Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2270

Dated: 24 Sep 2011




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All out to beat the Tories

The Tories are taking an axe to working class Britain. Every day sees jobs decimated, services slashed and thousands of lives wrecked.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Unions ballot millions to take on the Tory cuts

The prospect of a Britain closed by a public sector general strike took a giant step forwards last week. Up to 3 million workers could strike over pensions in November after union leaders announced raft of new ballots.

Unite the Resistance

Dear Friend,

How we’re building the autumn of anger

Ken Muller, assistant branch secretary Islington NUT (pc)

Thousands march on Lib Dem conference

Thousands of workers protested at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham last Sunday. The march reflected a general mood that it’s time to ratchet up resistance to the government.

Council strikes can save our services

More than 25,000 workers across three councils were set to strike against cuts this week.

Barnet bosses' bullying backfires

Barnet council workers rallied outside the London borough’s town hall after their strike against privatisation on Tuesday of last week.

Unison members set to discuss pensions action

Activists in the Unison union are meeting this Saturday to discuss the battle over pensions.

Southampton social care workers call more strikes

Social care workers at Southampton council voted to call more strikes at a meeting last week—breathing new life into their long-running campaign against pay cuts.

Council workers win victories in Portsmouth and Plymouth

Trade union unity has forced council bosses to back down over pay cuts in Portsmouth.

Electricians organise against bosses' attacks

The battle on construction sites is escalating.

Meetings show scale of sparks' anger

Around 50 rank and file electricians met last Friday in Newcastle at a meeting hosted by the Newcastle Central Unite branch.

Subcontracting puts lives at risk on sites

Subcontracting and dodgy practices are at the heart of the construction industry.

Gatwick Express ballot takes off

Rail workers on London’s Gatwick Express are balloting for strikes over job cuts.

Sugar workers want a sweeter deal

Workers at four British Sugar plants in the east of England are balloting for strikes over pay.

Printers' walkouts are having an impact

Printers at the Wyndeham Impact in Basingstoke are now in their 21st week of strikes over redundancies, wage cuts and the threat of closure.

Sovereign bus drivers reject another pay offer

Drivers at bus firm Sovereign in Edgware, London have rejected another pay offer from their bosses.

Fujitsu workers strike over bosses' 'porkies'

Hundreds of IT workers in the Unite union at Fujitsu struck last Monday.

Lecturers' USS vote is a fight for all pensions

Lecturers in the UCU union have voted for industrial action in defence of their USS final salary pensions scheme.

Barnsley College: we will fight to defend our union rep

Barnsley College lecturers in the UCU union will strike on Thursday of next week in defence of their branch secretary.

Middlesex University workers fight job cuts

Workers in the Unison union at Middlesex University are balloting for strikes over the threat of 200 job cuts.

University of Northampton workers protest against job cuts

Unison members at the University of Northampton protested against 78 job cuts last week.

Stand up to Royal Mail bullies

Is Royal Mail trying to bully workers out of their jobs to make room for others?

Forced deliveries injure post worker

A post worker in Merseyside injured herself after being forced to deliver mail just days after undergoing invasive keyhole surgery, a tribunal heard last week.

Kenton School to strike against academies

Teachers at Kenton School in Newcastle were set to strike three times in seven days over plans to turn the school into an academy.

Manchester launches fight to save Sure Start

Campaigners are fighting to save Sure Start centres and Early Years nurseries across Manchester, which are all set to be closed.

Battle to keep Remploy factories open

Remploy workers joined the march against the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham last Sunday (see page 4). They were protesting against plans to close 54 Remploy factories.

Zimbabwe socialists' trial delayed

The trial of six activists arrested in Zimbabwe for showing news footage of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt began last Thursday.

TV licence workers ballot for strikes

Workers at the firm Capita, which issues TV licences, are this week balloting for strikes.

Tug workers pull together

Tug workers in the Shetland Islands have voted by 98 percent for industrial action over job cuts and attacks on conditions.

Cleaners protest for a living wage

Some 100 people demonstrated in support of the cleaners at Senate House, University of London, on Wednesday of last week.

Journalists strike for jobs

NUJ members at Newsquest Cheshire and Merseyside took part in two days of strikes last week against compulsory redundancies.

Profit drive keeps miners in danger

The disaster at the Gleision mine in South Wales began when miners blasted underground.

The battle to save Dale Farm isn't over - stop the eviction now

Travellers who live at Dale Farm in Essex celebrated as they won a last-minute court injunction delaying their eviction this week.

Notorious bailiff firm uses racist slurs to hook customers

Constant & Co, the "specialist" bailiff firm that is ready to evict Dale Farm Travellers, promotes itself with racist language.

Can the United Nations liberate Palestine?

The United Nations (UN) was set to vote on official recognition for a state of Palestine this week.

Met police phone hack cover-up unravels - again

The Metropolitan Police force was humiliated this week when a judge rejected the evidence of one of its supergrasses, Gary Eaton.

Bribes and state secrets to stop story

Rupert Murdoch’s News International has made a £3 million offer to the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. It is an attempt to settle the phone hacking case that led to the closure of the News of the World.

Ed Miliband looks in the wrong direction

Labour leader Ed Miliband’s Refounding Labour project has done little but try to further erode the influence of the unions in the party.

Lib Dems' rhetoric can't hide their hypocrisy

The lying Liberal Democrats were desperate to wear their "left" mask as they met for their conference this week. Axe-wielding Lib Dem ministers ratcheted up the rhetoric.

Riots - cops go for the usual suspects

The media has pounced on statistics from the Ministry of Justice claiming three quarters of rioters in court so far already had a criminal record.

Scotland set to protest on 1 October

The Scottish TUC has called a demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday 1 October to resist Tory attacks.

Selling torture in Docklands

Britain’s leading arms fair was used to promote illegal torture equipment and cluster bombs.

Post offices: stealth sell-off

The government this week announced plans to turn post offices into mutually owned co-operatives.

Islington People's Assembly meeting deepens resistance

Anti-cuts activists in north London gathered for a day of debates and workshops at Islington People’s Assembly last Saturday.

Electricians occupy Thameslink construction site and 'take the fight to the bosses'

Around 250 construction workers occupied the Thameslink Farringdon site in London this morning, Wednesday.

Birmingham council strikers rain on Clegg’s parade

Striking Birmingham council workers took their fight to the Liberal Democrats today (Wednesday)—on the day of Nick Clegg’s keynote speech defending cuts.

Council workers strike in Doncaster

Council workers in Doncaster in the Unison union struck today (Wednesday) against plans to sack 1,000 workers and cut the pay of others.

Unison union reveals timetable for strikes in NHS

The prospect of a massive strike by public sector workers in the autumn took another step forwards yesterday (Wednesday).

Council strikers' wake up call for Shrewsbury

The sleepy town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire was woken up this morning by the roar of striking workers marching through the streets.

London construction workers demand to join 30 November strikes

Unite union members in the London construction branch agreed unanimously to pass a motion including the following statement, at a meeting yesterday, Wednesday:

‘On 2 October we say: come to Manchester!’

"We are not talking about being united—we are united! We are fighting back! There is only one thing that will divide and fall—and that is this government."

Pakistani state clamps down on unions and the left

The Pakistani state is arresting and torturing union and political activists fighting against displacement from floods, privatisation, mass sackings and non-payment of wages.

Judge delays Dale Farm eviction until Monday

The Travellers of Dale Farm won a temporary legal victory today, Friday.

Students occupy in Glasgow

Around 30 students staged a one-day occupation today (Friday) at Scotland’s leading arts academy, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Spirit of Seattle is back as protesters take on Wall Street

On Friday 17 September a group of largely young campaigners, artists, and students occupied Wall Street in New York’s financial district.


International

Strikes deepen Egypt's revolution

The revolution in Egypt is gaining new momentum.

Yemen: protests continue despite government attacks

Clashes between protesters and anti-government forces in Yemen left more than 60 people dead on the streets of the capital, Sana’a, last Sunday and Monday.

Danes take left turn against cuts

The centre-left "red bloc" narrowly won Denmark’s election last week—throwing out a decade-long Liberal government propped up by the far right Danish People’s Party.


Comment

Let's go all out to build 30 November strikes

The call from last week’s TUC congress to coordinate strikes across public sector unions on 30 November—including Unison, Unite and the GMB—is of huge significance.

Troy Davis execution stands in US tradition of racist lynching

The execution of Troy Davis was nothing short of murder. And the sheer brutality of his killing has left many grasping to understand what kind of nation the US has become.


Features

Islamophobia: racism’s new form

Back-to-back TV and newspaper coverage of the anniversary of 9/11 this month will remind many of the vilification that Muslims faced in the wake of the attack.

Britain's new plan to exploit migrant workers

The British government is at the heart of attempts to create a new system that would enable bosses to employ migrant workers on the wages and conditions of their country of origin.

The sinking of the eurozone

‘Fear that Greece will be unable to repay the banks is precipitating a crisis in the eurozone and beyond’ Panos Garganas, Greece

Rise with the class, not from the class

Labour leader Ed Miliband blamed the party’s failure to win the last election on having lost touch with the "squeezed middle". This is a new version of Tony Blair’s argument from 2005 that "we’re all middle class now".


Reviews

Richard Hamilton: a radical pop artist who subverted mass culture

Richard Hamilton, a pioneer of Pop Art, died this month aged 89. Mike Gonzalez looks back at his radical work

Life and Fate: How Vasily Grossman found hope out of horror

Life and Fate is one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. Now, the BBC have dramatised the 871-page book and brought it to the airwaves.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

This eagerly awaited adaptation of John le Carré’s 1974 spy novel lives up to its rave reviews.

Romani Dreams Festival

This evening of film, drama, music and poetry raises awareness of some of the issues that face Roma people today in Britain and around the world.

A Very British Coup DVD

When radical left wing Labour Party leader Harry Perkins becomes prime minister, it looks as though Britain really is on the path to socialism through parliament.


What We Think

Their rogue system caused the crisis

A very civil form of dawn arrest greeted city slicker Kweku Adoboli after he lost the UBS investment bank £1.47 billion.

Lessons from Libya - the West is no friend of revolution

The sight of David Cameron and French president Nicolas Sarkozy arriving in Libya as conquering heroes last week was sickening.


Other Categories

Tim's view - Blair and Gaddafi

Tim: Greedy swine

Letters

Boundary changes are attack on democracy This week the Boundary Commission announced significant changes to parliamentary constituencies.

In their own words

‘The ideological descendants of those who sent children up chimneys’



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