Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2307

Dated: 16 Jun 2012

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Outrage at bosses' pay bonanza

There’s no austerity for the bosses of Britain’s biggest companies. Their pay packets have grown to a typical figure of 139 times average employee earnings, according to a new survey.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Thousands of Tamils march as queen dines with Sri Lankan president

Thousands of Tamils marched through central London yesterday (Wednesday) to protest at the queen lunching with the Sri Lankan president who presided over war crimes.

NHS mental health workers strike in Birmingham

NHS workers in the Unite and Unison unions at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust struck today, Wednesday.

Merseyside workers in 3-day walkout

Staff at Merseyside and Halton job centres began a three-day strike yesterday, Wednesday.

Rochdale resists EDL racists

The racist EDL failed to deliver the monster demo they had promised for last Saturday in Rochdale.

Sean Rigg inquest begins

The inquest into the death of Sean Rigg opened on Monday.

Vigils for victims of deaths in custody

Vigils are planned across Britain on Sunday to remember those who have died in police custody.

Cops target more black people

The police are 37 times more likely to stop and search black people than their white counterparts, a new report has found.

Bigots attack gay marriage plans

Church leaders and Tory MPs have joined a chorus of bigots attacking plans to allow same-sex couples to get married.

Spain's rushed bank bailout betrays the fear of our rulers

The government of Spain—the fourth biggest eurozone economy—has turned to the European Union for a bailout estimated at up to £81 billion.

GMB delegates vent anger at Labour

How to resist the Tory attacks was the theme of the GMB Congress in Brighton this week. But the key terrain of that battle for the union is the Labour Party’s conduct in opposition.

Workfare boss has shady past

New details have come to light about the boss of the company that made unemployed people work for free during the jubilee.

Tax credit cut hits workers

Shop workers could be better off on the dole because of tax credit changes brought in by the Tory government.

Doctors to take action against cuts to pensions

Doctors are set to take their first industrial action in four decades on Thursday 21 June to defend pensions. They will refuse all work apart from urgent and emergency procedures.

Defiant lecturers pledge to resist Tory pension attacks

Lecturers in the UCU union voted overwhelmingly to continue the fight to defend their pensions at their annual conference in Manchester last weekend.

Trade union activists gear up for Unite the Resistance conference

A conference in London next Saturday organised by Unite the Resistance aims to forge links between all those fighting back.

Metro workers strike in Newcastle

Cleaners in the RMT union at Tyne & Wear Metro struck solidly for 48 hours starting from last Sunday night. They are demanding an end to poverty pay and victimisation of union activists.

Refugee who resisted forced deportation: 'We are people too'

Men, women and children are being forcibly deported by the Tories. This is the reality of the government’s propaganda about immigrants and family life

Immigration: home secretary dismisses refugees' right to 'family life'

The Tories pose as the party of the family. But they are choosy about which families they defend.

Alternative climate summit in London

Activists and academics are preparing for an alternative summit this weekend in advance of the United Nations Rio+20 summit on climate change.

Solidarity saves Essex taxi shop steward from sack

Harwich taxi control room staff in Essex are celebrating the reinstatement of their shop steward who was suspended for "insubordination".

National Shop Stewards Network: determination at annual conferences meeting

The National Shop Stewards Network held its sixth annual conference last Saturday. Speakers included Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, and Kevin Courtney, NUT deputy general secretary. Both spoke about their members’ determination to build further coordinated strikes against the government’s attacks on pensions, and further cuts.

Bus drivers vote for Olympic bonus strike

London bus workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike over Olympic pay—raising the prospect of a bus strike during the games themselves.

Scottish teachers vote for more strikes at EIS union conference

Delegates to the EIS teaching union’s annual general meeting in Dundee last weekend voted unanimously to continue the fight for pensions. The motion passed called for further joint action in the campaign.

A month of action at the department of transport

Coastguard staff in the PCS union are holding lightning strikes throughout June.

Coryton oil refinery closure protests

Around 40 workers protested outside Coryton oil refinery in Essex on Monday and Tuesday of this week against the planned closure of the plant—which will see 850 workers sacked.

GMB conference: Blacklisting bosses named and shamed

The GMB union threw its weight into the fight against blacklisting at its congress this week.

Vibrant anti-academy lobby as teachers ballot to strike

Around 60 parents, staff, pupils and local people attended a loud and lively lobby of a governors’ meeting at Worthing High School in West Sussex last week.

Flying pickets return to Yorkshire in council cuts battle

A flying picket of women admin workers in Kirklees brought refuse workers out on unofficial strike on Tuesday of this week.

Cuts are to blame for Edinburgh Legionnaires disease outbreak

Cutbacks in the number of health and safety inspectors and inspections lie behind the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Edinburgh.

UCU union members vote to strike to save jobs at Salford University

Lecturers in the UCU union at Salford University have voted overwhelmingly for strikes to defend jobs.

NASUWT union members ballot for industrial action to oppose academy status

Teachers in the NASUWT union at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School in Lancashire are balloting for industrial action against plans to turn the school into an academy.

Teachers set to meet to discuss the pensions fight

Teachers were set to meet in Liverpool this Saturday to discuss the fight to defend their pensions.

UCU conference delegates defend their union's democracy

Delegates to the UCU conference resoundingly rejected attempts by their general secretary Sally Hunt to change the union’s structures. They said the changes would have undermined democracy and risked derailing struggle by encouraging passivity.

Lecturers ready to fight

The UCU union held further and higher education sector conferences on Friday of last week before its main conference began on Saturday. Delegates voted resoundingly for action to defend their pay, jobs, pensions and conditions.

Oil workers set to march in London

Workers from the Coryton oil refinery in Essex are set to march in London tomorrow (Thursday) to demand government action to save their jobs.

'We'll fight the closure,' say protesting oil workers

Over 100 oil refinery workers took to the streets of London today (Wednesday) in a protest against plans to throw them out of work.

Unite calls first London-wide bus strike for a generation

The Unite union has called the first London-wide bus strike since 1982. It will take place on Friday 22 June and involve some 20,000 workers.


Syrian movement unites against Assad's regime

The revolution in Syria is entering a critical phase marked by mutinies, strikes and a growing insurgency—as well as renewed attempts by the West and other outside forces to intervene.

Spain: Striking miners fight police

A militant strike by 8,000 coal miners has brought parts of northern Spain to a standstill. They have been on strike for over three weeks against cuts to mining subsidies.

Spanish crisis: cuts for all, except army and royals

The impact of the crisis in Spain affects all aspects of life for ordinary people.

Nightly protests challenge Quebec's clampdown law

Students in Quebec, Canada, marched again in defiance of the anti-protest Special Law, following the collapse of new negotiations with the government at the end of May.

Egypt: Debates rage on the streets and at the ballot box

Voters in Egypt face a critical choice in the second round of presidential elections on 16 and 17 June. On the ballot paper will be Ahmed Shafiq, candidate of the army and supporters of Hosni Mubarak’s old regime, and Mohamed Mursi, a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Australia: biggest ever teachers' strike shakes union-busting premier

Up to 30,000 teachers struck in the Australian state of Victoria on Wednesday of last week in what looks set to be a long-running battle over pay.

Israel cracks down on migrants

The Israeli government has begun rounding up migrants in order to forcibly deport them.

Greece: A left election victory can help workers fight the bosses

The Greek election campaign entered its final week with two important events overshadowing the strategies of the old ruling parties.

Anger at Bahrain medic prison sentences

Nine medical workers were sent to prison on Thursday in Bahrain. This capped off an eventful 24 hours in the Gulf state and the year-long uprising threatens to spill over once more.



Rochdale: pride and unity in a town ravaged by the recession

The main shopping street in Rochdale is crowded with charity stores, pawn brokers, pound shops and "cash converters".

Jean-Luc Melenchon: 'Blame the bankers not the migrants'

In France’s presidential elections in April Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the radical left candidate, waged a dynamic campaign and won around four million votes. But at the same time the fascist Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen achieved a record 6.4 million votes.

Red Tails: Challenging the racism of the US military

The poster for the new film Red Tails shows Second World War fighter aircraft in combat. It doesn’t show that the pilots are all black. You wouldn’t know that the Red Tails’ greatest achievement was overcoming racism. The 332nd Airborne were the only black fighter pilots in the segregated US Air Force, where racism was deeply entrenched.


China Mieville interview: a darker take on a classic comic crimefighter

It's hard not to be infected by the enthusiasm with which fantasy author China Miéville describes his revival of "goofy old 1960s comic" Dial H for Hero.

The Angels’ Share: A measure of fun and frustration in Loach heist flick

The latest from left wing director Ken Loach is a heist movie set among the web of petty and not so petty frustrations of working class life.

Dr Dee - Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn’s "Afro-pastoral folk opera" about a 16th century mathematician sees him reunited with Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, his band mate in The Good, the Bad and the Queen.

Sheffield doc/fest: A feast of facts

This week will see Britain’s foremost documentary film festival take place in Sheffield.

What We Think

They will make us pay unless we fight back

Everywhere we look the rich show they are all in it together while they make us pay for their crisis.

Leveson Inquiry: Rich don't need deals

David Cameron is likely to forget more than where he left his daughter this week. The Tory toff is set to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry after Socialist Worker went to press.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: The Rescue Package


Government of millionaires targets 'problem' families David Cameron blames 120,000 "troubled" families for "a large amount of crime" and claims that £75,000 is spent on each family a year.

Who says?

‘An unfortunate logistics planning problem’

David Cameron gets in hot water over his cuppa with Rupert Murdoch

David Cameron’s mantra about the Leveson inquiry is that all politicians "got too close" to Murdoch. But behind that is the truth about how deep he was drawn into the Murdoch web. Again and again he has had to admit more meetings with the Murdochs.

Olympic torch is a rich man's plaything

The 8,000 people who are going to carry the Olympic torch were supposed to be chosen because they were "inspirational". But the official list shows hundreds of torchbearers were selected just because they are bigwigs at one of the corporate sponsors.

Billionaires splash £1 trillion on luxury

The world’s super-rich will spend almost £1 trillion on luxury this year, a report says. They are so rich that they’re looking for new ways to splash their cash—and posh "experiences" instead of things are the newest trend.

Play Holocaust victims, Jewish couple are told

They had an unusual way of celebrating the jubilee in Bury. Instead of waving union jacks, they held a festival where people dressed up as Nazis. But things got a lot worse when a Jewish couple was asked to join in—by dressing as Holocaust victims.

What's the real pensions deal for council workers?

Local government workers who have been battling to save their pensions are being offered a deal that means massive cuts.

How your pension could be hit

Supporters of the deal claim that career average pensions can be better. But the only way to make that claim is to be very pessimistic about pay.

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