Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2159

Dated: 11 Jul 2009

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Filthy rich want to cut your pay

Disgraced bankers, corrupt politicians, unelected officials and bosses want ordinary people to suffer even more to help get them out of their crisis.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Pay vote on Ford site

More than 100 contract workers inside the Ford complex in Southampton are voting on industrial action over pay. The workers are at Penske Logistics which works on site at the giant Southampton plant.

Students face deportation

Nine Pakistani students arrested as "terror suspects" but released without charge in April are now awaiting deportation.

Tesco workers vote on relocation

Members of the Unite union at Tesco’s distribution facility in Chepstow in Wales are set to be balloted for industrial action over the company’s decision to relocate them eight miles over the border in Avonmouth, Bristol.

Capita staff strike back over pay

Finance workers at the Capita company in Glasgow are set to strike on Friday of this week over pay.

Council protest at £2,000 cut

Angry council contractors in the Ucatt union demonstrated outside Great Yarmouth town hall on Thursday of last week over a cut in their wages and hours. The building maintenance workers are losing about £2,000 a year under new contracts. 

HMRC workers slam jobs threat

Over 120 workers at the Euston Tower offices of the Revenue & Customs department in central London met last week to launch a campaign to stop the centralisation of Estate and Support Services (ESS).

Yorkshire sacking threat for firefighters

South Yorkshire fire authority is threatening to sack 744 of its firefighters at the end of the year if they do not accept changes to their contracts, according to the FBU union.

Fury at British Airways bosses’ cost cutting plans

There is fury among British Airways workers at plans to cut costs through thousands of job losses and a two-year pay freeze.

London Underground offer rejected as privateers in crisis

A mass meeting of 160 RMT union reps on London Underground on Monday of this week overwhelmingly voted to reject management’s latest offer to resolve their dispute over pay, redundancies and management bullying.

Picture: Pride London

Marxism 2009: Socialists gather to discuss the big questions

Can the left unite? Should we deny the Nazi BNP free speech? How deep is this economic crisis?

Picture: Closing rally at Marxism 2009

Stop BNP Nazis from spreading their hate

The fascist British National Party (BNP) is hoping to use its summer "festival" as a rallying point to promote its Nazi politics – but anti-fascists are determined to stop its plans.

Racists try to march in Birmingham

A group of racist thugs attempted to march through Birmingham city centre last Saturday chanting anti-Muslim slogans.

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets

Over 500 trade unionists marched in Shrewsbury last weekend to the court where 24 building workers were prosecuted for conspiracy following a construction strike in 1972. The march included delegations from RMT, Ucatt, PCS unions among others and was addressed by Ricky Tomlinson and Arthur Scargill.

Stoke's Signal 1 radio ballots for action

Bosses at Signal 1 radio in Stoke-on-Trent have told the NUJ union that they plan to axe two journalists’ jobs. Workers at the station are now balloting for action.

Jobs threatened at Guardian print centre

The Unite union has launched a campaign against 27 job losses at the Guardian print centre in London.

South Yorkshire bus workers to strike

Bus workers at First South Yorkshire are set to strike on Friday of this week against a pay freeze. The action will hit services throughout Sheffield, and Rotherham.

It's politicians, not teachers, who need an MoT

The government’s education white paper, published last week, shows just how out of touch ministers are from the real world of schools. Its ideas are neither new nor workable.

Teachers in Hackney to strike

Teachers at Haggerston School for Girls in Hackney, east London, are set to strike on Thursday of this week against job cuts.

Council review will not halt Tamworth academy campaign

After a string of strikes and street protests, Staffordshire county council leaders were last week forced to meet union reps from schools in Tamworth threatened with academy status.

Norlington School strikers say trust school plan is just not cricket

After months of small victories and some setbacks, sometimes a single day sees a campaign jump to a new level. A strike by NUT union members at Norlington School in Leyton, east London, on Thursday of last week was such a day.

Redundancies challenged at Nelson College

The UCU union branch at Nelson and Colne College has unanimously passed a resolution criticising management’s announcement of one, and possibly more, compulsory redundancies.

Manchester strike for jobs

Lecturers at Manchester College struck on Wednesday of last week in protest at 13 planned job cuts.

Where now for education campaigns?

At the end of each year there is the usual trawl for redundancies in further education.

New strike date set at London Met

Unions have put back a planned strike at London Metropolitan University.

Tower Hamlets College shows how to fight over cuts

Over 100 pickets shut down Tower Hamlets College in east London last week, setting an example of how to fight the drastic cuts that are hitting education.

Open letter responses: 'Part of a fighting agenda'

This year I stood as an independent left candidate in the local elections in Cambridge. I polled a close third with nearly 18 percent–less than 3 percent behind Labour.

Open letter responses: Some criticisms and questions

Michael Rosen’s idea of creating an umbrella organisation or federation of the left is a great idea. However, haven’t we been here before?

Fighting Labour and post bosses

Business secretary Lord Mandelson’s plans to privatise Royal Mail are in tatters. But bosses at the company are determined to wreak revenge against those they believe are responsible for the calamity that has befallen them – postal workers and their CWU union.

Anger at the bosses fuels London post strike

When it came to preparing for this week’s three-day strike by postal workers in London, aggressive Royal Mail managers "did our job for us," says Micky Rowell, secretary of the CWU’s east London branch.

Defence of pensions is part of post fight

After his humiliation over privatisation, Lord Mandelson now wants to unleash a further attack on postal workers – he wants to slash their pensions.

Camberwell fire: Tragedy reveals state of housing for poor

Helen Udoaka and her three week old daughter, Michelle; Catherine Hickman; Dayana Francisquini and her three year old son Filipe and six year old daughter Thais are all dead. They died because they were poor.

Myths behind attacks on public sector workers

New figures out this week prove that it is an "urban myth" that public sector workers are having an easy ride compared to those in the private sector.

Failed rail line should be public

The National Express East Coast (NXEC) rail line became the latest failure of privatisation last week when the company admitted that it could not meet the £1.4 billion payments for the franchise.

NHS can’t take the flu strain

A projected rise in the number of people with swine flu to 100,000 a day by late August could cause a crisis for the NHS, a Newcastle-based GP told Socialist Worker.

600 face sack at turbine plant

The government says it plans to create a million "green jobs". Meanwhile, in the real world, Britain’s only wind turbine factory is being closed down.

Still taking cash from the poor

The row over the 10p tax rate was revived on Tuesday when Labour backbenchers threatened to block Gordon Brown’s entire budget over the issue.

Thousands of graduates now face dole

Many university leavers are facing a bleak future with the number of graduate jobs on offer down by almost 30 percent on last year.

Pensioners hit hard by recession

The recession is disproportionately hitting older people as well as the young, with the number of pensioners going bankrupt almost tripling in the last five years.

Postal workers in London start three-day strike

Postal workers from across London began three days of strike action today. The action which involves some 11,000 Royal Mail employees has brought postal services in the capital to a halt.


Iran crackdown continues

The Iranian authorities have continued their repression of the popular movement that burst onto the streets following disputed presidential elections.

Obama’s war intensifies in Afghanistan and Pakistan

US and British troops are involved in a bloody fight with insurgents in the southern Helmand province in Afghanistan.

Oppression behind clashes in China

Hundreds of people were killed, with hundreds of others injured and arrested, during protests by the Muslim Uighur people in the Xianging region in the west of China this week.

Thousands resist the coup in Honduras

Protests against the coup in Honduras have continued despite vicious state repression.


Latin America: wounds that haven’t healed

The radical Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez presented Barack Obama with the book Open Veins of Latin America, one of the continent’s most important political works, during the Summit of the Americas in April.

New challenges in South Africa

I’ve just returned from spending a fortnight in South Africa. It was my first visit since the early 1990s. A lot has happened since then.


How the Nazis win

Fascism has never crept into power. Nor has fascism ever been elected to power. Nor has it ever seized power directly – despite the fascists nurturing a mythology of "national revolution".

Fighting for the union in call centres

With their culture of long hours, relentless targets, management bullying and low pay, call centres have become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the world of work.

Fighting union-busting: ‘Carphone won’t cut off the union’

The CWU union is mobilising its members for mass action at Carphone Warehouse following the victimisation of CWU activists at its Wednesbury plant in the West Midlands.

How activists can build a union from scratch in a call centre

Call centre workers from across Britain came together at a meeting at last month’s CWU conference. The meeting was unlike most others at the conference, with many of the participants far younger than the average delegate, and most at firms that do not recognise the union.


New pamphlet: America Right or Wrong

This new pamphlet looks at the "special relationship" between the US and Britain, which has defined the imperialist order over the last 50 years.

Strike By Name: One Man’s Part In The Miners’ Strike

Durham miner Norman Strike kept a diary of his life during the 1984‑5 strike.

Exhibition: The Met Collection

The police are not generally known for having a sense of humour but the opening of this exhibition has been done with expert comic timing.

Bruno: A homophobic and tedious failure of a film

Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comic persona, is an airheaded Austrian gay fashionista who has come to the US in search of fame.

What We Think

Other Categories

Tim: Death world tour

Tim: Rover


United, we can beat the violence of the fascists We know what happens when the mask of respectably falls from the face of the fascist British National Party (BNP) and its supporters.

Quotes from the week's news

‘Public sector pay obviously has got to reflect the prevailing conditions and, in particular, inflation has come way down.’Chancellor Alistair Darling

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