Socialist Worker


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.


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.


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.


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."

Pension threat to eight million

If you work for ICI, BT, Marks & Spencer, Iceland or a string of other top firms your pension is under threat. Such companies plan to slash what they spend on pensions by a third and make workers pay more. If they did this directly through a pay cut everyone would know what was happening.

Royal Bigot Princess Margaret: a nation doesn't mourn

The papers have been stuffed with millions of words about Princess Margaret. Here are some things they didn't tell you.

Africans don't want lectures from Blair

"We want people in Britain to know the truth about Tony Blair's 'welcome' in West Africa. In Ghana a planned protest against Blair was not allowed under security laws. Yet, despite very short notice, hundreds of people crammed into a rally to speak out against his visit.

Schools dream of playing fields

The scandal about playing fields for children goes on. Under the Tories, Labour was very critical of the policy of selling off school playing fields. But in office New Labour has continued to allow fields to be sold. Amid great fanfares the government announced in 1999 that £125 million of lottery cash had been allocated to create new playing fields for kids.

Profits from the teacher shortage

£679,000-that's how much Trish Seabourne, the boss of TimePlan, pocketed last year. TimePlan is the firm which employed Amy Gehring, the supply teacher at the centre of a court case over sex with pupils.

Who's next after Enron?

"Rolls-Royce is the latest victim of Enronitis, the fear that many firms, particularly those with large debts, could be concealing nasty secrets." That was the verdict of the Sunday Times this week as panic spread across the financial world in the wake of the scandal surrounding the collapse of Enron. Bankers and speculators are nervously watching firms with similarly huge debts to Enron.

New Labour: 'WRECKERS'

Three pillar boxes on each street corner (and each one owned by a different company under crazy plan to sell off the Post Office) New Labour is poised to drive through Post Office privatisation in just seven weeks time. The government's regulator announced last week that it wants to see the Post Office (Consignia) totally sold off. This is the privatisation from hell, the maddest of the mad. It offers the crazy prospect of competing pillar boxes on street corners. Even Margaret Thatcher shied away from it.

Bosses ARE brutal but can be beaten

Over 650 guards and conductors on Arriva Northern struck for 48 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Their action brought trains across the north of England to a halt and led to big, angry picket lines.

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