Steel giant Corus was expected to announce 5,000 to 7,000 job cuts this week. The announcement will be made by Corus chairman Sir Brian Moffat (above). His pay packet last year was a basic salary of £477,223, "benefits" worth £43,009, extra pension contributions of £19,709, and the right to take a profit on 611,000 shares.
The mood in Luton last Saturday summed up how many workers in Britain feel today. Everyone in the town feels gutted by General Motors' decision to close the Vauxhall plant, but at the same time people want resistance. Over 10,000 car workers, local people and other trade unionists marched through Luton last Saturday.
Victims of asbestos poisoning are getting "sympathy but no money" according to leading asbestos campaigner in Scotland Tommy Gorman. Thousands of workers may never get payments they are entitled to after the insurance company, QBE International, handling their claims recently went bust. "It could be a major problem," says Tommy. "People were poisoned when they worked on the Upper Clyde shipyards in Scotland. And it's not just Scotland. In areas like Liverpool and Tyneside workers were affected too."
Survivors and relatives of the victims of the Hatfield crash are outraged by the government's decision not to hold a public inquiry. Carol Bell, vice-chair of the Safety on Trains Action Group, said she was "stunned".
'This dispute is part of our revenge'
An unofficial rank and file strike by about 3,000 postal workers in north west England broke the anti-union laws and forced Royal Mail management into a humiliating retreat this week.
Trade Unionists, community campaigners and socialists met in Bristol last week to select a Socialist Alliance candidate to fight in the general election. It was one of many selection meetings taking place to democratically select Socialist Alliance candidates. Socialist Alliance candidates are not careerists bankrolled by millionaires, but ordinary working class people chosen by working class people at open, democratic meetings.
Over 500 copies of Socialist Worker were sold on the "Save Vauxhall" demonstration in Luton on Saturday, while 20 people joined the Socialist Workers Party.14 papers were sold to striking Liverpool postal workers, while 5 papers were sold outside Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port. 6 papers were sold to striking lecturers at Coatbridge College and 13 were sold at a North Lanarkshire EIS union meeting.
Congratualations to the three lucky readers who have won prizes in the Red Raffle.
The Times Educational Supplement advertised over 4,000 vacancies for teachers' posts last week. It's not only in London that the teacher shortage crisis is biting hard. In Hertfordshire young teachers find the cost of living intolerably high. In areas like this over 65 percent of teachers are aged over 40.
Around 3,000 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) workers in the PCS civil servants' union went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday of last week over pay. Picket lines sprang up across England and Wales after management tried to impose a deal workers had rejected by 82 percent in a ballot.
Royal Mail workers should vote no to the 3.2 percent pay deal recommended by the majority of the CWU union's postal executive. After months of negotiations Post Office bosses conceded a further 0.1 percent at the last moment. This was enough for the union's leaders to halt plans for a strike ballot.
Council Workers in Hackney, east London, will strike next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a crucial dispute over the ruling group's plans for cuts and privatisation. The Labour-Tory coalition "structural adjustment plans" mean cutting £50 million over the next three years. Hundreds of jobs will go and services will be handed over to private firms.
I can't stand the way big brand name companies smother us with their distorted view of the world. So I was really pleased when I heard about a protest organised against Gap in the centre of Bristol. Gap employs child labourers at 22p an hour while the executives get £15,000 an hour. The protest last week was amazing. Within minutes we had over 100 people outside Gap. This soon rose to 150 people, holding placards, petitioning and giving out leaflets.
"We'Vve given up a chance to stop a maverick chief officer trampling all over us." So said a Merseyside firefighter after the Fire Brigades Union accepted a poor deal rather than act on last week's vote for a strike. There will be "talks" over the number of control room staff, and a "review" of cuts in the number of appliances responding to automatic calls. A majority of FBU branches, 19 to six, reluctantly voted for the deal under pressure from FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist, and regional and brigade officials.
The threat of strike action has forced Arriva to offer bus drivers in Wycombe a 7.8 percent pay rise and an hour cut in the working week. The 120 drivers, members of the TGWU union, had voted by 69 percent to strike unless they got a decent rise.
On 18 January the body of Ramin Khaleghi, a 27 year old Iranian, was discovered in the International Hotel, a hostel housing asylum seekers in Leicester. Ramin had been a political prisoner in Iran for a number of years before managing to flee to Britain.
Campaigners in Wales are building for the Wales and the World conference, which includes speakers like journalist George Monbiot, Barry Coates from the World Development Movement and writer Colin Hines.
The rich and powerful from across the globe were to gather in the Swiss ski-resort of Davos this weekend. But right across the world their system is being challenged. At Davos protesters planned demonstrations outside the rulers' World Economic Forum.
"We've got to fight this all the way, and not let General Motors grind us down. We're marching. We're striking." They were the words of a Vauxhall shop steward in Luton this week. The car plant is owned by giant multinational General Motors (GM), the world's biggest manufacturing corporation.