Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2214

Dated: 14 Aug 2010




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Protest against the racist EDL in Bradford

‘The EDL isn’t welcome in Bradford. We need a counter-protest’ Mahmoona Begum, Student, Bradford


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

SWP grows

206 people joined the Socialist Workers Party during July.

BBC workers balloting in defence of pensions

BBC workers have started a fightback against management attacks on their pensions.

BBC bosses' attack will erode workers' pensions

From April 2011 the BBC proposes that pensionable salaries will grow at a maximum of 1 percent a year, whatever salary increases an employee receivesThe link with inflation will be broken if the bosses win—meaning that if inflation is at 5 percent, pensions will still be held at 1 percent. So just as workers have seen below-inflation pay deals, they will also see their pensions fall far behindBosses took a "contributions holiday" during the boom years and didn’t pay in the company’s share of workers’ pensions

BBC Pensions: 'This latent attack on pensions is final straw'

"I have never known such a sense of outrage. BBC staff feel taken for granted and insulted by management.

Slush fund that means BBC managers stay secure

BBC bosses’ are attacking workers pensions, but theirs are protected. It was revealed last week that a multi-million pound pension slush fund exists for senior BBC executives. The fund saw BBC director general Mark Thompson receive a £163,000 pension top-up last year, while deputy director general Mark Byford stands to receive a £400,000 pension.

BBC pensions: How bosses are using the economic crisis as a cover to attack rights at the BBC

"The effects of a crisis created on Wall Street are being used as an excuse by BBC management to launch an attack on workers.

Protest against university cuts

David Willetts, the Tory universities minister, has told young people who find there are no university courses available because of cuts to retake their A-levels to get better results.

Top brass backhander

Top army officers are getting a whopping £172 million to send their children to boarding schools.

Gaza aid convoy ready to roll

The UN enquiry into the Israeli army assault on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla begins this week. Meanwhile the next land convoy leaving London to break the siege of Gaza makes its final plans.

Love Music Hate Racism festival challenges racism

Activists are holding a Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) festival in Kent on Saturday 11 September.

Defiant mood on prison picket lines

Hundreds of prison educators held a one-day strike on Wednesday of last week against their employer’s attempts to force them to sign a new and dramatically worse contract.

Strike to defend Sheffield tram rep

Tram workers in Sheffield plan an all-out strike from Monday after bosses refused to deal with a union rep.

Council workers fight back

Staff in Southampton libraries in Hampshire have called for a further two days of strikes to be held on Friday of this week and Monday of next week.

Campaign to elect Jerry Hicks gaining wide support

The general secretary election in the Unite union is revealing members’ anger at the leadership’s failure to lead a fightback against the attacks workers face.

Corus workers to vote on improved offer

Steel workers at Corus are voting on an improved national pay offer after a "breakthrough" in negotiations, their union says.

Cuts could cost lives warns firefighters' FBU union

The firefighters’ FBU union warns that fire bosses’ efforts to reduce the amount of money spent on responding to automatic fire alarms could cost lives.

Housing activists plan fightback in Camden

Around 30 housing activists in Camden, north London, met last week to organise a fightback against the wave of Tory attacks on council housing and tenants’ rights.

Jaguar veneer workers reject deal

A group of Jaguar workers have voted for industrial action and rejected a £1,000 transfer bonus to move from Coventry to Birmingham.

National Shop Stewards Network to lobby TUC

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is organising a lobby of the TUC general council on the eve of the conference to demand a national demonstration against cuts.

Strike threat forces retreat

Bosses at First Bus Essex have retreated over attempts to introduce worse terms and conditions for new starters than those for existing drivers.

Drive for unity at Holloway bus Garage

Bus drivers in Holloway, north London, held a Ramadan celebration on Friday of last week.

Reject pay freeze at Metroline Bus

Bus workers at Metroline in north and north west London were set to vote on a pay freeze on Friday of this week.

Brighton Pride festival

Some 160,000 people took part in Brighton’s Pride and (not) Prejudice march and festival last Saturday.

Protest at Cameron's PM Direct

Over a hundred workers and activists protested outside David Cameron’s "PM Direct" session at Hove Town Hall on Thursday of last week.

Fight to defend every job on the underground

The result of the strike ballot of RMT union members over job cuts on London Underground was due on Thursday of this week.

Time to put Walsh on the back foot at BA

The British Airways (BA) dispute is at a key moment.

Big vote for strikes to save jobs on London Underground

Members of the RMT transport union on London Underground have voted overwhelmingly for strikes against 800 job cuts at stations. The workers do vital jobs on platforms, ticket gates and ticket offices.

British Airways ground staff should reject their deal and unite with cabin crew

Leaders of the GMB and Unite unions are recommending that 3,000 British Airways ground crew workers accept a job and pay cutting deal—in the middle of the crucial battle by cabin crew.

Big vote for strike at BAA British Airports Authority

Over 6,000 members of the Unite union working at six airports have voted overwhelmingly to strike in protest against the offer of a 1 percent pay "increase".

Afghan war crisis deepens as troops inflict more civilian horror

In the US and Afghanistan the crisis of the unending, bloody war deepens.

Pakistan floods: Victims betrayed by ruling elites

The floods across Pakistan threaten the lives and safety of more than 13 million people. But the response has been woefully inadequate—from the Pakistani government and internationally.

Voice from Pakistan: profit has come before our people’s lives

‘Cities like Mianwali and Charsadda have been allowed to drown in order to save dams and hydroelectric stations. The reason is that these have either already been privatised or are earmarked for sell-off.

Council pushes ahead with Tory housing attack

The Tories launched a new attack on council house tenants last week as David Cameron said tenants need to rethink the idea of a council house being "yours for ever".

Tories launch benefits war

David Cameron launched the latest "war on benefit cheats" this week with a plan to use credit rating agencies to check up on claimants.

Hospital jobs to be axed

More than 600 jobs are set to be axed at the Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading—one in eight of the hospital’s workers.

Government’s £800,000 wine stash

Here’s one thing the Tories aren’t cutting—the government’s £864,000 wine cellar.

£10 billion for the bankers

Boomtime is back for the bankers: they pocketed £10 billion in bonuses last year, official figures reveal.

How we’re all working longer

The long hours culture is getting worse, a survey shows.

Socialist Worker exclusive gets picked up

Socialist Worker’s exclusive story on government plans to deport children was taken up by the Guardian last Friday—in a front page story.

Defend anti-fascist Martin Smith

Leading anti-fascist campaigner Martin Smith is to appear in court on Tuesday 7 September.

Anti-Tory anger feeds 3 Oct demo support

Anger at the Tories’ assault on public services and the welfare state is fuelling support for the 3 October demonstration outside the Tory Party conference in Birmingham.

Sign Right to Work statement

Trade union leaders, MPs and campaigners have added their names to a statement of support for the demonstration. It has been called by Right to Work, backed by three trade unions—the PCS, NUJ and UCU—and the Labour Representation Committee.

Join the protest for NUJ's Charles Atangana

Charles Atangana, currently detained in Dover Immigration Removal Centre, has a bail hearing on Thursday this week. Charles has lived in Britain since 2004 having been forced to flee Cameroon after detention and threats over his journalism.

Journalist freed as he wins reprieve on deportation to Cameroon

Charles Atangana has won a six week review of his deportation at a bail hearing in London today. The journalist from Cameroon in West Africa has already been freed from detention in Dover.

<span class=red>Exclusive</span> Royal Mail's plan to close two out of three London mail centres

Royal Mail bosses plan to close two of London’s three giant mail centres and a major delivery office.

Miners executed in South Africa

Up to 20 miners were executed by security guards on the East Rand in South Africa on Monday.


International

Fighting back for pay and rights in Dhaka

Striking garment workers in Bangladesh are continuing their struggle for a decent minimum wage, despite government pleas for them to accept a poor deal from employers.

The role of the West in the Bangladeshi garment industry

Global clothing importers from the West rushed to back the meagre increase to the minimum wage in Bangladesh.

Stock market speculators mean starvation for millions

Speculators are once again driving up the price of staple foods and threatening to push millions of the poorest people around the world into hunger.

Trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor: Diamonds, dirty wars and the West

The British media have reported the hearings into the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor as a soap opera starring such celebrities as Naomi Campbell and Mia Farrow.

A short history of Liberia

1821 US Colonisation Society buys part of Sierra Leone in West Africa and US provides firepower to set up a colony—Liberia. It resettled around 20,000 US slaves who had won their freedom.

Rwanda: Kagame is a friend of the West

Elections this week in Rwanda, central Africa, saw much praise for President Paul Kagame.


Comment

Building unity against the cuts

AS THE summer wears on, more and more people’s minds are concentrating on the Conservative-Liberal coalition’s programme of cuts.

BP’s disappearing oil act is a trick

The US government performed an incredible magic trick last week—it made four million barrels of oil "disappear" into the ocean.


Features

What happens after storming parliament?

Someone recently asked me, what do you do after you storm parliament?

Suffering under Israeli ‘democracy’

An Israeli farmer watched his village being razed to the ground last week. The grandfather could do nothing as more than 1,000 armed police and "volunteers" threw all his family’s things into the street and bulldozed his house—for the sixth time in a decade.

Stop the EDL in Bradford

The racist English Defence League (EDL) wants to protest in Bradford on Saturday 28 August.

The price we would pay if there was no protest in Bradford

How should we respond to the racist English Defence League’s (EDL) threat to march in Bradford?

Nazis and police provoked the Bradford riot of 2001

The shadow of what happened in 2001 still hangs over Bradford.


Reviews

Film: Undertow

This is a beautiful evocation of Peru. Two men, Miguel and Santiago, are having a secret affair in a small fishing village.

Reel News 24

The new edition by the Reel News video collective leads with the truth about the Gaza flotilla attack.

Radical CDs

Discovery Records has just released a new range of CDs in which key figures in the radical movements analyse the system and resistance to it.

Red Plenty: Illuminating but flawed vision of Russian dreams

In the 1950s Russia’s economy was expanding fast. Economists seriously forecast that by 1980 Russia would outstrip the US militarily and in consumer goods.

Danton’s Death: French revolutionary spirit on London stage

The new National Theatre production of Danton’s Death presents the struggle between the two outstanding leaders of the French Revolution as a straight fight between polar opposites.


What We Think

The Tories have not gotta lotta bottle

The Tories’ U-turn over free milk for under-fives made the government look weak and disorganised last weekend.

Put the emphasis on the fightback

Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the Unite union, believes it’s better to abandon the working class to the pain of the Tory cuts than to fight back with strikes.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Seeing the benefits

Tim: 'Won't take this lying down'

Tim: Innocents killed and maimed

Letters

Stop housing attacks Prime minister David Cameron wants to end lifetime tenancies for council and housing association tenants and replace them with fixed term tenancies lasting as little as five years.

In their own words

"The terrorists, the resisters."



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