Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2377

Dated: 29 Oct 2013

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After Grangemouth oil plant bosses blackmail workers - unions can do better than this

Workers at Grangemouth petrochemical plant and oil refinery in Scotland have had their pensions wrecked, their pay frozen, and their union rights undermined by a rotten deal.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Mark Duggan inquest - officers testify that Mark couldn't have thrown gun

A police firearms officer told the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan that he did not see Mark throw a weapon police allege he was carrying.

People's Assembly calls protests against cuts

The People’s Assembly is calling for a day of protest in every town and city in Britain on Tuesday of next week.

Cops break up families in search of racist Roma myth

The scare about ‘child-snatching’ Roma people was based on nothing but racism, says Sadie Robinson

After attacks, Roma speak out - 'This racist bullshit must stop'

The Daily Mirror ran a disgraceful story claiming that gypsies see blonde children as a “prize catch”.

Council housing selloffs are creating a living hell

Council housing in Southwark, south London, “is not in as good a condition as everyone wants it to be”.

Chipping Norton goes on trial

David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-newspaper chief Rebekah Brooks began their Old Bailey phone hacking trial this week.

News round-up

Tory health minister Jeremy Hunt has lost his appeal against a High Court decision to halt closures at Lewisham Hospital in south London this week. 

‘We have to come together to fight for all those who have died in police custody’

There were angry chants of “No justice, no peace” as the United Friends and Family campaign marched on Downing Street in London last Saturday.

Strong strike against outsourcing, but PCS backs off from coordinated action

Hundreds of members of the civil service workers’ PCS union struck on Friday of last week.

Arguing and marching for women's rights

Around 700 people attended the Feminism in London conference last Saturday. 

Pupil Support Assistants set to strike over imposed job changes

Some 1,000 Pupil Support Assistants (PSAs) in Glasgow were set to strike against imposed changes to their job remit on Thursday of this week.

Sacked George Monoux College health and safety rep wins appeal

A sacked health and safety rep at George Monoux College in north London has won an appeal against the sacking.

As post workers prepare to strike - take the fight to Royal Mail

The first national postal strike in four years was set to take place on Monday of next week. 

Firefighters organised to get strikes back on, now call more action to win

Firefighters in England and Wales were set to walk out twice this week after the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced further strike dates.

Defend the right to protest conference says - 'we must fight back against injustice'

The need to fight injustice ran through the Defend the Right to Protest conference in London last Sunday.

Rank and file protest closes Ferrybridge power station

Over 150 pickets converged on Ferrybridge power station in west Yorkshire last week to protest against an attack on national terms and conditions by local construction bosses.

Traffic wardens suspend strike

Ealing traffic wardens called off a one day strike on Tuesday of this week after their employers NSL made an improved offer to settle.

Committee hears evidence of another blacklist of construction workers

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently confirmed it holds documents relating to another blacklist in the construction industry.

University unions set to walk out over pay insult

The national walkout involves the UCU, Unite and Unison unions. It’s the first action in a campaign to win decent pay after bosses offered a below-inflation 1 percent deal.

Campaigning against the bedroom tax in Manchester and Fife

Campaigners marched through Manchester banging pots and pans last Saturday to highlight the growth of food poverty in Britain.

Drivers get in gear for train walkouts

Train drivers on the TransPennine Express in the Aslef union are set to strike on Tuesday of next week.

Train union suspends strikes for talks

Over 500 train drivers working for CrossCountry voted by 81 percent for strikes last month over rest days.

Warrington bus workers throw out new offer

Bus workers at Network Warrington have called a three day strike against a pay freeze on 13-15 November.

UPS ballot against bosses’ attacks

The 120 UPS parcel delivery drivers and loaders at Camden depot in central London are balloting for strikes over forced overtime, unreasonable workloads and alleged bullying.

Chinatown protest shuts down shops

Hundreds of protesters marched through London’s Chinatown on Tuesday of last week against immigration raids. 

Strike set to hit probation service

Probation officers in the Napo union were set to strike on Tuesday of next week.

Internal memos reveal fresh attacks on benefit claimants and job centre workers

The government is changing the rules to make it harder for disabled people to appeal when it takes away their benefits.

Action at Grangemouth petrochemical plant could have beaten boss

The Grangemouth ‘survival plan’ is a disaster for the workers and their Unite union, writes Dave Sewell

Sussex students occupy in solidarity with national university staff strike

Sussex University students have gone into occupation this afternoon, Wednesday, in support of a national university staff strike tomorrow over pay.

Post union calls off 4 November Royal Mail strike

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced today, Wednesday, that it has called off Monday’s planned national strike of post workers.

Higher education workers strike over pay deal

Workers in UCU, Unite and Unison walked out today, Thursday, over paltry pay deal. Students and workers join picket lines and hold occupations in support.

Pictures of higher education strike Thursday 31 October

Pictures from today's higher education strike around the country

Firefighters solid strike over pensions attack

Firefighters in England and Wales walked out of work on one of the busiest nights of the year in the run up to bonfire night last night, Friday, in a row over pensions.


Roma under attack in Greece speak out - 'We are human and we want justice'

More than 50 police came into our camp at 6am. They broke into homes and threw clothes and furniture outside.

Protests defy Egyptian army in bid to take back the streets

Revolutionaries are fighting back against anti-protest laws to demand bread and freedom, writes Judith Orr

Marikana film shows cops' attacks on miners

New evidence backs miners in the fight for justice over the Marikana massacre, reports Ken Olende

Thousands killed in Iraq in chaos made by the US

Car bombs in Baghdad killed dozens of people on Sunday of last week. 

Workers and students fight for education in Spain

Education workers and students across the Spanish state took part in a second “general education strike” against education reforms last week. 


Grangemouth was no test of strength

A great deal of nonsense has been said about the dispute over the petrochemicals plant at Grangemouth in Scotland. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last Saturday ran an item comparing the Unite union leaders’ climb-down at Grangemouth to the defeat of the 1984-5 miners’ strike. Both, presenter John Humphreys suggested, represented a historic weakening of union power.


‘I’d rather die than be a white man's slave’ - the story of the Amistad Rebellion

The Amistad Rebellion tells the story of a group of slaves who rose up. Ken Olende looks at a revolt that caught the imagination of poor people everywhere—and showed slaves could win

We don't need nuclear power

We are told that Britain faces an energy crisis unless we build new nuclear power plants. Energy researcher Gerry Wolff told Socialist Worker that the crisis is fake—we don’t need nuclear


Tate Modern exhibition shows how rhythms of colour make Paul Klee a model of an artist

The latest superstar exhibition of the work of Paul Klee at Tate Modern in London is worth the queues and the hype, argues Jeff Jackson

Orson Welles' War of the Worlds transmission 75 years on

"We interrupt this program of dance and music to bring news of a martian invasion"

Reviews round-up

Y Gwyll/Hinterland | Hatchet Job

What We Think

The stakes are too high for union leaders to squander the fight back

The only way that the anger and bitterness that runs deep in austerity Britain can be turned into struggle that can beat the bosses and the Tories.

Tories' war on welfare is plunging even more people into poverty

The government’s war on welfare is plunging more and more people into deeper poverty.

Other Categories


Including letters on the Focus E15 campaign, immigration raids, the teachers' strikes and nuclear power

The Things They Say

Things that they say

Royal gathering that’s so humble it needs a fist-sized gold coin

Troublemaker takes a swipe at the new royal scrounger, and some other enemies

Privatisation not migrants puts up cost of healthcare

Stories claiming that Britain is swamped by migrant ‘health tourists’ who drain the health service are dishonest propaganda for the Tories, argues Sarah Ensor

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