Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2222

Dated: 09 Oct 2010




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Millionaire Tories’ war on poor

The Tories this week said they were sharing the pain of the cuts and targeting the better off.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

All-out strikers at Rollins Bulldog Tools want bosses to fork out

Workers at the Rollins Bulldog Tools plant in Wigan are on indefinite strike after bosses refused them a pay rise.

Hit Christmas production hard to win at Coca-Cola

Workers at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Edmonton, north London, staged their third round of two six-hour walkouts last week—and were set to walk out again on the same schedule this week.

Postal workers’ fury at scandal of Burslem

Activists in the postal workers’ CWU union are angry after an Employment Tribunal ruled against four union reps from the Burslem delivery office in Stoke-on-Trent last week.

Kirklees council forced to back down over cuts

Kirklees Council was forced this week to withdraw proposals it tried to impose on 1 September—because of threatened strike action by Unison and Unite union members.

Bus strikes halted in Merseyside

A planned strike by bus workers at Stagecoach Merseyside was called off on Friday of last week, after management offered a new pay deal.

Further education lecturers to ballot

Delegates to the UCU union’s further education special pay conference last Saturday voted overwhelmingly to reject a 0.2 percent pay offer and ballot for strikes.

Fourth strike day at Astra Zeneca

Workers at drugs multinational Astra Zeneca’s Macclesfield site took a fourth day of strike action on Thursday of last week.

Anti-cuts protests around Britain

Around 400 protested in Dundee in a protest called by Dundee Trades Council.

Tunnock’s workers reject crumbs

Workers at the Tunnock’s biscuit factory rejected an offer of a 2 percent pay deal on Monday of this week.

Firefighters' ballot on in London

London firefighters are continuing to ballot for strikes over bosses’ plans to sack them all in order to impose new contracts.

Backing Jerry Hicks in the Unite elections

All 1.5 million Unite union members will next week receive election statements from the four candidates for the general secretary election.

South Wales firefighters call off action

Firefighters in South Wales have called off planned industrial action after coming to a deal with bosses over shifts and jobs.

British Airways union rep faces disciplinary

Nicky Marcus, a Bassa union rep at British Airways, faces a disciplinary hearing this week at which she may be sacked from her job.

Protest to defend Charles Atangana

Charles Atangana, a member of the journalists’ NUJ union fighting deportation to Cameroon, will appear before a judge at the High Court on the Strand in London on Thursday of this week.

Left candidates for Unison NEC

Voting has begun in by-elections to the national executive committee of the Unison union.

Lobby against job cuts in Islington

Bosses at "Cambridge Education @ Islington" in north London sent redundancy notices to 30 central services workers last week.

Defend arrested cleaner Mudashiru Atooki, says RMT

The RMT transport union has called a protest in central London on Monday of next week against the arrest of its member, Mudashiru Atooki.

IT workers take action over pay

IT workers who provide services for the Health and Safety Executive are working to rule in a row over pay.

Powerful tube strike is a blow to the bosses

A magnificent strike by London Underground workers humbled their management and London mayor Boris Johnson this week.

Steve Hedley arrest is attack on tube workers' union

In a disgraceful attack on the RMT union, Steve Hedley, its London regional organiser, has been arrested on suspicion of common assault after allegedly trying to stop scabs crossing a picket line.

Vote no to rotten deal at BBC—strikes can defeat bosses’ pension attack

A two-day strike by BBC workers due to take place this week has been called off.

Tower Hamlets election: Labour executive shuns democracy

"Lutfur was dropped from the original candidate shortlist. He challenged that decision at the High Court and was reinstated.

Join the national demonstration to drive the racists back

The Unite Against Fascism (UAF) national demonstration against racism, fascism and Islamophobia in London on 6 November is a vital part of the struggle to drive back the threat of racism.

Barnbrook expulsion increases chaos in BNP

The BNP has expelled Richard Barnbrook, its elected member on the London Assembly and one of the party’s senior figures.

UAF launches anti-racist tour

UAF is hosting a series of meetings across the country in the coming months. These include ones in Glasgow on 13 October, Birmingham on 16 October, London Metropolitan University on 28 October and Cambridge on 2 November.

Leicester stands united against EDL threat on Saturday

Asian, black and white people are uniting against the racist English Defence League (EDL) in Leicester this Saturday. This is still vital, though the EDL have been banned from "marching".

Bolton campaigners demand justice

One of five anti-fascists who were charged after the protest against the EDL in Bolton on 20 March stood trial this week.

Poorest will suffer as Osborne turns screw on benefits

The Tories want to dismantle the welfare state. And they are trying to minimise opposition to their plans by making a huge play about tackling the benefits of the "rich".

Students walk out at academy

Hundreds of students protested outside the Dover Christ Church Academy school on Monday of this week over changes to their lunch hour.

Royal Mail plans to profit from closures

Royal Mail plans to profit from the misery of its workers—and, in the process, fatten the company’s bank balance before privatisation.

Boris Johnson leads clamour for new anti-union laws

Big business and London mayor Boris Johnson this week demanded that the government introduce even tighter restrictions on workers’ right to strike.

Meet the Lord who wants to make work more dangerous

The Tories are launching an assault on health and safety laws.

Protests will greet Tories’ spending announcement

Trade unionists and campaigners across Britain are planning demonstrations on 19, 20 and 23 October to show their opposition to Tory spending cuts.

More councils threaten workers with the sack

Councils across Britain are threatening their workforces with the sack to force through attacks.

Pay more for your pension, say bosses

"A big rise in pension contributions for public sector workers, along with an increase to 65 in pension age for existing employees, is on the way," said the Financial Times last weekend.

Hutton opens door to public sector pension attack

Lord John Hutton has published an interim report into public sector pensions.

Islington councillors grilled at anti-cuts meeting

Over 100 people packed into the Islington Hands Off Our Public Services (IHOOPS) launch meeting on Tuesday.


International

Spanish strike has bosses shaking

A general strike brought Spain to a standstill on Wednesday of last week. Its scale and militancy took the government, the bosses, and even many on the left, by surprise.

European trade union day of action: a growing wave

Around 100,000 workers from across Europe marched through Brussels in Belgium on Wednesday of last week as part of the European TUC’s day of action against austerity.

Coup fails in Ecuador but tensions remain

A strike organised by police officers in Ecuador turned into an attempted coup last week.

Millions in new French protests against pension attacks

Some three million people poured on to the streets of France last Saturday in the latest stage of the movement to defend pensions.

Inequality and poverty not up for debate in Brazilian elections

Brazil’s presidential elections have been forced into a second round as Workers Party (PT) candidate Dilma Rousseff, selected to replace president Lula, fell 3 percent short of the 50 percent needed to win the election outright.

Rally in Washington: unions take on the Tea Party

Over 100,000 people rallied in Washington DC in United States on Saturday, October 2 in a demonstration calling for "Jobs, Justice and Education."

French workers prepare for crucial escalation

France workers have taken a potentially very powerful move to escalate their action against attacks on pensions.


Comment

Ralph was the real red Miliband

Last week the Daily Mail’s hired comedian, Richard Littlejohn, sneered that he’d never heard of Labour leader Ed Miliband’s father, "the ‘celebrated’ Marxist academic Ralph Miliband". In Littlejohn’s world "celebrated" means filthy rich for doing nothing useful, so that’s no surprise.

Pressures on Ed Miliband will grow

"No more cliques, no more factions, no more soap opera," announced David Miliband in what proved to be his swansong at the Labour Party conference.


Features

Are men from Mars and women from Venus?

We are regularly told that men and women play different roles in society because of fundamental biological differences. It is often assumed, for instance, that women are less able to think logically because their brains are less structured for reasoning than men’s brains.

Marx's Capital: vampires feeding on our blood

In his masterpiece, Capital, Karl Marx attempts to make sense of capitalism. This was not just out of scientific curiosity—he believed that a clear understanding of capitalism would help to overthrow it.

7,000 join Right to Work march on Tory conference

Thousands of trade unionists, students and campaigners filled the streets of central Birmingham last Sunday, defying pouring rain to join the Right to Work march on the Tory party conference.

Photos from the Birmingham Right to Work march

An appeal for unity in the campaign against Tory cuts

The Birmingham demonstration was a very welcome boost to the resistance against the Tories.

Reach out to Socialist Worker supporters

Donations from Sunday’s Right to Work demonstration in Birmingham helped to push the Socialist Worker financial appeal up to £81,869 so far.

Diary 3 - Viva Palestina convoy across Turkey and into Syria

The fifth Viva Palestina convoy from Britain is nearing Gaza. Human rights lawyer and socialist Jim Nichol reports from the convoy:


Reviews

Our Kind of Traitor - John le Carré

The only people who kept the banks afloat in the financial crisis were organised crime’s money launderers.

Ever Young/WEB Du Bois Paris Albums – depicting black people’s lives

Two new photo exhibitions present changing views of black people through the past century.

Police, Adjective

Cristi is a police officer stalking and staking out a gang of young drug offenders in a small town in Romania. He is reluctant to prosecute them as this would ruin their lives and the law will soon change.

Our Friends in the North DVD

This stunning nine-part BBC TV series from 1996 has just been released on DVD.

John Lennon Remastered

To mark what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday, his partner Yoko Ono has overseen the remastering and reissuing of his post-Beatles solo work.

Why Join a Trade Union?

This new book is a handy guide to why all workers need a union to defend their pay, conditions and rights.


What We Think

Ireland shows cuts are the road to ruin

Bailing out the banks and slashing workers’ living standards to pay for the crisis does not bring prosperity—it paves the way for further crisis. That is the simple message from Ireland in the last week.

X Factor’s Gamu gets our vote to stay

It’s not unusual for the ITV singing competition the X Factor to make it onto the front pages of the tabloids. But this week the pictures of Cheryl Cole have given way to something more significant: a debate about the rights of migrants to Britain.


Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: No more kissing babies

Letters

A tragic tale of workers racing to the bottom Over 200 workers at the TRW Automotive plant at Resolven in South Wales are facing the dole after a brutal and cruel piece of blackmail from their bosses.

Who says?

‘I was incredibly struck by the feeling that people think the Tories genuinely enjoy this cutting’



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