Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2333

Dated: 15 Dec 2012

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Food up, fuel up: how can we afford this Christmas?

Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration and happiness. But for Nina Hammill, it’s yet another source of stress.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Workers prepare to strike at greedy food firm 2 Sisters

Some 1,200 workers were set to strike on Friday of this week at four factories in the West Midlands. They are fighting poverty pay, along with alleged bullying and lack of support for workers who suffer industrial accidents.

Demonstrators take over meeting at Barnet's 'easyCouncil'

Protesters in Barnet, north London, took over a council meeting as the Tory cabinet voted to hand £750 million of services to private firm Capita.

All-out strike can beat Tesco

Lorries backed up outside Tesco’s distribution centre in Doncaster last Saturday, and on Monday and Tuesday of this week—kept out by defiant pickets.

Holiday work for no pay

Huge firms including Tesco, Argos and Superdrug have stepped up their recruitment of people on workfare for the Christmas season.

News round-up

Inquests set to be quashed Attorney general Dominic Grieve has applied to quash inquest verdicts for 96 Liverpool football fans who died as a result of the Hillsborough football disaster.

Osborne's fresh attack on pay is an attempt to split trade unions

Tory chancellor George Osborne fired the first shot in the battle over public sector pay last week.

Michael Gove's real agenda is to turn the clock back in our schools

Chancellor George Osborne announced the end of national pay levels for teachers in his autumn statement last week.

Term ends on a high note with a wave of teachers' strikes

Dunston school walks out against appraisals Teachers at Dunston primary school in Chesterfield began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week against intrusive appraisals and monitoring.

Solidarity with prisoners: write to inmates over the holiday season

There are 86,047 men, women and children in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales.

Reports round-up

Bristol post workers deliver solid strike A solid strike took place at Mead Street sorting office in Bristol on Monday of this week to defend national agreements and fight unreasonable workloads. Over 100 managers from across the south west were brought in to try and break the strike.

Activists take to the shops against tax dodging Starbucks

Anti-cuts group UK Uncut targeted more than 40 branches of tax-dodging coffee chain Starbucks on Saturday of last week.

Angry crowd takes on plan to close Lewisham's A&E

Around 500 people tried to make themselves heard at a public consultation on the closure of Lewisham A&E in south London on Tuesday of last week.

Camden wardens strike blow against poverty pay

Traffic wardens in Camden, north London, have won a pay rise of 10 percent over the next two years following strikes.

Unite union's snap election is not good for democracy

The Unite union executive has announced a timetable for a general secretary election—three years early. This would allow Len McCluskey to extend his term for a further two years.

No verdict in legal aid strike talks

Lawyers and solicitors in Scotland are continuing action against plans to cut legal aid. The changes would force people with a disposable income of more than £68 a week to contribute towards their legal costs.

Bromley bin workers call four strike days

Refuse workers in the Unite union have called four strike days at Veolia, demanding the reinstatement of four sacked colleagues.

Stoppages planned on tube, trains and ferries

Train signallers in Stirling were set to strike on Saturday of this week to demand 12-hour shifts. They are members of the RMT union.

Latest report into Finucane murder is a whitewash

A report into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has concluded there was "no overarching state conspiracy", even though there were "shocking" levels of state collusion.

Bosses blink first in Doncaster Tesco lorry drivers' dispute

Striking Tesco lorry drivers in Doncaster have voted to accept a deal from their new bosses Eddie Stobart.

NUT fails to call national strikes against attack on teachers' pay

The national executive of the NUT teachers’ union met yesterday, Thursday, against the backdrop of Tory plans to scrap teachers’ national pay and give head teachers the power to determine pay.

2 Sisters chicken workers strike back against fowl bosses

If you tuck into a chicken product from Tesco, Morrisons or Marks & Spencer, there’s a good chance it passed through one of the 2 Sisters Food Group factories in the West Midlands. More than 1,200 workers struck there today, Friday—against plans to pay them chicken feed.

Mursi narrowly wins first round, but struggle will continue

The results from the first day of Egypt’s referendum poll on Muslim Brotherhood President Mursi’s new constitution show a majority of 56.5 percent cast a yes vote.

Egypt’s constitution approved, but Mursi’s troubles are far from over

Some 64 percent of Egyptian voters have approved President Mohamed Mursi’s new constitution, according to unofficial results released on Sunday by the judicial authorities.


Street clashes in Egypt over constitutional change plans

Mass demonstrations across Egypt by hundreds of thousands of people have forced Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi to withdraw a decree that gave him draconian powers.

International news round-up

Greek public services to strike Public sector unions in Greece have called a general strike for Thursday of next week. Private sector unions will hold a shorter stoppage. Local government workers will strike for three days.

Tunisia: two years on

The Tunisian revolution began two years ago this month—and set in motion a wave of revolt across North Africa and the Middle East.

Slovakian teachers leads the challenge to neoliberalism

The ongoing teachers’ dispute in Slovakia has demonstrated the militant potential of a long sidelined working class.

Tensions in Tahrir Square as Egypt prepares for referendum

Banners hang across the streets and graffiti covers the walls in central Cairo. The centre of Tahrir Square is occupied by protesters. It’s the day before the first day of voting for a new constitution in Egypt—and tension is high.

Protests grow during Egyptian poll as socialists call for ‘no’ vote

Protesters continued to occupy both Tahrir Square and the streets around the presidential palace as voting began in Egypt’s referendum on a new constitution.

Greek workers strike against cuts, organise against fascists

Winter is biting hard in austerity-hit Greece, but workers are still fighting back.


Working class unity can challenge the sectarian riots in Belfast

Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland have been gripped by an explosion of protests, riots and roadblocks at the hands of Loyalist paramilitaries.


How genes failed: Hilary Rose and Steven Rose on the limitations of biological determinism

The genetic research industry has spent a great deal of time making tall claims about what it could achieve. By unravelling the building blocks of life, it declared, we would at last discover the truth about why we are the way we are.

Christmas on the dole for the disabled workers at Remploy

With Christmas around the corner, there’s no let up in the grim future the government has set for disabled workers. Hundreds more workers at Remploy factories are at risk of losing their jobs under fresh closure plans announced last week.


Three centuries of Mughal India's cultural riches on display

India under the Mughal Empire, which stretched from 1526 to 1858, was for a time one of the world’s most advanced societies. There were as many as 120 large cities. Delhi was said to be as big as Europe’s largest city, Paris, and was an economic and political powerhouse.

William Klein's vivid snaps of a US mesmerised by consumerism

Photographer and filmmaker William Klein offers a guide to the pre-digital era, from the blinding fluorescent signs of Manhattan to the smoke swept streets of Paris ’68.

Reviews round-up

The Anti-Capitalist Roadshow This collective of singers, songwriters and a socialist magician was formed out of the Occupy struggle against austerity.

What We Think

Suicide and the hypocrisy of the media's royal love-in

It all went a little sour a little quickly. The pregnancy that was meant to lift the hearts of a nation was only a week into its overhyped, wall to wall coverage when things went wrong.

Profits and triple dips

Britain could be heading for a triple dip recession, Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable declared last week. His Tory coalition partners immediately condemned him.

Other Categories

Ivan Hibbert (1965-2012)

I, like several others, have had the pleasure of knowing Ivan from his time in the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) office. We are all shocked by the news of his sudden death.

Tim's view


Tim: Santa v Osborne


A chance to block Royal Mail privatisation The CWU union’s announcement that it may ballot members in Royal Mail over ceasing to handle competitors’ mail is welcome. But as union members we need to make sure our leaders take this chance to fight back seriously.

Quotes from this week's news

‘The only tax cuts the Conservatives support are ones for the very rich’

What to get for the 1 percent who already own everything?

This can be a stressful time for the super-rich, as they try to find presents extravagant enough for their phenomenal wealth. So we thought we’d help with a few pointers.

Osborne cuts £950 a year from the poorest families in Britain

Tory chancellor George Osborne admitted on Wednesday of last week that his economic plan isn’t working—even on its own terms.

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