Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2233

Dated: 08 Jan 2011

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As the coalition hammers workers… bankers grab a billion a week

This year began with brutal new attacks that will hit every working person—the VAT rise, travel fares up, food prices up, fuel prices up, rents up and higher mortgage payments to come.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


What do we mean by a workers’ revolution?

As resistance to the cuts grows, more people are involved in activity and experiences that make them open to the idea that we need a completely different kind of society.

Push to turn union leaders' words into action

A number of major union leaders have spoken out about what kind of movement we need to beat the cuts—including the need for strikes.

People’s Convention to build resistance to cuts

The Right to Work Campaign has opened up its national conference on 12 February to other national anti-cuts organisations, local groups and trade unions.

Solid strikes at Heinz push bosses into talks on pay

Three solid 24-hour strikes at Heinz’s Wigan factory over pay during the holidays have forced management to offer new talks.

Unity delivers a strong Tube strike

A solid strike by train drivers in the Aslef union on London Underground had a severe effect on the running of the tube network on Boxing Day.

New firefighters' shifts in London

Firefighters in London have voted to accept new shift patterns proposed after their union called off strikes.

Firefighters' round-up

Essex Three Essex firefighters have been suspended and some 100 disciplined—just for writing to local politicians about cuts.

PCS sees mixed vote over job cuts

Passport workers have voted for action short of a strike against job losses—but turned down the chance to strike over the issue.

Journalists vote to strike for jobs

National Union of Journalist members at the Scottish titles The Herald and Evening Times have voted by 79 percent in favour of strikes to defend jobs.

Bus workers reject pay offer

Bus workers at Metroline, north London, have voted by 91 percent in favour of industrial action in a consultative ballot over a pay offer.

Rotherham school strike for jobs

Teachers at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, were set to strike on Wednesday of this week.

A crucial fight in Kirklees council

A crucial fight against job losses is taking place in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. It could see the first strike against council cuts by a whole union branch since the Tories took office.

‘Payday’: tax dodging bosses get shopped

Protests against corporate tax dodgers shut down dozens of high street shops in more than 50 towns and cities across Britain before Christmas.

Birmingham rubbish bosses are in the dumps

Industrial action by refuse workers in Birmingham, combined with recent bad weather, is hitting hard.

New British Airways ballot after long delays

Cabin crew at British Airways (BA) are again balloting for strikes.

Low paid NHS workers strike back

Low paid NHS workers in Buckinghamshire and Hampshire struck for 48 hours from Wednesday 15 December against their bosses’ refusal to honour nationally agreed conditions.

Perkins Engines strike

Workers at Perkins Engines in Stafford, West Midlands, struck last week over pay.

US tortures its own soldier over Wikileaks

Bradley Manning, a 22-year old US army private, is being tortured by the US state.

Wikileaks reveals British government trained death squad

The British government has been training a Bangladeshi paramilitary death squad, leaked US embassy cables have revealed.

Underfunding and cuts lie behind Northern Ireland’s water disaster

Over 50,000 homes in Northern Ireland had no water over the holiday. Thousands of homes went without water for more than a week.

100,000 council jobs set for the chop

Around 100,000 jobs are on the line in a crucial battle over the coalition’s assault on working people.

Join Luton protest against the racist EDL

The English Defence League (EDL) is planning another racist rampage in Luton. But it will be met by a united, national protest organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

George Osborne steals £2k a year from workers

The Tories are set to make 2011 a year of pain for millions.

Fight to stop Tories privatising Royal Mail

Union leaders are talking up the possibility of strikes to defend postal workers’ jobs, pensions and conditions as Tory plans to privatise Royal Mail gather pace.

GP plans are a gift to big business

Top civil servants are drawing up legislation that will hand control of up to 80 percent of the NHS budget to GPs.

Scandal of sick who are forced to work

At least half a million people have been wrongly denied incapacity benefit over the last 15 years.

Parents say no to free schools

A survey by the NUT union has shown that three quarters of parents questioned don’t want so-called "free schools".

Housing activists plan protest

Housing campaigners have called a mass lobby of parliament over cuts to housing benefit, plans for new fixed term tenancies and hikes in rents.

Battle is on to save forests

More than 3,000 people rallied in the Forest of Dean on Tuesday of this week to defend "the people’s trees".

Return of the student struggle

University, FE and school students are once again preparing to hit the streets to defeat the Tory-led coalition’s plans to destroy education. This year can be one of inspiring resistance, and the students are at the forefront.

Students—it’s time to restart the fightback

The student demonstrations that exploded onto the streets of Britain in November and December were a huge shock for the coalition government.

Dawn raid for protester who stroked a horse

Paul Saville, a student from Bristol, was arrested in a dawn raid a week before Christmas.

Rotherham teachers strike to save jobs

Kids not cuts! That was the fighting message from striking teachers who started three days of strikes yesterday (Wednesday) over "savage" job cuts.

Overwhelming yes vote for strike at Doncaster's Hesley Group of schools

Unison members working across the Hesley Group of schools in Doncaster have voted by 96 percent for industrial action, and by 84 percent for a strike.

Birmingham council workers strike against cuts

A strike by workers across the Birmingham Connexions service, which assists young and vulnerable people to access work and training opportunities, was called off at the last minute today.

Young people in Rotherham occupy against the cuts

Two youth centres in Rotherham were occupied this evening (Thursday) against cuts in youth services.

Young people in Rotherham speak out after occupation

Defiant and angry young people in Rotherham occupied their youth centre against cuts in the service for three hours last night (Thursday).

Tommy Sheridan - targeted because he is a socialist

Socialist Worker is appalled that an alliance of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World and the police has secured a perjury verdict against socialist Tommy Sheridan.


Imperialism isn't the answer in the Ivory Coast

The US and the European Union are stepping up the pressure to decide who will govern in West Africa’s Ivory Coast. Most observers declared that Alassane Ouattara beat sitting president Laurent Gbagbo in the election on 28 November 2010.

Tunisian uprising is a beacon of hope

The uprisings that spread across Tunisia in North Africa over the last two weeks in December mark an important moment in the country’s history.


Leadership and the student movement

Socialist Worker found itself at the centre of discussions about the recent student movement over the Christmas period.

How should councillors oppose the cuts onslaught?

At a recent full council meeting in Preston I proposed a motion that the council should commit itself to a policy of no cuts, no job losses and no privatisation of services.

Archived records show the fragility of the "Iron Lady"

The Tories were determined to fight for the interests of their class in 1980—but they were also scared of resistance.

Alex Callinicos: a reply to Laurie Penny's reply

I hadn’t intended to respond to Laurie Penny’s reply (<a href="">A response to Alex Callinicos</a>) to my piece on Comment is Free (<a href="">Student demonstrators can't do it on their own</a>), which in turn was a response to her original Guardian article, which appeared on Christmas Eve (<a href="">Out with the old politics</a>). But there has been such a flurry of criticism and support all over Fa


The murder of Patrice Lumumba: Congo’s tragedy

Today the Democratic Republic of Congo is depicted as a place of horror. Recent fighting in the country is presented as a continuation of ancient blood-letting between eastern tribes and ethnic militias.

Dodgeville: tax games of the filthy rich who demand we face cuts

Philip Green is one of Britain’s richest men. He has an estimated fortune of more than £4 billion. Green runs the Arcadia Group, which includes more than 2,500 branches of the clothes shops Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge and others, as well as the department store BHS.

Leon Trotsky: Workers can make revolution permanent

Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) was murdered 70 years ago by an agent of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin.


Evolving English: the story of how the language was made

It’s very easy for the history of the English language to be a dull list of words and sentences delivered by long-dead classic authors and upper class figures.

What We Think

Mass fightback can stop Tory wreckers

The coalition is launching a wave of attacks on workers. This is not just about vicious cuts—it is also an attempt to reshape the whole of society in the interests of big business.

Labour leaders go in the wrong direction

Sources close to the Labour leadership, as the media like to put it, let it be known at the end of last year that leader Ed Miliband wanted to distance himself from the unions.

Other Categories

Jayaben Desai 1933–2010

"What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your finger-tips, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are those lions, Mr Manager."Jayaben Desai

Marc Renshaw: New Year sales

Tim: going downhill

Tim’s view


Welcome to 2011—now here’s what we’re cutting David Cameron’s statement that no more special schools were to close on his watch does not seem to have percolated down to the

The news in quotes

‘It is an exciting day for Liberty Osborne, the chancellor’s daughter, to join him at work. The windows at HM Treasury are boarded up, workmen line the road replacing the bombproof (but not quite student-proof) glass’

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