Socialist Worker


Postal Workers: Shaping up for battle against privatisation

Postal Workers are set for a head-on confrontation with their bosses and the government over privatisation. The Communication Workers Union had been preparing to hold a strike ballot over pay. But it has now switched to the question of putting out to contract sections such as vehicle services, parcel deliveries and cleaning.

Mark Dolan: Why we won it

A Post Office disciplinary hearing last week found that Mark Dolan, treasurer of the CWU union branch in North/North West London, was innocent of the charges against him. A worker at the NDO office made a complaint against Mark after he had overheard a discussion about the World Trade Centre suicide attacks. Mark had said he was against the loss of life in New York, but that it was a result of US policies.

By-election results

Burnley An important council by-election was due to take place on Thursday of this week in the Rose Hill ward in Burnley, Lancashire. The BNP Nazis were hoping to get a significant vote. They stood candidates in two council by-elections in Burnley last week.

In brief

Bus strikes get results Bus workers in two Stagecoach companies in Hastings and the north east of England have voted to accept improved pay offers. Two days of strike action by workers in Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington forced Stagecoach management to increase their offer to a flat rate of £6 an hour.

Scottish Power: Pull plug on bosses

Workers at Scottish Power in Scotland, Merseyside and north Manchester are set to take strike action on Tuesday and Wednesday. Scottish Power is one of the world's top ten utility multinationals. It also owns Southern Water and Pacificore in the US. The workers do essential jobs, maintaining and repairing breakdowns in the electricity network.

Civil Servants: Striking for all of our welfare

Low paid civil servants on all-out strike were joined on Monday of this week by 250 workers in Makerfield in Lancashire. The workers voted to strike for three weeks after refusing to do management's dirty work and scab on the all-out strike by civil servants at the government's new Pathfinder offices.

Hackney council

Library workers struck across Hackney in east London last Saturday in protest at cuts in their Saturday pay. The strike was excellently supported and very successful. It was a boost to workers and anti-cuts campaigners in their long battle against the vicious Labour-run council.

Council round-up

Caretakes in Edinburgh are set to take strike action to try to win more money for working long hours. Some 100 caretakers, members of the UNISON union, have agreed to boycott work for three days next week and another three days the following week. Some 90.3 percent voted for strikes in an official ballot.

Defend asylum seekers

Activists from seven campaigns against refugee detention centres met in Oxford last Saturday to discuss government plans to quadruple the number of asylum seekers locked up in camps.

Gestures can't hide Labour's failures

There is one fact that all the spin surrounding chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-budget statement cannot hide. Under New Labour investment in public services in Britain will only just reach the level it was at under John Major's Tory government-and that's after Brown's supposed major boost to public spending.

BT workers

BT has thrown down the gauntlet to its workers' CWU union. BT completed its termination of the contracts of 279 London engineering workers last week. BT plans to close its FirstCall division next March, where over 1,000 permanent BT staff have been redeployed after cuts elsewhere in the company.

BOC workers

Workers at a south coast factory are furious at the company's plans for compulsory redundancies, and also at their AEEU union leaders' pathetic response. BOC Edwards in Shoreham-by-Sea is part of the major BOC company. The factory employs some 700 workers, mostly AEEU members.

Journalists: Whopping win at Indy

Journalists at the Independent newspapers were celebrating an astonishing vote in their fight for union rights. A whopping 99.6 percent of journalists at the Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers voted yes to union recognition in a ballot. Eighty percent of all staff eligible to vote turned out.

Anti-privatisation march

Over 350 people joined a march in Edinburgh against privatisation on Saturday of last week. There was a strong delegation of over 100 postal workers, a group of medical secretaries who have just won a major battle against low pay, civil servants and others.

Harry Ramsden strike

Workers at the world's biggest fish and chip shop chain, Harry Ramsden's, went on an eight-hour strike two weeks ago for better pay and conditions. The strike involved 40 workers at Harry Ramsden's in Guiseley, near Bradford. The workers are members of the TGWU union. They held a lively picket line outside the restaurant holding placards saying, "We want a batter contract."

Join the protests at the EU summit, Brussels, 13-14 December

In three weeks time tens of thousands of people are planning to join major protests in the Belgian capital, Brussels. The protests will focus anger at the job losses mounting right across Europe as global recession bites. And they will also voice fury at European leaders' backing for the US-led war on Afghanistan.

100,000 say Bush is the real enemy

The warmongers aim at new victims The US is preparing to attack more countries even as the chaos and horror in Afghanistan unfold daily. "There are 40 to 50 countries which harbour terrorists and which could be targeted for diplomatic, financial or military action," said US vice-president Dick Cheney last week.

US clears way for war crimes

Tony Blair, George W Bush and their media cheerleaders are hailing "liberation" in Afghanistan. But the record of the Northern Alliance forces which took control of much of the country last week is every bit as bad as the Taliban regime the West is out to crush.

'It's about US power'

Anti-war demo sweeps London Even the mainstream media was forced to acknowledge Sunday's marvellous anti-war demonstration in London. TV news and papers had to carry images of the tide of people from all over Britain who poured on to the streets. Yet alongside those images almost all the media repeated the absurd police claim that only 15,000 people had joined the march.

Arrest without trial on top of 'The toughest laws anywhere on earth'

Where could ordinary people be arrested and locked up indefinitely without a trial and without being told the charges against them? Britain, under home secretary David Blunkett's new anti-terrorism laws. It exposes the "democracy" Britain and the US claim they stand for around the world.

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