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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2271

Dated: 01 Oct 2011

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Strikes can smash the Tories

Can we really beat the Tories? That question is being asked in workplaces, union meetings and streets up and down the country.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Banks demand more austerity for Greece

The Greek economy is sliding deeper into recession. Its deficit is getting worse. So why are Western powers insisting on making Greece honour debts that it has no chance of repaying?

Deficits, debt and default—a basic guide to the jargon


College strike against pay freeze

Workers at Stow College in Glasgow were set to strike on Wednesday of this week against a pay freeze.

Licensing workers vote for black out

A nationwide strike of television licensing workers moved a step nearer last week after they voted for strikes in a dispute over pay.

Fujitsu workers vow to fight on

Workers at Fujitsu in Manchester are set to continue strikes against victimisations and breaches of agreements over union recognition, pay, pensions and job cuts.

Pensioners will join 30 November strikers

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, addressed a meeting of the National Pensioners’ Convention last week.

Stop racist EDL protest in London

Unite against Fascism (UAF) has called a counter‑protest at a planned English Defence League (EDL) demonstration at Downing Street on Saturday 8 October.

Construction workers say 'Unity is what will make the bosses listen'

Electricians’ protests against building bosses’ attacks on wages are escalating in scale and militancy.

We will join 30 November strikes

Unite’s London construction branch has unanimously passed a motion on the dispute.

NUJ calls more strikes

Journalists in Warrington have called a 48-hour strike against Newsquest bosses’ attacks on their jobs and pay.

New threat to striking Wyndeham workers

Bosses at Wyndeham Impact printers in Basingstoke have said they will shut the factory—because they want even larger profits.

Tory health bill must be stopped

Campaigners have vowed to fight until the very last moment to stop the Tory health and social care bill.

Stroud organises to defend health service

Campaigners in Stroud, Gloucestershire, are threatening legal action to stop the transfer of NHS services to an unaccountable "community interest company".

Health privatisation threat in Surrey

NHS privatisation fears have also been raised in Surrey.

Celebrate strikes, don’t apologise for them

At times it can seem as if everyone is against strikes. The main political parties typically attack strikers for being "irresponsible". And even trade union leaders who are leading strikes take care to stress that "no one wants to strike".

Militant methods can win these strike votes

Union leaders are giving workers the go-ahead to use "any means necessary" to win a massive strike vote in the battle for public sector pensions.

Miliband attacks rich and poor in equal measure

Ed Miliband used his keynote speech at the Labour Party conference on Tuesday to justify the anti-union laws and the sell-off of council housing.

Tories are hypocrites on NHS private funding

The NHS will be forced to slash vital hospital services, including accident & emergency and maternity units—and that’s according to one of its top bosses.

National demo wins NUS backing

The National Union of Students (NUS) executive has decided to back demands from student activist groups for a national demonstration in defence of education.

Food packs for the poor

Some 6,000 people in Scotland will be forced to rely on food handouts, according to the Trussell Trust charity. Last week job centres were told to send poor families to the charity’s food banks.

Riot defendants appeal against sentencing

Ten people who were imprisoned after the riots in Britain this August appealed against their sentences on Monday of this week.

Unite the Resistance conference aims to build fightback

Trade union activists are organising a conference on Saturday 19 November. It is shaping up to be a key event in the run-up to the 30 November mass strikes.

News in brief

Hacking: fresh police links News International paid Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the News of the World, for "crime exclusives" while he was working for the Metropolitan Police.

Join education unions' demo on 26 October

Seven education unions are preparing for a mass lobby of parliament on Wednesday 26 October to protest at the government’s pensions assault.

Action can bring us together, say unions and campaigners

Trade unionists in Worthing, on the south coast, are preparing for the 30 November strikes.

Unions applauded, but not by leaders

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis set the Labour Party conference alight on Monday, winning an unexpected standing ovation.

Competing colours do battle to out-Tory the Tories

Blue Labour. The Purple Book. Or maybe Red Ed?

Date set for Abdul Omer employment tribunal

Victimised Unite bus convenor Abdul Omer Mohsin has his Employment Tribunal on 7 November.

Haringey senior citizens go into battle against cuts

Elderly people from the Caribbean Senior Citizens Association marched on Haringey council last week.

Dale Farm Travellers welcome eviction delay

Travellers at Dale Farm have won two extensions of an injunction to stop Basildon council from evicting them.

Nottinghamshire Unison protests against care home sales

Notts Unison members protested outside the council against the proposed sale of six elderly persons’ homes to the private sector. The Runwood organisation which has bought the homes only has to commit to keep them as homes for three years.

UCU Left gets ready for battle

UCU Left supporters held our AGM and conference last Saturday. Delegates discussed how to make the action short of a strike, which begins this week in pre-92 universities, effective. The action is against the imposition of worse terms for the pension scheme.

Huge strike votes over job cuts at Middlesex university

Workers at Middlesex university have voted overwhelmingly for strikes to save jobs. Lecturers voted by 80 percent for strikes and 94 percent for action short of a strike in a recent ballot.

Education round-up

Kenton school teachers strike against academy plans Teachers at Kenton School in Newcastle struck on Tuesday of this week against plans to turn the school into an academy. The strike involved workers in the NUT, NASUWT and ATL unions.

Protesters march through East End of London for LGBT rights

Some 500 people took part in East London Pride last Saturday. A protest marched from Hackney Town Hall to Bethnal Green where workshops and a rally were held.

Wandsworth Against Cuts demonstrates over riot evictions

A lobby took place outside Wandsworth’s Tory council on Wednesday of last week as they began an emergency meeting on riots and evictions.

Qatar royal family makes moves to control Al Jazeera TV station

Qatari-owned news network Al-Jazeera’s director general has resigned after eight years—only to be replaced by a member of a Qatari royal family.

Repression fails to quell Bahrain democracy protesters

Protesters in Bahrain have refused to succumb to repression and continue to take to the streets to fight for freedom. Thousands of Bahrainis from villages surrounding the capital Manama tried to force their way back to the city’s Pearl Square on Friday of last week.

Oil firms hit the jackpot in Libya

Western business interests have arrived in Libya. Lord Green, minister for trade and investment, led a British delegation including representatives of BP and Shell for talks in the capital Tripoli on Monday.

Strikes extend revolt across Egypt

A wave of strikes across Egypt is rapidly broadening and deepening the revolution there. A national teachers strike has rallied round the slogan "Meet our demands or forget school this year."

All out! Cairo bus drivers defy law

Bus workers employed by the Public Transport Authority in Cairo are on all-out strike. They want their bonuses doubled and corrupt officials purged.

Euro crisis threatens all workers

Europe’s leading bankers and politicians were in crisis talks this week as they tried to stop Greece from defaulting on its debts.

Hundreds of electricians blockade King's Cross

Shouts of "The workers united will never be defeated" filled King’s Cross station this morning, Wednesday.

Berlin elections: How Pirates raided the left

Local government elections in Berlin last week brought a sensational result—the Pirate Party boarded parliament with 8.9 percent of the vote.

After Ed Miliband's speech... where is the Labour Party going?

The media is trying to portray Ed Miliband’s speech on Tuesday as a "lurch to the left".

No ice cream for Nazis on Merseyside

The British National Party tried demonstrating last night (Thursday) outside Liverpool Arts Centre where this week's BBC Question Time was being recorded.

Workers locked out at Wyndeham Impact

Bosses at Wyndeham Impact printers in Basingstoke have locked out 58 workers after protests over redundancies and wage cuts. Though the factory remains profitable, bosses have already threatened to close it permanently.

Exclusive: Bahraini nurses’ union leader calls for solidarity

Rula al Saffar is the president of the nursing union in Bahrain, assistant professor at the college of health science and head of the emergency nursing programme.

15,000 march in Glasgow against cuts

Up to 15,000 people marched trough Glasgow today, Saturday, for the People First demonstration against attacks on public services.

Protest against Tory conference in Manchester - as it happened


Pictures and banner list from Glasgow demonstration against cuts

Some 15,000 people marched in Glasgow on 1 October. Below is a list of banners on the demonstration.

More pictures of Manchester demo

List of banners on Manchester demonstration against the Tories


Abbas plan won’t bring justice for Palestinians

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian National Authority president, demanded that Palestine become a United Nations (UN) recognised state last Friday.

Clampdown in Pakistan sees activists arrested and tortured

The Pakistani state has arrested and tortured union and political activists using special anti-terror laws.

Yemen: Saleh returns from Saudi Arabia to find revolt still on the streets

Protests continued to grow against returned president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen’s capital Sana’a last weekend.

Cairo bus workers: ‘No deal, the strike goes on’

Mass meetings in bus garages across Cairo were reported to have rejected a deal agreed between leaders of the independent union, the minister of labour and the management of the Public Transport Authority. This is according to a report in the Al-Ishtaraki newspaper on 28 September.


A crisis at the top opens spaces below

An air of unreality accompanied coverage of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meeting in Washington DC last weekend.


Cable Street - they did not pass

IT was 1936 and fascism was spreading across Europe. Adolf Hitler had become chancellor of Germany. Benito Mussolini had seized control in Italy. Franco was on the march in Spain. And the British Union of Fascists (BUF) was trying to do the same in Britain.

Who were the Blackshirts?

Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF) were known as the Blackshirts because of their military-style uniforms.

Melissa Benn interview: The Battle for Britain’s Education

The Tory plans for our schools are tantamount to going "back to Victorian times". That’s the stark conclusion of Melissa Benn, a writer and campaigner for comprehensive education.

Why workers can end all oppression

Previously in this series we looked at how capitalism divides people into two main classes. The rulers own the means of production while the rest of us—workers—have to work for them.


The Boy Mir: One boy’s struggle and the failure of West’s war

Six months before 9/11, shocking media images appeared of the Taliban government dynamiting the 1450 year old Buddha statues at Bamiyan in central Afghanistan. The demolition in March 2001 followed a Taliban edict that all statues be destroyed.

Victoria Station/One For The Road: Pinter classics bring uneasy truths about today’s world

Director Jeff James has chosen an unusual style of play direction in an intimate venue.

Les Enfants du Paradis

Made during the Nazi occupation of France, Les Enfants Du Paradis shows actors in a Parisian working class theatre.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

This documentary chronicles a turbulent year in the life of the New York Times.

Michael Moore competition winners

Thanks to everyone who entered our competition.

What We Think

Saudi king says women can have the vote—just not quite yet

The king of Saudi Arabia has announced that women citizens will finally be given the right to vote in municipal elections.

Other Categories

Tim's view


Grim economic context of Gleision mine disaster Here in South Wales we thought the destruction of the coal industry would have at least one beneficial effect. No longer would families have to endure the agonising wait to find out if their loved ones underground were alive or dead.

In their own words

‘Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN’

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