Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2195

Dated: 03 Apr 2010

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As media and politicians attack unions... It's right to strike

Striking workers are under attack. The Tories, the bosses, the Labour government and most of the media have ganged up to condemn anyone who dares to fight back.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Video of BA strikers at the TUC

Around 500 British Airways cabin crew gathered at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) building in central London on Tuesday evening, to mark the end of their four-day strike.

Our government lied about torture in Iraq

The media has largely ignored evidence of British military torture used in Iraq, despite 47 claims of abuse against the government going before the courts.

Prisoner deaths at the hands of British troops in Iraq

The Labour government lied about the deaths of Iraqis held by British troops.

Doctors strike in Greece

What is the role of the police in capitalist society?

The police keep attacking demonstrations. The targets include the recent anti-fascist mobilisation in Bolton, last year’s protests against Israel’s war in Gaza and the demonstrations against the G20 in London.

Trade unions boost the battle for Barking

Around 170 anti-fascists leafleted and knocked on doors in Barking, east London, last weekend as part of a National Union of Teachers (NUT) day of action.

Racist outburst shows true face of BNP Nazis

A councillor’s racist outburst last week showed the reality of what Nazis grabbing control of Barking & Dagenham council would mean.

All on board with anti-Nazi bus drivers

Speakers from Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have been touring union branches in the aftermath of the English Defence League (EDL) protest in Bolton last month.

Love Music Hate Racism announces May carnivals

Love Music Hate Racism has announced a carnival weekend on 1–2 May.

BA cabin crew: second strike is even stronger

The second round of strike action by cabin crew at British Airways (BA), which ended on Tuesday, hit hard.

Cabin crew can win if union escalates the action

BA cabin crew can beat Willie Walsh, but what happens next is critical.

Diary of a BA striker

12 March: Len McCluskey Unite official announces our strike dates. I check my diary—I’m rostered to work over both series of dates.

Academics support striking BA workers

A letter to the Guardian newspaper supporting the BA strikers from a group of over 100 academics hit the headlines last week.

What you can do to back BA cabin crew

Do a collection—you can download a petition and collection sheet from <a href="">»</a> Get your union branch, region and national executive to a pass a motion of support for cabin crew and encourage them to collect money, visit the picket lines and push for full solidarity Send messages of support to <a href=""></a>

Lecturers strike for first time at King's College London

Lecturers at King’s College London took part in the university’s first ever strike this Tuesday. They are fighting management plans to slash over 200 jobs.

Protesting against education cuts in Manchester

Hundreds of workers and students protested outside a board of governors meeting at Manchester Metropolitan University on Friday of last week.

Left gains in NUT elections

The left made gains in elections to the national executive committee of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) last week.

Solidarity tour with Greek worker

The Right to Work campaign organised a highly successful tour of Britain by a Greek worker last week. It brought together trade unionists and campaigners to discuss resistance to the attacks on working people.

More pictures from the BA strikes

Strike at Nelson & Colne College

Lecturers at Nelson & Colne College in Lancashire struck on Monday as part of a long-running dispute with management over pay.

UCU Scotland congress

Delegates at the UCU union’s Scotland congress last week voted unanimously to prioritise industrial action in response to cuts in higher education.

Defending John McDermott

A Unison union disciplinary has barred John McDermott, an activist in Yorkshire and Humberside, from holding union office for five years.

Protests continue for sacked cleaner

Around 50 students, staff and supporters of the UCL Living Wage Campaign demonstrated on the last day of term in support of Juan Carlos Piedra.

Bus workers' conference sees big political debate

Unite union reps from London’s bus garages last week attended one of their most political conferences to date.

Problems with post deal

Serious objections to the proposed deal to end the dispute in Royal Mail have been heard at a series of briefings for CWU union reps.

Keep up the battle to stop civil service cuts after PCS strike

A national strike by 200,000 government workers hit hard on budget day last Wednesday.

Pictures from the PCS strike

Judge questions Yunus Bakhsh's sacking

The judge at the employment tribunal into the sacking of Yunus Bakhsh last week posed tough questions for NHS managers about their handling of his case.

Call centre meeting shows the spirit

The first conference of CWU reps in workplaces where the union is not yet recognised epitomised the spirit of the new, young and combative activists in the movement.

Remploy’s latest attack on disabled workers

Disabled workers employed by Remploy are facing major cuts in their terms and conditions and an increase in their hours of work.

Hundreds demonstrate to save 6 Music

Listeners, musicians and presenters gathered outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in London last Saturday to oppose the planned closure of BBC digital radio station 6 Music.

Bakery engineers demand more than crumbs

Some 54 engineers in the Unite union at Manor Bakeries in Barnsley struck for two days last week over pay.

Barrow stands up to bigotry

Around 100 people attended an anti-homophobia event in Barrow-in–Furness last week, organised by the local LGBT group.

London protest over council pay

More than 100 members of the three local government unions—the GMB, Unison, and Unite—protested over a pay freeze outside the central London headquarters of the Local Government Association (LGA) on Tuesday.

Case against Gaza protester collapses

Police dropped violent disorder charges against protester Jake Smith on Wednesday of last week.

Stop the EDL thugs rioting in Dudley

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Dudley trades council have called a counter-protest against the planned English Defence League (EDL) march in Dudley this Saturday, 3 April.

They want cuts - we need a fight, say Right to Work campaigners

The three prospective chancellors all agreed on the need for major cuts to public spending in their live TV debate on Monday.

Stopping racists is not a crime—drop the charges against Weyman Bennett

Activists are mobilising to defend Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary Weyman Bennett and other demonstrators arrested during the anti-racist protest in Bolton last month.

Anti-BNP play banned in Dudley

A performance of the critically acclaimed play Moonfleece, which deals with the BNP, has been cancelled by Dudley’s Mill Theatre.

Anger at police attack on Bolton demo

Bolton residents came together on Thursday of last week to express their anger at the police’s handling of the recent protest by the English Defence League (EDL).

National rail strike can defeat bosses’ plans

Thousands of railway maintenance and signalling workers at Network Rail are poised to go on strike over job cuts and work schedules next week. If the strike goes ahead, it will severely effect Britain’s rail system.

Ballot to fight job cuts on the Tube

Thousands of London Underground workers are to ballot for action over job cuts.

Private rail firm Jarvis goes bust

Rail privateer Jarvis has gone bust, putting more than 2,000 jobs at risk.

On the wrong side of the law

Police in Exeter have been playing cops and robbers—with themselves.

Ian Tomlinson's family still fighting for justice

The family and supporters of Ian Tomlinson, who died after being hit by police a year ago, were to stage a vigil in his memory on Thursday this week.

Moscow bombings—another excuse for war?

The response to the bombing of the Moscow underground on Monday was predictable.

Rot runs deep in scandal of MPs for hire

Three more "cab for hire" MPs have been caught on the take.

Visteon march one year on

Ex-workers from the ­Ford&#8209;Visteon car parts company were to march to parliament this week.

Who voted Tories as best council?

West London’s Hammersmith & Fulham has been named Council of the Year by the Local Government Chronicle.

Public sector sickness myths

The right wing media loves to say that public sector workers "pull sickies" every time they feel like a day off.

Activists' diary

Saturday 3 AprilProtest against the racist English Defence League in DudleyCalled by Unite Against FascismGo to <a href="">» </a>Saturday 10 AprilDefending the welfare state and public services march and rally

British Airways workers show they want to fight on

Around 500 British Airways cabin crew marked the end of their four-day strike by gathering at the Trades Union Congress building in central London today.

Picture from the King's College strike

Visteon workers demand that Ford pays up on pensions

Former Ford/Visteon workers marched to parliament today to highlight Ford’s continuing refusal to honour their pension agreements.

Nordic unions prepare action in support of BA strikers

Trade unions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden are giving legal notice that they will take action in support of British Airways cabin crew. The five unions – Sweden’s SEKO and Swedish Transport Workers’ Union, Denmark’s 3F and Norway’s Parat and Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union – have acted in response to a call for lawful solidarity action made by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

BA cabin crew say: set new strike dates

Cabin crew at British Airways want more strikes to finish off bullying boss Willie Walsh.

High court tramples on signallers' democratic vote

The High Court has granted Network Rail an injunction against next week’s planned strike by signalling workers in the RMT transport union. The four-day strike by thousands of maintenance workers in the RMT and TSSA unions against the slashing of 1,500 safety-critical jobs from Tuesday is still to go ahead, as far as union activists are aware.

Workers threaten to blow up factory if they don't get demands

Workers at a French car accessories plant north of Paris have threatened to blow up their factory unless they are given better redundancy pay-offs.

Dudley protest against racist EDL—rolling update

6.20pmFrom Dudley



We need class war to end cuts destruction

Details of chancellor Alistair Darling’s budget amount to a restatement of war on the working class.

Gathering storm over Vatican’s cover-up

It is sometimes said that politicians think in terms of weeks, statesmen in terms of decades and the pope in terms of centuries.

Texas workers battle oil giant

A high-profile court case in the United States, involving British-based oil multinational BP, has hardly been reported here. Yet it tells us so much about how giant companies and the law operate.


Israel is still the US's watchdog

What is the historic relationship between the US and Israel?

Socialist election campaign is an alternative to Labour

Trade unionists, anti-war activists, students, pensioners and other activists have united to form the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

TUSC campaign launched at national rally

Around 250 people packed into the launch rally for TUSC in central London last week.

Pictures from the TUSC campaign trail


The Angola Three: Bound, gagged and jailed in the land of the free

Former Black Panther Robert King spoke to Ken Olende about his life in prison—the basis for a new film

In The Land of the Free exposes the US’s racism and brutality

This excellent documentary, narrated by Samuel L Jackson, reveals the injustice, racism and brutality at the heart of the US prison system.

Arthur & George

David Edgar has vividly brought Julian Barnes’ semi-fictional novel to life in a new stage adaptation more than 100 years after it was written.

Dirty Oil

Dirty Oil goes deep behind the scenes into the strip-mined world of Alberta, Canada. Here the vast and toxic tar sands deposit supply the US with the majority of its oil.

Win socialist stuff!

The Red Stuff Shop has kindly donated an anti-fascist "No Pasaran" T-Shirt and mug for a readers’ competition.

What We Think

Don’t be fooled by the Lib Dems’ fluffy facade

The newspapers were quick to declare victory for the Liberal Democrats’ Vince Cable in last week’s "Ask the Chancellors" TV debate.

Media's unscientific hype over ‘meow meow’

The recent media furore about the legal substance mephedrone—dubbed "meow meow" by the media—is another indication of the distance between government drugs policy and scientific fact.

Other Categories

Ann Fannin

Southampton SWP has been saddened by the death of Ann Fannin on 25 March after a six-month illness.

Tim: Too many millionaires

Tim: Election battle axes



In their own words

‘People listening to this can end up becoming awfully depressed I suppose.’

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