Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2194

Dated: 27 Mar 2010

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‘We can beat union busters’

British Airways (BA) cabin crew stuck two fingers up to bullying boss Willie Walsh this week. They led an inspirational three-day strike to defend jobs, pay, conditions and their union.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Exclusive: The secret tube bosses' plan to slash jobs

Socialist Worker can exclusively reveal a secret document from Tube bosses outlining a planned attack on London Underground workers jobs and conditions.

Gains for PCS in Contact centre dispute

Campaigning by the PCS union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has stopped the transfer of three benefit delivery centres into the contact centre directorate.

PCS members in Land Registry to ballot

Land Registry workers in the PCS civil service workers’ union are balloting on a proposed agreement over jobs and office closures.

EDL racists are forced to back off in Bolton

Defiant protests by 3,000 anti-fascists blocked the racist English Defence League (EDL) in Bolton last Saturday.

Journalists to ballot at Johnston Press

Journalists at Johnston Press Group in Scarborough and Sheffield are to vote on strike action.

Kid gloves as police make friends with the EDL racists

While the police battered anti-fascist protesters, Socialist Worker journalists witnessed the police getting matey with the racists of the EDL.

Visteon workers demand pension justice

Ex-workers from the Ford-Visteon car parts company are to demonstrate at parliament on Wednesday 31 March.

Police tried to keep us away from the demonstration

Police and community "mediators" made a massive effort to stop local people coming on Saturday’s anti‑racist protest.

Norwich bus drivers accept pay rise

Bus drivers in Norwich have voted to accept a pay increase of 2.73 percent.

Teachers' union election to close

Elections for the national executive committee of the NUT teachers’ union are due to end this week.

We were right to protest, say UAF organisers

Unite Against Fascism has hit back at those who condemned its protest on Saturday, demanding an inquiry into police behaviour.

Meeting to discuss Unison leadership election

Unison members who want a left alternative to the current leadership will meet on Saturday 3 April at 3.30pm in Somers Town Community Centre, London, NW1 to discuss the general secretary post in the union after nominations have closed.

Now let’s stop the EDL in Dudley on 3 April

The English Defence League’s next stop on its racist rampage is Dudley on Saturday 3 April. UAF is organising to stop it.

Secret Tory cuts plan for Lancashire council

Hundreds of jobs are to be slashed and pay cut at Tory-run Lancashire County Council.

Pictures from the BA picket lines

'I feel like I've shouted from the rafters at Willie Walsh'

A Bassa union member at British Airways has sent the following to Socialist Worker, where a cabin crew worker explains why they went on strike – and why other crew should too.

Vote no to Royal Mail deal

Any postal worker wondering how to vote on the deal to end their dispute should look at the Royal Mail managers’ briefing on the proposed agreement.

Gaza trials: ‘Don’t give in - plead not guilty’

There was good news last week from the trial of those arrested at the protests against the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

Bosses retreat at Leeds - and strike is on at King’s

Lecturers at Leeds university called off a planned one-day strike last week after forcing management to climb down.

Picket and occupy: lessons of Sussex university

Sussex University campus was abuzz with activity last week as student and worker militancy came together. Lecturers struck while students were in occupation.

Election gains for UCU Left

The UCU Left has increased its representation on the national executive committee of the UCU lecturers’ union.

Defend Council Housing conference issues manifesto

More than 250 delegates from 45 areas signed up to a new Manifesto for Council Housing at Defend Council Housing’s annual conference in London last week.

British Gas workers vote for strike

Workers at British and Scottish Gas are set to strike. Some 8,000 GMB union members have voted by 82 percent for strikes against "macho management" in the company.

Cambridgeshire says no to cuts

Activists in Cambridgeshire have launched a campaign against public sector cuts.

Rail strikes approaching over safety and jobs

Members of the RMT and TSSA transport unions at Network Rail are on track for a major confrontation with their bosses over plans to cut 1,500 safety-critical jobs.

Solid strike at BA costs bosses millions

The strike at British Airways is having a big political impact.

Emergency conference called to organise resistance to cuts

The Right to Work campaign is organising an emergency post-election conference on Saturday 22 May in central London.

March on 10 April to defend services and welfare state

Two crucial protests for those battling to defend the welfare state and public services will take place in London and Glasgow on Saturday 10 April.

How can the BA workers win?

Willie Walsh’s attack on cabin crew is part of a bigger assault on all BA workers.

200,000 to strike on budget day

Budget Day is set to see a major show of resistance to New Labour’s programme of cuts as 200,000 government workers prepare to strike.

Is British Airways really broke?

BA says it is losing money. While it may not be making as much as it has in the past, it’s a very long way from poor.

1,000 march in London against education cuts

Jailed soldier launches appeal

Lawyers representing anti-war soldier Joe Glenton have lodged an appeal against his conviction. Joe, who refused to fight in Afghanistan, was sentenced to nine months in prison for going Awol.

G20 officer up in court

The scandal of police violence during the G20 protests in April last year hit the news again this week.

Bloody Sunday families want report released

The Labour government is delaying the release of the Saville Report into the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre until after the general election.

Sick and disabled people are pushed into work

Alistair Darling boasts that unemployment is lower than expected. But disabled and seriously ill people are being forced into work under the government’s new employment and support allowance.

Activist's diary

Thursday 25 MarchTrade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election rally, with Bob Crow, Dave Nellist, Karen Reissmann and Brian Caton, 7,30pm, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London. Go to <a href="">»</a>Saturday 27 MarchAfghanistan day of action, with campaigning across the country.<a href="">»</a>Saturday 3 AprilProtest against the racist English Defence League in DudleyCalled by Unite Against FascismGo to <

Governments paying for MPs' foreign trips

A BBC investigation has revealed that a number of MPs have broken parliamentary travel rules.

Former ministers are lobbyists' ‘cabs for hire’

The Labour Party has been forced to suspend former ministers after they were caught trying to "cash in" their political connections to gain lucrative lobbying consultancies.

Squeeze on public services

Labour’s pledge to protect key services is undermined by its commitment to freeze 95 percent of NHS spending.

Alistair Darling faces two competing pressures

Labour chancellor Alistair Darling is caught between the baying of the City of London for brutal cuts in public spending and the need to win votes in the upcoming general election.

There’s no need for the cuts – the money’s there

This week’s budget will see the mainstream parties and the media agree that there is no alternative to huge cuts in public spending.

Six ways to help the BA strikers win

Do a collection for the BA strikers. You can download a petition and collection sheet at Get your union branch, region and national executive to pass motions to support the BA strikers, and push for full solidarity Get your union branch, region and national executive to pass motions to support the BA strikers. They can collect money, visit the picket lines, black BA, and push for full solidarity Visit the picket lines at Heathrow and Gatwick. Ring 020 7819 1175 to get in touch with Socialist Worker supporters traveling down togetherIf your workplace or union is in dispute as well, seek to coordinate action with the BA str

Striking civil service workers demonstrate as budget announced

Chancellor Alistair Darling crossed a picket line on his way to work this morning. And hundreds of civil service workers assembled outside parliament to protest as he delivered his budget speech.

Charges dropped against Gaza protester Jake Smith

In a fantastic victory today, charges of violent disorder were dropped against 24 year old Gaza protester Jake Smith.

Darling's budget - nothing but cuts

New Labour chancellor Alistair Darling’s budget was dull. The reality for working people is more of the same. But while the repetition of all that has gone before—tax cuts for the rich and attacks on the poor—may be familiar, it is still deeply unpleasant.

Gaza protester freed from prison

Gaza protester Layla Lahouidek walked free from prison today after a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. She has also had her sentence dramatically reduced.

British Airways strike: Update Saturday 27 March

The enthusiasm on the BA picket lines was as strong as ever on Saturday morning.

Video of Bolton UAF demonstration against EDL, 20 March 2010

Footage from throughout the day showing how police confronted Unite Against Fascism's demonstration against the racist English Defence League in Bolton


Israel steps up its repression of Palestinians

Protests have broken out in the West Bank in the last few weeks, which have seen thousands of Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers and "security" police in the cities of Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus, and East Jerusalem.

EU leaders united on need for cuts in Greece

European Union leaders all agree that deep cuts are needed—but they are sharply divided over how to slash Greek workers’ living standards.


Will there be a third Intifada?

I travelled to Palestine over the weekend. At Tel Aviv airport I was one of thousands of happy tourists arriving for Easter. Like them, I was waived through customs without much hassle – an easy entry into the country.


Old Labour's Hero - Keir Hardie

What did Keir Hardie represent within the early Labour Party?

Voices from the poll tax struggle

Phil Maxwell | Roy Hanney | Kate Douglas

Poll Tax riot: The day that sunk Thatcher’s flagship

The police piled into demonstrators from points around the square. Two police vans and a car were driven into the crowd at speed without warning.

Yunus Bakhsh: bosses on trial at key employment tribunal

A very important case for every trade unionist and activist is taking place in an unremarkable Newcastle office building.


Blood and oil: the true price of profits in Nigeria

In many ways it’s surprising that there has not already been a BBC drama called Blood and Oil. There’s hardly a lack of source material.

Ian McEwan's Solar strangles all hope of stopping climate change

Ian McEwan’s new novel, Solar, is supposed to be a "comic novel about climate change".


Wealth is an interesting production that combines elements of theatre and contemporary dance to explore themes of oppression and resistance.

Future Foods

This interactive installation, on tour from the London Science Museum, encourages debate on the global food crisis and genetically modified (GM) crops.

Henry Moore at Tate Britain

An exhibition of pieces by sculptor Henry Moore at the Tate Britain looks set to make a big impact.

Keir Hardie: Labour’s Greatest Hero? - Workers’ liberation means breaking with reformism

KeIr Hardie was one of the key architects of the Labour Party, as Bob Holman’s book makes clear.

What We Think

US needs more than Obama’s health changes

Barack Obama’s health bill is the biggest welfare reform in the US since the 1960s. Another 32 million people will have health insurance.

After Bolton: Where next for anti-fascism?

The English Defence League (EDL) hoped that last Saturday in Bolton they could repeat their racist rampage in Stoke and the strutting arrogance of their march to parliament.

Other Categories

Tim: snouts in the trough

Tim: plane spotters



In their own words

"We felt that the police handled the protest exceptionally well. We were happy with the conduct of the officers and whoever was in charge needs to be commended."English Defence League north west organiser on the policing of last week’s protest in Bolton

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