Socialist Worker


Inside at Christmas

ALL OF the cases below are miscarriages of justice. Socialist Worker urges all our readers to send cards and messages of support to them for Christmas. Why not take a card round your workmates to sign? Make sure you send it off in good time.


THE REVIVAL of strikes in the Post Office continues. Management bullying and the arrangements for Xmas working are sparking fury.

Get Carter!

YORKSHIRE Traction bus workers were boosted on Friday of last week as they staged their second one day strike for a decent pay rise. Their boss, Frank Carter, did not dare to run scab buses, driven by managers from outside the area, as he had done on the previous strike day on Saturday 27 November. The 35 pickets at the Barnsley depot talked about how the managers had received so much abuse from passengers they refused to work again.

Car workers

Ford UNION OFFICIALS at Ford have been forced to hold another meeting over the pay deal because of the level of complaints about the recent ballot. Workers voted by a majority of just 1,320 to accept the deal. But all the Dagenham plant rejected the deal, and other plants are not happy with how the ballot was conducted. Over 3,000 workers did not vote.

Housing sell offs

ASHFIELD COUNCIL tenants were shocked last week when they heard that Nottinghamshire council may transfer housing stock to the private sector. The Labour council is to employ private consultants to carry out a study into the transfer of the 8,500 properties, at a huge cost.


MEMBERS OF the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union in England and Wales, took part in a week of action against performance related pay last week. The government's plans to link pay to pupils' results are another way of pushing market forces into schools.


LOW PAID workers at Pricecheck supermarkets may be on the verge of winning union recognition this week. Pricecheck's millionaire bosses were set to meet the workers' TGWU union to discuss recognition after Socialist Worker went to press.


SOME 4,000 BT call centre workers at 37 workplaces were due to stage the second of a series of one day strikes on Friday of this week. The fight is over bullying managers, understaffing and work targets. There were picket lines on most of the affected offices on the last strike day. Talks between the workers' CWU union and BT were still taking place as Socialist Worker went to press.

Sky Chefs

TRADE UNIONISTS in west London are organising to raise solidarity with the Sky Chefs workers in the run up to Xmas. They are calling on everyone-trade unionists, campaign groups, etc-to collect money to take to the picket line on Sunday 19 December. The 270 workers were sacked by Lufthansa just over one year ago for taking part in a legal one day strike.


Sheffield A SHEFFIELD council worker has won his industrial tribunal case over disciplinary measures taken against him for his trade union activities. Paul Page works for private company CSL in Sheffield council's financial services section. The workers had been privatised by the Labour council, which lost office to the Liberals in last May's elections.

We want the right to be ill!

TONY BLAIR constantly talks about "modernising". But the reality for many workers is of employers threatening to turn the clock back to the days when workers had no sick leave, no maternity leave and few holidays. Workers in two London councils hit back against these Victorian-style employers this week.

130 ballots for action over Xmas

POSTAL workers across Britain are angry at Royal Mail's plans to make them work harder and for less money this Christmas. Management has tried to push through Christmas arrangements that claw back on overtime, concentrate the mail on fewer deliveries and squeeze staffing numbers and conditions. The result is that a remarkable 130 areas across Britain have demanded strike ballots.

In every continent... Rage against the system

RIGHT ACROSS the world people protested against capitalism this week. Their target was the World Trade Organisation. Tens of thousands marching in Seattle were attacked by police. Across France tens of thousands joined marches like the one shown here in Paris. In London and other cities across Britain people staged protests. Similar protests took place from Brazil to Bangladesh, from Argentina to Australia.

Our enemy is capitalism

THE US city of Seattle was deeply divided on Tuesday. Police with armed personnel carriers waded into peaceful protesters. It was the first use of teargas and rubber bullets in Seattle since the Vietnam War. Even Glenys Kinnock was shocked at the police violence. She talked of the "extraordinary over-reaction of the police".

Prescott car u-turn

JOHN PRESCOTT has junked any idea of cutting the number of cars on Britain's roads. In a complete U-turn, Prescott announced the speeding up of the government's programme of road building schemes. Any idea of creating an environmentally safe and cheap integrated transport system has gone out of the window.

On the line

AN EXCELLENT 50 copies of Socialist Worker were sold to pickets during last week's Wandsworth council strike, while 29 papers were sold to striking postal workers during their unofficial strike in Glasgow. Socialist Worker readers in the post produced two copies of a strike bulletin.

Choking on this force fed deal

FORD WORKERS have voted to accept the company's revised pay and hours offer - but only just. Workers voted to accept the three year deal by 54.5 percent to 45.5 percent. The vote was 8,016 votes for the deal and 6,696 against.

Turning on the taggers

"BRUCE BUCKLEY, hear us shout - electronic tagging, out, out, out!" That was the message from around 500 home helps and their supporters to the director of Derbyshire social services as they marched through Chesterfield last Saturday.

Vote for a fight

THE FIGHT for the leadership of Britain's biggest union will be between a candidate wanting to cosy up to the government and a socialist standing against the attacks from New Labour. The election is a result of current UNISON leader Rodney Bickerstaffe's decision to stand down.

Civil servants

DELEGATES FROM the PTC civil service union met in Scarborough last week against a backdrop of continuing low pay and government attacks. The delegates were split up into their "groups", such as Inland Revenue, Employment Service (ES), and so on.

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