Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2172

Dated: 10 Oct 2009



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Royal Mail: a battle for us all

The postal workers’ fight is crucial for every worker, student, pensioner and unemployed person in Britain.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Nick Davies: 'Is it the Sun wot wins it?'

What will be the impact of the Sun newspaper publicly shifting its support away from the Labour Party?

Sheffield trams vote to strike

Tram workers in Sheffield have voted to strike against a pay freeze. The Stagecoach Supertram workers are members of the Unite union. They voted by 135 to 15 for action up to and including a strike.

Victoria line underground strike called off

Members of the RMT on London Underground’s Victoria Line called off their 24-hour strike that was set to start at 9.30pm on Monday after a new agreement on new rosters was reached.

DLR gets deal on rosters

The RMT union called off a strike planned by control room staff on the Docklands Light Railway in London who were employed by Serco.

Balloting again on Virgin Trains

Catering staff on Virgin Trains are currently re-balloting for industrial action over the imposition of new working arrangements that increase the average working day and disrupt staffs’ rosters.

Eurostar: A decent offer or more strikes

Cleaners on the Eurostar trains at St Pancras International have pledged to reactivate their strike action if their employer does not make them a decent offer during talks this week.

Wirral U-turn on library closures

Activists on the Wirral are celebrating after the council made a dramatic U-turn and announced that it would scrap plans to close 11 libraries in the area.

Construction: national agreement deal rejected

Construction workers have rejected the national offer on pay and conditions despite their unions recommending acceptance.

Doncaster: Fighting against the cuts and for union rights

Workers from a number of trade unions in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, are uniting to fight for jobs, public services and union rights.

Brighton and Hove council workers to ballot for action over single status

Workers in the GMB union at Brighton and Hove council are set to ballot for industrial action over a single status pay deal.

Sheffield unions' consultative ballot on single status

Anger is growing over plans for a new pay structure that would mean wage cuts for some of Sheffield council’s lowest paid employees, including care assistants and Street Force street cleaning workers.

All-out Leeds bin strike in the balance

Talks are taking place between unions and Leeds council to resolve the all-out bin strike in the city, which is now in its fourth week.

Bloody toll of Afghan war causes splits in US

The occupation of Afghanistan is spiralling towards an ignoble defeat unless there is a "super surge" of troops—that is the warning from senior US and British generals.

Anti-war movement builds for national demonstration

Stop the War activists are gearing up for a national demonstration to demand all British troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

‘Let’s beat the post bosses with hard-hitting strikes’

The post dispute is at a crucial point. Thousands of workers took part in the 15th wave of regional strikes this week.

Unionised Royal Mail union-busters

Why are those Royal Mail managers who are busy helping the company break the postal workers’ strike allowed to be members of a TUC‑affiliated trade union?

Solidarity appeal: Everyone must back our battle for a public service

We are calling on everyone to support the postal workers’ strike.

BAE scandal: Political corruption and the arms industry

The Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) plan to prosecute the arms company BAE Systems for bribery in Africa and Eastern Europe has shone a light on the murky world of multinational corruption.

Cleaner Juan Carlos Piedra's fight for justice goes on

Supporters of sacked cleaner Juan Carlos Piedra pledged to keep up the fight for justice this week after new developments in the case.

Tories' smiles can't hide their plans for nasty attacks

"The Conservative Party has changed. Rich or poor, from north to south, there is an alternative to Labour."

The bidding war over cuts

Tory plans to cut benefits and services are a chilling reminder to working class people of the true nature of the bosses’ party.

The Tories' far right friends

The Tories showed their more sinister side through the European allies they invited to their conference.

David Cameron tries to charm unions

Part of the Tories’ attempt to wipe out the terrible memory of their previous governments is to claim that working class people are backing them.

New evidence on Lockerbie bombing

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man wrongly convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, has published new documents to prove his innocence.

Open the Blair Peach files

The Metropolitan Police carried out a secret inquiry ten years ago into the death of anti-Nazi teacher Blair Peach in Southall in 1979, it has been revealed.

Keep Nick Griffin off Question Time

Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), is due to appear on the BBC’s Question Time programme on Thursday 22 October—but he will face a mass protest by angry anti-Nazis.

Outrage after young Nazis appear on Radio One

Anger at the BBC rose last week after it broadcast a radio "interview" with two leading BNP members on a news programme directed at young people.

Bus strikes at First: don't let bosses drive pay fight off the road

Britain’s largest bus operator, First, is facing a wave of strikes in response to its attempts to impose a pay freeze. Up to 8,000 workers at the company could be on strike in the next few weeks.

Andy Abel—a tribute

Activists in Bristol organised a unique tribute to much-missed SWP member Andy Abel last week when this billboard appeared next to the M32 in Eastville. Over 200 attended a special event to celebrate Andy’s life last Saturday. Dave Merrick and Jeff Brewster would like to thank everyone who made it such a success.

Remembering Ekram Haque

Our friend and comrade Ekram Haque was a man of faith, but also an active socialist and anti-war campaigner in south London.

Vigil against racist vandalism of Muslim graves

Around 80 people held a vigil last Sunday in response to the racist desecration of Muslim gravestones in Manchester.

Anti-academies fight in Hastings

Anti-academy campaigners in Hastings are organising against plans to close three schools and replace them with two academies.

NUJ left to meet

The NUJ Left will be holding its conference on Saturday 17 October.

Defend migrant workers

The past year has seen a wave of attacks on migrant workers in Britain. Activists at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London have helped to initiate a "Hands off my workmate" conference in response.

Firefighters turn up the heat

Fire service bosses are taking the axe to fire stations, shifts and crews across the country, making cuts that will leave the fire service dangerously understaffed and put the public at risk.

Massive yes vote for national post strike

Postal workers have voted by a massive 76 percent for national strike action. The scale of the yes vote, and the high turnout of 67 percent, will send a tremor through Royal Mail bosses.


International

Lisbon treaty passed in Ireland but resistance must continue

The 67 percent vote in the Irish Republic to ratify the European Union’s Lisbon treaty represented a major victory for the country’s corporate and political elite.

Interview with Christine Buchholz, newly elected German socialist MP

Why was the Die Linke election campaign so successful? What were the main issues that it raised?

Portugal's Left Bloc is stronger than ever

Portugal’s general election in September changed the political landscape. It saw a decline in the vote for the ruling Socialist Party and was a big success for the radical Left Bloc,


Comment

French Resistance: Did the ‘Army of Crime‘ die for France?

The French Resistance is often presented as a national liberation struggle. Both Communists and the followers of right wing General de Gaulle saw it as a nationalist movement against German occupation. It is only relatively recently that historians have written about the non-French fighters.

Polarisation across Europe brings left votes

The media have been gloating about the plight of the left in the wake of the German federal elections a fortnight ago. "A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of socialism’s slow collapse", announced the New York Times last week.


Features

The ’Hot Autumn‘ of 1969: when Italy erupted

Italy’s "Hot Autumn" of 1969 triggered a decade-long battle between the working and ruling classes. It saw migrant, unorganised workers and women take the lead in challenging the old order.

The Tories: a nasty party that represents the bosses

The Tories are back. Labour’s love affair with power and business has laid the basis for what is presented as a changed Conservative Party.

Labour's criminal assault on poor families

The government has dramatically stepped up its war on young working class people. Gordon Brown wants to force young mothers into "supervised homes" where they will be told "how to raise their children properly".

Interview: ‘People look down on you if you’re a young mum’

Kirsty Ann was 17 when she had her baby. She lives with her mother in Glasgow. Kirsty Ann spoke to Sadie Robinson about the reality of life as a teenage mother

Teenagers interviewed: ‘Adults always think the worst of you’

What are your experiences of adults?

The history of New Labour’s right wing crime strategy

Tony Blair coined a famous phrase that would come to represent New Labour’s "realistic" approach to crime – "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

Do women need to organise separately?

In 1868 Karl Marx wrote, "Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the female sex."

Diary of a postal striker in the north: History lessons

As we received texts telling us of Royal Mail’s attempts to run a major scabbing operation around the country, many of us on the picket line last week were reminded of the 1980s.


Reviews

Signings and book launches coming up at Bookmarks

A number of top left wing authors are launching new books at Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop, over the next few weeks.

Pop Life: Art in a Material World

This show received a media backlash and a visit from the police last week before it had even opened to the public.

Beer ‘counter-culture’ hits back at the big brewers

It’s a golden age for beer... Hold on, aren’t 50 pubs a week closing? Yes, but that’s only part of the picture.


What We Think


Other Categories

Tim: Britain back to work

Letters

Letters

Quotes from the week

"If the charge is youth, enthusiasm and energy, I plead guilty."



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