Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2162

Dated: 01 Aug 2009

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Nationalise Vestas to save jobs

The government must nationalise the Vestas wind turbine company to save jobs and begin to stop climate change. Gordon Brown and energy secretary Ed Miliband have refused to save the jobs.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Big business is profiteering from the flu pandemic

Competing for vaccine The world’s richest and poorest states are competing to buy stocks of a potential swine flu vaccine.

Firefighters mobilise against attacks on emergency services

Around 150 London firefighers in the FBU union gathered last week to launch a ballot for industrial action short of a strike. This could begin a major battle over jobs, conditions and fire safety.

Support grows for protest at Labour Party conference

Activists are leaping into action ahead of the demonstration outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Sunday 27 September.

Wave of revolt at job losses sweeps Kilmarnock

A huge crowd of 20,000 people marched through Kilmarnock last Sunday against drinks multinational Diageo’s proposed closure of its Johnnie Walker whisky plants in the town and in Glasgow.

Open letter responses: Let’s prepare for battle

A lot has happened in the seven weeks since the European election results.

Open letter responses: A reply to the Socialist Party

The desire for unity on the left is driven by the meltdown in Labour’s support, the lengthening dole queues and the election of two fascist British National Party (BNP) candidates to the European parliament.

Vestas workers take on climate change minister in Oxford

Vestas workers challenged Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband at a packed public meeting of 600 people at Oxford Town Hall on Monday evening.

Afghan MP speaks out against war

Afghan MP Malalai Joya addressed more than 200 people at a Stop the War Coalition meeting in central London on Thursday of last week.

Defend Unison socialists against attack

The Unison union has outrageously banned four Socialist Party members from holding office for three years.

Glasgow Unison ballot for action

Workers at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies have begun a ballot for strike action against management plans to close the baby room at Thistle Street Nursery, which would lead to the immediate loss of five jobs.

An enterprising vote for strikes

Enterprise-Liverpool workers in the GMB union have voted by a massive 97 percent for industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Support anti-war soldier Joe Glenton

The court martial of Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, who has refused to return to fight in the unjust war in Afghanistan, is set to begin next week. He is winning wide support for his stance.

Jean Charles de Menezes memorial

Relatives, friends and campaigners for justice for Jean Charles de Menezes are calling for a permanent memorial to be placed outside the south London Tube station where he was killed by police in July 2005.

Underground strike forces bosses to negotiate

A solid strike by thousands of RMT union members on London Underground over pay, job losses and bullying in June has forced bosses back to the negotiating table.

Metroline 'consider their position' over bus cameras

Bosses at the Metroline bus company in London say they are "considering their position" over the installation of CCTV cameras in drivers’ cabs.

Nottingham tram workers strike over pay

"They’re trying to bust the union!" This was the rallying cry from Nottingham tram workers on a picket line outside their depot on Monday morning explaining their action.

Fighting privatisation at Camden council

More than 150 caretakers working for Camden council held a mass meeting on Tuesday of last week in response to plans to privatise the cleaning of estates.

Post strike in Ipswich

Ipswich mail centre workers struck on Tuesday of last week against cuts that would see an astonishing 17 percent reduction in hours.

Close down the BNP's festival of hate

The anti-fascist campaign to halt a Nazi festival of hate in a Derbyshire village is gathering momentum.

Leafleting Carphone Warehouse to defend the union

Activists in the CWU union have organised a mass leafleting of the Carphone Warehouse store on Oxford Street, central London, for Saturday of this week.

Pressure intensifies on the Nazis

Members of the Nazi BNP and its supporters have been drawing a lot of attention to themselves in recent weeks.

Coaches filling up quickly for anti-Nazi protest

Fifty coaches have been booked to transport people to the demonstration against the Nazi hate-fest.

Unions are picking up at Penguin

Three hundred staff packed into the canteen at Penguin/Dorling Kindersley in central London on Wednesday of last week to discuss job cuts.

Strike at Penske called off after new offer

More than 100 contract workers employed by Penske Logistics working at the Ford complex in Southampton called off a planned strike for Wednesday of last week after reaching an agreement with management.

Corus workers frustrated after union meeting

Around 100 workers at the Corus Steel company, who are members of the Community, Unite and GMB unions, attended a multi-union meeting in Scunthorpe on Friday of last week. Many workers were disappointed by the agenda.

Protest for Waltham Forest cleaning workers

Around 40 people protested against the dismissal of two street cleansing workers outside Waltham Forest town hall in east London on Thursday of last week.

Edinburgh council brings in private firm to break refuse strike

Edinburgh council has drafted in a private refuse collecting firm to try to break a dispute with its workers over a single status pay deal.

Construction blacklist companies not to be prosecuted

New details have now emerged about the precise nature of the blacklist in the construction industry. The companies behind the blacklist are confident they will not be prosecuted.

Vestas: The story of the struggle

On Monday 20 July, 25 workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, went into occupation. 

Banking on fighting back at Barclays

The Barclays’ pension dispute is a crucial fight for the Unite union and the working class in general. The bank is trying to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members in a well-unionised workplace.

The workers are fighting for our children and grandchildren

‘Violet here is 16 months old. Luke left on Monday after she’d gone to bed. She woke up and he wasn’t there.

'Being in occupation makes you feel alive'

‘The managers don’t want to make us comfortable. The food is getting better, but it’s still a bit crazy.

Housing campaigners win victory in Sandwell

Sandwell Council in the West Midlands announced plans to build 28 council homes last week and is seeking £50 million to build a further 1,000 houses.

Defend Council Housing meeting in Camden

More than 100 tenants and residents packed into a DCH meeting in Camden town hall on Monday evening calling for a moratorium on council housing sell offs, cuts and privatisation.

Wave of solidarity for action

Growing numbers of people are building solidarity with the Vestas occupation.

Post dispute set to escalate after solid strikes

Postal workers in London struck for three days last week in a row over jobs and pay cuts.

South Korean occupiers send solidarity message to Vestas workers

Occupation 67 days, chimney top protest 76 days! From Ssangyong Motor workers occupying the Pyeongtaek plant in solidarity with Vestas workers for victory.

Postal workers heading towards a national ballot

Postal workers in the CWU union are stepping up their fight against Royal Mail’s programme of cuts and imposed changes to working conditions.

Vestas occupiers sacked but still defiant

Vestas bosses sacked the occupying workers in their plant in Newport, the Isle of Wight, this evening. The workers received letters informing them of their sacking without redundancy pay with their evening meal, which was one slice of pizza each.

Vestas forced to retreat at court hearing

In dramatic scenes, the Vestas company’s attempt to get an injunction to remove the workers occupying its wind turbine factory in Newport, the Isle of Wight, has been adjourned until Tuesday 4 August.

Vestas is humbled in court confrontation

The Vestas occupation won a massive victory in court this morning as workers got a guarantee that their occupation can continue for at least another five days – and possibly longer.

Protest to defend the Vestas occupation

Vestas workers have called a protest in defence of their occupation for this Saturday 1 August. They are asking as many of their supporters as possible to get to the Isle of Wight to show their solidarity with the fight for jobs and the planet.

It's magic! Food gets into Vestas occupation

At 2pm today activists got more food into the Vestas occupation in the Isle of Wight. The workers have been going hungry as management are not supplying enough food.

Another setback for Vestas management as occupation delays redundancies

Workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory in Newport, Isle of Wight are to be paid for another two weeks – but will not have to do any work.

New occupation against redundancies in Dublin: a voice from inside

Twenty workers have occupied a Thomas Cook travel agents shop in Dublin after they were told they were being sacked with immediate effect.

Chocolate, fish and chips, and solidarity for Vestas occupation

Around 100 Vestas workers and their supporters gathered outside the occupied factory in the Isle of Wight tonight to hear the daily update from inside, what is happening with their redundancy payments and the most recent messages of support for their fight.

Thomas Cook occupation spreads to second shop: worker speaks

The Dublin branch of Direct Holidays, a sister shop to the Thomas Cook office occupied yesterday, has also gone into occupation.

Solidarity protest and more food for Vestas occupiers

Around 250 people gathered in St Thomas Square, Newport today to show solidarity with the Vestas occupation, in a protest that ended with occupiers getting big bags of food.

Overnight occupation against London secure children's unit closure

Workers at Orchard Lodge secure children's unit in Anerley, south London, became the latest group to occupy against the closure of their workplace yesterday.

Protest in solidarity with Thomas Cook occupiers

Workers in occupation at two travel agents shops in Dublin are asking for urgent protests outside Thomas Cook shops in Britain in solidarity with their struggle.

Step up support for Vestas occupiers

Activists in the Isle of Wight are stepping up their campaign in support of the occupying Vestas workers, who will have been in occupation for two weeks tonight.

Court grants Vestas an injunction against workers' occupation

A court in Newport, the Isle of Wight has granted multinational wind turbine company Vestas an injunction against workers who are currently occupying one of its plants.


Die Linke - the left party’s new challenges

How did Die Linke fare in the recent European elections?

South Korean factory occupation challenges mass sackings

Some 900 workers at Ssangyong, the smallest of South Korea’s five car manufacturers, have occupied their factory against mass sackings for the last two months.

Brown hails Afghanistan victory but crisis deepens

Gordon Brown has declared a victory in the "first phase" of an offensive by British and US troops in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Iranian clampdown continues against activists

Isa Saharkhiz, a leading pro-reform journalist and political analyst in Iran, has been arrested and his ribs broken under interrogation, according to information sent to Socialist Worker.


Stem cells and the ‘end of men’

Stem cells are in the news again with two stories hitting the headlines recently. The first was a report that sperm could be produced artificially from embryonic stem cells. Then last week came the revelation that ordinary skin cells can be reprogrammed to grow into a brand new individual.

Rich flock behind David Cameron's banner

"Follow the money" is an old adage—and the money is flowing into the Tories’ coffers in the expectation that David Cameron will be installed in Downing Street next spring.


Flint occupation lit a flame

In December 1936 US workers occupied General Motors’ (GM) car plants in Flint, Michigan, and won an inspiring victory.The tactic of occupation came to the fore during the Great Depression.

Home wreckers: New Labour's housing policy

The crisis in housing has reached an epic scale. A property is repossessed every 10 minutes. Some five million people are on housing waiting lists. And millions more spend each night in damp, insecure or overcrowded accommodation.

Labour broke housing promises

Over the past few months New Labour has come out with a string of announcements relating to council housing. It wants to be seen as responding to the crisis in housing.

Immigrants do not get housing priority

Gordon Brown spun the detail of the strategy documents from the government as providing "local homes for local people".

Camberwell fire tower ‘was a risk’

The design of Lakanal House, a tower block in Camberwell where six people died in a fire last month, was identified as being a risk nearly ten years ago.

Housing facts

Three million households have had to sell possessions to pay for housingOne in 10 people have taken on an extra job or overtime to try to meet housing costsOne in seven children in Britain is growing up homeless or badly housed Just under one million children are trapped in overcrowded housingSome 90,000 homeless households living in temporary accommodation in England – double the number in 1997In 21 local authority areas at least 3 percent of the private houses are empty. In Burnley it is 6.2 percent and in Liverpool 5.6 percentThere are more than 28,000 homes standing empty in Suffolk and Essex Many empty prope

Unity is needed to take struggle forward

Only a revolutionary party containing the most class-conscious workers can successfully develop and apply strategy and tactics.

Cleaner waits for deportation: ‘My crime? I took a job to survive’

‘The company sent me and other cleaners a letter saying that we should come to a chemical training course at the Willis building in central London on Tuesday 14 July.


Lighting Lab

Play with light and colour in this interactive session. Participants create shadows and mix colours at this one off workshop led by light and sound artist Kathrine Sandys.

House of the Holy Afro

This lively show brings together traditional African music and house music – the result is an explosive carnival of sound and dance.

The Salati Case

Meet Castagnetti, Casta to his friends, who operates as a private investigator in the rather prosperous Italian city of Parma.

The Yes Men Fix The World

This documentary follows the exploits of Mike and Andy, the Yes Men, who attempt to "fix the world" through a series of elaborate hoaxes.

Edinburgh Festival preview: from Hell to Gaza

Capitalism isn’t too fond of the arts. Of course, it loves Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and blockbuster movies which put "bums on seats" and fill the tills with cash.

What We Think

Other Categories

Glaslyn Morgan

Socialists, trade unionists and many others across South Wales will be saddened to learn that Glaslyn Morgan of Skewen has died at the age of 89.

Leon Kuhn: Ed Miliband Pinocchio

Tim: The end of Gordon Brown

Tim: Negotiating with fanatics



Celebrate the retirement of PCS stalwart Joel Hirsch

Come and celebrate the retirement of PCS union member Joel Hirsch. 4.30pm, Friday 7 August, the Salad Bar (corner of Gillingham Street and Wilton Road), London SW1

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