Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2256

Dated: 18 Jun 2011




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Huge votes for strikes: the fight is on!

Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers plan to walk out together on 30 June after winning big strike votes.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Tory ‘Prevent’ strategy stokes Islamophobia

The Tories have released a new version of the Prevent strategy—supposedly designed to tackle "terrorism" and "extremism."

New book will defend multiculturalism

The Prevent document makes fantastical reading.

Right to protest: Activists need our support against charges

Over 30 protesters appeared in court last week to answer public order charges.

Syrian protests defy repression

The mass revolt in Syria is under brutal attack from the Syrian state. And circling in the background are Western governments looking to increase their dominance in the region.

Syria: a rogue state in the back pocket of the Western powers

According to the West, Syria is a "rogue" state that has interests in developing weapons of mass destruction and supports terrorism.

Exclusive: Bahraini students studying in Britain forced to sign pledge

Bahraini students studying at British universities have been forced to sign a pledge of allegiance to the King of Bahrain, and promise that they will not take part in any protests against the regime.

Joy as Tory school cuts plan collapses in chaos

The Tories want to tear up state education—but our movement can stop them.

‘Superhead’ who snatched super salary supplements

The "superhead" of an academy school, who was praised by education secretary Michael Gove, drained more than £100,000 in consultancy fees that were "not legitimate", a report has found.

Teachers in Coventry strike over academies

Teachers at two Coventry schools were on strike last week opposing the council’s plans to turn their schools into academies.

United strikes against cuts in Southampton

The council workers’ strikes across Southampton came together on Monday as up to 1,000 workers marched to say they won’t swallow pay cuts.

Thousands join London 'Slutwalk'

The chant "Whatever we wear, wherever we go—yes means yes, and no means no!" echoed through the streets of central London last Saturday.

Protesters hound private college group

Students are hounding the prospective founders of the New College of the Humanities, a private university that will charge students £18,000 a year.

New York hotel workers: 'Shame on you, Strauss-Khan!'

New York Hotel & Motel trades council union members held a loud protest against former IMF boss Dominic Strauss-Khan on Monday of this week.

Scottish Power: Our cash goes to rich firm

Scottish Power is the latest energy company to announce price hikes.

Southern Cross: care homes firm turns on workers

Crisis-hit care homes firm Southern Cross is trying to make workers pay for its financial mess.

Goldman Sachs' dealings with Colonel Gaddafi

Investment bank Goldman Sachs’ murky dealings with Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi are gradually emerging.

William Hill boss gets £1.2 million handout

Ralph Topping, boss of bookmakers William Hill, has grabbed a £1.2 million share package—to tempt him away from retiring.

Doncaster cuts announcement builds ballot momentum

Some 5,000 workers balloting at Doncaster council got an extra reason to vote yes this week as bosses announced another 700 job cuts.

Cumbrian council workers ready to ballot over single status cuts

The Unison union may ballot council workers in Cumbria for industrial action over "single status" pay cuts.

Unison moving towards pensions action

Unison is "putting the organisation in place" to ballot for industrial action over pensions, it announced ahead of its annual conference next week.

Africa: Exploitation and Resistance conference - solidarity with the 'African Awakening'

The "Arab Spring" should be called the "African Awakening", said Firoze Manji at the opening session of Africa: Exploitation and Resistance last Saturday.

Stop the War conference inspired by revolutions

Over 200 activists met last Saturday at a conference on the "war on terror" organised by the Stop the War Coalition as the tenth anniversary of the Afghanistan war approaches.

London Underground strike to defend sacked union rep

Tube drivers on London Underground are the latest group of workers planning to strike on 30 June.

Racist EDL face united resistance in Dewsbury

Attempts by English Defence League (EDL) thugs to rampage through Dewsbury last Saturday failed.

Construction pay deal for workers

Some 500,000 construction workers have won a pay increase following negotiations between the Ucatt, Unite and GMB unions and the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC).

Newsquest journalists to strike for jobs

Journalists at Newsquest in South London are set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of this week over redundancies.

Pensions workers to strike

PCS members who administer the My Civil Service Pension (MyCSP) scheme are fighting to save it from backdoor privatisation.

IT workers could join strikes on 30 June

Unite union members at the Fujitsu IT company in Crewe are balloting for strikes in defence of local trade union activist Alan Jenney.

Warehouse strike brings halts food distribution in Ayrshire

About 25 warehouse staff and drivers at DBC Foodservices in Dundonald, Ayrshire, have struck over an increase in working hours.

Tory NHS ‘reforms’ in retreat

David Cameron has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over his plans to "reform" the NHS.

Unofficial post walkout in north London wins

Postal workers in Islington, north London, are celebrating after an unofficial walkout last week forced Royal Mail to reinstate a suspended colleague.

Barnsley college strike against redundancies

Lecturers at Barnsley College were set to strike on Friday of this week to stop compulsory redundancies. The UCU union members voted for strikes by 87 percent.

Unite rules revision conference

Unite representatives gathered this week in Liverpool to discuss changes to the union’s Rule Book. Many of the amendments submitted marked a step forward in the process of becoming a more inclusive, activist union.

Lecturers in USS pension scheme to be balloted over attacks

Lecturers in older universities are set to vote on industrial action to stop attacks on their pensions.

UCU FE ballot: Vote no to fees deal

UCU union members in further education colleges are to ballot on a proposed deal on the annual fees for compulsory membership of the Institute for Learning.

EIS conference anger

Delegates to the AGM of the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching trade union, gathered in Perth last week.

Young teachers conference biggest yet

The annual NUT union’s young teachers’ conference was the biggest yet—its capacity of 150 was oversubscribed. It showed unmistakeable signs that the union is renewing itself through its pensions campaign, with many newly qualified teachers already school union reps.

Islington Arts and Media School teachers set to strike

Teachers at the Islington Arts and Media School in north London were set to strike on Wednesday of this week. They are fighting compulsory redundancies. The NUT union members struck against the cuts last month. They backed strikes by 90 percent in a ballot.

Democracy in the UCU

At this year’s UCU union congress Sally Hunt, the general secretary, launched her bid for re-election.

Unity in United Left

SOCIALIST WORKER welcomes the unanimous decision of the United Left National Coordinating Committee (NCC) not to exclude SWP members from the United Left (UL) group in the Unite union.

Civil service workers vote to join 30 June strikes

Some 290,000 civil service workers have voted join the 30 June mass strikes against Tory attacks on pensions, jobs and pay.

Campaign stops library closures in Ealing

Ealing Council has stepped back from consideration of any library closures.

Doncaster council workers to join 30 June strikes

Council workers in Doncaster have voted for strikes—and are set to join the mass walkout on 30 June.

Unison conference backs coordinated strike campaign

Delegates at Unison’s local government conference voted today to back a campaign of strikes to defend their pensions.


International

Turkey election: voters want less military influence

Why have Turks voted the same party into government three times running?

Peru's new president won't fight for workers unless pushed

The election of Ollanta Humala as president of Peru expresses a widespread rejection of neoliberalism.

Botswana mass strike suspended - but some workers stay out

Unions have suspended the public sector strike in Botswana in southern Africa after eight weeks.

Riots spread across China

Thousands of people have rioted in China.

Another blow for Berlusconi

Italian voters have dealt another resounding blow to prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Tokyo march to stop nuclear power

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Tokyo, Japan, last Saturday demanding that the government abandon nuclear power.

Mass strikes and occupations have Greece's government on the run

A huge general strike in Greece has rocked the country’s government. Workers are furious at the government’s attempts today to force massive austerity measures through parliament.


Comment

'Arab Revolutions' melt all that was solid into air

An official banner celebrating Egypt’s Revolution at Cairo Airport tells of "Egyptians making history again… what else is new?"

Bill Gates' billionaire philanthropy won't solve poverty

Billionaire Bill Gates has been praised for his philanthropic acts. Last week he promised $1 billion to pay for vaccinations in poor countries.

Why public sector unions do have a mandate for strikes

The Tories and the right wing press are bleating on about the turnouts in recent ballots for strikes among public sector workers. They claim the turnouts mean there’s no democratic mandate for strikes—and that they show most workers don’t want to fight their cuts.

Eamonn McCann: A year on from the Saville report into Bloody Sunday

The Saville Report’s recognition that all of the 13 Bloody Sunday dead and 13 wounded had been innocent sparked an eruption of joy in Derry. The sea of shining faces gathered in Guildhall Square for the release of the report on 15 June 2010 could have lit up a continent. This was the acknowledgement the Bloody Sunday families had craved through the long years of their trek towards the truth, and it was sufficient unto the day.


Features

How we won our rights

The British ruling class has always hated democracy. In the 18th century our rulers denounced attempts by ordinary people to fight for reforms as "mob rule".

The myth of the gold plated public sector

‘Student debt means I can’t pay into the pension scheme’ - Holly, teacher, Cambridgeshire "I’m in my second year of teaching. After doing my degree and a PGCE to become a teacher I’ve got £18,000 worth of student debt—and my starting wage is just £21,000.

The birth of the ‘gay plague’ myth

It started as an unknown illness, first noticed in New York around 1979 and 1980 in a community that generally took care of its health: gay men.


Reviews

Dave Randall interviewed about 'Freedom for Palestine' single

Freedom for Palestine is performed by a specially assembled group, One World. It features Maxi Jazz from Faithless, Jamie Cato, FSK and the Durban Gospel Choir from South Africa.

Fire in Babylon: West Indian cricketers upped the pace and won respect

The West Indies were the undisputed champions of test cricket for 15 remarkable years from 1980. They took the game to new levels of skill and athleticism.

Chicken Soup with Barley

This state of the nation play originally appeared in 1958. Dominic Cooke’s solidly performed revival is by-the-book and naturalistic—but don’t let that put you off.

'We’ve Always Done it This Way' DVD on Lucas Aerospace shop stewards’ committee plan

This TV documentary from 1978 shows how the Lucas Aerospace shop stewards’ committee attempted to challenge management layoffs with its own Corporate Plan.


What We Think

No, Mr Miliband, the poor are not to blame

As the Tories push through the biggest attacks on the welfare state in history, the silence from Labour leader Ed Miliband has been deafening.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: IMF

Tim's view

Letters

Don’t let the right turn the clock back on sex The moral right are on the rampage. They want to take us back to the 1950s—when housewives were tied to the sink and were an extension of their husbands, with little or no independence.

In their own words

‘We’re looking at exceptional circumstances and we’re going to be putting out arrangements for that later in the year’ Tory welfare minister Lord Freud says there will be exemptions from the government’s £26,000 annual cap on benefits



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