Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2173

Dated: 17 Oct 2009

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Five reasons to back the post strikes

Defending public servicesRoyal Mail bosses are determined to run down the postal service, making it slower, more expensive and less reliable.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Post strike is a crucial fight for our future

What are the key issues behind the post dispute?

Post workers are not lazy

"I get up at 4.30am for a 5.30am start five days a week, including Saturdays, and I work until 1.30pm. The kind of people who write rubbish about us simply wouldn’t know what that is like.

Anger in Unite at union members who scab on post strike

Anger continues to grow inside the Unite union at the role of Royal Mail managers in attempting to break the post strikes.

Solidarity with post workers: Students with cakes lift spirits on picket line

Post workers’ picket lines were buoyed this week by fellow trade unionists bringing solidarity collections – and students who had come bearing cakes.

First day of London Metropolitan University strike

Workers at London Metropolitan University began a two-day strike this morning, Thursday, against job losses and course cuts.

Anger as Royal Mail cancels anti-bullying week

With management bullying at near epidemic proportions—and a major factor behind the recent 3 to 1 strike vote—you might think that Royal Mail would want to improve relations with its workers.

National post strike: dates announced

The postal workers’ CWU union has announced the dates for its national strike action. All mail centres and the network drivers (around 42,000 postal workers) are set to take action for 24 hours from 4am on Thursday 22 October. Delivery offices and collection staff (around 78,000 postal workers) are set to strike for 24 hours on Friday 23 October.

The truth about secret Royal Mail ‘union-busting’ plan

Socialist Worker has copies of secret documents that reveal meticulous preparation over how to beat a strike in Royal Mail. Next week’s Socialist Worker will feature an in depth breakdown of the strategy outlined in the secret documents and how it can be challenged.

Construction site strike

Some 200 construction workers at the Heerema offshore fabrication yard in Hartlepool walked out on unofficial strike on Monday of this week in a dispute over union recognition.

Cabin crew at British Airways will be ‘knackered’ by cuts

British Airways (BA) is planning to slash 1,700 jobs and impose a two year pay freeze on its remaining staff. But workers will not to take the cuts lying down and are planning strike action over the Christmas period.

Bin workers stay strong in Leeds

Refuse workers at Leeds city council have entered their sixth week of all-out strike action – and they are vowing to stay out until Christmas, or even longer, if that’s what it takes.

Keep BNP off Question Time

The BBC’s decision to invite Nick Griffin, the leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), onto next week’s Question Time is continuing to cause outrage.

How do we stop these Nazis?

The English Defence League is not welcome anywhere.

Anti-racists stand up to EDL thugs in Manchester

More than 2,000 anti‑racists gathered in Manchester city centre on Saturday of last week to face down one of the biggest Nazi protests in central Manchester since Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts in the 1930s.

CND conference looks to broaden the struggle

Support for the Troops out of Afghanistan national demonstration on 24 October was centre stage at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) annual conference last weekend.

Sheffield tram strike called off

The Unite union has called off a planned three-day strike on Sheffield supertrams after the employer, Stagecoach, offered a revised pay offer.

Stop the War meeting in Haringey

Around 80 people packed into the West Indian Cultural Centre in Turnpike Lane, north London, on Tuesday of last week for a meeting that is part of the growing resistance to the occupation of Afghanistan.

Report launch for council housing

The House of Commons Council Housing Group is launching a new report on Tuesday of next week.

Victory for sacked cleaner - but the battle goes on

Juan Carlos Piedra and his supporters were celebrating last week after the sacked cleaner returned to work at the Harbour Exchange building in London.

Firefighters set to strike in South Yorkshire

The FBU firefighters’ union has announced two 24-hour strikes in South Yorkshire.

New London Underground ballot

Workers on the London Underground in the RMT transport union are planning to ballot for strike action over pay.

Eurostar workers strike back

Eurostar train cleaners at St Pancras International have decided to reactivate their strikes after their employer did not give them a decent offer.

London Metroline bus drivers reject pay deal

Bus drivers employed by Metroline in north London have voted by over 95 percent to reject a new pay deal.

Bus strike in Kettering

Around 100 bus drivers in Kettering, Northamptonshire, held their first strike "for donkeys’ years" on Wednesday of last week, having voted 70 to 30 to reject Stagecoach’s measly 1.8 percent pay offer.

Strikes at First buses show the mood for action

A national battle is brewing over pay as Britain’s biggest bus operator, First, tries to impose a pay freeze on thousands of its workers.

NUT LGBT conference

Around 70 teachers attended the NUT union’s LGBT conference last Saturday.

Fighting the Trust at Goldsmiths

More than 50 people attended a meeting hosted by Goldsmiths students’ union on Tuesday of last week to oppose the plan for Goldsmiths university to be part of a proposal to form a Trust with two local secondary schools and a sixth form college.

NUT to ballot over Sats tests

The NUT teachers’ union is to hold an indicative ballot in November over whether to boycott the hated Sats tests.

Candidates backed by STA in NUT elections

Several key elections are coming up in the NUT teachers’ union. The first is for election of national officers – two vice-presidents, treasurer and examiners of accounts.

Further education lecturers ballot for action

Thousands of further education lecturers in the UCU union will be taking part in a national ballot over pay after rejecting a 1.5 percent pay offer.

Strike at Stoke-on-Trent College

Lecturers at Stoke-on-Trent College struck on Thursday of last week against the scrapping of the physics department and dyslexia team at the college, which would result in the loss of six jobs.

Jobs rally in Leeds

Over 200 workers and students at the University of Leeds were joined last Thursday by staff from Leeds College of Art and by striking bin workers in a rally to defend jobs and education.

Protest against cuts at University College London

Workers and students protested at University College London (UCL) on Wednesday of last week against plans for budget cuts which could mean the loss of up to 400 jobs.

Barnsley College dispute escalates

The long running dispute at Barnsley College over the college management’s decision to employ more associate teachers and other similar grades, instead of lecturers, is set to escalate.

Strike planned at London Met

Workers at London Metropolitan University are set to strike on Thursday and Friday of this week against planned cuts that would slash up to a quarter of the jobs at the university. Management also plan to close the last on-campus student nursery.

Demonstration for Palestine in Exeter

Protesters from Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) gathered outside the opening of the "Forest Tunes" art exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in the Natural World on Sunday of last week.

Trade union protest in Doncaster

Hundreds of people joined a protest in Doncaster town centre last Saturday – sending a message of unity in defence of the public sector.

Key strike ballot at Fujitsu

The Fujitsu Services IT company has launched a major attack on jobs, pay and pensions – but workers are fighting back.

Afghan ‘super-surge’ means more slaughter

A series of deadly bomb attacks in Pakistan and demands from the US military for a "super surge" in Afghanistan underline the growing instability as the "war on terror" enters its ninth year.

Stop Nazi Nick Griffin spouting race hate on the BBC

Thousands of anti-Nazi protesters will surround the BBC studios in west London on Thursday of next week, determined to stop Nick Griffin appearing on the flagship Question Time programme.

Military father who snubbed Tony Blair speaks out: ‘Let’s stop the bloody wars’

What do you think about the war in Afghanistan?


Violence continues in Iraq

Iraq has been rocked by a series of blasts that have killed scores of people. The latest, which took place in Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province, targeted a meeting between the Awakening Councils, insurgents who switched sides to become key US allies and the Iraqi military.

Why has Britain funded Sri Lankan detention camps?

The British government has pledged to stop its funding of detention camps in Sri Lanka.


Use the full force of the union against the Royal Mail bosses

With a thumping 76 percent vote for strike action in the national ballot the leadership of the CWU union should be banging their war drums. So why are they busy sending peace signals instead?

Shouldn’t we all make sacrifices?

Those at the top keep telling us that "we’re all in it together".

Dissecting MI5's authorised history

Intelligence services specialise in deception. So when MI5 decides to mark the centenary of its foundation with an "authorised history" it is sensible to take it with a pinch of salt.

David Cameron is not such a card sharp

Labour only has one card left to play in its pack if it is to avoid humiliation at next year’s general election – keep hollering that David Cameron is out to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher.


Diary of a postal striker in the north: ‘A brilliant vote’

The feeling around our office when news of the massive yes vote for national strikes came through can only be compared to the feeling we all had when Margaret Thatcher got kicked out of office in 1990.

Marek Edelman: the ghetto fighter

"Now the SS men were ready to attack. In closed formations, stepping haughtily and loudly, they marched into the seemingly dead streets of the Central Ghetto. Their triumph appeared to be complete.

Will sexism survive a socialist revolution?

According to the gospel of Jeremy Clarkson (bear with me on this), if anyone calls him sexist he would, "grab you by the epiglottis and bash the back of your head repeatedly into the pavement".

John Brown’s rebellion heralded the death of slavery

This week marks the 150th anniversary of a rebellion that helped end slavery in the United States. Michael Bradley looks back at a raid that many said was doomed to failure, and at John Brown, the man who led it.

Take climate fight to Copenhagen

Jørn Andersen is from the Climate Movement in Denmark – known as Klimabevægelsen. He is also part of the coordination group of the 12 December Initiative – a broad coalition of organisations preparing for the demonstration at the United Nations (UN) climate summit in Copenhagen on 12 December.

Building the London climate demo

Tens of thousands of people are set to descend on London on 5 December to demand that the government takes serious action to combat climate change.

How to create one million green jobs

The Campaign Against Climate Change trade union group has produced a pamphlet to show how the government could create one million green jobs. It is backed by major trade unions, including the RMT, CWU, PCS, TSSA and UCU.

Universities challenged

The new college year looks like it will be a volatile one. It has begun with the economic crisis hitting home. Thousands of university applicants have been denied places while the lucky ones have been crammed into overcrowded lecture theatres and accommodation.


Sheffield Documentary Film Festival

With entries from all over the world, this carnival of film is a must for anyone interested in the power of documentaries to inform and inspire.

Striking Women: Voices of South Asian Workers

This foyer exhibition celebrates the role played by South Asian women in two vital industrial disputes – at Grunwick in the 1970s, and Gate Gourmet in 2005.

Lee Hall: playwright who turned Pitmen Painters into a performance

In this fascinating, and one of the last ever editions of the South Bank Show, writer Lee Hall talks about his recent play, The Pitmen Painters.

Can You Dig It?: a revolution in black music and cinema

Before the late 1960s Hollywood was pretty much a "whites only" business. Parts for black actors were largely confined to servants and maids – and as for directors and writers, forget it.

What We Think

Other Categories

Tim: 'All in it together'

Tim: 'Jump from the window'


Is Labour a friend to working class people? The Tories and New Labour are no more than bullies who are competing with each other to see who can be the most vile to ill and unemployed people.

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