"THIS COULD lead to the biggest pensions rip-off in history." That was the reaction last week of GMB union leader John Edmonds to the report on pensions prepared for the government by Alan Pickering. It says workers will face either a cut in pension income or benefits or both unless they pour even more of their wages into company schemes. Pickering says this move is justified because such benefits are "bells and whistles".
JOURNALISTS AT the Rotherham Advertiser are the latest to vote for a strike ballot over pay. The NUJ union members decided to ballot after rejecting a 2.3 percent offer. The Liverpool Post and Echo Weekly group is meeting this week to decide whether to hold a strike ballot.
"I AM 51 and a GMB union shop steward in Manchester. I work on the Benchill estate in Wythenshawe as a family service worker. My job involves working with and helping people, teaching basic parenting skills, helping their children get access to services, and so on. I'm based in a childcare centre with places for 50 children.
WORKERS AT West Ferry printers in east London were in a confident mood this week after winning a 2 percent pay increase. The giant plant prints a large section of Britain's national newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times, Express and more.
THOUSANDS OF anti-capitalists, socialists and trade unionists from Britain and across the world gathered in central London last week for Marxism 2002. Marxism is an annual event hosted by the Socialist Workers Party. It includes a wide variety of meetings and speakers discussing the alternative to capitalism and the kind of movement we need.
UNISON MEMBERS working for London's Westminster council are set to start strikes next week over privatisation, attacks on their pensions and working conditions. The action is due to start with 77 workers in the parking and highways licensing departments coming out.
A MEETING of 50 activists from the lecturers' union Natfhe has agreed significant steps to coordinate resistance across colleges and universities. The annual general meeting of the Natfhe Rank and File group was the largest for many years.
THE HEAD of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sensationally admitted last week that international bankers had forced a desperately poor African country to sell grain just as a famine began. They demanded that the life-saving grain was sold in order to repay debts.
THE DEBATE at a Tower Hamlets council meeting in east London last week took an unusual turn. Campaigners took advantage of a little used procedure to table a motion calling for the council to officially "twin" with the Palestinian town of Jenin.
AROUND 100 people attended an excellent meeting called by a Cambridge peace group which took place last Friday night. The meeting, entitled "Middle East crisis-what should Britain do?", was addressed by George Galloway MP and Cambridge academic Dominic Jenkin.