Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2220

Dated: 25 Sep 2010




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March on the Tories

Thousands of people will be taking to the streets of Birmingham on Sunday 3 October to protest against the Tories’ crazed slashing of jobs and public services. And there couldn’t be a better city to protest in.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Birmingham prepares to defy council job threats

Birmingham’s Tory council has issued redundancy notices to 26,000 council workers, telling them that they have to accept massive wage cuts or face the sack.

Fury as Connaught staff sacked by conference call

Hundreds of workers at outsourcing firm Connaught were sacked when it went into administration last week.

Veolia backs down over changes–but beware

Veolia, which is contracted by councils to carry out bin collections, issued HR1 redundancy forms to some 1,200 workers last week.

Barnet workers lobby against 'easyCouncil'

Around 200 workers employed by Tory-controlled Barnet council in north London joined a lively town hall lobby on Tuesday of last week. They are angry at plans to slash services and privatise departments.

Astra Zeneca workers strike in battle for pensions

Astra Zeneca workers were to strike on Wednesday this week in their continuing fight to defend their pensions.

Bosses out to kill mail centres

Plans by Royal Mail to close dozens of mail centres with the loss of thousands of jobs gathered pace this week.

Haringey anti-cuts protest

Around 120 protesters braved a downpour to call on Haringey’s Labour council in north London to refuse to implement Tory cuts last week.

The ballot is on to save fire jobs

Firefighters in London are going into battle against their Tory bosses—setting an example for workers everywhere.

Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts launched

Trade unionists and other activists have formally launched Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts.

Hard-hitting action is the way for firefighters to win

The fight is on in the London fire brigade.

Talks in Southampton library row

Libraries across Southampton in Hampshire closed at 12 noon on Wednesday of last week as workers struck against cuts.

Say no to the local government pay cut

A vital consultation is underway about the pay claim for local government for 2011. Responses were due by Friday of this week.

Redundancies announced at Primary Care Trusts

Primary care Trusts (PCTs) are announcing a wave of redundancies and job transfers.

Striking Coca-Cola workers refuse to bottle their anger

Workers at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Edmonton, north London, struck over pay on Wednesday and Thursday of last week—and are set to walk out again on the same days this week.

Swindon swimmers back strikers

Around 150 workers at leisure centres, country parks and car parks across Swindon were due to strike on Saturday and Sunday this week.

Bin workers fight for justice and pay

Around 40 bin workers in Sandwell, West Midlands, lobbied a meeting between Serco and the GMB and Unite trade unions last week.

Firefighter wins in tribunal case

Merseyside FBU vice chair Kevin Hughes was unfairly sacked by fire bosses, an employment tribunal found last week.

A morale boost in Manchester

Workers at Grimshaw Lane cleansing and ground maintenance in Manchester have won a victory against their bosses over monitoring.

Unison will lobby against austerity

The Unison union’s Greater London region is asking branches to lobby their bosses on Wednesday 29 September—the European day of action against austerity and cuts.

Dunbartonshire to fight Tory cuts

Clydebank TUC was to hold a public meeting this Thursday on Public Service Cuts—Is There An Alternative?

Southwark pensioners ask who really makes council decisions?

The Southwark Pensioners Group in south London held a Question Time on Friday of last week with Southwark councillors.

Is there a generation that has ‘never worked’?

The government and the right wing media are stepping up their war on people who claim benefits, claiming that there are millions of "workshy scroungers" living off the hard work of the rest of the population.

British aid convoy heads for Palestine

The fifth Viva Palestina convoy from Britain left London on Saturday of last week. Hundreds of activists will join the convoy carrying medical aid to Gaza to beak the Israeli siege.

School students to relaunch School Students Against the War

An important meeting of school students will take place this weekend.

Jeremy Dear: workers back BBC pensions fight

BBC workers are set to strike for two days during the Tory party conference. They are fighting a key battle over pensions—a vital issue for millions of workers.

Tube workers debate next step

A group of rank and file activists on London Underground took part in an important discussion on Monday about the next steps in their fight for jobs and safety. It followed a solid strike at the beginning of this month.

Chainmakers' festival

Over 2,000 trade unionists gathered at the 100th anniversary festival of the strike by women chainmakers at Cradley Heath in the Black Country—including some in historical costume (see picture).

Trades union congress round-up

Bankers Bank of England governor Mervin King received a flat response at the TUC.

Stop victimisation of Elane Heffernan

A campaign has been launched demanding an end to the victimisation of leading Newham Unison union activist Elane Heffernan.

Jerry Hicks' nominations for Unite elections

Jerry Hicks won 102 nominations from branches and 35 from workplaces for his rank and file campaign for general secretary of the Unite union.

Cabin crew reps call for a new ballot in BA dispute

Union reps in Bassa, the British Airways cabin crew section of Unite, have requested a fresh strike ballot from the Unite leadership.

Protest in Hastings against sacking of PCS rep

Almost 200 people gathered in Hastings last Saturday to protest at the sacking of a fifth PCS union rep at the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

Stagecoach Merseyside strike suspended

Bus drivers at Stagecoach Merseyside in Liverpool suspended a planned one-day strike on Monday of this week to discuss a revised pay offer.

Fighting fund hits £57k after launch night

The Socialist Worker appeal launch event last weekend was a great night of politics and fun—and it raised over £1,100.

Sunday 3 October: take the battle to the Tories

The Right to Work campaign has always stood on the side of those who fight to resist job losses, wage freezes and cuts in public services.

Backing grows for Birmingham march

With just over a week to go to the protest in Birmingham, support is flooding in from across Britain.

Shock as innocent worker dragged away in handcuffs

Cleaners at the Initial company in central London witnessed a horrific scene last week when police arrested a colleague for alleged immigration offences.

Vodafone’s a friend, so £6 billion tax goes

Vodafone has avoided as much British tax as the "savings" the Tories want to make by slashing incapacity benefits for half a million people.

Lib Dem conference: Thousands protest at the Tories’ friends

Around 2,000 protesters marched on the Liberal Democrats’ conference in Liverpool last Sunday.

Muslim Council speaks out on need for demo

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is throwing its weight behind a national demonstration against racism on Saturday 6 November.

Refuse workers’ plan to kill Pope? What rubbish

"Muslim plot To Kill Pope," screamed The Daily Express last Saturday. And, urged on by police leaks, the rest of the press joined in.

We work—but stay in poverty

Some 3.4 million people are members of the "working poor", a new report reveals.

Hutton wants to rob pensioners

EARLY signs are emerging of the Tories’ plans for an onslaught on public sector pensions.

Retired women are worst off

Millions of women will be forced to rely on their partner’s pension when they retire, a survey suggests.

Rent rises are rocketing

Landlords have increased rents for the seventh month in a row, imposing the steepest increases for more than a year, research indicated this week.

Millions of French workers strike and march

French workers have shown their determination to block the attacks on their pensions by the right wing government of Nicolas Sarkozy. Millions of workers took part in a day of strikes and protests on Thursday.

Mass meetings build momentum for cuts fight and protest outside Tory conference

Workers, anti-cuts campaigners and community activists have poured into mass meetings in the last week as anger grows against the Tory cuts agenda.

What does Ed Miliband's election mean for the left?

The man chosen by key trade union leaders and many union members is now the leader of the Labour Party. And the one chosen by Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair isn’t.


International

Afghanistan: imperialism's sham election exposed

Election day in Afghanistan was meant to be a day of triumph for imperialism.

Problems grow for Venezuela’s revolution

Venezuela goes to the polls on 26 September to elect members its National Assembly.

France: Workers protest and strike against Sarkozy’s attacks

French workers were to hold a further general strike this week over pensions.p>

Sweden: Anger on the streets after fascists gain in elections

Protests broke out in Sweden after a fascist party won 20 seats in last week’s election.


Comment

Travellers are battling against eviction and injustice

John and Mary Flynn are Travellers facing eviction from their home at Dale Farm in Essex—a scrap yard before Gypsies bought the land and made their homes there.

Is religon the cause of the world's ills?

The visit by Pope Benedict to Britain last week raised questions over how to take on right wing views and deal with religion.

American Tea Party is a bitter brew

The Tea Party movement caused a dramatic upset in last week’s US primary elections—and pushed the Republicans even further to the right.

Vince Cable is no Marxist

Vince Cable's assault on "spivs and gamblers" in the City may have won him a standing ovation at the Lib Dem conference, but it has caused outrage at the Daily Mail and in the Confederation of British Industry. Is it time for Marxists to welcome Comrade Cable to our ranks?


Features

Union leaders' call is a catalyst for action

The union leaders’ powerful speeches at the TUC conference last week meant that millions of people in workplaces across Britain are talking about standing up to the Tories.

Detained without charge in Britain: ‘Will I be here another four years? Or ten?’

Hundreds of people are detained without charge in Britain. Some have been held for more than four years. Those incarcerated are not "terror suspects". Most are foreign nationals who committed a crime in Britain—but cannot be deported because they’ve come from a war zone. Ken Olende spoke to Mohammed and Walumba, who are being held in London’s Colnbrook detention centre

Detention centres turned into high security prisons

Socialist Worker spoke to Jerome Phelps, director of the London Detainee Support Group

Diary 1 - The Viva Palestina convoy sets off

The fifth Viva Palestina convoy from Britain left London last Saturday. Hundreds of activists will join the convoy carrying medical aid to Gaza to beak the Israeli siege.


Reviews

Made in Dagenham director interviewed: 'We wanted to inspire people who are struggling today'

What made you want to tell the story of a strike?

The 1968 equal pay strike at Dagenham

In 1968 some 850 women machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham, east London, struck for equal pay.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Based on the classic 1914 novel, this play tells the story of a group of painters, struggling to live in a recession.

Selected Poems - Federico Garcia Lorca

Selected Poems was originally published in 1960, and this new edition should introduce a yonger generation to the poetry of the Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca.

Competition: Win Men Should Weep tickets at the National Theatre

We have three pairs of tickets for Ena Lamont Stewart’s moving and funny portrayal of impoverished 1930s Glasgow, showing at the National Theatre in London. The play runs from 8 October to 7 November. Tickets from £10 to £44.


What We Think

Labour must break from Blairite past

The result of the election for Labour leader—to be announced on Saturday afternoon—will say a lot about whether the party is going to make any sort of a challenge to the Tories’ assault on working people.

We need to crush, not cuddle, Lib Dems

"There were some people, particularly around the height of the Iraq war, who gave up on the Labour Party and turned to the Liberal Democrats," said Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg last week at his party’s conference.


Other Categories

Mike Graham 1929—2010

Mike Graham sadly died on 15 September. He had been unwell for some time.

Edmund Quinn 1924 - 2010

Comrades in Coventry are sorry to report the death of Edmund Quinn earlier this month.

Leon Kuhn: 'Pig society'

Tim's view

Letters

Thanks for support – and keep on fighting I am writing to thank all the readers of Socialist Worker who have supported my campaign for justice.

A week in quotes

‘Imagine a brand with a huge stain on it. You keep trying to get rid of it, but the heart of the stain always remains. That’s what it is like with the Tory brand’



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