Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2349

Dated: 16 Apr 2013

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Bury the bedroom tax

Tenants, trade unionists and others are organising to fight the Tories’ bedroom tax across Britain.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Corrupt cops protected Stephen’s racist killers

Racists killed Stephen Lawrence on 22 April 1993. At least three of Stephen’s killers remain at large. The reason is police corruption.

Guantanamo guards terrorise prisoners on hunger strike

The last British detainee in Guantanamo Bay has spoken out about conditions in the prison and why he’s on hunger strike.

Hillsborough remembered 24 years on

Thousands of people attended a memorial service at Liverpool FC’s ground to mark the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster on Monday of this week.

Nationalisation of train line pays

The auction of the the East Coast train line is being rushed through by Tory transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin. 

Killer building sites shut down

One in three building sites in Wales and south west England has recently failed a safety inspection by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

‘Thatcher’s dead, long live the miners!’

Around 3,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square in London in pouring rain last Saturday evening to celebrate the death of Margaret Thatcher. 

How women workers defied bullying bosses to cheer strikers in Barnsley

During the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike I worked at Corah’s, a clothing factory in Barnsley, south Yorkshire.

Cut bombs not beds, say Trident protesters

More than 3,000 people marched through Glasgow on Saturday of last week. They called on the government to get rid of nuclear weapons instead of replacing its Trident missile system.

Teachers build rallies in run-up to strike

Teachers in Liverpool and Manchester are gearing up for rallies as part of a joint union campaign to defend their pay, pensions and conditions.

Week of action in Sussex

Students at Sussex university are taking part in a week of action against the privatisation of staff posts and the victimisation of student protesters. 

Stop the racists in Brighton

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) activists in Brighton are set to oppose the fascists and racists who annually “march for England” on St George’s day weekend.

Brick workers' strike burns into week two

Kiln burners at Hansons Brick near Peterborough have entered the second of six weeks of action to defend their conditions.

Nursery nurses protest over pay in Swansea

Nursery nurses in Swansea schools held a protest outside County Hall last week over the loss of thousands of pounds from their pay.

New strike called against post cuts

Up to 4,000 workers at 373 Crown Post Offices are set to strike for half a day on Friday afternoon of this week.

Rally to remember Lucy Meadows

Teachers in the north west of England were set to join a march and rally in memory of Lucy Meadows this Saturday.

Resistance united in Manchester

Up to 180 trade unionists and campaigners came to a North West Unite the Resistance conference in Manchester last Saturday.

Council unions reject pay offer

Some 60 percent of Unison union members in Scottish local government have voted to reject a 1 percent pay offer in a consultation ballot on a 25 percent turnout.

A left challenge to Unison leadership

The Unison union is set to hold its NEC elections from  22 April to 24 May.

Social workers debate austerity

More than 500 people came to the eighth national Social Work Action Network (Swan) conference in London last weekend.

Benefit cuts protesters demand justice

Thousands of people in four London boroughs had their housing benefit cut from Monday of this week to fit under the Tories’ new cap.

Cuts in council tax benefit

Ten million people lose part of their council tax benefits in the same week as the cap comes in. This will also hit London hardest due to higher housing costs.

Don’t pay, don’t move—clog up their system

Residents’ protests are demanding that their landlords—whether housing associations or local authorities—stand with them against the bedroom tax.

‘Who wants to evict a millionaire?’ ask protests

The ministers behind the bedroom tax are millionaires with spare mansions. The UK Uncut group organised protests on their doorsteps last Saturday.

Home Office walkouts keep up the pressure

Thousands of Home Office workers began a week of action against government attacks on their pay, pensions and working conditions on Tuesday of this week.

Campaigns grow against the Tories' hated bedroom tax

People are taking to the streets across Britain to fight attacks on their benefits

Workers’ steely determination for a pay rise

Around 200 workers in the GMB and Unite unions struck for two days at the Union Electric (Davy Roll) factory in Gateshead last week. After five years without a pay rise in a profitable company shop floor 

Pathologists vote for pay strikes

Biomedical scientists at the Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals have voted by 96 percent to strike against pay cuts of up to £6,000 a year. 

Unite calls for a health strike

The Unite union’s Health National Industrial Sector Committee has voted overwhelmingly for action on 26 June.

Support grows for London NHS demo

Health workers and activists are coming to London on 18 May to join the Defend the NHS march called by London Save NHS and Keep Our NHS Public campaigns. 

Private health - minus care

Private health care provider Care Plus is trying to tear up the NHS Agenda for Change pay and conditions in the services it runs in north east Lincolnshire. 

Unison calls for bailout of Mid Staffs NHS trust

The Unison union has called on the government to step in to save Mid Staffs NHS Trust from going into administration.

MPs condemn building bosses over blacklisting

A new report by MPs has slammed construction bosses for running a blacklist.

Work until you're 70, says minister

Lib Dem employment minister Steve Webb has claimed that people will have to work until they are 70 because the country is short of people to fill vacancies. 

Minimum wage 'rise' is below inflation

The national minimum wage is set to rise by 12p to £6.31 an hour in October, it was decided this week. It’s the fifth year running that the rise has been less than inflation—the equivalent of a 7 percent cut since 2008.

One in four children taught in academies

Some two million school children are now taught in academies, new figures reveal.

School dinners nearly finished

Council cuts could soon threaten vital services such as free school meals, a thinktank has warned.

What did workers get blacklisted for?

Here are just some of the reasons why bosses put workers on the blacklist

Angry protesters turn their back on Thatcher’s funeral

Up to 300 demonstrators were in no mood for mourning at Ludgate Circus by the end of Fleet Street. Under pressure the police had allowed the protest and many demonstrators wore red to show they weren’t there to mourn.

Thatcher's coffin goes up in flames in Goldthorpe

The funeral of Tory Margaret Thatcher today, Wednesday, was marked by pride and dignity - the pride and dignity of ex-miners who celebrated her death.

London meeting recalls Thatcher's toxic legacy

Over 200 people crammed into a jubilant public meeting on Thatcher’s toxic legacy yesterday, on the evening of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral

Leeds march rejects the bedroom tax

Around 1,000 people marched through the streets of Leeds today, Saturday, against the Tories' hated bedroom tax.

Massive demonstration defends Stafford hospital

Up to 30,000 protested in Stafford on Saturday against threatened cuts to the local hospital

A left challenge to Unison leadership

Socialist Worker is calling for a vote for the candidates listed here

Brilliant vote for Jerry Hicks in Unite leadership election

The shock results of the Unite union general secretary election revealed the scale of workers’ frustration with the policies of current leader Len McCluskey.

Where next for Unite?

The result of the Unite general secretary election shows a real call from Unite members to discuss the direction of the union. The election campaign was the beginning of that. 


Greece's rulers fear resistance

Doctors and nurses in Greece were set to take part in a national strike on Wednesday of this week. This action is against job cuts caused by hospital mergers.

Mubarak to stay inside

An Egyptian court this week ruled that former dictator Hosni Mubarak shouldn’t be held over the killing of protesters during the revolution. But he is being kept in prison because he faces separate corruption charges.

A close vote in Venezuela

Hugo Chavez’s chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro, won the presidential election in Venezuela last Sunday.

New protests hit Bahrain

Thousands of people are staging daily protests in the run-up to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain. They point out that the government uses money from the race to buy arms and repress ordinary people in Bahrain.

Paris bosses in racism row

Bosses in Paris told “black and Arab” porters not to come to work on the day of a visit by the Israeli president. That’s according to workers in the SUD union at the Gare du Nord station.

Deadly quake hits Iran

The strongest earthquake in 50 years struck south east Iran as Socialist Worker went to press. 

A bosses’ lockout fails to curb teachers’ resistance in Denmark

Over 40,000 teachers converged on the Danish capital Copenhagen on Thursday of last week in a magnificent demonstration of defiance against a savage employers’ offensive.


Thatcher shows up problems for Labour

When asked about her greatest achievement, Margaret Thatcher famously replied, “Tony Blair and New Labour”. So it’s quite appropriate that, as one monster is laid to rest, the other should suddenly surface.


Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: Freedom now!

For five weeks television viewers around the world saw non-violent protesters, including young children, attacked by police with dogs and fire hoses. They saw Martin Luther King arrested and jailed. They saw white racist thugs lining up to batter  unarmed black people. And after they had seen all that they asked, how can this be happening in the heart of the “free world”?

Rich used racism to divide ordinary people

Martin Luther King was a young minister in the town of Montgomery, Alabama.

When the Warsaw Ghetto rose up

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943 was a high point of Jewish resistance. And in both its scale and heroism it was one of the key events in the history of resistance to the Nazis.


It’s still a wonderful world, despite near annihilation

Oblivion is Hollywood’s latest post-apocalyptic film and set in the year 2073. 

A barrister caught in other people’s expectations

My Daughter's Trial is an absorbing and fast moving new play, written by a barrister, Jabine Chaudri.

Photographing a history of Israel

Guez’s photographs come from the work he began in 2009 creating the first Christian-Palestine archive in Israel. 

Ten years of Love Music Hate Racism

To celebrate ten years of LMHR this exhibition of original memorabilia from LMHR and Rock Against Racism (RAR) is now in Scotland.

Prisoner Soul

In the 1960s and 1970s some US prisons allowed inmates to form bands and produce commercially available albums. 

What We Think

The bloody product of a violent society

The bombing at the Boston marathon last Monday left at least three people dead and many more injured. 

History is ours to make

Politicians of all stripes have spent the past week telling us Margaret Thatcher was a “great” individual who transformed Britain. Others have compared her to previous “great” prime ministers.

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Comments on the death of Margaret Thatcher

Ghouls, monsters and losers queue for £10 million funeral

The Tories threw barrels of our cash at Maggie Thatcher’s funeral. But all the money in the world can’t buy respect. Most of the friends she’d have actually cared about died years ago.

Things they say

Quotes from this week's news

Affordable housing sold off to ‘social landlords’

Today just 7 percent of England’s population live in council homes. When Margaret Thatcher came to office it was almost half.

Peabody Trust set up to house the ‘deserving’ poor

One of London’s biggest housing associations today is the Peabody Trust. 

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