foreshew when he visited a job centre to sign on last week after being sacked by BMW.

Sogefi workers stage walkout

Some 400 workers at Sogefi Filtration downed tools and staged a 24-hour walkout on Wednesday of last week over attacks on terms and conditions.

What you can do about job losses

Every day brings new announcements of job cuts and closures. This is a volatile situation and individuals can make a difference.

Swathe of job cuts hitting everyone

Unemployment is stalking towns and cities across Britain.

Don’t fall for government’s mail privatisation scam

Hundreds of postal workers lobbied parliament on Tuesday, angry over the New Labour government’s plans to push through the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Alistair Darling bails out banks’ ‘toxic debts’

Shares on the London Stock Exchange soared on Tuesday after the news that Gordon Brown and chancellor Alastair Darling will guarantee the toxic debts of nationalised banks, such as Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to the tune of £500 billion.

‘Summer of rage’ will begin with the G20 protests

Campaigners and trade unionists are gearing up to give the G20 group of world leaders a warm welcome to Britain at the end of next month when they meet in London.

Ireland shows the way to resist the recession

Anger at the Irish government's response to the recession erupted onto the streets of Dublin last Saturday.

'British jobs' row: Workers of all countries, unite!

Unite union joint general secretary Tony Woodley, PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka and Labour MP John McDonnell are some of the latest people to sign up to a statement calling for unity in the fight for jobs.

Video of student protest in London, 25 February 2009

Students marching through central London on the Another Education is Possible march for free education

Lewisham shows super solidarity with Gaza

A magnificent £900 was raised for Medical Aid for Palestinians at a very successful benefit night in Lewisham, south east London, on Wednesday of last week.

Demanding a right to reply to England People Very Nice

Artists, campaigners and community activists from London’s East End called a protest outside the National Theatre on Friday of this week to demand a right to reply to the play England People Very Nice.

London calling for lifelong learning

The Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning organised a lobby of parliament for Wednesday of this week to defend further and adult education.

Stepping up fight over housing

The House of Commons Council Housing Group was holding an inquiry at parliament on Wednesday of this week.

Glasgow council strike is still going strong

Community service supervisors employed by Glasgow council are now in their eighth week of indefnite strike action.

Tower Hamlets housing workers ballot for strike

Workers at One Housing Group in Tower Hamlets, east London, are balloting for strike action against the dismissal of their senior Unison union steward Debbie Cordrey.

Leeds council stewards to discuss response to job cuts plan

Unison union stewards in Leeds council were set to meet on Wednesday of this week to discuss their response to the council’s plans to axe at least 450 jobs.

Private Eye takes up Yunus Bakhsh case

The scandalous treatment of nurse Yunus Bakhsh by both his employer and his union made further waves last week when the Private Eye magazine reported his case.

Rising action against assault on media jobs

Over 140 workers at Yorkshire Post Newspapers in Leeds struck from Thursday of last week to Sunday, as part of the wave of resistance to job losses sweeping the newspaper sector.

Students march through London for free education

Up to 800 students marched through central London on Wednesday to campaign for free education and to send a message to the government that privatisation will not be tolerated.

A united campaign will beat the Nazis

The fascist British National Party (BNP) grabbed its first council seat south of the River Thames last week when it took a previously safe Labour ward in the town of Swanley, on the border of south east London and Kent.

Planning Love Music Hate Racism future campaigns

Over 100 delegates at the UAF conference attended a session on Music Against Racism and Fascism organised alongside Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR).

Binyam Mohamed: ‘British officers were allies of my abusers’

Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed has finally been released after seven years locked up without charge.


Pakistan cuts deal with the Taliban

Is Pakistan going soft in its support for the "war on terror"? That is the fear in the US following the announcement of a "peace deal" brokered between the Pakistani government and Pakistani supporters of the Taliban in Afghanistan.



Do we need leaders?

For many people the concept of "leadership" is a dirty word. This is hardly surprising when you consider the state of world leaders and what a destructive and unequal society they preside over.

Is this capitalism’s worst ever crisis?

New Labour’s chancellor Alistair Darling said last August economic times were "the worst they’ve been in 60 years". Earlier this month cabinet minister Ed Balls said the recession is "the most serious for over 100 years". Gordon Brown recently let slip the dreaded D-word – "depression".

China: empty bowls and unemployment

The global recession has had a huge impact on working class people in China. Since the earthquake in Sichuan province in May last year, over 600,000 migrant workers have left their jobs and returned home from other parts of the country to see their families.

The Chinese economy is trapped by a global slump

The number of unemployed workers across Asia is set to soar to a staggering 97 million this year, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Map of China showing Sichuan

Workers suffer as rail franchises fail

Britain’s private rail companies look set to be the next victims of the recession and they are demanding the government helps save their profits.


Hunger DVD

This film tells the story of Bobby Sands and hunger strikers in the H blocks of Northern Ireland.

Che Part 2

The second part of Steven Soderbergh’s epic biopic about the life of revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

The Class

The Class portrays a year in the life of a Parisian secondary school.

Picasso: Challenging The Past

A new exhibition at the National Gallery in London explores the ways that Pablo Picasso, arguably the 20th century’s most influential artist, created audacious work in response of the painters of the past.

Reclaiming the radical poetry of Robert Burns

It’s official! The long battle to reclaim the legacy of Robert Burns has been won by the left, at least in the universities.

What We Think

The super rich: One law for them...

You know things are getting desperate when the world’s rulers have to turn to hunting down tax havens in their search for cash.

A different extremist doesn't make the news

A dangerous and violent extremist appeared in court earlier this month. He pleaded guilty to charges involving threats to plant bombs. He also admitted threatening to kidnap and behead innocent members of the public if his demands weren’t met.

Labour’s popularity goes totally zombie

The much vaunted "Brown bounce", which was supposed to see a revival of the prime minister’s fortunes, has flattened out leaving him looking like the living dead.

Other Categories

Edward Upward 1903-2009

Edward Upward was a poetic writer and unrepentant Marxist. He died recently at 105, the last of a group of writers who were radicalised by the fight against fascism and workers’ struggles in the 1930s, and sought to connect their politics and their writing. 

Tim: Postman Pat



The week in quotes

"It is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone."Sean Penn accepts the best actor award at the Oscars for his role in Milk, a film about the fight for gay liberation in the US

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