Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2146

Dated: 11 Apr 2009




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Occupy to save jobs

Workers at the Visteon car components manufacturing plants in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon are fighting for justice after they were sacked last week. The workers in Belfast and Enfield occupied their sites.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

United meeting against the recession

Over 170 workers came to a trade union rally organised by the UCU lecturers’ union in central London on Thursday of last week that aimed to kickstart a united fight to defend jobs.

NUT conference meets this weekend

Delegates to the NUT union’s annual conference this weekend will meet at a time of crisis that is impacting on their jobs, pay and pensions.

NUS conference: an organisation cut off from student activists

Battle lines were drawn at the National Union of Students (NUS) annual conference last week. Activists involved in the wave of student occupations over Gaza were refused support by the union, in a move that shows the ever-widening gap between the union structures and activists on the ground.

Fighting job losses at London Met

The UCU and Unison unions at London Metropolitan University are set to ballot for industrial action against planned job cuts.

Northampton postpones academy plans

Anti-academy campaigners won a victory this week when Northampton council postponed plans to transform the Unity College secondary school into an academy.

Union calls ballot over Royal Mail cuts

The likelihood of a London-wide strike at Royal Mail took a big step forward this week as leaders of the postal workers’ CWU union sanctioned a ballot of the region.

10,000 set to walk out at London Underground

London Underground workers in the RMT transport union were expected to return a big yes vote for strike action over pay, job cuts and bullying on Wednesday of this week.

Limits to mortgage help: a ticking timebomb

The government has found yet another way of putting pressure on the long-term unemployed, in addition to the Welfare Reform Bill currently going through parliament.

Hackney protests continue at Army Showroom

Over 50 people protested against an army showroom in Hackney, east London, last Saturday.

More votes for action in the NUJ

A group of journalists at Thomson Reuters press agency have voted for strikes to defend their nine-day working fortnight.

Conducting strike action at Midland

Around 100 train conductors at the London Midland company struck on Sunday and Monday of this week against management’s attempts to force them to work on Sundays.

Anger as Yunus Bakhsh sacking upheld

news that the Northumbria, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust has upheld the sacking of nurse and activist Yunus Bakhsh was just breaking as Socialist Worker went to press.

Chaos of privatisation in Glasgow housing

The madness of the privatisation of council housing services was brought into stark focus last week as 235 maintenance workers in Glasgow were temporarily left without an employer.

Thousands of Glasgow council workers balloting against single status

A major dispute in Glasgow council escalated this week as around 10,000 workers in the Unison union began a ballot for action.

Big vote for action among civil service workers

Members of the PCS civil service workers’ union at call centres in the Revenue & Customs (HMRC) department voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action for improvements to their terms and conditions last week.

BBC journalists strike suspended as deal is reached

A planned strike by thousands of journalists in the NUJ union at the BBC set for Friday of last week was suspended after a deal over compulsory redundancies was reached.

Striking to stop cuts at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail

Journalists at Glasgow-based tabloids, the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail, are due to strike for a second time on Friday of this week.

Trade unionists oppose Nazi protest at Home Office

Anti-fascists held a counter-protest at a British National Party (BNP) demonstration in Croydon, south London, last Saturday.

Tamils protest against war in Sri Lanka

Thousands of Tamils in Britain joined a vigil in Parliament Square on Tuesday to protest against the Sri Lankan government’s military offensive.

New dossier details British torture role

Further evidence is emerging of systematic British involvement in "extraordinary rendition".

US plans in danger as Iraq deal falls apart

One of the central planks of the US strategy to pacify Iraq has begun to unravel – just as it prepares to draw down its troops from the country.

Protests shake Nato Strasbourg summit

Thousands of demonstrators defied police repression and violence to stage mass protests against Nato in Strasbourg, France, last Saturday.

Trade unionists raise their voices against Nato

Many trade unions across Europe mobilised to bring workers to the anti-Nato demonstrations in Strasbourg.

Support grows for Prisme sit-in

Defiant workers at the Prisme packaging plant in Dundee are into their sixth week of occupation after being sacked at a few hours notice with none of the money owed to them.

Call for answers after G20 death

There are growing calls for a public inquiry into the police’s role in the death of 47 year old Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in the City of London on Wednesday of last week.

Flat taken over to protest at home sell-offs

Defend Council Housing (DCH) activists occupied a flat in Streatham, south London, last week in protest at Lambeth council’s policy of selling off its housing stock despite the chronic shortage of accommodation in the borough.

Resistance intensifies on many fronts

The magnificent action by Visteon workers occupying their factories is the sharp end of struggle in Britain – and has radically changed the mood among many of those fighting the impacts of the recession.

Glasgow schools occupy in battle against closures

Parents in Glasgow stepped up their fight against school closures by occupying two primary schools on Friday of last week.

Photos of Glasgow school occupations at Wyndford and St Gregory’s

Post strike threat in Watford after safety rep suspended

Postal workers in Watford are demanding a strike ballot after Royal Mail managers suspended the CWU union’s safety rep Bob Kennedy in a dispute about unsafe working practices.

Join the protest at death of Ian Tomlinson

A march has been called for Saturday 11 April to demand justice for Ian Tomlinson and an end to police violence.

Video of demonstration protesting at death of Ian Tomlinson

Demonstration on Saturday 11 April 2009 demanding justice for Ian Tomlinson, who died after being hit by police during the anti-G20 demo on 1 April

Teachers’ union conference votes to boycott Sats tests

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference in Cardiff have voted unanimously for a boycott of the hated Sats tests next year – if the government refuses to abolish them.


International


Comment

Resistance is coming together

Wednesday 1 April was one of those days where everything suddenly came together.


Features

Norman Strike interviewed on his Miners’ Strike diary

Durham miner Norman Strike kept a diary of his life during the 1984‑5 strike. To mark the dispute’s 25th anniversary, he is publishing his diary daily on the internet.

Can capitalism recover?

Karl Marx’s writings were among the earliest to analyse what is now called the "business cycle" – the short-term tendency towards boom and bust built into capitalism.

G20: day of rage rocks system

The City financial district in the heart of London was brought to a standstill on Wednesday of last week as thousands of protesters converged on the Bank of England to demonstrate against the recession, banks, war and climate change.

G20 policing: Intimidation is their intention

The police reacted to the G20 protests last week with their usual mixture of lies and bullying.

G20: Photos of the London protests

Will the G20 bailout work?

Gordon Brown’s G20 plan to "save the world" has been hailed a truimph by the media.

Belfast: United in the jobs struggle

Within an hour of being told by Visteon that they were sacked, workers at the company’s Belfast plant were holding protests and appealing for solidarity.

Cash pours in from collections

With millions desperate to see a fightback over job losses and the bosses’ offensive, solidarity for the Visteon occupation has poured in – almost from the minute it started.

What we think: Politics crucial in every dispute

Workers’ action at Visteon has shown how every struggle is bound up with political questions.

Visteon workers speak out: ‘They won’t get rid of us without a fight’

"This recession is like a cancer," says Sharon, whose partner Richard was sacked last week after working for Ford and then Visteon for 17 years.

Administrators put workers at back of queue

Visteon brought in the accountants KPMG as administrators to push through the closure of its plants.

Project Protea: The plan to close Belfast

It is clear that Visteon management were preparing for the closure of the Belfast plant as early as January 2007.

Murky world of multinational outsourcing

An investigation into the company scams that lie behind the closure of the Visteon plants shines a light on the murky world of multinational companies and outsourcing.

Feudalism and the growth of the market

Supporters of capitalism tell us that, no matter how bad the current economic crisis gets, the system cannot be changed.

Solidarity with Visteon must spread

Visteon’s administrator, KPMG, has continued the contemptuous treatment of the workers.

An inspirational fight for jobs and justice

Workers at the Visteon car components firm have put themselves at the heart of the fightback against job cuts by occupying their factories after they were summarily sacked on Tuesday of last week.

Ford Visteon workers fight on as Enfield occupation ends

Workers at the Visteon car components plant in Enfield, north London, have ended their occupation, but are vowing to continue their protest against their unceremonious sacking that took place on Tuesday of last week.

Video of Visteon workers ending their occupation in Enfield

The footage shows workers ending their occupation of the Visteon car components plant in Enfield, North London, Thursday 9 April 2009


Reviews

Calcutta Grove - Sean Taylor

London-based singer‑songwriter Sean Taylor has been praised for his modern protest songs and compared to the likes of Tom Waits and even Bob Dylan.

If - Nathan Davis

At the close of the 1960s, saxophonist Nathan Davis was making records in praise of the civil rights movement and in opposition to war – from the relatively safe distance of France.

Exploring the trauma of Guernica through love and loss

The continuing power of the events of 26 April 1937 are shown in Dave Boling’s debut novel. It follows the lives of the Ansotegui and Navarro families from the end of the 19th century through to the beginning of the Second World War.

Guernica: a horror of war that gave us a canvas of genius

The horror of the aerial bombardment of Guernica, in Spain, by fascist forces on 26 April 1937 drove Pablo Picasso to his canvas.


What We Think

MPs expenses: As I say, not as I do

Western leaders love to lecture countries in the Global South about "good governance". Corruption, they say, is holding you back.

Ian Blair denies reality of police racism

Stephen Lawrence’s mother Doreen once asserted that no police officer had tended her dying son because they didn’t want to get "black" blood on their hands.

Obama and a world without nuclear weapons

While he was in the Czech Republic last Sunday, Barack Obama pledged the US’s "commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons".


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Labour policy

Tim: Let's occupy…

Letters

We beat the incinerator Campaigners are elated that Cornwall County Council has turned down a planning application for an incinerator to burn the county’s rubbish.

The week in quotes

‘We could face situations where chief executives of companies are, as in France recently, taken hostage by protesters.’ Lisa Patmore, partner at Pinsent Masons law firm explaining that as economic conditions deteriorate, workers are more likely to take matters into their own hands

For sale: Flat in Looe, Cornwall

Ground floor flat in West Looe, Cornwall, left to Socialist Worker, is now available for sale. Double bedroom, single bedroom/study, utility room , patio area overlooking the River Looe, plus section of shared garden. The house is within walking distance of the harbour and town, and has its own parking.



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