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Socialist Worker

Issue: 1925

Dated: 30 Oct 2004

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Whoever wins... we all lose

WE ALREADY know who will win next week’s US presidential election.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Biggest civil service strike in years

CIVIL SERVICE workers sent a defiant message to the government last week by voting by almost two to one to strike against massive job cuts and attacks on public services.

‘Everyone depends on what we do’

‘OUR MEMBERS do not vote for strike action unless they think the situation is desperate.

We need more after 5 November

THE BALLOT result is the basis for a highly successful strike next Friday.

Harry Stanley shot in back of the head, inquest told

A MAN shot dead by police, who thought the table leg he was carrying was a gun, was facing away from them at the time, an inquest has heard.

TGWU leader calls for unity against war

FAR FROM going away, opposition to the war and occupation of Iraq is pummelling Tony Blair daily.

‘Troops home’ march

ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS are gearing up for this Saturday’s "Bring the troops home" protest in Glasgow. Rose Gentle initiated the march. Her son Gordon Gentle was killed in Iraq in June.

In brief

Blunkett set to outlaw protester HOME SECRETARY David Blunkett is set to ban "permanent encampments" outside parliament and the use of megaphones.

Who says?

"One is too polished. The other one, I think, to be honest, I don’t know how he ever got to be president." Kimberly Parmer, an undecided voter in Michigan, US

In brief

Bosses won’t shed two tiers PORTERS AND cleaners at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham are heading for a confrontation with their bosses over "two-tier" working.

Lots done, lots to do

WHAT A wonderful event the European Social Forum (ESF) was. It was a great success in terms of numbers participating and issues discussed. We should all be proud of what we’ve done.

Education: Tomlinson report will reinforce divisions

LAST WEEK’S Tomlinson report into education for 14-19 year olds claims to tackle the problem of working class children who fail to achieve basic academic qualifications.

Hands up for more action

SIX HUNDRED TGWU union members working for Servisair at Gatwick struck solidly for 48 hours last weekend in a dispute that is rapidly turning into a test case across the air industry.


HUNDREDS OF delegates were heading to London for the first Respect national conference this weekend. Major discussions are scheduled on war and imperialism, defending communities and election strategy.

Rail workers

NOT EVERYONE is happy with any settlement, but your Eurostar worker correspondent underestimates the value of our deal at Eurostar.

In brief

Sacked worker gets union backing TUBE WORKERS and RMT union branches have collected hundreds of pounds for Joanne White, the station assistant who was sacked after being assaulted by a passenger.

How about recognition for a union that has members?

JOURNALISTS AT Mirror Group Newspapers are campaigning to get their NUJ union recognised.

Postal workers

ROYAL MAIL management in Peterborough came up with a deal over our outstanding bonus just hours before we were due to strike on Monday.

PCS victimisation

MANAGEMENT IN the Department for Work and Pensions were recently shocked by a five to one vote for indefinite strike at the Stratford social security office in east London.


WORKERS AT major construction contractor Laing O’Rourke are rejecting the company’s pay and conditions package at site after site across Britain.

Council workers

STRIKING SOCIAL workers in Liverpool have refused to be fobbed off by minor concessions and were sticking out for a full settlement at the start of this week.

London backs Rogers’ election bid

THE CAMPAIGN for a new left leadership in the Unison union got off to a flying start last week when the union’s London regional council voted to back Jon Rogers for general secretary.

Car workers

THE TGWU and Amicus unions have called a march and rally on Saturday 27 November to save the Jaguar Browns Lane plant in Coventry from closure.

Good riddance, Franco

FRANK CHAPPLE, who died last week aged 83, was leader of the electricians’ ETU union between 1966 and 1984, and won’t be missed much.


Workers have power to beat multinational

WORKERS AT the Opel car company in Germany have shown exactly how to respond to mass redundancies—by holding a lightning strike. The strike has disrupted production across Europe.

New Tory government faces strike movement

A ONE-DAY strike across most of the public sector in Greece last week signalled a serious confrontation with the Tory government of Costas Karamanlis, which is barely six months old.

Strikers fight over pay, pensions and tuition fees

BUSINESS GROUND to a halt in Benin, West Africa, on Tuesday of last week as the country’s main trade unions began a three-day strike to demand higher pay for government employees.


Why isn’t Kerry walking it?

THE US presidential election is now so close that polls suggest we might have a repeat of what happened in 2000.


Appeal from Fallujah: 'We call upon you to stop this massacre'

It is more than evident that US forces are committing daily acts of genocide in Iraq. As we write, these crimes are being perpetrated against the city of Fallujah.

The shaky foundations of NHS plan

THE real face of New Labour’s "modernisation" of the NHS was revealed last week as a firm of hard-nosed New York based business troubleshooters was brought in to sort out the growing financial crisis at the first failing foundation trust.

Don’t let them tear up these rules

AS NEXT month’s anniversary of the worst disaster to hit London’s tube approaches, the government is busy trying to rip up safety regulations introduced to prevent it ever being repeated.

You can help us to change even more

When a mainstream newspaper relaunches itself, its primary concern is the advertising revenue it can generate. Its readers come a poor second.

It is possible to win real sexual freedom

When Frederick Engels wrote about women’s liberation, he didn’t only speak of equality. He also spoke of a world in which sexual relations would not governed by economic necessity or stifling morality, but would be really free.

Who represents Iraqi workers?

THE IRAQI Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) leadership appears to have succeeded in convincing some union leaders in Britain that it is a staunch opponent of the occupation. Alas, this self projected image is false.

Socialist who ran for the White house

Next week US voters will be presented with a choice between two openly pro-war and big business candidates, George Bush and John Kerry. The anti-corporate, pro-union challenger, Ralph Nader, has been barred from even standing in key states like Pennsylvania.

A leader who put his faith in the power of the working classes

EUGENE DEBS was born in the US Midwest, and began work at an early age on the railways, where he helped found a union aimed at enlisting all who worked on the railways.

Full text of open letter about IFTU

Dear Alex,


‘It all started with a bad experience in Romania’

The whole thing began for me in November 2002 after a rather bruising experience in Bucharest, Romania.

On holiday with George, Laura, Tony, Cherie and Donald

Guantanamo Baywatch Justin Butcher

Reviews Round-up

New Year’s Revolutions Tommy Evans

What We Think

Other Categories

Emily Cole 1985-2004

PORTSMOUTH SWP members were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Emily Cole after a year-long battle against cancer.

Did he really say ‘It’ll be over by Xmas’?

Tony Blair promised the Black Watch troops serving in Iraq last week that, even if they are sent north, they will still be "home by Christmas".

Socialist Worker appeal ... £37,921 and rising

Readers have been ringing in from all over the country with fundraising ideas and donations for our appeal.


MICHAEL MOORE has been speaking at massive rallies, with 8,000 at Utah Valley State College. Special showings of his movie Fahrenheit 9/11 across the US are part of the campaign to stop Bush winning (see photos and reports at www.michael


Friday 29 October Defend Council Housing national conference, 11am-4.30pm, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London. Go to

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