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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2212

Dated: 31 Jul 2010




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Documents reveal horror of Afghan war but the slaughter and lies go on

The leak of over 90,000 US military documents has revealed the horror of the war in Afghanistan.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Why are women paid less than men?

It’s hard to believe that today, after years of struggle, women are still paid less than men.

Ian Tomlinson: Riot cops escape justice

No police officers are to be charged over the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at last year’s G20 protests in the City of London.

Bloody history of the police

Ian Tomlinson is the latest in a long line of people killed by the police on the streets of London.

How the cops lied and lied about the death of Ian Tomlinson

In the hours and days after Ian Tomlinson’s death the police told lie after lie in the press. Here are just a few of them.

Deceit and disaster: Afghanistan laid bare by leaked documents

A leak of US military documents this week has exposed the long hum of tragedy and brutality in Afghanistan.

Leaked Afghan documents: civilian deaths

The cost of human life in Afghanistan is cheap.

Leaked Afghan documents expose British atrocities

The leaked documents shed some light on just a few of the horrors meted out by the British in Afghanistan.

Iraq: an illegal war that led to terrorism

Evidence given to the Chilcot inquiry into the war in Iraq is consistently proving the anti-war movement right.

New threat to hospitals as Tories launch NHS cuts

Two London hospitals that were saved after protests are again under threat, a leaked letter reveals.

Government white paper is a black day for public health service

The fight has started against the Tory government’s plans to dismantle the NHS.

The £1 billion hospital we won’t own

The NHS will pay a total of £1.26 billion for the privately-built Edinburgh Royal Infirmary—but not own it.

Health cuts have begun

Job cuts in the NHS have already started.

Tories make healthy profits

The Conservatives have plenty of pals in the private healthcare industry – that’s plain to see from the list of people who funded the Tory election campaign.

Sheffield Supertram workers may strike to defend rep

Supertram workers in Sheffield are voting on strike action over the de-recognition of one of their union officials.

Harwich dockers set to strike

Dockers and support staff at Harwich International Port were set to strike for 24 hours from 6pm on Thursday of this week over pay and conditions.

Shop stewards vote to lobby TUC

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) met last week and confirmed plans to lobby the TUC general council on 12 September in Manchester.

Loving anti-racist music in Bristol

Love Music Hate Racism and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) were invited to this year’s World Village Festival in Southmead, Bristol.

Savage cuts loom for buses

The government looks set to slash subsidies to the bus industry, leading to severe cuts in services and jobs.

Unite launches appeal for Abdul Omer

The Unite union has launched a financial appeal for sacked London Sovereign buses union convenor, Abdul Omer.

Fire bosses threaten new wave of attacks

London firefighters are set to ballot for industrial action if bosses carry out their threat to start the process of sacking the entire workforce.

UCU union set for ballot in higher education

The lecturers’ UCU union is preparing to ballot all of its members in higher education (HE) for strikes.

Docklands Light Rail workers win concessions

The threat of strike action by workers on the Docklands Light Railway system in east London has won an improved offer from management.

London Underground strike ballot over jobs continues

The ballot of thousands of RMT and TSSA union members on London Underground against major job cuts is continuing.

BBC pensions ballot is on

The three main unions representing workers at the BBC will hold national strike ballots of their members next month over pensions.

Tube drivers strike in solidarity with sacked driver

Seventy seven tube drivers struck on Wednesday of last week over the unfair dismissal of a driver at Rickmansworth, north west London. The strike by Aslef union members hit services on the Metropolitan Line.

Leeds and Nottingham teachers strike against bullying

Teachers at Farnley Park Mathematics and Computing College in Leeds, West Yorkshire, struck on Wednesday of last week over bullying. The strike involved members of all three unions at the school – the NUT, NASUWT and ATL.

Black activists launch cuts campaign

BARAC is a coalition of black public and voluntary sector workers, trade unionists, community organisations, service users and concerned individuals. It aims to create a critical mass of opposition to the intended government cuts to services and jobs.

Kirklees council workers vote to strike

Kirklees council, West Yorkshire, has voted to go ahead with its assault on jobs, conditions and services.

Glasgow strikers call for another ballot

Management at Glasgow Life were hit hard by two days of selective action and a one-day strike at the Glasgow Fair last week. The 12-week life of the ballot with the company—previously known as Culture and Sport—has now expired.

BA cabin crew demand fresh strike ballot

Cabin crew at British Airways (BA) last week threw out a "final offer" from bullying boss Willie Walsh by more than three to one.

Back Jerry Hicks for Unite leader

The campaign to get rank and file candidate Jerry Hicks onto the ballot paper for the general secretary election in the Unite union, is gathering pace.

Birmingham protest against Indian atrocity in Kashmir

Turning the focus on the police

Police have been placing bags over dozens of recently-installed surveillance cameras in Birmingham following their humiliation at an outraged public meeting in Sparkbrook three weeks ago.

No brakes on the struggle at Meggitt factory

Workers at the Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems factory in Coventry struck on Friday of last week and Tuesday of this week against their pay being frozen while their bosses get bonuses.

Pensions battle at drugs giant

Six hundred GMB union members at the AstraZeneca plant in Macclesfield began a strike ballot over pensions this week. Unite union members are also set to be balloted.

Ford faces legal action on Visteon

The Unite union has launched legal action against Ford company for "misleading" workers over their pension rights.

CSA Hastings management sack fifth union rep

Management at the Child Support Agency in Hastings have sacked Sam Buckley, PCS civil service union branch secretary. He has become the fifth union officer at the office to be sacked since November 2007. He was sacked on charges of "incapability".

Anti-Tory demo gaining support

The biggest region of the Unite union, the London & Eastern Region, last week voted to back the protest at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham on 3 October.

National demonstration called as fight against racism stepped up

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and the Muslim Association of Britain have called a national demonstration—"No to racism, No to Islamophobia"—on Saturday 6 November in central London.

Victory for Yunus Bakhsh as health trust is bashed

Yunus Bakhsh, a highly respected trade unionist from Newcastle, has won a four-year battle to clear his name after a landmark Employment Tribunal victory.

BP crisis continues 100 days on

The boss of BP, Tony Hayward, has resigned—with a massive pay-off of £1 million and the likelihood of becoming a non-executive director of Russian joint venture TNK-BP.

Pictures from London anti-war meeting

Fight goes on as Tory lies over academies exposed

The Tories have been caught lying about their flagship academies policy.

Mass protests force back the cuts in Blackburn

Mass protests in Blackburn, Lancashire, have forced a halt to plans to close the largest local leisure centre and a raft of community centres.

‘Bonfire of the quangos’ will hit services

The government has enthusiastically begun slashing "quangos" this week.

Report reveals poor die young

People living in England’s poorest areas are twice as likely to die before retirement age as those living in the richest, a new study shows.

Ban on snap deportations

Fast-track deportation of people refused permission to stay in Britain has been ruled unlawful by the High Court.

Bitter harvest for workers

Farm workers are set to lose out as the Tories scrap a board that sets their pay.

Stop the deportation of Charles Atangana

The Home Office plans to deport Charles Atangana, a member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), to Cameroon on Monday.


International

Strikers in Pakistan fight back against police

Around 2,000 workers at a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan, yesterday fought pitched battles with military police after walking out on strike.

Honda workers in China win strike

A strike by 200 workers at a car components factory in China has ended in victory, as the wave of strikes across the car industry continues.

Picture of Greek protest in defence of migrant workers


Comment

Leading a fight builds strong trade unions

As the government’s attacks mount, there is a growing debate among trade unionists about how workers can stop the cuts.

Alex Higgins was local hero with a flaw

Alex Higgins was the most dazzling player snooker has ever seen, but he never learned to play the celebrity game. After he’d won the world championship for the second time in 1982, the media and the sports establishment wanted to confer on him the glamour that was now deemed his entitlement.

The budget deficit - an excuse for the Tories to take revenge on workers

"The corollary of the big society is the smaller state. If you talk about the small state, people think you’re Attila the Hun. If you talk about the big society, people think you’re Mother Teresa."


Features

Iraq: twenty years since Desert Storm began the killing

Western imperialism has devastated Iraq. More than a million people have died since the US and British invasion of 2003, all because of lies claiming that Iraq was harbouring weapons of mass destruction.

Hedge funds and the true cost of vulture capitalism

A single commodity trader in London hit the headlines this month when he snapped up 7 percent of the world’s entire cocoa bean production.


Reviews

Appreciating Basil Davidson

Historian Basil Davidson, who died last month, fought alongside partisans in Yugoslavia and Italy during the Second World War.

The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood

Booker prize winner Margaret Atwood’s latest novel is a companion piece to her 2003 book Oryx and Crake.

Talking with Toots: a great reggae pioneer who still packs a punch

Toots and the Maytals are one of the most influential reggae bands in the world. Their frontman Toots – aka Frederick Hibbert – is credited in the Guinness Book of Records for inventing the name "reggae".


What We Think

Build a movement of leaders to stop cuts

The grand leadership of Britain’s trade unions met last week against the background of the sharpest assault on the working class since the 1920s. They decided to do virtually nothing this year in response—because of "lack of time".

Leak could be explosive for imperialism

In the right context, leaked documents can help end wars and bring down governments.


Other Categories

Edna Greenwood (Fallows) 1946-2010

Many comrades and trade unionists will be saddened to hear of the death of Edna Greenwood (Fallows) aged 64. It came just ten days after her marriage to her long-standing GMB union colleague, Tommy Fallows.

Tim: Pesky leaks

Tim: TUC leaks

Letters

Banning the veil is the opposite of liberating I feel compelled to write to Socialist Worker after the French ruling on banning the Muslim veil.



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