Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2252

Dated: 21 May 2011




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Unions unite against the Tories: 800,000 ready to strike

Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers are preparing to go into battle against the Tory government.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Sheffield school to ballot for strikes over redundancy

Teachers at City secondary school in Sheffield, south Yorkshire, are to ballot for strikes against a compulsory redundancy.

BA workers should reject shoddy deal

A terrible deal is on the table at British Airways (BA)—and the Unite union is backing it.

United strikes against academies spread in Coventry

Two Coventry schools struck against academies on Friday of last week. Some 70 teachers in the NUT and NASUWT unions were involved in the strike at Tile Hill Wood School – a huge majority – with a further 30 NUT members striking at Woodlands School.

Climate activists debate nuclear power

Activists debated whether nuclear power has any place in the fight against climate change at a meeting organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change last week.

30 June: A springboard for resistance to cuts

Thursday 30 June is set to be the next major day of resistance to the Tories’ plans to punish ordinary working people for the failures of their banker buddies.

‘I’ve never seen our union be so proactive before’

Anne Lemon, NUT executive member for North Somerset, spoke to Socialist Worker about building the strike ballot:

Meeting debates how to win

More than 200 trade unionists attended a Socialist Workers Party (SWP) meeting in London last Sunday to discuss the importance of the planned strikes.

Striking gets results at Rawmarsh Community School

Strikes save jobs. That’s the message from teachers at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham, south Yorkshire.

Spreading school strikes to save jobs and stop bullying

The NUT plans to ballot members at Forest Hill school in Lewisham, south London, over a planned compulsory redundancy.

Striking back against academies

Teachers in four schools struck against academies last week.

Firefighters discuss the fightback at their annual conference

Delegates were gathering for the annual conference of the FBU firefighters’ union as Socialist Worker went to press.

Indefinite strike looms at Southampton council

Refuse workers at Southampton council were set to walk out on indefinite strike from Monday of next week.

Start mobilising for coordinated action in UCU

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt explicitly told a meeting of branch officers on Friday of last week that our union will join coordinated strikes in June to defend our pensions.

London Met: the fight is on to save education

Management at London Metropolitan University wants to cut 70 percent of undergraduate courses and sack hundreds of staff.

Lecturers fight for their union at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London

Lecturers at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London protested on Wednesday of last week against cuts. Management said last week that it wants to cut 64 jobs.

Why conspiracy theories let the system off the hook

Conspiracy theories—the belief that secret networks of powerful individuals rule the world—have had a recent resurgence.

Disabled people say: we won’t pay for this crisis

A wave of anger swept through London last week when 5,000 disabled people marched on parliament against the cuts.

Yunus Bakhsh: Bosses move to re-employ nurse

Supporters of Yunus Bakhsh, the Newcastle nurse unlawfully sacked for his trade union activity, were jubilant this week after NHS bosses moved to re-employ him.

Private companies cash in on NHS

The continuing scandal of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in the health service is revealed by the sorry tale of Barnet Hospital in north London.

PCS Conference calls for action over job cuts

Workers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have voted to organise a campaign against the closures of benefit processing sites and call centres.

EHRC workers hold second walkout

Hundreds of workers at the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) held a second one‑hour walkout against cuts on Wednesday of last week.

Home Office messengers battle against privatisation

Messengers at the Home Office HQ in central London are battling privatisation.

After the bailout-1,000 jobs go every day

The European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF agreed a 110 billion euro bailout for Greece last year.

Royal Mail: strikes can save jobs and services

Royal Mail is out to slash thousands of jobs and shut scores of mail centres.

'London should win the support of every postal worker'

Our dispute is not just a London issue. Royal Mail cannot shut two mail centres and a giant delivery office without forcing through compulsory redundancies.

Zimbabwe: Solidarity with treason trialists

Six socialists in Zimbabwe still face a possible death penalty for treason.

Mirfat Badallah: Victory against deportation

Mirfat Badallah, who has been campaigning against deportation to Yemen, has won leave to remain in Britain.

Hunger strikers win review

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has agreed to review the case of three Kurdish Iranian asylum seekers who mounted a 37‑day hunger strike outside its headquarters in Croydon.

Call for inquiry into restraint

A report into the death of Jimmy Mubenga by the charity Inquest calls for a parliamentary committee inquiry into the use of restraint in deportation.

Heathrow Express vote for strikes

RMT transport union members on the Heathrow Express have voted overwhelmingly for strikes over pay. Some 231 out of 243 members voted for strikes and 226 for action short of a strike. The RMT called the deal "unsatisfactory".

Potters Bar rail crash fine issued

The Office of Rail Regulation last week fined Network Rail £3 million for health and safety failings that caused the 2002 Potters Bar derailment, in which seven people died.

Protest over Unilever pensions betrayal

Unilever pensions betrayal protest

Defend lecturer Rod Thornton

University of Nottingham lecturer Dr Rod Thornton has been suspended after writing a report criticising management.

Solidarity with revolutions

Trade union activists met in London on Thursday of last week to build solidarity with the Egyptian revolution.

Rich-poor divide going back to Victorian times

The gap between the highest and lowest paid in Britain is not only growing but is set to return to Victorian levels.

Cameron health ‘reforms’ are a mess

Tory plans to "reform" the NHS out of existence are taking a battering as public anger continues to grow.

Green deal is a con

Energy secretary Chris Huhne was set to unveil his new "green deal" in parliament as Socialist Worker went to press.

Hound the Con-Dems everywhere

A group of anti-cuts activists surrounded business secretary Vince Cable when he arrived to open the Portsmouth ferry terminal on Friday of last week.

Tories charge children to play

Not content with slashing services and jobs, Tory-run Wandsworth Council has decided to charge children to use a local playground.

Cleaners not guilty of terror

Six Westminster street cleaners arrested on terrorism charges during the visit of Pope Benedict to Britain last September have been cleared.

Students are fodder for CBI

Bosses want to turn education into a big training camp for business.

Festival to unite the resistance

Trade union general secretaries Mark Serwotka of the PCS and Len McCluskey of Unite will speak at the opening rally of Marxism 2011 on the 30 June.

Spot the difference

A group of rich parasites organised a Rally Against the Debt in London last Saturday (picture top). It was a pro-cuts protest, which only 200 people attended. One of them, Toby Young, recently claimed in the Daily Telegraph, when giving his support to the protest, that "a majority of the British public actually supports the government on this the cuts issue".

Civil service workers vote for strike ballot

Delegates to the PCS civil service workers' union today (Wednesday) sent a defiant message to the government by voting almost unanimously to launch a strike ballot.

Defiant London demonstration demands end to health service cuts

Some 2,000 health workers, students and campaigners marched through central London yesterday (Tuesday) to save the NHS. The demonstration, called by Keep Our NHS Public and the Heath Workers Network was in response to government plans to tear apart the public health service and open the floodgates of privatisation.

Demonstrate Monday, 7pm, in London in solidarity with Spanish protests

The Education Activist Network is calling on its supporters, groups and affiliates to join a protest outside the Spanish embassy at Belgrave Square in London (Hyde Park Corner tube)from 7pm on Monday.


International

Nakba protests spark regional resistance

Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians as tens of thousands marched on Israel’s borders last weekend.

Libya: West’s forces drop bombs 1,800 times a month

The bombing of Libya should expand to include the country’s infrastructure, the head of the British armed forces has argued.

Austerity rains chaos down on Greece

Greece is still caught in the economic storm sweeping Europe following the arrest of International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Crisis deals a blow to Silvio Berlusconi in Italy

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was flattened in local elections last Monday which he had previously called a referendum on his leadership.

LGBT rights: A setback for bigots in Uganda

A draconian anti-gay bill has failed to pass through parliament in Uganda.

Mass protests build the resistance in Yemen

As mass anti-government demonstrations in Yemen entered their fourth month the Supreme Coordination Council of the Revolution—a coalition of nearly 300 pro-democracy groups—announced their plans to escalate the protests.

Botswana strike escalates as government sacks 'essential' workers

The mass public sector strike in Botswana, southern Africa, escalated on Tuesday when the government sacked health workers in "essential" services.

Egyptian socialists: 'Sharaf and the military are the successors of Mubarak'

On the anniversary of the Nakba, the police and army fire live ammunition at Egyptians to protect the embassy of the Zionists.

Protests erupt across Spain

Mass demonstrations and protest camps have mushroomed across Spain as the young and the unemployed say "enough". As many as 40 percent of Spain’s 4.5 million unemployed are under 25.

Video of protests in Spain

Protesters in Puerta del Sol Square, central Madrid on 20 May 2011

Socialists in Spain say spread 15 May revolt!

The camps have extended like a trail of gunpowder all over the country since Sunday 15 May. They have provided the spark that has ignited an atmosphere charged with frustration, indignation and anger after three and a half years of crisis and a growing spiral of cuts, the worsening of working conditions and unemployment.


Comment

Super-injunctions for the super-rich

In the topsy‑turvy world of celebrity obsession, it took a tweet by the famous daughter of an obscenely rich family to decisively lift the lid on super‑injunctions.

US provokes deep anger in Pakistan

President Barack Obama’s decision to send a hit squad to assassinate Osama Bin Laden has nudged up his faltering opinion poll ratings at home.


Features

End of the road for the BNP?

Only two years ago, the fascist British National Party (BNP) made a major political breakthrough, winning two seats in the European elections. A euphoric Nick Griffin, the BNP’s leader, declared, "My election victory will bring about a huge change."

The 'SlutWalk' phenomenon: Women refuse to take the blame for rape

Our society promotes and constantly reinforces the idea that women are to blame if they are raped. A third of students think a woman is wholly or partially to blame for her rape if she was drunk, according to a 2009 survey in London Student newspaper.

Cop: ‘Don’t dress like a slut and you won’t get raped’

‘The police were invited to give a talk on personal safety at the university’s Osgoode Hall Law School after several incidents. There was supposed to be a male and a female officer—but only two men appeared.


Reviews

Under the Cranes: Personal tales of inner city 'redevelopment'

Under the Cranes is a film-poem exploring how we experience "place"—how where we end up living has an impact on us, and how we have an impact on it.

The Forgotten Palestinians: ‘aliens’ in their own country

The "forgotten" Palestinians are those living within Israel’s borders.

Outside the Law

French-Algerian film director Rachid Bouchareb challenges the myths of French colonialism in his new film Outside the Law.

London International Documentary Festival

More than 130 films from 44 countries will be shown over the 15 days of the London International Documentary Festival, which is on until 28 May.


What We Think

The Queen: heir to brutality in Ireland

T he media has been full of stories about how Ireland was being blessed by the visit of Elizabeth Windsor.

Chris Huhne frames pictures of himself and takes our money

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat environment minister, states clearly that he did not ask someone to fiddle his speeding penalty points. Perhaps.


Other Categories

Lindsey Roth 1953 - 2011

Lindsey Roth, a socialist, trade unionist and health campaigner, died at the age of 57 in Devon last week after an illness lasting some months.

Tim's view

Tim: Royal visit to Ireland

Letters

Profiting from misery Jobcentre staff have told me there have been lots of complaints about Maximus—a company contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions to get people off the unemployment lists.

Quotes from the week's news

‘A very talented individual who has a lot to offer public life’



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