Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2178

Dated: 21 Nov 2009

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Job cuts, low pay, bullying - ‘That’s why we’re striking back’

Bullying managers trying to rip up longstanding agreements with workers. Bosses trying to impose harsh new contracts without union agreement. Workers told that they have to take job and pay cuts, and accept that they won’t be getting the pension they’ve been paying into for years.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Is vegetarianism the way to save the planet?

Environmental economist Lord Stern of Brentford has recently argued that in order to stop climate change we should all start eating less meat.

Iraq War Inquiry protest

Stop the War has called a protest at the opening of the Iraq inquiry in central London on Tuesday 24 November, to demand that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are held to account for war crimes which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and 179 British troops.

Mark Serwotka interview: ‘Vote for a strong and vibrant union’

What do you think the key issues are for PCS members in this election?

Immigration system is hostile and divisive

Labour has presented its points-based immigration system for people coming to live and work in Britain as a crackdown – a new spirit of tough action.

Union must not fall for Royal Mail’s ‘set up’ plan

Royal Mail is using divide and rule tactics in a bid to prevent postal workers resuming their industrial action in the run up to Christmas – and, if the union doesn’t act quickly, there is a danger its strategy may work.

Green light for action as bus battle intensifies

The pay battle on the buses moved forward this week with more than 2,000 drivers in east London set to strike for a second time and bus workers in the north west of England throwing out a new pay offer.

Sheffield fight gets gains

Bus workers at First’s giant Olive Grove depot in Sheffield have suspended their strike action after winning significant gains over agreement procedures and disciplinaries.

Don’t let them hang Danny Fitzsimons

Over 100 people attended a meeting in Bury last Saturday to launch the Bring Danny Home Campaign.

Protesting to save Thistle Street nursery

The Thistle Street nursery at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies is due to be axed. It’s baby room was shut down in September and 19 jobs remain under threat.

Hewlett Packard vote over cuts

More than 1,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union at the EDS Hewlett Packard company are balloting for action over job losses and pay.

Mikey Powell inquest continues

Evidence is continuing to be heard at an inquest at Sutton Coldfield town hall into the death of Mikey Powell.

Building the Right to Work Conference

The Right to Work conference in Manchester on Saturday 30 January must be a major focus for the growing forces of resistance and solidarity.

Rail workers work, rest then strike at First

Train drivers working for the First Capital Connect company have caused immense disruption by exercising their right not to work on their rest days. The service relies on drivers working overtime, but when they choose not to it has a massive impact.

Caroline Bedale: barred from union office for defence of nurse

Caroline Bedale, one of the most respected trade unionists in Manchester, has been barred from holding office in the Unison union for eight years – until a year after she is due to retire.

Cabin crew ballot starts as BA merges

Thousands of British Airways (BA) cabin crew started voting on Monday this week on whether to strike against attacks on working practices.

Norlington school strike solid against Trust plans

Teachers at Norlington School in Waltham Forest, east London, struck for three days last week against plans to merge their school with George Mitchell School to form a trust, which would remove the school from local authority control.

Over 100 attend Education for Liberation conference

More than 100 teachers attended the Education for Liberation conference in London last Saturday.

Student protests against cuts, redundancies and fees

Around 50 Essex university students joined protests on Monday of this week to demand the reinstatement of six student union staff who have been sacked.

Leeds University workers fight job cuts

Over 200 workers packed into a UCU union meeting at Leeds university last week and voted overwhelmingly to back a ballot for industrial action against cuts. They also voted to show no confidence in the vice‑chancellor, Michael Arthur.

Barnsley College workers set to strike and protest

Lecturers in the UCU union at Barnsley College are set to begin a three-day strike on Friday 27 November in their dispute over the regrading of lecturer posts.

Fujitsu strike off as bosses retreat

A three-day strike at Fujitsu Services was called off last week after the IT company agreed to extend consultations with the unions over pensions and redundancies. But workers remain committed to taking action to defend their conditions.

London meeting to fight homophobia

A determined meeting saw lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and their supporters, gather in central London to oppose homophobia on Tuesday of last week.

Military gags anti-war soldier

Joe Glenton, the British soldier who has refused to return to fight in Afghanistan, is to face a military hearing this week after being arrested and detained for speaking out against the war.

Jobless, displaced and bitter—life inside the West’s occupation of Afghanistan

The western city of Herat is seen by many as the most stable and functioning in Afghanistan.

Nato is in crisis as troop plan lies in tatters

The governments of Gordon Brown and Barack Obama are both in the grip of a growing crisis over Afghanistan.

All out bin strike is rocking Leeds city council

Striking refuse workers in Leeds are getting more determined by the day as they enter their 11th week of all-out, indefinite action.

Refuse workers win in Brighton

Three Hundred refuse workers in Brighton have won a significant victory by striking against the council’s attempt to slash their wages using "single status".

Copenhagen climate summit offers no solutions

The United Nations (UN) climate talks in Copenhagen will begin in less than three weeks time. They will be a sham.

Protest humiliates racists in Glasgow

Around 3,000 anti-racists and anti-fascists blocked a threatened racist protest outside Glasgow’s central mosque last Saturday.

Protesters challenge BNP conference

Fifty people protested at the British National Party’s national conference in Wigan last Saturday.

Inquiry told British torture of Iraqi prisoners is rife

The public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa is exposing the vile brutality of the British occupation of Iraq.

Anti-war protesters take to streets of Edinburgh

Families of soldiers in Afghanistan, including some who have lost loved ones in the conflict, led a one thousand‑strong march in Edinburgh against the war last weekend.

World leaders will face wave of global protests over climate change

World leaders, including Gordon Brown, who are squandering chances to deal with climate change will face a wave of protests next month.

Glasgow North East result no lifeline for Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown hailed Labour’s win in the Glasgow North East by-election last week as evidence that his party could defy its poor poll ratings and win another general election.

Liverpool rally against hatred on Sunday

Hundreds of people outraged by the growing number of homophobic attacks in Britain are expected to join a protest march in Liverpool this Sunday, 22 November.

Bus strikes escalate

There is a major fight underway on the buses as a series of strikes over pay escalates this week.



Why we need to confront Nazis

Nazis are again taking to the streets across Britain. They are pretending to be protesting against "Islamic extremism" – but this is a smokescreen.

Labour’s policies boost the racists

The sneaking feeling of sympathy that I felt for Gordon Brown when he was ambushed and coshed by the Sun attack machine over Afghanistan didn’t survive the appalling speech he made about immigration on Thursday of last week.


Gay people in Nazi Germany: how hate triumphs

In recent weeks thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have come together to hold vigils and show their anger at the rise in homophobic violence.

Should victims decide crime policy?

Jack Straw announced last week that he wants to increase the minimum time in jail for anyone who commits murder with a knife from 15 to 25 years.

Superdrug: Flames of revolt still burn in South Elmsall

‘I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we could win," says Tom, a striking worker at the Superdrug warehouse in South Elmsall, West Yorkshire.

Solidarity can help Superdrug workers win

Superdrug workers have wasted no time in going out to build solidarity for their struggle.

Alain Badiou: Abstract ideas can’t make the ‘event’ real

Last week I looked at the ideas of Antonio Negri, who argues that there is a "multitude" continuously pushing against the power of capital.


Message Soul: politics and soul in Black America 1998–2008

This collection of contemporary soul music is a worthy attempt to bring together some the US’s most radical rappers and singers.

The Ten Shades of Blues - Richard Bona

Richard Bona is fascinated by the universality of music.

On the radio: How democratic are shows where listeners are stars?

"Arthur from Dagenham on the line. What’s your point Arthur?"

1 Day this film might be shown on its home turf

The new film 1 Day is about 24 hours in the life of a young black man in Birmingham, and the trials and tribulations he experiences as a result of being caught up in a local gang.

What We Think

Other Categories

Tim: Flying pickets



Quotes from the weeks news

‘I’m doing God’s work’ Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs on his role as head of the powerful and secretive bank

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