Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2141

Dated: 07 Mar 2009




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Stop giving our cash to bankers - Sack them!

Disgraced banker Fred Goodwin is going to keep his £16 million pension, despite some bluster from elements of the Labour government.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Metroline bus drivers’ anger at electronic monitoring

There is growing anger among bus drivers at Metroline’s Perivale garage in west London over a monitoring technology that is being trialled on the depot’s 100 buses.

MPs lobbied for lifelong learning

Around 500 adult learners lobbied their MPs on Wednesday of last week and questioned cabinet secretary John Denham about the cuts to over 1.5 million national learner places.

Students march for free education

Students march for free education

Glasgow council strike still solid

Striking community service workers in Glasgow report that they are "still solid and still motivated" as they enter their ninth week on indefinite strike.

ENEHL strike for victimised Unison convenor

Workers in East North East Homes Leeds struck on Tuesday of this week in defence of John McDermott, their Unison union convenor who is a member of the union’s national executive.

Ayr march against spending cuts

Around 1,500 people marched through Ayr last Saturday to protest against the cuts being imposed by the local council.

Packed Tower Hamlets meeting for sacked Unison steward

Over 100 people packed into a meeting on Wednesday of last week on the Isle of Dogs in Tower Hamlets in defence of Debbie Cordrey, a sacked Unison union steward at Island Homes.

Tenants demand decent council housing for all

More than 200 people attended the inquiry held by the House of Commons council housing group, which took place in a series of packed committee rooms in parliament on Wednesday of last week.

General strike looks likely in Ireland

There is growing momentum for a one-day general strike in Ireland.

Waterford occupation goes on tour

Workers from the Waterford Crystal factory occupation received a very warm welcome when they visited Glasgow last week.

Post sell-off is attack on jobs and service

Government plans to privatise Royal Mail have the potential to become for Gordon Brown what the poll tax was to Margaret Thatcher.

Union fightback: ‘We can strike and beat these plans’

The intense mistrust of privatisation coupled with anger at the rich who are pocketing state bailouts, means that there is a groundswell of support for the campaign against the post sell-off.

‘Why is the CWU still funding a Labour when it attacks us?’

Anger with New Labour among postal workers has reached record highs since the privatisation announcement.

Create jobs and save the planet

We face two global crises. The planet’s climate is in peril and the world economy is going down the tubes. There is one answer to both crises – and it starts with climate jobs.

Amicus election ends on Friday

The election for general secretary of the Amicus section of the Unite union ends on Friday of this week.

Memorial meeting: ‘Remember Leon but look forward’

Over 300 people attended a memorial event for Leon "Trix" Francis in Birmingham last Sunday – the day that would have been his 26th birthday.

Burslem rooftop protest forces management climbdown

Postal workers in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, were celebrating this week after a rooftop protest won a victory over Royal Mail managers.

Marching for Palestine in Wandsworth

More than 400 people joined a march for Palestine in Wandsworth, south London, last Saturday.

Case against Yunus Bakhsh in disarray

The disarray over the case of Yunus Bakhsh – who was sacked from his job and expelled from the Unison union – has deepened still further.

Lobby of parliament for Shrewsbury builders

In 1972 there was a national strike of building workers.

Construction protests continue

Protests are continuing at the Staythorpe construction site near Newark in Nottinghamshire and the Isle of Grain site in Kent.

Yorkshire Evening Post workers strike back

"Our most recent four-day strike ran from Thursday to Sunday last week and it was absolutely solid. The strike has been well supported and all 140 NUJ members of the chapel have been involved in picketing and winning support.

Strike at BBC World Service

Around 60 NUJ and Bectu union members in the South Asian services at the BBC World Service went on strike on Thursday of last week against the offshoring and outsourcing of their sections and resulting compulsory redundancies.

Press round-up

Newsquest York NUJ union members at Newsquest York have given notice of holding union meetings every weekday until 30 March over management plans to cut four journalist jobs.

Rail workers’ action against job cuts

A mood to fight is growing throughout South West Trains, where I work as a guard. Bosses are not satisfied with the £31.7 million profit they announced towards the end of last year and are launching an assault on jobs.

Ticket office staff strike over holidays

Over 130 ticket office staff at the c2c train operator in the RMT and TSSA rail unions struck on Monday of this week over holidays.

Student solidarity with Gaza still strong

Students have continued to win many victories after occupying their universities to show solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Exposed: Britain’s internal rendition

In an astonishing breach of normal legal procedure, home secretary Jacqui Smith last week sent five bailed men to prison, overriding the ruling of a senior judge.

Swanley: BNP preys on fears of unemployment

The town of Swanley is sandwiched between the end of London and the start of Kent.

Unite Against Fascism diary dates to beat back the Nazis

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is planning a series of regional conferences to help derail the Nazi BNP at this year’s European parliament elections on Thursday 4 June.

G20 protest: chance to take fight to the world leaders

Gordon Brown seems to have lost his bounce. And as his popularity dwindles and anger at the impact of spiralling recession grows, he hopes that hosting the G20 meeting of world leaders will help to boost his credibility and status.

A bail out for the privateers

New Labour is stepping in to prop up private firms struggling to fund Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes to build hospitals, schools and other public buildings.

Unity statement wins backing

Initiators of a statement calling for unity in the fight for jobs are urging trade unionists to sign it.

Stock market collapse increases rulers’ panic

Stock markets around the world nosedived on Monday of this week as more evidence of the dire state of the world economy sent investors into a panic. This will have a dramatic impact on ordinary people’s pensions and jobs.

Mandelson, get your filthy hands off Royal Mail

A rebellion is spreading that threatens to stop New Labour’s plans to sell off the post service.

Don’t be fooled by police scare over G20

Campaigners have hit back at police scaremongering tactics over the G20 protests.

‘We have to get the word out’ about Put People First

The Put People First campaign hit the local press in Birmingham last week when activists took a campaign banner and leaflets to protest outside the LDV van plant where 900 jobs are at risk.

Protesters demand 'right to reply' to England People Very Nice

Anti-racist campaigners from London's East End held a vocal protest outside the National Theatre on Friday of last week.

Dundee workers occupy over factory closure

Workers at a packaging firm in Dundee are occupying their factory after being told they were sacked and that the company had no money to pay their redundancy.

Photo of the Prisme occupation

Build support for Prisme occupation

Twelve workers at a packaging company in Dundee are continuing the occupation of their factory over redundancy pay.

Support grows for Prisme occupation

Workers occupying the Prisme plant in Dundee following its abrupt closure, received a massive boost on Saturday as support flooded in.


International

Aid for Gaza - but on one condition

The West is dangling the prospect of reconstruction aid to Palestinians in Gaza – but only on the condition that they accept a two state solution.


Comment

The contradictions of Obama’s budget

Barack Obama announced the plans for his first budget last week. They reinforced the impression that his presidency marks a clear break from the years of George Bush.


Features

Can countries become bankrupt?

"There’s a rumour going around that states cannot go bankrupt," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said recently at a private bank event in Frankfurt. "This rumour is not true."

Death on the US-Mexico border

Enrique Morones is the founder of Border Angels, a group of activists helping migrants who make the hazardous journey across the border from Mexico to the US. He is taking crosses to the rows of "John Does" graves.

Jess Hurd’s photos of the US-Mexico border

Latinos face a rising tide of hostility

Immigrant Latinos in the US are facing a tough and worrying future.

Three generations of women celebrate the gains in the fight for liberation

Women around the world will be celebrating the gains that they have fought for and won on International Women’s Day this Sunday 8 March.

Union bureaucrats and the rank & file

How do trade union leaders react when workers lose their jobs or see their wages and conditions come under attack? Typically, they are "disappointed". Sometimes they are "angry". On rare occasions they can encourage resistance to attacks on workers.


Reviews

Gonna Take Us All - Jon Fromer

This new album from US activist and singer Jon Fromer highlights issues such as class and race through modern blues and folk songs.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

This novel for over 11 year olds is well written and absolutely gripping. It is set in a future where the US is divided into 12 different districts ruled over by the dictatorial Capitol.

Red Riding

This ambitious adapation of David Peace’s trilogy of novels set in Yorkshire in the 1970s and 1980s is well worth watching.

Watchmen: exposing superheroes but still half in love with them

The new science fiction film Watchmen is set in a world that was identical to ours until the middle of the last century, when a group of costumed vigilantes appeared in the US.

Charlie Chaplin: a tramp for our troubled times

The art of Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), the south London-born master of silent screen comedy such as The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), and Modern Times (1936), is as relevant today as a century ago.


What We Think

Fashioning a tidy profit from recession

Mosaic Fashion owns a series of high street chains. It was dumped into administration by its main backer, the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, on Monday. Kaupthing then immediately bought back Mosaic and changed the firm’s name. By doing this they wrote off some debts and snapped up the profitable bits of the company.

Negative equity comes back to haunt homes

A spectre from the 1990s is returning to haunt the streets of Britain—negative equity and the threat of home repossession. Only this time things could be much worse. The new Lloyds Banking Group, formed from Lloyds TSB’s rescue of HBOS last year, has said that over 543,000 customers owed more on their mortgages than the value of their homes.

Double standards over pensions reveal the class divide

If the Royal Bank of Scotland had been allowed to go bust the bank’s former boss, Sir Fred Goodwin, would be on a pension of £20,000 a year. That’s what he’d be entitled to from the Pension Protection Fund, the safety net this government was forced to put in place for when company pension schemes collapse.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: One delivery that's not under threat

Tim: 10 years till his bus pass

Letters

Fred the Shred’s smash and grab bank raid Socialist Worker recently produced an excellent campaign poster citing Fred Goodwin, the disgraced former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as "Wanted for Bank Robbery".

Quotes on police racism

"I no longer believe the label of instutional racism to be either appropriate or useful to the Metropolitan Police."Scotland Yard Commisioner Sir Paul Stephenson



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