Socialist Worker


Civil servants

Many strikers in the Pathfinder offices are angry and disappointed about their national leaders sending the majority of them back to work on Friday of this week. Because every striker received 85 percent strike pay the PCS's strike fund was drained.

Why strike vote is needed now

Around 150,000 postal workers were waiting this week to find out whether they would start ballots for a national strike for better pay and against job losses linked to privatisation.


Around 80 workers in Ashfield council walked out of work for 20 minutes on Monday in protest at the sacking of a fellow worker. Kevin Shillitto was sacked over a timekeeping matter, without even so much as an informal warning before being dismissed.

Stop the War protest

A thousand people marched in Birmingham last Saturday against the war. The march was organised by Birmingham Trades Council and supported by the Stop the War Coalition. A rally heard speakers from a range of organisations and campaigns. Later Artists Against the War held an inspiring social with African drummers and visual projections.

Arsenal stadium

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside a meeting of Islington council in north London on Monday against plans for a new Arsenal football club stadium. The proposals are about big business trampling over the needs of ordinary people.

Student conference: Students and Revolution

Students and Revolution, a lively conference organised by student members of the Socialist Workers Party, took place in London last weekend. Around 180 students signed up for the event, which included rallies and workshops.

Striking back at New Labour

Tens of thousands of civil servants were due to strike this week. Behind the strikes is a fight to stop government attacks on the welfare state. Workers in benefits offices and job centres across Britain were set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday, after PCS union members voted 16,770 to 14,659 to strike against the government's decision to remove safety screens.

Power workers: Pickets show strength to win the jobs fight

Over 1,500 power workers in Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales struck for two days this week. They are fighting for job security and decent conditions against their Scottish Power bosses.

Whose victory?

Chaos in Afghanistan 1 in 3 children in Britain live in poverty

Why Britain is so divided

A series of reports into the background to riots in the north west of England earlier this year were released on Tuesday, as Socialist Worker went to press. Days earlier home secretary David Blunkett had told journalists that immigrants must try to be more "British" and that they should "accept our norms".

NHS Patients offered no real choice

"A war on the public sector." That is how GMB trade union leader John Edmonds described New Labour's new plans to send NHS patients for treatment in private hospitals or abroad.

Exposing the hidden homeless

Tony Blair attempted to spread New Labour style festive cheer last week by declaring the success of the government's Rough Sleepers Unit. The unit claims the number of people living on the streets has been reduced by 71 percent over the last three years.

Bush and Sharon are the world's biggest terrorists

George W Bush dropped 10,000 bombs on Afghanistan

Health service: Tax the rich to solve NHS crisis

New Labour has finally admitted the NHS is in a huge crisis and needs more funding. A row has broken out about how to fund the health service, with talk of raising taxes, and even of a special "health tax". All the politicians shy away from the key way to raise money for health-taxing the rich.

Study proves GM genes can spread

Scientists have shattered a central claim by supporters of genetically modified (GM) crops. A study reported last week in top science journal Nature showed that genes from GM maize, produced by the Monsanto multinational, had contaminated wild maize in Mexico.

Recession : Jobs axed

The daily massacre of jobs continued last week.

Postal workers

leaders of the CWU postal workers' union have postponed a decision over the timing of a national strike ballot until Monday of next week. On that day the union's postal executive will meet and hear reports on talks about pay and job security. Union insiders suggest that a deal on pay is likely.

Stop Esso

Over 3,000 people took part in pickets of Esso petrol stations last weekend to highlight the firm's sabotage of international action on global warming. Over 300 petrol stations were targeted by the Stop Esso campaign with protesters attempting to turn vehicles away from Esso forecourts.


Janitors at schools and education centres in Edinburgh planned to strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week over pay. The city council is refusing to pay a nationally agreed irregular hours payment of £20 a week. The money is to compensate workers for their 6am to 6pm days. Pat Rafferty, TGWU official, said, "We have been trying to resolve this issue since May 1999. We offered to move to 7.30am start times but the council rejected this."

Scottish Socialist Party

Around 350 people attended the Scottish Socialist Party's Socialism 2001 event in Glasgow last weekend. It was lively, informative and exciting with speakers ranging from novelist James Kelman to Tony Higgins from the Scottish Professional Footballers Association.

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