Bosses at Goodyear in Wolverhampton want to slash 500 jobs in revenge for workers' refusal to accept pay cuts and longer hours. Management and union leaders recommended to workers that they accept an 11 percent pay cut and longer hours.
Tony Blair is "absolutely proud" of the string of businessmen who have bunged money into New Labour's coffers. Millions of people who have voted Labour will instead be sickened at Blair's courting of the rich. Businessmen do not give money for nothing. They expect New Labour to bow to their interests.
The trial of 12 Afghans charged in connection with a hijacked plane that flew into Britain last year was due to begin on Thursday. But New Labour should be put in the dock over its treatment of the remaining 88 Afghan passengers who have asked for asylum in Britain.
The family of a black postal worker driven to suicide by racism at work have won the first step in their battle for justice. The victim's parents won the right this week to a posthumous employment tribunal hearing over racial discrimination. Jermaine Lee, a 26 year old Birmingham postal worker, hanged himself in November 1999.
"The pledge of John Prescott to cut the number of car journeys in the first five years of Labour rule has been abandoned. There has in fact been a remorseless increase in traffic growth."
The right wing press have launched a disgusting attack on a judge's decision to give Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, jailed for the killing of James Bulger, anonymity for life when they are released from prison later this year. The Sun devoted five pages on Tuesday to a vicious exposé of the lives of the two boys since they were sentenced eight years ago.
The truth is finally beginning to emerge about radioactive weapons used by Western forces in their wars against Iraq and in the Balkans. The revelations on depleted uranium come as the tenth anniversary of the start of the West's 1991 Gulf War against Iraq approaches this month. Several European governments that are part of the NATO military alliance have launched inquiries into depleted uranium weapons.
14 copies of Socialist Worker were sold outside Llanwern steel works in South Wales campaigning over the threatened closure, while 6 were sold at Cardiff's Penarth Road post office. 11 papers were sold at Aston post office in Birmingham along with 5 at Land Rover. Liverpool sales included 11 at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and 10 at Cammel Laird shipyard, while in Manchester 15 were sold at the Co-operative Insurance HQ and 3 at Moss Side Benefits Agency.
The Scottish press slammed teachers as "greedy" last weekend for not jumping for joy at a proposed pay deal. Papers claimed negotiations between the Scottish Executive, teachers' union and local government representatives had come up with a once in a lifetime offer, worth a 21.5 percent pay increase over the next three years.
Nearly 800 workers walked out on 24-hour unofficial strike at Royal Mail's main Nottingham depot in Beeston on Thursday of last week. About 130 workers picketed the depot while managers struggled to deliver a small portion of the more than two million letters that have piled up. The walkout was in response to the sacking of driver Alan McCrackle for taking too much sick leave. It followed the rejection of appeals by two other drivers sacked for the same reason last year.
Hackney council workers in east London are to strike for three days from 29 to 31 January. Urgent action is needed. The leaders of the Labour-Tory coalition that runs the east London council have agreed cuts of £50 million over the next three years. This will mean assets flogged off to private developers and more privatisation of vital services such as school transport for special needs children.
Workers at the Cowley BMW car plant in Oxford were to vote this week on a pay and conditions package. They should throw it out. The package includes a two-year pay offer of just 4 percent followed by a 3 percent rise. "That is pathetic money," says a Cowley worker, "only £13 a week before tax." The deal also includes a new grading scheme and performance related pay. "There's a principle at stake here," says the worker. "You can see how BMW want things to go in the future. They've got flexible hours-now they want flexible money."
Around 1,900 Crown Prosecution Service workers in the PCS civil servants' union started their industrial action campaign over pay on Monday of this week. The action will severely disrupt the work of courts across England and Wales. Bosses claim that the workers are getting a 4.5 percent increase, but for most workers it will work out as 3.3 percent. Top lawyers will get an extra £10,000 a year, while administration staff will receive just £350 more.
A protest is planned outside the Colombian embassy in London on Friday 19 January over the Latin American country's government's support for the US Plan Colombia. The US is pouring huge military resources into the plan under the pretext of a "war on drugs". In reality the plan is a US attempt to impose its will on a country at the heart of a region where it fears social unrest is threatening its business and strategic interests.
The government is in disarray over its plans to privatise council housing, and the chance is there to pile on the pressure to force a complete retreat. A marvellous opportunity to intensify the campaign comes in just over a week, when tenants and council workers join forces for a major lobby of parliament. Already coaches are booked from across Britain to bring people to London for the mass lobby on Wednesday 24 January.
"This is about our union leaders letting New Labour off the hook," was how a worker in East Ayrshire council reacted to the news that leaders of the UNISON union are calling off strikes by council workers across Scotland. Workers in other Scottish councils had the same reaction. "There's a feeling of shock, of betrayal," argued a worker in Inverclyde council. "The union leaders are trying to ditch the fight, to help out New Labour in the run-up to the general election."
Solidarity is flowing in from trade unionists around the country for the strike by health workers in Dudley in the West Midlands. Trade unionists have countered the mainstream media's news blackout on the strike by raising solidarity in their workplaces. The 600 ancillary workers were set to begin a further three-week strike on Wednesday in their battle against being transferred out of the NHS under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).
Privatisation wrecks railways
TEN THOUSAND manufacturing jobs a month will go this year, says TUC union leader John Monks. If, as most economic commentators predict, the US boom ends, then thousands more will be destroyed. But there are important signs of resistance. Workers are angry at being playthings of the system's rollercoaster boom and bust. Even union leaders who instinctively back Tony Blair are appalled at the results of New Labour's jobs policy. But only pressure from workers will make them turn their words into deeds.
LONDON Underground workers were to begin ballots for strike action this week after management rejected union demands to preserve safety and staffing levels. The ASLEF and RMT unions are fighting the effects of New Labour's proposed PPP privatisation of the tube. The dispute hits at the heart of New Labour's privatisation mania. Strikes on the tube have the potential to kill the sell-off and add to the pressure on the government to renationalise the railway.