Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2174

Dated: 24 Oct 2009

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Victory to the postal workers

The national strike by postal workers this week is a battle that will determine the future.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Support leading health activist

Unison union activist Zena Dodgson is facing the sack after her Surrey and Sussex healthcare NHS Trust employer issued her with an "at risk" letter.

Johnnie Walker workers to ballot

Workers at Johnnie Walker plants in the west of Scotland are to be balloted on strike action to save jobs.

Police attack climate swoop at Ratcliffe on Soar

Over 1,000 climate change protesters gathered at Ratcliffe on Soar power station in Nottinghamshire last Saturday to protest against the continuing use of coal power stations.

Neath tenants reject homes sell-off

Tenants at a Defend Council Housing meeting in Seven Sisters, Neath, last week voted unanimously to oppose the plan by the Neath Port Talbot Council to transfer their homes to a private housing company, NPT Homes Ltd.

Inquiry into Baha Mousa's death reveals army's culture of torture

Baha Mousa died within 36 hours of being taken into British military custody during a raid on a hotel in Basra, Iraq, on 14 September 2003.

Construction round-up

Trade union activist charged under prevention of terrorism act A leading trade union activist faces a court hearing this week under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Miliband tries to conceal evidence of torture of Binyam Mohamed

The government is determined to stop CIA documents that link the British state to torture coming to light.

Successful event begins Hands Off My Workmate campaign

Around 150 people, including many migrant workers, attended the Hands off my workmate conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) last Saturday.

South Yorkshire firefighters walk out against sackings

Hundreds of firefighters across South Yorkshire were greeted with cheers as they struck for 24 hours from 6pm on Monday in protest at plans to sack them.

Iraqi asylum seekers face violence on Baghdad flight

Iraqi asylum seekers are speaking out after suffering racism, violence and cock-ups on a deportation flight.

Racist EDL forced off streets of Swansea

People in Swansea were shocked and disgusted by racist thugs taking to their city’s streets too last Saturday.

Unite’s Barclays bank pensions sell out

The Unite union is recommending that its members at Barclays bank vote to accept the closure of the final salary pension scheme to existing members in a consultative ballot.

Tamils protest against Sri Lankan concentration camps

Up to 30,000 Tamils and their supporters marched through London last Saturday demanding the closure of Sri Lanka’s concentration camps.

New problems for the BNP

A second BNP membership list was leaked on the internet on Tuesday of this week. The website has published the file, which shows the BNP’s membership as of April this year.

Practice makes pickets at Fujitsu

Workers at the Manchester and Crewe offices of IT company Fujitsu held "practice pickets" last week.

MPs unrepentant as they are told to hand back cash

The arrogance of MPs over the fortunes they have stolen in expenses seems to know no bounds.

Campaign to improve call centre staff conditions at DWP

The PCS civil service workers’ union is to launch a campaign, which could involve industrial action, for better conditions for call centre staff in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Council retreats in face of Leeds bin strike

Striking refuse workers in Leeds have forced the council into a dramatic climbdown in their bitter dispute over planned cuts that would see some workers lose £6,000 a year.

Walkout at Crown Aerosols

All 260 workers at Crown Aerosols in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, walked out on unofficial strike on Monday in support of suspended print union steward Andy Kirk.

NUJ Left conference

The NUJ Left conference on Saturday of last week discussed the changing dynamic of trade union struggle and the role of the left within the NUJ journalists’ union and the movement.

End the nightmare of the Afghan war

Socialist Worker explains why the Western occupation of Afghanistan must end—and why you should join Saturday’s anti-war demonstration

Anger at war grows among soldiers

The bloody cost of the Afghan war has provoked unprecedented opposition among soldiers and their families.

Defend Penny Gower

Members of the EIS teaching union and the UCU lecturers’ union turned out at the Employment Tribunal offices in Edinburgh to demonstrate their support for victimised safety rep, Penny Gower.

UN Human Rights Council condemns Israel’s Gaza assault

The reality of Israel’s brutal onslaught on Gaza at the beginning of the year was laid bare at the United Nations Human Rights Council last week.

Eurostar cleaners’ strike on track

Cleaners on the Eurostar trains at St Pancras International station in central London are set to strike on Friday and Sunday in the next stage of their fight for justice.

Firefighters: 'Call national action to beat back the cuts'

The striking firefighters in South Yorkshire (for strike report see page 6) are fighting cuts on a massive scale.

Campaign steps up against University of the Arts cuts

The campaign to stop an estimated 200 redundancies at the University of the Arts in London took a major step forward last week.

Strike at London Metropolitan University

Workers at London Metropolitan University struck on Thursday and Friday of last week against job losses and course cuts.

Stagecoach bus drivers vote on pay offer

Bus drivers at Stagecoach’s Kettering depot are balloting this week on a new pay offer, after strike action pushed management into offering an increased hourly rate.

Who will be last to join the First bus strikes?

The battle against a national pay freeze at First Bus is hotting up, with thousands of drivers across Britain due to strike together on Monday of next week.

Protest at Two Sisters reps’ sackings

Fifty nine workers and their supporters from the Two Sisters factory in Smethwick protested outside Marks & Spencer in Birmingham on Saturday.

Come help the scab-busters

Strike supporters are planning to hamper Royal Mail’s scabbing plans next week by mass leafleting a strike-breaking mail centre in Dartford, Kent.

Unions must back posties

Every trade unionist in Britain should throw their full weight behind the post dispute.

Leeds bin workers vote to continue all-out strike

Striking refuse workers in Leeds today voted by a massive 92 percent to reject a "final offer" from the council.

Judge dismisses anti-terror case against blacklisted worker as 'fantasy'

A bizarre attempt by the bosses to use the anti-terror laws against a blacklisted construction worker was dismissed as fantasy by a judge today (Wednesday).

Anti-fascists rally on eve of BBC protests

The mood was angry and determined as around 200 people gathered at a Unite Against Fascism rally in central London tonight, on the eve of fascist Nick Griffin's appearance on the BBC's Question Time.

Anti-fascists begin London protest at the BBC

Anti-fascist protesters are gathering this morning outside the BBC’s television centre in west London, where Nazi British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin is due to appear on the BBC Question Time programme tonight.

Anti-Nazi students blockade BBC studio

Numbers are growing outside the BBC studios in west London, where anti-fascists are protesting against the invitation for Nazi British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin to appear on the Question Time programme.

Anti-fascists lay siege to the BBC

Thousands of anti-fascist protesters stormed the BBC television studios in West London tonight just before Nick Griffin leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP) was due to arrive to record Question Time.

Raw video of UAF protest against Nazi Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time

The footage shows thousands of people at the protest outside the BBC television studios in West London demanding that Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party, should not be given a platform to spout his Nazi filth on BBC1's flagship political discussion programme Question Time, Thursday 22 October 2009

Voices of protesters who occupied the BBC foyer during the Nick Griffin demo

Socialist Worker spoke to some of the 30 protesters who made their way through the police lines into the foyer of BBC Television Centre in west London during the demonstration against Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time.

BBC should not have given a platform to Nick Griffin

While most of the mainstream media have pored endlessly over the details of last night’s Question Time, in a bid to unravel whether it went better or worse than expected for fascist leader Nick Griffin, a simple point has been missed—he should not have been on there at all.

Protests outside London against Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time

It was not only in London where people came together to protest at the BBC giving a platform to Nazi BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Soldier breaks ranks to lead thousands in London march against Afghan war

Thousands of people poured onto the streets of London today to protest against the continuing war in Afghanistan. Countless Afghans have lost their lives and 222 British soldiers have now died in the conflict.

Video of soldier Joe Glenton addressing the London Stop the War demo

Serving British soldier Joe Glenton broke Queen’s orders by joining the Stop the War march in central London and addressed the rally in Trafalgar Square, Saturday 24 October 2009. He ran the risk of being arrested by doing so but he was not deterred


Pakistan: state of chaos

What is happening in Pakistan?


Life is tough for the young

There are now more than a million young people out of work – and the worst of the recession is still to come.

Business as usual as crisis continues

If A contemporary Rip Van Winkle, awakening from three years’ sleep, took a walk down Wall Street last week, he might imagine that nothing had changed.


Royal Mail’s plan to smash the CWU

Secret documents leaked last week show that Royal Mail is planning to smash the postal workers’ CWU union.

The post workers can win

The scale of preparation by the bosses and the government can lead to workers feeling powerless, or even despairing.

Royal Mail documents 1-4: ‘Deliver the necessary changes with or without union agreement’

Royal Mail documents 5-8: ‘Bring union to the point where doing a deal on our terms is preferable’

Royal Mail documents 9-10: ‘Total ongoing London stoppage - seek to avoid’

Beating the Nazis in the 1970s: 'We did it before and we’ll do it again'

Iqbal Khan Iqbal Khan was involved in the struggle against the National Front in the 1970s in Southall, west London

Hitler’s rule shows danger of debating fascists

Can we defeat fascism through the superiority of our arguments, by letting loose the BBC’s finest presenters and allowing the racists to expose themselves in the "glare of publicity"?

Lessons from Lenin

Whether supporting the post workers, trying to stop the fascists, or campaigning to end the war in Afghanistan, people may well encounter members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), intervening in and assisting these struggles.

The rise and fall of New Unionism

The trade unions of today came out of working class struggle. Socialists played a critical role in developing them.

Into battle! Postal workers’ resistance can win

The days leading up to what could be the most important industrial conflict for many years saw one side preparing for all out class warfare – while the other was desperately looking for peace.

Solidarity grows for the post dispute

Solidarity is the key to victory for the post strike – and everyone, everywhere can do something to support the workers.

Get involved with your local post strike support groups

To find a group near you or to get help setting one up, phone 020 7819 1175

Notes from a postal striker in the north: The dark lord

It’s clear that it is a diktat from government – and the Lord of the Dark Arts himself, business secretary Peter Mandelson – that prevents any settlement to our dispute. 

The key issues behind the battle in the post

This is a fight for jobs. Royal Mail has axed 53,000 jobs in the last seven years.

Lies about falling mail volume don't add up

We are repeatedly told that the volume of mail that Royal Mail is handling is falling.

Cut the CWU cash to Labour

Postal workers are seething after the Labour government gave its full backing to Royal Mail bosses in this fight.

Royal Mail: secret management documents exposed

Royal Mail: secret management documents exposed

First day of post strike shuts down mail centres

Over 40,000 postal workers delivered a stinging rebuke to Royal Mail and its backers in government today by joining the first of two days of strike action in defence of jobs and conditions.

New Royal Mail leaked letter shows management intransigence

A letter leaked to Socialist Worker reveals that, despite management and government claims, it is Royal Mail that is preventing negotiations, not the CWU union.

Photos of post picket lines, 22 October 2009

Reports from the post strike around the country on 22 October 2009

Birmingham Workers gathered outside the city’s Newtown depot from 4am as the two-day post strike began.

Reports from the second day of the post strike, 23 October 2009

Royal Mail bosses were rocked today by the second day of the two-day national strike by postal workers.

Photos of post picket lines, Friday 23 October 2009

After two days of national post strikes, don't throw away the advantage

The CWU has got the employers and the government on the back foot. Now it needs to press the advantage home.


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The second part of the trilogy of Hunger Games novels follows Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark as they return home victorious after the games.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Bertolt Brecht’s classic play reveals the pomposity and naked prejudice of the privileged and powerful towards the supposedly "uneducated lower orders".

Don’t You Hear The H-bomb’s Thunder?

This new book looks at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the British new left in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Made in Jamaica: The contradictions and power of reggae music

Made in Jamaica, a 2006 documentary film by French director Jerome Laperrousaz, finally receives a limited cinema release in Britain this week.

What We Think

Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Washington's Afghan strategy

Tim: Replacement postman


Don’t fall for bosses’ lies about post strikes Royal Mail bosses are spreading lies about post workers’ "Spanish practices" – lies that the right wing press are only too happy to promote.

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