Socialist Worker


Winning wider solidarity

30 November 2002
WORKERS IN the Amicus-AEEU union working at the press and paintline section members at Raven Manufacturing near Burnley have now entered their ninth week of selective strike action for a 3 percent pay claim.

Simpson's touring success

30 November 2002
I TOOK part in a two-day tour of aerospace factories two weeks ago with Derek Simpson, who defeated Sir Ken Jackson to become general secretary of the AEEU section of the Amicus union.

Unity can end low weighting

23 November 2002
THE FIRST joint strike in higher education in the London area was held on Thursday of last week. Two unions, the AUT and Natfhe, represent lecturers in the old universities and the "new" universities (ex polytechnics). They joined with members of two other unions representing support staff, Unison and Amicus, to strike for an increase in the London weighting allowance. The demand is for £4,000 a year.

Raven Manufacturing

23 November 2002
WORKERS FROM the Amicus-AEEU press and paintline section at Raven Manufacturing on Altham Industrial Estate near Burnley remain defiant as they enter their eighth week of strike action. They are fighting for a 3 percent pay claim.

Union with the unions?

16 November 2002
THOUSANDS OF trade unionists came to the European Social Forum. Their numbers reflected the rise in workers' struggle in much of Europe. There were members of many British unions present, including the CWU, RMT, Amicus, Unison, PCS, NUJ, Natfhe, Prospect, NUT and TGWU. There were more than 2,000 people at just one of the meetings on trade union struggles.

Union leaders and the rank and file

16 November 2002
"YOU CAN'T get elected if you're a Blairite." That comment about the swathe of left union leaders who have been elected recently came from John Edmonds, outgoing general secretary of the GMB union. It's a breath of fresh air to see left wing leaders replace the likes of Sir Ken Jackson in the AEEU-Amicus union. They have been dubbed the "awkward squad".


26 October 2002
AMICUS UNION members at Raven Manufacturing near Burnley struck over pay for the fourth Monday in a row this week. Their original claim was for 3 percent and a catch-up rise for low paid assembly line workers, with a shift allowance, sick pay and a pension scheme. Striking press and paintline workers are furious about the management's offer of 1.5 percent, putting them on just £5.80 an hour.

Engineering a fight for pay

12 October 2002
THE PRESS and Paintline section at Raven Manufacturing on the Altham Industrial Estate near Burnley are striking over pay. The 20 Amicus-AEEU members have been offered only 1.5 percent after a previous 18 month deal of only 2.5 percent. They are on a one-day strike every Monday.


05 October 2002
THE SHOCKWAVES created by Derek Simpson's victory in the AEEU-Amicus elections continue. Defeated right wing leader Ken Jackson has fallen out with his former supporter Roger Maskell.

Massey Ferguson

07 September 2002
WORKERS AT the Massey Ferguson tractor plant in Coventry have voted by four to one in favour of strike action to stop the closure of the plant. Members of both trade unions at the plant, the TGWU and Amicus-AEEU, have voted by four to one in favour of action.

The unthinkable has happened

27 July 2002
SIR KEN Jackson's humiliation at the hands of little known left winger Derek Simpson has sent shockwaves through the political establishment. Simpson beat Jackson, the present general secretary, in the Amicus-AEEU union election.

The week that politics changed

27 July 2002
"A DEFINING moment in the history of the labour movement." That is how the bosses' Financial Times described the shock defeat of Tony Blair's closest trade union ally, Sir Ken Jackson of Amicus. Jackson was finally forced to concede victory to his left wing opponent Derek Simpson last week.

A wall comes crashing down

27 July 2002
A GREAT crash shook the British labour movement last week-one that sounded almost like the fall of the Berlin Wall back in November 1989. Derek Simpson's election as general secretary of the engineering and electrical section of the giant Amicus union is more than the latest in a series of left wing union victories.

Earthquake hits Blair's union boss

20 July 2002
THE FUTURE of Tony Blair's favourite union general secretary hung in the balance this week. On the first count of votes Sir Ken Jackson was in front of the left challenger, Derek Simpson, by 89,300 to 88,500 for the leadership of the giant Amicus engineering, electrical and manufacturing union. But a recount then put Derek Simpson ahead. Further recounts were taking place as Socialist Worker went to press.

Tip right upside down

06 July 2002
SUPPORT FOR the left wing candidate in the AEEU-Amicus union leadership election is growing as the contest enters its last week. The ballot ends on Friday of next week. Derek Simpson is the left wing challenger to Ken Jackson. His challenge has already provoked an alarmed response from New Labour.


29 June 2002
SUPPORTERS of Derek Simpson, the left challenger for the leadership of the AEEU section of the Amicus union, have campaigned vigorously this week. The ballot for the AEEU leadership started on Monday of this week, and closes on 12 July.

Blair's man in unions faces left challenge

22 June 2002
AN ELECTION begins on Monday whose result is important for every trade unionist in Britain. The vote is for the leader of one of Britain's key unions. And at stake is the fate of Tony Blair's key ally in the trade union movement. Over 700,000 members of the AEEU section of the Amicus union are voting for their general secretary.

Campaign for change

15 June 2002
DEREK SIMPSON, the left challenger to Sir Ken Jackson in the election for AEEU union leader, spoke to over 70 delegates at a fringe meeting before the start of MSF conference. "Whoever wins the election will be the general secretary of the whole Amicus union," he said.

"We should be making a noise for our issues"

15 June 2002
A KEY New Labour policy was roundly attacked at the conference of the MSF section of the Amicus union that began in Blackpool last weekend. Amicus is Britain's second biggest union. It was created this year after the merger of the MSF and AEEU unions.

Seize this chance to dump the right

08 June 2002
THE ELECTION for the leadership of Britain's second biggest union will start in less than three weeks. There is a fierce battle for the leadership of the AEEU section of the million-strong Amicus union. It was created this year after the AEEU merged with the MSF union.

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