Socialist Worker


UNISON round-up

Roddy Slorach THE APPEAL against the expulsion of leading Scottish activist Roddy Slorach from his UNISON union was last week postponed until 7 March.

Reports round-up

BT CONCERN IS growing among BT workers over the company's massive new restructuring programme, labelled NewGRID. Some of the biggest union meetings for years have been taking place around the country over the plan, and now three key London engineering branches of the workers' CWU union have called a mass meeting. NewGRID will affect all BT workers, and the company wants to end all current demarcation and grading structures.

Free Satpal Ram

The Free Satpal Ram Campaign has called a vigil outside the Home Office on Monday 28 February. The campaign is to meet with minister Paul Boateng to press the government to release Satpal. Satpal has been in prison for 13 years for defending himself against racist thugs who attacked him in a Birmingham restaurant.


Firefighters on Merseyside have forced the reinstatement of the branch secretary and branch chair of Formby fire station after the threat of a brigade - wide walkout. Management suspended the two branch officials after an allegation that they had been "discourteous". This was a major attack on the FBU firefighters' union, as both officials are heading a campaign to prevent Formby from being downgraded. Both are now back at work after firefighters at stations across the brigade voted to walk out.


Some 50 people attended a meeting in London last Saturday to launch the Association for the Tobin Tax for Aid to Citizens (ATTAC) in Britain. The tax, named after economist James Tobin, would be a levy on financial speculation. Katherin Matheison of War On Want addressed Saturday's meeting, as did a member of ATTAC from France. Across the Channel ATTAC has grown to some 70,000 members with 130 local groups in little over a year after it was launched by the left wing monthly paper Le Monde diplomatique. Most of those at Saturday's meeting were inspired by the Seattle protest against the World Trade Organisation. A series of further meetings is planned, including a joint conference with W

Victory at Connex — 'Bosses scared to show their faces'

"UNION railroads Connex." That was the headline in last Sunday's Observer newspaper. Drivers working for privatised rail company Connex have won a magnificent victory. One 24 hour strike by 1,500 train drivers left fat cat rail bosses reeling. Drivers, who belong to the ASLEF rail union, won their demands for a 35 hour week and 100 percent pension rights. Connex has also been forced to agree to recruit at least 60 new drivers. A driver from Battersea depot in south London told Socialist Worker, "Everyone stood together and we won. "All the managers who tried to bully and intimidate us are skulking around the mess room now. They're scared to show their faces."

Sky Chefs dispute ends — 'Proud of our fight'

"WE WERE right to stand and fight. I have no doubts about that. People stood together and that makes me proud." They were the words of one of the sacked Sky Chefs workers who last week decided to end their brave 14 month fight. The 270 catering workers at Heathrow Airport were sacked by air giant Lufthansa simply for taking part in a legal one day strike against huge attacks on their pay and conditions.

Student fees fight gains pace

Hundreds of students at the School of Oriental and African Studies, central London, took control of the college's finance and admin department for most of last week. They were fighting for students who have not paid their tuition fees. In doing so they highlighted a battle that is taking place inside every college in Britain. Students who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees, or who are refusing to pay on principle, face expulsion from college. "If we put up with this, we can say goodbye to working class students coming to this college," said Tam, one of the SOAS occupiers. "I'm a third year. I don't even pay fees. But I will leave college with £8,000 to £9,000 of debt. I get a m

Councils roundup

COUNCIL WORKERS in Wandsworth were set to strike against their Tory council on Wednesday in a fight to defend basic rights at work...

The voice of the struggle rings out from death row

IN JUST over four weeks time a US judge will begin considering whether radical black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal will be put to death or will be granted a retrial.

National Civil Rights Movement

THE SECOND conference of the National Civil Rights Movement took place in Sheffield last Saturday...

Boxing moguls out for blood

JACK Straw bowed down to the powerful figures who make a fortune out of boxing when he allowed Mike Tyson into Britain...

Keep up heat on fire chiefs

FIRE BRIGADE management in London is on the run. Last week it said it would lift the suspensions of 11 firefighters from Homerton, east London on two conditions...

Postal workers

POSTAL workers across Britain have begun a ballot on the "Way Forward" deal pushed by Royal Mail management and their CWU union leaders...

Healthy anger

THE ANGER in the health service over lack of funding and pay has been reflected in some very high Socialist Worker sales

London: now you can vote socialist

SOCIALISTS WILL be standing in the elections for the Greater London Assembly in May. The contest for London mayor has exposed deep seated resentment with Blair's Tory policies. Working people deserve ...


A WAVE of rent strikes across colleges in Cambridge University is continuing...

Why women still face oppression

HAVE WOMEN won equality with men? Certainly the government's Office for National Statistics gave the impression this week that women have.

Cold shoulder

THE FILM Summer of Sam has won black director Spike Lee praise from the critics and has played to packed audiences in London...


THE SOUTH American country of Ecuador was in turmoil this week after the president was toppled in a confused coup attempt amid mass protests by the poor. A recent wave of protests culminated in a...

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