Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2375

Dated: 15 Oct 2013

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Energy bosses have money to burn

While the poor choose between eating and heating the energy companies profits jump

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Support “Workers Solidarity” against Nazi inspired court case in Greece

Statement from the Greek Socialist Workers Party on three members who will appear in court on 12 December 2013 accused of “defamation” by a lawyer who has worked for a Golden Dawn MP

Anti-blacklist campaigners vow to expose conspiracy as construction firms offer mild apology

As eight construction firms announce compensation the victims of blacklisting say it is a cynical move and vow to continue their fight.

Birmingham Council says scrap the bedroom tax

Birmingham council—the largest in England—voted to call for the bedroom tax to be scrapped last week, while anti-bedroom tax campaigners lobbied outside.

Focus E15 campaign wins withdrawal of eviction notices

A group of young parents and mothers-to-be in Newham, east London have forced their housing association to withdraw eviction notices.

Workers at South Gloucestershire council stage solid third walkout over pay

Workers at South Gloucestershire council struck for six hours last Friday in an ongoing dispute over attacks on their pay.

Stirling council pay dispute could escalate

Unison union members at Stirling council are promising to step up industrial action to defend pay and conditions.

Teachers' walkout is a fight for education - and against hated Michael Gove

Anger at the pressure Michael Gove piles on children is driving regional school strikes, says Sadie Robinson

Ardagh Glass workers win improved pay rise

Manufacturing workers at Ardagh Glass have won an improved pay rise after threatening strikes.

Firefighters take to the streets over pension cuts

Firefighters in England and Wales were set to strike this Saturday against Tory plans to force them to work until they’re 60 or face savage cuts to their pensions. Workers will walk out for five hours, starting at 6.30pm.

Unite in talks with oil refinery bosses at Grangemouth

The Unite union and Grangemouth oil refinery bosses Ineos were in talks at the Acas conciliation service as Socialist Worker went to press.

Network Warrington bus drivers strike for 24 hours

Drivers for Network Warrington buses in the Unite union struck for 24 hours on Tuesday of this week against a zero percent pay offer. Further strikes are planned for Wednesday of next week and Thursday 31 October. Send messages of support to

Demonstrators in Liverpool and Bradford say no to the Nazi threat

Thousands marched in Liverpool against fascism on Saturday of last week.

Unions in Higher Education win industrial action ballots

Unions in Higher Education (HE)—UCU, UNISON and UNITE—have all won industrial action ballots over this year’s pay award, writes Liz Lawrence, UCU vice president (pc)

As rich snap up Royal Mail shares, post workers get ready for strikes

The great Royal Mail robbery has begun, as bankers trade and deal shares for the postal service after centuries of public ownership.

New threat to NHS as health bosses say free care is 'unsustainable'

As health bosses warn that free health care in Britain is ‘unsustainable,’ Judith Orr argues that the government’s drive to privatise the service is the real reason for attacks on the NHS

Protest greets visit by Michael Gove to St Albans

A protest met education secretary Michael Gove when he came to speak in St Albans at a pricey lunch for the Chamber of Commerce on Friday 11 October.

‘Quiet desperation’ is stalking Europe, says new survey of austerity

A comprehensive new survey of austerity in Europe reveals unemployment, hunger, suicides and emigration. Judith Orr says the only alternative is to fight

Mitie cleaners on First Great Western walkout over wages

Cleaners in the RMT union working for Mitie at First Great Western struck on Friday of last week.

Protest to keep East Coast Mainline public

Protest to keep East Coast Mainline public at 9.30am on Wednesday of this week at Westminster.

Tamil demonstration draws attention to Sri Lankan war crimes

Sri Lankan Tamils demonstrated against David Cameron attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo on 15 November.

Occupation blocks closure of Southwick library

Around 50 protesters occupied Southwick library last week as part of a campaign to get it reopened

Environmental protest set for Warsaw

Activists from around the world plan to converge on Warsaw in Poland to protest as world leaders assemble for the next climate conference next month.

Tories' immigration bill is a vindictive clampdown on migrants

New measures will endanger lives and undermine liberties—and it’s all based on a lie, reports Ken Olende

Officer who shot Mark Duggan was in ‘an extreme rage’

The taxi driver who was driving Mark Duggan before police shot him has said that the cops were behaving as though “they had come to hunt someone”.

Man seriously hurt in racist assault in Harlow

A man has been charged following a brutal attack in Harlow, Essex. 

News round-up

Letting agents prepared to exclude black tenants | Three quarters of lesbian, gay and bisexual hate crimes go unreported to police | Scottish Independence could be decided on public service quality | The myth of the north south divide

Visteon pensioners protest

Visteon pensioners staged four protests last Saturday—in Rayleigh, Enfield, Belfast and Swansea (pictured). They are demanding Ford returns their pensions to the level they would be if it had not sold them off to a new company.

Pro-choice protesters challenge anti-abortion bigots outside east London clinic

Local residents and activists outnumbered anti-abortion bigots in Stratford, east London, last Saturday.

Unite the Resistance conference this weekend

In a week of strikes and demonstrations, trade unionists and activists are set to get together in London for the Unite the Resistance (UtR) conference this Saturday. The workshops will be a chance to debate the way forward—not just for teachers, post workers and firefighters but for everyone who wants to stop the Tories.

Higher education workers announce strike for 31 October

Unions representing higher education workers call Halloween strike over pay

Post workers to strike on Monday 4 November

Post workers' CWU union announces national ballot result and strike date

Firefighters march through London in run up to strike

Over 5,000 firefighters staged an angry protest through central London today, Wednesday, against Tory cuts to the fire service.

Teachers strike against attacks on education

Thousands of striking teachers and their supporters marched through central London today, Thursday. 

Photos of teachers' strike on 17 October 2013

From the protests and picket lines

Resist Grangemouth bosses' blackmail


Join protest at second reading of immigration bill

The Movement Against Xenophobia has called a protest outside parliament during the second reading of Theresa May’s draconian new Immigration Bill next Tuesday.

Anger as firefighters' union calls off strike

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced today, Friday, that it has called off tomorrow’s planned five-hour walkout.


General strike called to stop sackings in Greece

Both Greece’s main union federations have called a general strike against public sector mass sackings on Wednesday 6 November.

Nazis win a by-election in France

The fascist Front National (FN) won a by-election last week in Brignoles, southern France. It took more than 40 percent in the first round vote and 54 percent in the second.

Armed group kidnaps Libyan leader

Paramilitaries kidnapped Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan for several hours last Thursday. 

Amplats strikers win concessions in South Africa

Striking platinum miners at South Africa’s Amplats company returned to work last week following concessions from bosses. A planned 3,300 redundancies have been shifted from being compulsory to voluntary by the strike.

Guantanamo guards punish Shaker Aamer for hunger strike

Guards targeted Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantanamo, when he joined a mass hunger strike protesting prison brutality, a fellow inmate has reported. Hunger strikers were put in solitary confinement and force fed through the nose. 

China crackdown on Tibet protest

Chinese security forces injured at least 60 people when they opened fire on a Tibetan separatist demonstration in Dathang last week. 


A shared human history is written in our genes

Analysing the human genome can give us ammunition against racist myths, argues John Parrington

Capitalism is still a badly wounded beast

While expressing greater optimism about British prospects, the IMF cut its forecasts for global economic growth this year and next. This isn’t primarily because of the uncertainty caused by the standoff between Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress in the United States, writes Alex Callinicos


After English Defence League leader quits - is racism in retreat?

Following the resignation of EDL leader Tommy Robinson, Weyman Bennett looks at how fascist groups build—and how anti-fascist movements can push them back

We opposed the EDL wherever it went

The English Defence League was formed in June 2009 to target Muslims. Racists in Scotland and Wales set up their own “defence leagues”.

Ida B Wells and the long fight against lynching in the US South

A journalist, activist and militant born in slavery, Ida B Wells campaigned against lynching in the US and for women's rights, write Sarah Ensor and Ken Olende


Mad About The Boy - Bridget Jones's trivial troubles are an escape from our real ones

Are the Bridget Jones books too superficial? For Sarah Creagh, Bridget’s obsessions reflect real pressures—and there’s nothing wrong with escapism

Sylvia Pankhurst - a socialist suffragette who made the workers' case in art

If you look for pictures of workers in the Tate gallery, you’ll probably be shown LS Lowry’s dismal stickmen. Depictions of women are more common—but often nude and sexualised.

Reviews round-up

Handbagged by Moira Buffini | The Great War by Joe Sacco | The Fifth Estate

What We Think

Back the strikes - and push for more to win

Strikes and protests by workers are taking on the Tories. Teachers in several regions were preparing to strike on Thursday of this week against the government’s assault on education.

Labour lashes out at benefit claimants

Labour’s new welfare spokesperson Rachel Reeves has pledged that Labour would be “tougher” on welfare claimants than the Tories.

Other Categories

Donald Casson 1936-2013

Donald Casson, a life-long socialist, died on 8 October after a long period of illness.


How cuts discriminate against special needs children, the Daily Mail's attack on Ralph Miliband, the First World War, supporting firefighters, stopping the Tories and attacks on the unemployed

The Things They Say

Things that they say

Energy companies snatch £1.2 billion in overpaid bills

Energy giants sit on £1.2 billion a year belonging to customers in credit because of estimated bills. And they make more than £12 million annual interest from people who pay by direct debit.

Dale Farm eviction pushed families onto a toxic wasteland

Two years after Travellers were evicted from Dale Farm, Grattan Puxon tells Sadie Robinson about the human cost of being denied the right to a home

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