Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2285

Dated: 14 Jan 2012

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More strikes can beat the Tories

It’s a critical week for the fight to stop Tory attacks on public sector pensions. Trade union leaders and rank and file workers are meeting to discuss the government’s latest deal and the way forward.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Barnsley bus drivers walk out on seventh strike day

Bus drivers at Stagecoach in Barnsley and Rawmarsh have carried over their strikes into the new year.

Unilever workers in new wave of pension walkouts

Over 2,000 workers in three unions are preparing for a new round of strikes at consumer goods giant Unilever next week.

Sparks tell bosses: we won’t sign your rubbish contracts

Some 150 electricians returned their unsigned contracts in protest to Balfour Beatty’s headquarters at Hillington in Scotland last Friday.

London Sovereign ballot set for Friday

Bus drivers at London Sovereign in north west London are set to vote on a new offer in their long-running pay dispute on Friday of this week.

The real iron ladies

Miners’ wives and other women supporters of the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike unfurled a banner (right) last Friday outside the first Chesterfield showing of the new film about Margaret Thatcher.

Doctors discuss strike plan

Doctors in the BMA union are being surveyed to ask whether they would be prepared to strike.

Newsquest chapels challenge pay freeze

Newspaper journalists at major titles owned by Newsquest are being balloted for strikes over pay.

Birmingham BBC workers vote for strike

BBC workers in Birmingham have voted by 87 percent for strikes.

Say no to cuts in disability benefits

Disabled people and their supporters were set to lobby the House of Lords on Wednesday of this week against measures in the Welfare Reform Bill.

Vote starts in Unison by-election

Voting begins this week in the by-election for a seat on Unison’s national executive council.

Zimbabwe trial grills star witness

The cross-examination of the prosecution’s star witness resumed on Monday in the trial of six Zimbabwe socialists.

Workers reject privatisation

Revenue and Customs (HMRC) workers in the PCS union were set to strike this coming Monday.

Doncaster council workers to ballot

Workers at Doncaster council are to ballot on whether to accept or reject a 4 percent pay cut.

Liverpool airport strikes to end

Baggage handlers at Liverpool’s John Lennon airport will stop striking at the end of this month, their union has announced.

Cuts to Hackney drug services

Workers at a drug treatment centre in Hackney, east London, are to ballot for industrial action against cuts to jobs and services.

Downhills school campaign shakes Gove’s academy plan

The campaign against academies is gathering pace. Some 600 people packed into a public meeting at Downhills school in Haringey, north London, on Monday this week.

Victory in Swindon against council housing privatisation plans

Council tenants in Swindon have rejected the transfer of their 10,500 homes to a new housing association. They voted by over 72 percent to maintain public ownership.

Labour leader Ed Miliband shifts further to right

Welfare benefits give people a "false sense of security", Labour leader Ed Miliband announced last week.

Home Office finally forced to compensate Kurdish children detained for record 13 months

The Home Office has been forced to pay six-figure compensation to a Kurdish family who were detained as children for a record 13 months.

Workers demand more strikes as leaders waver

Around 450 trade union activists came together on Saturday of last week to show their determination to keep up the pensions fight—and debate the way forward.

Police concealed evidence that could have cleared Eddie Gilfoyle

Merseyside police have been concealing evidence that could expose a significant miscarriage of justice. Eddie Gilfoyle was jailed for life in 1993 but has maintained his innocence.

Sergeant Wuterich on trial over US’s massacre in Haditha

A US marine sergeant accused of murdering 24 Iraqi citizens in the town of Haditha in 2005 stands trial this week.

Migrants are not to blame for unemployment in Britain

A government panel has joined the chorus of right wing voices seeking to blame migrants for rising unemployment.

La Senza workers occupy Dublin shop

Workers at La Senza are occupying at the company’s store in Dublin’s Liffey Valley shopping centre. Some 1,300 workers in Britain and Ireland were left without a job when the company went into administration on Monday.

Tony Blair’s web of companies

Tony Blair’s company Windrush Ventures had a turnover of £12 million last year—but somehow only paid £315,000 in tax.

Lib Dem donor Michael Brown gets nicked

The Liberal Democrats’ biggest ever donor has been arrested while on the run dodging a seven-year jail sentence for fraud. Michael Brown bankrolled the party’s lies with £2.4 million of stolen money.

Spartacus Report takes on DWP

Disabled people have produced a report that lays bare the scale of opposition to the government’s plans to reform disability benefits.

Which unions reject pensions deal so far?

The "heads of agreement" signed by Unison, Unite and GMB union officials before Christmas adds up to a total betrayal on public sector pensions.

Two thirds of workers robbed of retirement hopes

Government plans to make us work three years longer would mean that workers have to literally work until they break.

Unison stalls pensions struggle—but the fight goes on

The Unison union’s local government and education service group executives today voted to accept the government’s outline deal on pensions.

Electricians protest around the country

Hundreds of electricians protested today against a planned working agreement which could see their wages cut by about 35 per cent.

Unite committee for government workers rejects pensions deal

The Unite union's committee representing members in government departments and the Ministry of Defence has unanimously voted to reject the government's "heads of agreement" deal over pensions.

Video of La Senza shop occupation in Dublin, Ireland

Workers at La Senza are occupying at the company’s store in Dublin’s Liffey Valley shopping centre. Some 1,300 workers in Britain and Ireland were left without a job when the company went into administration on Monday.

Workers lobby TUC to demand more strikes against pension attacks

Union leaders met at the TUC in London today, Thursday, to discuss the battle with the Tory government over public sector pensions.

Barnsley bus workers reject deal

Bus drivers in the Unite union at Barnsley and Rawmarsh have voted to reject the latest offer from their employer Stagecoach.

NUT executive votes to continue pensions fight

Leaders of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) unanimously rejected the government’s pre-Xmas Heads of Agreement proposals on pensions at its emergency NEC yesterday, Thursday.

Anger and determination as hundreds pack Unite the Resistance meeting

An emergency national meeting of Unite the Resistance brought together over 400 trade union activists in London today to discuss the future of the pensions fight.


US elections: Republicans send in the clowns

The Republican primaries in the US—the long process that decides who the party’s presidential candidate will be—started in the Midwestern state of Iowa last week. The contest moved on to New Hampshire this Tuesday.

Greeks strike out at unpaid wages

Workers across Greece’s Attica region plan to walk out on Tuesday of next week in solidarity with three all-out strikes.

Millions protest as indefinite strike shakes streets of Nigeria

Nigeria arose on Monday as its workers began an indefinite general strike.

Iran: Sanctions will hurt masses

Western governments are once again beating the drums of war and launching an economic assault on Iran by imposing crippling sanctions.



Economic crisis is sparking radical resistance

2011 was the year when what often seemed like Marxist abstractions—crisis, revolution and mass strikes—became living realities.

SWP conference 2012: The mood is there to beat the Tories

The Socialist Workers Party held its annual conference last weekend.

SWP conference 2012: How we can build the fightback in our workplaces

Michael Bradley, an SWP industrial organiser, opened a session on class struggle and organising in workplaces.

Stephen Lawrence - the murder they wanted to forget

The murder of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993, and the nearly two-decade campaign for justice that followed it, changed Britain forever.

A timeline of the Stephen Lawrence case

22 April 1993

Stephen Lawrence murder: the case that put the state on trial

One day in June 1998 I sat in a cafe in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre in south east London during a break in the Macpherson inquiry.

Stephen Lawrence murder: How police failed to catch the killers

As Stephen lay bleeding to death, police received the first reports of an attack.

Stephen Lawrence murder: Close links between racist thugs

On the night of the murder, while the police were at the scene, a red Vauxhall Astra drove past. It was full of white youths laughing and jeering. It came back a few minutes later.

Stephen Lawrence murder: The gangster of Eltham

The attack on Stephen was part of a spate in the area carried out by racists.

Stephen Lawrence murder: Fighting against racism in south east London

Activists in south east London remember how the racists were left to rampage for years—while the police turned their fire on them.

Stephen Lawrence murder: How we shut down the Nazis in Welling

In May 1993, just a few weeks after Stephen Lawrence’s murder, openly sieg-heiling BNP councillor Derek Beacon was elected on the Isle of Dogs.

Stephen Lawrence murder: The persecution of Duwayne Brooks

Duwayne Brooks was Stephen Lawrence’s best friend and was with him when he was murdered. He was a victim of a racist attack and a witness to that attack.

Stephen Lawrence murder: How unions played a role in fighting for justice

Within days of Stephen’s murder, people were out on the streets leafleting and petitioning. There were two demonstrations in the next ten days through Eltham.

SWP conference 2012: Building a revolutionary party in an era of crisis

At the Socialist Workers Party conference national secretary Charlie Kimber introduced a session on building the party.

SWP conference 2012: Organising resistance to racism

Weyman Bennett from the central committee introduced a session on riots, racism and anti-fascism.

SWP conference 2012: A new radical student left

Leading off the session on students, Hannah Dee spoke of a "new radical left" inside the universities that has been built up during the student movement.

SWP conference 2012: Proud to be fighting women's oppression

An important discussion took place about women’s oppression. Delegates discussed the fight against sexism. They also wanted to ensure that women were leading within the party.


What We Think

Rulers try to regain ground over racism

Just days after two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers were sentenced, the main issue of race dominating the media was black Labour MP Diane Abbott’s tweet.

Why imperialists are worried about Scottish independence

David Cameron’s demand for a referendum on Scottish independence within 18 months was a cynical attempt to protect the unity of the British state.

Other Categories

Vic Finkelstein 1938-2011

Vic Finkelstein was a pioneering activist and academic whose work profoundly shaped and influenced the disability movement.

John Boyle 1951-2012

Many Socialist Worker readers will be saddened to hear of the death on New Year’s Day of teacher comrade John Boyle.

Tim's view

Tim: Pure criminality


Police racism runs far deeper than they admit I was a student in Sheffield when Stephen Lawrence was murdered.

Who says?

‘I am fully in favour of this campaign. Getting behind this will show these thugs that they have made a big mistake’

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