Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2175

Dated: 31 Oct 2009

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Millionaire boss vs post strikers: Which side are you on?

Battle lines are drawn in the fight for Royal Mail—and it’s time to take sides.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Eurostar dispute goes to talks

Cleaners on the Eurostar trains at St Pancras International station in central London called off their strikes set for Friday and Sunday of last week in return for talks at the Acas conciliation service.

Unite to ballot for action on the tube

The Unite union is set to ballot its members on London Underground for industrial action over pay.

North London tenants’ delight at victory

Some 49 elderly tenants at Campbell Court, Haringey, north London, are celebrating after the council dropped plans to move out the existing residents.

The People’s charter

The People’s Charter for Change provides the Left with an opportunity to rally to a set of demands that smash the current all-party and media consensus on what needs to be done to tackle the economic crisis.

Serious fight needed against Trinity Mirror

Despite a 96 percent vote in favour of strike action, the NUJ union has withdrawn the threat of action at Media Wales group in Cardiff.

UK Border Agency workers vote for action

Some 130 members of the PCS union at the UK Border Agency have voted by 97 percent for action.

Anger over DWP call centres

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that it is to compulsorily transfer 5,000 staff into call centres – which it says are "contact centres".

Redundancies threatened at Land Registry

The Land Registry department last week announced plans to close five offices and threaten 1,100 jobs.

Sheffield bus drivers strike

Around 750 drivers at First Bus in Sheffield struck for three days last week in a dispute over disciplinary and sickness procedures.

First bus strikes hit hard across the country

Hundreds of drivers at Britain’s biggest bus operator, First, were on strike on Monday of this week against bosses’ attempts to impose a national pay freeze for this year.

Sheffield's glorious autumn of discontent

"Three Strikes And We’re Out" was the front page headline of the daily Sheffield Star newspaper on Thursday of last week.

Five more fire strikes planned across South Yorkshire

Firefighters in South Yorkshire are to step up their fight by walking out every day from this Saturday to Wednesday of next week.

Leeds bin workers vote to reject council's rubbish 'final offer'

Striking refuse workers in Leeds last week voted by a massive 92 percent to reject a "final offer" from the council and continue their all-out action.

British Airways cabin crew organise against bosses' onslaught

British Airways (BA) cabin crew are to ballot for industrial action in response to a management assault on their jobs, conditions and pay.

Nick Griffin’s BBC appearance sparks angry protest

Thousands of anti-fascists laid siege to the BBC’s studios in London on Thursday of last week as fascist British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin was handed an unprecedented publicity coup on Question Time.

New Labour has turned education into drudgery

New Labour is facing a crisis in its education policies. Following widespread dissatisfaction from parents and teachers, and alienation and unhappiness among children, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation asked professor Robin Alexander to coordinate a comprehensive study into primary school education.

Racists fail to show in Newport

It was another great day for anti-fascists last Saturday in Newport, Wales.

Blacklisted construction worker is no ‘terrorist’

A bizarre attempt by the bosses to use the anti-terror laws against a blacklisted construction worker was dismissed as fantasy by a judge on Wednesday of last week.

More IT companies close pension schemes

CSC UK has become the latest IT company to announce plans to close its final salary pension scheme.

Education round-up

Stirling university Over 200 people protested against job cuts at Stirling university on Tuesday of last week.

Firefighters rally in defiance of bullying and cuts

Up to 2,000 firefighters rallied in London on Wednesday of last week against plans to slash the number of workers who answer 999 emergency calls.

Sacked Two Sisters workers’ fight goes on

Some 59 food processing workers who were sacked from the Two Sisters factory in Smethwick, west Midlands are continuing their struggle for justice.

Anti-fascists will resist the BNP and the EDL

The appearance of Nick Griffin, the leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP), on last week’s Question Time on BBC1 has raised the stakes for the anti-Nazi movement.

Thousands surge against the war

"Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!"

The EDL are thugs and fascists

The British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL) are flip sides of the same Nazi coin.

Former Guantanamo prisoner Omar Deghayes speaks out

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Deghayes addressed the protesters at the end of the march. He spoke about the horrific effects of the "war on terror".

Police target 'domestic extremists'

Revelations that police have been building up a database of so-called "domestic extremists" have caused widespread outrage.

Troops give anti-war soldier Joe Glenton a 'fantastic' response

Joe Glenton, a British soldier who is refusing to return to fight in Afghanistan, received the backing of his fellow troops after he led more than 10,000 protesters on last Saturday’s Stop the War demonstration in London.

Vigil called against rise in homophobic hate attacks

A spate of high-profile homophobic attacks has shocked and angered many people in Britain.

Nick Griffin humiliated by Scottish anti-fascists

Nazi Nick Griffin narrowly dodged a hail of eggs as he scurried in the back door of a local radio station in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, yesterday.



How did liberals get it so wrong over Question Time?

The debate over Nick Griffin being invited onto last week’s Question Time was dominated by a belief that abstract rights like "free speech" are the most important thing—even for Nazis committed to destroying them.

‘Preventing Violent Extremism’: A dangerous precedent

The Observer newspaper presented the findings of a major survey into race in Britain in November 2001. One question asked which ethnic community had had the most positive influence on British society. Some 52 percent of respondents replied Asian.

Michael Rosen: ‘Question Time has opened the door for the BNP’

The BBC gave Nick Griffin a ring to box in on Question Time. The key moment on the show was the immigration debate when his politics went unchallenged.


Intelligent racism?

There are few more contentious topics in science than the question of whether genes determine human intelligence – particularly whether different "races" have different levels of intelligence.

How do we fight when union leaders waver?

Britain’s ruling class has united behind Royal Mail bosses to pour vitriol on striking postal workers.

National post strike was rock solid

London NW2 office in Cricklewood was a gourmet picket line, with sandwiches, noodles and spring rolls.

Determination on picket lines shows the way to win

The strikes at Royal Mail are a clear sign of the growing bitterness in working class Britain.

The minority movement and the General Strike

Britain’s rulers survived three huge waves of workers’ struggle in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

No deal—force post bosses to surrender

Royal Mail and the postal workers’ CWU union were in talks as Socialist Worker went to press.

Special delivery! Solidarity for striking post workers

Trade unionists, students and others are rushing to build support for post workers across the country.

Going all out is the way to win

"We’ve got six weeks in which we can be really effective against Royal Mail and we can’t afford to waste a single one. We must escalate our action to win."

Post dispute round-up

TUC is playing the wrong role Royal Mail strikers were angry at news this week that the TUC was brokering talks rather than organising solidarity for their dispute.

Is Royal Mail breaking the law to try and beat the strike?

The scabbing operation by Royal Mail was under growing pressure this week.

Notes from a postal worker in the north: Scabs are the real turkeys

Have you ever spoken to anyone contemplating suicide? Well, that’s what it feels like when you are trying to persuade someone not to scab on your strike.

Exclusive: We reveal what is happening in scab mail centre

At 5am this morning, a group of around 20 workers and students gathered in Dartford.

Photos from national post strike, Thursday 29 October 2009

Who was behind Ipswich anti-post strike protest?

Chants of "Where’s our post?" directed at striking postal workers by pro-management demonstrators in Ipswich today no doubt brought much glee to Royal Mail bosses.

'Staying solid': Reports from Thursday's post strikes

Today saw the beginning of the second wave of national strikes at Royal Mail. Tens of thousands of postal workers in mail centres and the company’s network drivers and depot staff took to picket lines. CWU union activists across Britain told Socialist Worker that their action remains absolutely solid.

Can Royal Mail protect scabs from their managers?

Royal Mail wrote to all its employees last week to offer them "protection" should they choose to break this week’s strike—but just how far will Royal Mail go to shield scabs from the company’s own managers?


The Age of Stupid

The film imaginatively exposing the threat of catastrophic climate change is now available on DVD, including hours of extra interviews with climate experts and activists including George Monbiot.

Berlin Wall: the Future Inside the Present

Wolfgang Fuetterer and Michelle Letowska have taken a series of photographs of what was formerly the "death strip" – the no man’s land between two parallel fortifications commonly known as the Berlin Wall.

Johnny Mad Dog

Telling the story of a band of child soldiers, this French made drama looks like a documentary. It throws the viewer into the horror of a civil war in Africa.

Freedom Rhythm & Sound: Images of ‘Black Power’ and jazz

Rachid Taha interview: Sound of the radical side of France

There’s been a punk sensibility to all of Rachid Taha’s music. I asked him where that attitude comes from. "I think it’s the same for all desperate people," he told me. "The first punks were people like Oscar Wilde, John Lennon or Ian Dury. What they had in common was their openness to other influences."

Bonjour - Rachid Taha

Rachid Taha’s music resists pigeonholing. His new album, Bonjour, straddles "a rock sound, with a country influence" and "Arabic music".

What We Think

Other Categories


BBC has given a boost to Nazi Nick Griffin Not surprisingly, the BBC has been congratulating itself about the appearance of fascist British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin on Question Time.

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