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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2223

Dated: 16 Oct 2010




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Bosses say...‘Sign up for pay cuts or you’re out’

On Wednesday 20 October, ­millionaire Tory chancellor George Osborne will unleash a torrent of attacks on jobs and services.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

London Underground workers to escalate strikes

Union activists on London Underground are pushing to escalate strikes as management step up attacks on jobs and safety.

New offer on rail maintenance jobs

The Network Rail infrastructure firm has made a new offer to the RMT union to end a long-running dispute over the loss of 1,500 maintenance jobs.

Appeal Court ruling creates chaos for mesothelioma claims

People suffering from the incurable lung cancer mesothelioma face a new legal lottery after the Court of Appeal threw the process for claiming compensation into chaos last week.

Barac develops regional network

The third meeting of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (Barac) took place on 28 September.

Charles Atangana’s anti-deportation case adjourned

Cameroonian journalist Charles Atangana’s case against deportation was adjourned for three months on Thursday of last week.

Bulldog workers settle their strike

Unite union members at Rollins Bulldog Tools in Wigan, Lancashire, have ended their all-out strike.

Save Stevenage mail centre demo

Postal workers in Stevenage are preparing to march to defend their mail centre, which Royal Mail is threatening to close.

Islington fights to save services

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

CND conference calls protests

Around 150 people attended the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) international conference last weekend.

Cleaners rally for Mudashiru Atooki

Over 35 people protested in support of RMT union member and cleaner Mudashiru Atooki on Monday of this week.

Leicester resists English Defence League racists

The racist thugs of the English Defence League (EDL) brought their hate to Leicester last Saturday—and were opposed by some 800 anti-fascists and anti-racists.

Bolton protester is innocent

Dane Kelly, a 24-year-old student from Leeds, was cleared on Monday of a charge of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour against a police officer.

Lord Hutton opens Tory assault on pensions

Lord Hutton’s pension review signals an assault on the living standards of five million workers.

BBC: reject bosses' rotten offer and keep fighting

The battle to defend pensions at the BBC is at a crucial stage.

Hutton: from New Labour to nuclear lobbyist

Lord John Hutton was Labour defence minister in the last government.

London firefighters set to announce huge vote for strikes

London firefighters were set to find out the result of their strike ballot on Thursday of this week—with a massive yes vote expected.

East London bus drivers picket bosses over pay

Dozens of bus drivers at CT Plus in Hackney, east London, picketed their depot on Friday of last week over pay.

Civil service workers to be balloted over rotten deal

The PCS union, which represents the majority of union members in the civil service, has rejected a new government offer on changing the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

Union throws out pay deal in DWP

Leaders of the PCS union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who represent 90,000 union members, last week rejected a below-inflation pay offer. They also rejected another below-inflation offer from bosses in the old Child Support Agency—which is now known as CMEC.

UCU HE meetings show mood for action

UCU lecturers’ union branches have responded impressively to the call for a special conference in higher education to organise for action in defence of jobs, pay and pensions.

Anti-cuts campaigns gather pace

There was standing room only at a meeting in Hastings last week as pensioners, trades unionists, students and local councillors filled the hall at the trades council’s meeting against public sector cuts.

Workers spring into action to defend their rep

Workers at Plymouth bed manufacturer Vi-Spring are striking to defend their shop steward .

UCU further education committee begins preparations for ballot over pay

The lecturers’ UCU union’s further education Committee has backed the decision by delegates at a recent special pay conference to ballot as soon as possible over our rejection of the 0.2 percent pay offer from the Association of Colleges.

Tribunal win for victimised worker

Steve Acheson, a blacklisted electrician, won an Employment Tribunal last week in Manchester against the Beaver Management Services agency.

No to cuts in fire cover in Norfolk

Firefighters in Norfolk protested against cuts outside a council meeting on Monday.

Save law centre in Manchester

Activists were to protest to defend South Manchester Law Centre on Wednesday of this week.

Keep up fight for Elane Heffernan

Activists are collecting names on a petition demanding an end to the victimisation of leading Newham Unison union activist Elane Heffernan.

CLR James library victory

There were celebrations last week after Hackney council agreed to leave the CLR James Library in east London with its original name.

Tunnock’s workers chew on new offer

Workers at the Tunnock’s bakery in Uddingston near Glasgow were voting this week on whether to accept a new pay offer recommended by their Unite union.

Demonstrations against the Tory cuts

19 October London: rally and lobby against the cuts, Westminster Central Hall, doors open 12 noon.Go to <a href="http://www.tuc.org.uk/alltogether">www.tuc.org.uk/alltogether</a>

Tories slam door on poor students

The Tory plan to increase tuition fees is a vicious assault on students, education and working people.

March for education on 10 November

Many students will have been shocked to see that the Liberal Democrats leaders have abandoned their pledge to oppose a rise in tuition fees.

Fury in Newport as workers pledge to fight passport office closure

A wave of anger has swept through Newport, South Wales, at the government’s announcement that the Passport Office in the city is to close.

Education activist network conference

There is a crucial conference coming up that will build and coordinate resistance to education cuts.

Scotland's TUC protest on 23 October shows how we can fight the cuts

Activists across Britain are organising protests against the Tories’ brutal "spending review" axe package next week.

Activists meet to resist Tory housing assault

Campaigners from Defend Council Housing (DCH) lobbied MPs on Monday over new threats to millions of tenants’ housing security.

US killed an aid worker and countless Afghans

Tory foreign secretary William Hague was caught lying last week, after kidnapped aid worker Linda Norgrove was killed by a US grenade in Afghanistan.

Mobile phone bosses use bullying tactics on workers

Bosses have used traffic lights to tell some 16,000 workers whether they face the sack at a huge mobile phone company created by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile.

Figure it out

£6 billion

Birmingham's Tory council leads new attack on asylum seekers

At the same time as attacking the workforce, Birmingham’s Tory housing chief is throwing the city’s asylum seekers out of their homes—to make room for "our people".

Take to streets against racism

Racists and Nazis will try to grow as the cuts hit home.

European Defence League launch planned

Racist Dutch politician Geert Wilders is launching a European Defence League in Amsterdam on Saturday 30 October.

12 October: Highlights from the strike and protests in France

Three and a half million people marched on over 200 demonstrations across France according to the CGT union federation. This is a new high for the present campaign. It shows how crucial the battle taking place in France is—one with implications for the whole continent.

Government announces post privatisation—we need a fightback

Vince Cable, minister for big business, yesterday launched plans to sell-off Royal Mail and help line the pockets of private sector logistics firms.

London firefighters vote decisively for strikes

Firefighters across London have voted an excellent 79 percent yes to strikes &#8211; on a 79 percent turnout.

London firefighters call strike for next Saturday

London’s firefighters will strike next Saturday (23 October) and again on Monday 1 November, their union announced today (Friday).

Why does reformism remain so powerful?

The election of Ed Miliband as Labour leader has renewed a number of people’s belief that the party can be a vehicle for changing society.

Coca-Cola and Tyneside Safety Glass: Militant strikes for decent pay

Two major disputes taking place in Britain today dispel the myth that workers won’t fight over pay in a recession.

Astra Zeneca: Support for pensions strikers

Over 100 Astra Zeneca pharmaceutical workers marched in Macclesfield, Cheshire, on Friday of last week.


International

Hungarian toxic spill boss arrested

Eight people are dead and 150 injured after up to one million cubic metres of toxic aluminium sludge surged from an industrial plant in Ajka, western Hungary.

Chilean bosses are putting miners' lives at risk

The world’s media has been following the plight of the miners trapped in Chile’s San José mine in microscopic detail, but there is far less interest in the conditions the miners normally work in.

Pakistan: tensions deepen as war spills over

Nato’s beleaguered Afghan war continued to spill over into Pakistan this week, reigniting tensions between the US and the leaders of its client state.

Protests in Stuttgart put Merkel under pressure

Plans to replace the central station in Stuttgart, one of Germany’s major cities, have led to mass protests, and a political crisis for the German government.

France - strikes continue, but must escalate

The progress of the fightback in France against the attacks on pensions hangs in the balance.


Comment

Gove needs to go back to school

Those of us who work in education frequently have to deal with questions of truth. We ask children to draw conclusions from evidence, to describe things as they see them, and not to tell lies.


Features

The Civil War in France: When workers took power in Paris

Karl Marx did not just analyse capitalism, he also asked how it would be possible to create an entirely different kind of society.

Diary 4 - Viva Palestina aid convoy nears Gaza

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

Diary 5 - Gaza convoy: 'We sail on Sunday!'

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

‘Big Society’ - just a cover for cuts?

This is how the Financial Times editorial reported on David Cameron’s speech to the Tory Party conference: "Having exhumed the idea of the ‘Big Society’, he struggled to breathe life into it. He denied that it was a cover for cuts. But fog descended when he tried to explain."

None Of Us Were Like This Before: A system of torture that destroys lives and minds

The US and Britain’s "war on terror" is maintained by the torture and oppression of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unite: The battle to lead Britain’s biggest union

The starting pistol was fired this week for the Unite union general secretary election as its 1.5 million members received statements from the four candidates.


Reviews

Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike: ‘People need music, not just images of decline’

Music plays a huge role in people’s lives. It can offer hope and time for reflection. In a time of cuts and austerity across the world, you could argue that now more than ever we need musicians in our lives.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

In the original 1987 film, Wall Street, iconic slimeball Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) summarised the Reagan-Thatcher era in three words, "Greed&#8230; is good."

African Revolution - Tiken Jah Fakoly

Veteran musician Tiken Jah Fakoly merges the sounds of Africa with funky reggae from Jamaica.

BFI London Film Festival

The London film festival presents films from Britain and around the world at the BFI building on the south bank of the Thames.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo DVD

The First of the Swedish films based on Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of crime novels is released on DVD this week.

Men Should Weep competition winners

Senay Courtney, Danny Burnett and Rohan Nakkady each win a pair of tickets to Men Should Weep at the National Theatre in London.


What We Think

Inequality stunts the lives of millions

The Tories plan an assault on the working class that will drive down living standards and push up inequality.

Ed Miliband decides to favour the right

In his choices for his first shadow cabinet, Ed Miliband gave a strong indication of the approach he plans for the Labour Party in opposition—and it isn’t promising.

Meet Tory cuts onslaught with fury and action

The working class in Britain faces an avalanche of cuts. The spending review on 20 October must be met with outrage and action, not paralysis and surrender.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Fairness?

Tim's view

Letters

Letters

Who says?

‘Harry, without people like you we wouldn’t be here. Thank you for all you’ve done—and all you represent’



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