Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1876

Dated: 08 Nov 2003



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Postal Workers 1st Class Victory

Union-busting charter smashed Bosses must negotiate NOT impose change Royal Mail have issued letter saying 'postal union not to blame' WE'VE GIVEN Royal Mail a good hiding.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Action flares up

UNOFFICIAL ACTION was spreading through Britain's 58 fire brigades as Socialist Worker went to press.

Police racism: the truth comes out

More revelations about the depth of police racism emerge by the day

'Children die because of social class'

RICH PEOPLE in posh cars are a danger to working class children.

Turn the ships round

ACTIVISTS IN Hartlepool are pleased after the Environment Agency barred 13 US toxic ships from entering a local shipyard.

'They ignored my plight'

AN ASIAN man working for British Airways was the target of death threats from racists but his plight was ignored by BA bosses, a tribunal heard last week.

Rank and file say what happened

OXFORD: Workers at the mail centre walked out on Tuesday night. We were proud to be one of the first offices to offer solidarity to those who have been bravely battling at Greenford, Dartford and elsewhere.

Minted bosses must pay

MEMBERS OF the Amicus union at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales, struck for the second time on Wednesday of last week. Around 500 manual workers at the plant, which produces all of Britain's coins, are fighting for a decent pay rise.

A growing mood for rebellion

THERE IS a stereotype of civil servants which says they are well paid, wear bowler hats and carry briefcases. The reality is rather different. Today the civil service employs huge swathes of low paid workers doing essential work-finding jobs for people, delivering benefits, advising on consumer and workplace rights, running museums and art galleries, making sure roads are safe and drivers tested and licensed, and working in ports and airports.

'Time to stand up'

AROUND 1,000 workers at Swissport UK and Swissport Cargo staged a 48-hour strike at Heathrow airport last Sunday and Monday. The workers are members of the TGWU union. Early on a wet and windy Sunday morning on the picket line, they told Socialist Worker why they were out: "We have been pushed from pillar to post. Our work load has increased dramatically. You don't get time to wipe your arse any more. A few years ago we moved around 100 tonnes per shift. Now its more like 225 tonnes," said one picket at the cargo depot. "We are under so much pressure," added another. "We want a pay rise. But it's about more than money."

University workers

LECTURERS AT Sunderland University have voted by 61 percent for strike action against redundancies. In June, 46 lecturers received letters saying that they were in a pool from which 12 would be made redundant.

Students

FOLLOWING THE 30,000 strong "grants not fees" demonstration, the National Union of Students (NUS)is calling for a mass lobby of parliament on 3 December. In previous years the NUS leadership has contented itself with calling one demonstration a year.

Anti-racism

About 100 people attended a march round Bicester town centre on Saturday after the Bicester Refugee Support Group called a demonstration against racism and fascism. The demonstration was called after the National Front intimidated people not to shop at a French farmers market.

Cambridge

AROUND A third of the undergraduates at King's College, Cambridge University, are expected to withhold their rent. This is despite the scare tactics used by the head of the college (who stood as a Tory in the 1997 parliamentary elections) and the college bursar (who was a key figure in the privatisation of the railways).

RMT

Activists and reps in the RMT union London region held their monthly meeting last Thursday. There was real anger about the recent derailments on the tube and real unity over the need to act.

The awkward squad

THE RISE of the awkward squad of left wing trade union leaders has transformed the leadership of most trade unions in Britain.

100,000 head for Paris Conference

THE EUROPEAN Social Forum (ESF) next week will see at least 100,000 gather in Paris for an event that will concentrate the militant mood building up across the continent. The ESF is the body that met in Florence, Italy, last year.

Crucial forum for trade unionists

THE CONVENTION of the Trade Union Left set for February will bring trade unionists together to debate the vital issue of political representation. Mick Skiggs is chair of the RMT rail union's Portsmouth branch. He says, "The expulsion of George Galloway is a further example of New Labour's control freakery and how at odds it is with the interests of working people.

Massive protests to greet Bush's visit

THE MEDIA are waking up to the prospect of massive protests wrecking George Bush's state visit to Britain in three weeks time.


International

Far left's united stand in France could poll 31%

ANTI-CAPITALIST forces moved to the centre stage of French politics last weekend. The country's two main far left organisations announced their united electoral challenge in important regional and European elections due next June-the same time as similar elections in Britain.


Comment

Why the US wants to run the world

SEVENTY FIVE percent of people across Europe now believe the war against Iraq was wrong.

Class divide concentrated behind bars

MOUNTJOY WOMEN'S prison in Dublin is a modern institution. Built three years ago to house 90 women prisoners, it is known as the Dochas Centre (Dochas is the Irish language word for hope).


Features

Striking back at the post empire

AS THE brilliant post strike spread around the country Socialist Worker readers were visiting picket lines and organising collections in support.

Posties: 'We struck, we spread it-and we won'

A SURGING wave of solidarity brought victory to the postal workers and turned the management's hopes to ashes.

What wildcat action achieved

THERE ARE four key aspects to the deal agreed on Monday:

Resistance and revolt

THE LATEST death toll of US soldiers in Iraq has sent shockwaves through the US establishment.

No hiding place for Bush in Britain

"BUSH FACES fiery Welcome". "Presidential visit Sparks Bush bonfires".

Let's Come Out Fighting

The chance for a powerful socialist challenge to New Labour was given a major boost at a 1,300-strong rally in London last week when a new coalition representing the spirit of struggle and resistance set its sights on key elections due on 'Super Thursday', 10 June 2004

Socialists have vital role to play in the movement

THE OPENING debate was introduced by Chris Bambery, the national organiser of the Socialist Workers Party.

Launching a challenge to corporate power

John said, "The anti-war movement has transformed the political landscape in this country. We can gather the forces to challenge New Labour from the movement.


Reviews

Loud message from 1930s

EARLY NOVEMBER with the Remembrance industry in full swing is an awkward time for us.

Justifying War

THIS IS a dramatisation of the Hutton inquiry by the anti-war director Nicholas Kent.

From LA in the 1950s to Crimean War

Fear Itself - Walter Mosley THIS IS the US author's follow-up to his much acclaimed novel Fearless Jones.


What We Think

Learn the lessons from this great strike

REMEMBER THE postal workers! That should be the response whenever someone says it is impossible to beat the employers or the anti-union laws. We can all learn from the way the strike won.


Other Categories

Truth is out on the police

ONE OF the officers suspended following the documentary on racism in the police worked at Chadderton Station in Oldham.

Of mice and men (and a killer virus)

THE PENTAGON has apparently reallocated large numbers of military experts hunting for those elusive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to other duties.



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