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We're not keen on any cuts


Protesters in Hounslow, west London, followed up their recent 3,000-strong demonstration against education cuts with a lobby of 400 people last week. The protest has clearly rattled the Labour group in the council. Councillors are attacking Labour MP Ann Keen for doing nothing to stop the reduction in government funding which is behind the cuts.

Socialist Alliance


The national council of the Socialist Alliance last week discussed building the trade union conference on 16 March. This is centred on the debate about where money from the unions' political funds should go.

Stakes are high in post battle


A national postal strike could begin a week next Wednesday, 6 March, union leaders announced last week. Talks are still continuing, but the union says that if there is no agreement then strike dates have been "pencilled in".

BT


BT workers lobbied private firm ComputaCentre in London last week, and staged another protest at BT Centre, also in London. They were protesting at plans to transfer hundreds of workers in the D&DS section of the company out of BT. If the move goes ahead as planned in March it will give the green light for BT to extend this subcontracting, and with it attacks on workers' conditions across the company.

Journalists


Two more NUJ journalists union chapels (workplace branches) on local newspapers have voted to ballot for strike action in a new campaign to end low pay. After victory in the first strike over pay for more than a decade at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus group, journalists at the Wakefield Express and Yorkshire Post and Leeds Evening Post have voted for strike ballots.

'Sack the board' say angry security staff


"The airport's profits are sky high and they want to employ us on Burger King wages." That was how one striker last week summed up the anger of security workers at Manchester airport.

Leading charity exposes sickest spin yet


Massaging the figures on child poverty has to be among the sickest wheezes dreamt up by government spin doctors. That is exactly what New Labour has done, according to a devastating report commissioned by the Child Poverty Action Group and published this week. Government ministers claim to have "lifted" 1.2 million children out of poverty. But this report by a leading charity shows that figure is a lie.

Crucial stage in SWT strike


The RMT union has suspended strikes that were planned on South West Trains (SWT) for this week. The decision was taken on Friday of last week to allow RMT acting general secretary Vernon Hince to approach SWT management for talks over pay. A further meeting of the union's national executive was to take place this Wednesday. It was to consider reinstating action if the company had not made any serious moves to end the dispute.

Faslane blockade


Despite high winds and driving rain, around 500 people joined a lively demonstration outside Faslane nuclear submarine base last Monday. The blockade kicked off the three-day "Block 'n' Roll" of the Faslane base in Scotland, organised by CND and Trident Ploughshares.

A walkout at the chalk face?


Teachers in London are to ballot for strike action over pay. Ballot papers will go out to over 40,000 members of the NUT union the week after next. Teachers will vote on a one-day strike over the allowances paid for working in London and neighbouring areas.

Stop the war


Over 70 people went to a teach-in against the war at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London last Saturday. The event was called by the Stop the War Coalition. It attracted a new audience of people who have just started to get involved in opposing the war.

New dates for action


Civil Servants working in job centres and benefits agencies are set to hold their next strike on 6 and 7 March. The workers, members of the PCS union, have held two-day strikes on two occasions since mid-December.

DEFRA


The government has made its third pay offer to workers in the DEFRA department under pressure from industrial action. The workers, members of the PCS union, used to work in the MAFF government department.

Councils


Some 40 Lambeth council workers in special housing services held a second day of strike action on Tuesday of last week in protest at the sacking of Unison steward Alex Owalade.

In brief


A ballot for action should be getting under way this week in a key section of BT. The vote involves some 850 workers in one section of the company, but the fight is vital to every BT worker.

Blair is the real 'wrecker' - not trade unionists


Trade Unionists in Cardiff last week lined up to attack Tony Blair for branding them as "wreckers". They were in the same venue that Blair had used to make that speech. This time it was filled with 500 women members of the Unison public sector union.

Lecturers


The proposed all-out strike action at Huddersfield Technical College by Unison union members which was to begin on Monday of this week has been suspended until the end of the month.

Manchester airport


Over 200 striking security workers in the TGWU union at Manchester airport joined picket lines in a series of one-hour stoppages last week. The picket lines were very lively and confident. The strikers stopped traffic around the airport and received a very supportive response from the public and other airport workers.

George Bush: the madman prepares to kill again


US President George Bush this week ordered the biggest naval build-up since the Gulf War in 1991. He stunned the world two weeks ago by declaring that Iran, North Korea and Iraq were on his hit list. Yet there is no evidence that any of these countries have anything to do with the Al Qaida network.

World Social Forum: exclusive report from the protest the other papers ignored


One of the biggest conferences the world has ever seen finished last week in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. Over 70,000 people joined the World Social Forum. They demonstrated and debated in meetings, forums and workshops around the conference theme, "Another world is possible."

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