Socialist Worker

Privatisation


Defend Council Housing

14 December 2002
HOUSING privatisation plans in Haringey, north London, have been blocked by tenants. A few weeks ago we found out that the council was about to use funds from the council's "ring-fenced homelessness budget" towards a £612,000 consultancy contract.

Postal workers

23 November 2002
OVER 3,000 postal workers were on the verge of strikes against privatisation as Socialist Worker went to press. Strikes will go ahead unless Royal Mail managers back off completely from their plan to hand the Cash Handling and Distribution (CHD) section over to Securicor. Talks between management and the CWU union were planned to take place this week. On a 67 percent turnout CHD members voted by a remarkable 95 percent for action. Immediately after the vote Royal Mail and Securicor announced they were dropping their original privatisation plan.

Anti-privatisation

16 November 2002
TRADE UNIONISTS and local activists in York have launched an anti-privatisation campaign called PFI Watch. This follows the decision of the New Labour council to push ahead with PFI projects in three York primary schools.

Arundhati Roy's The Algebra of Infinite Justice – demanding justice for the poor

16 November 2002
I could not put down the fantastic book by Arundhati Roy The Algebra of Infinite Justice. It is a collection of the main political essays she has written so far. The book includes new essays on Bush and Blair's "war on terror", the Hindu chauvinist BJP government in India, and the effects of privatisation on ordinary people.

Council housing

16 November 2002
THE GOVERNMENT is on the back foot over privatisation of council housing. Sheffield council has just announced it is officially calling off its transfer, and ministers now acknowledge that stock transfer will be rejected by tenants in most areas.

London councils

02 November 2002
SELECTIVE STRIKE action is continuing in boroughs across London as part of the campaign for £4,000 London weighting. At Tower Hamlets council, east London, pickets were out again throughout the week, blocking post deliveries at the two buildings where post is dealt with. The pickets were enlivened by petitioning and leafleting for the firefighters and for home care workers whose jobs are threatened by privatisation.

Public Sector Alliance

26 October 2002
WE ARE planning to hold a mass protest against privatisation in Newcastle on 2 November. We face radical proposals that will mean the wholesale privatisation of services in the city.

Post

26 October 2002
POSTAL WORKERS across Britain in the Cash Handling and Distribution (CHD) section start a strike ballot next week. The Post Office wants to sell CHD to Securicor, a full privatisation that will affect 3,000 workers.

Turn postal workers ballot into action

19 October 2002
POSTAL WORKERS across Britain will soon start a strike ballot over their bosses' plans to privatise the Cash Handling and Distribution (CHD) section. The Post Office wants to sell CHD to Securicor, a full privatisation that will affect 3,000 workers.

Socialist Alliance conference on the euro

19 October 2002
AROUND 350 people attended the Socialist Alliance conference on the euro last Saturday. There were four different motions put to the conference. Most of the speakers in the debate agreed that the euro project was not about a convenient currency but was about making privatisation and attacks on workers easier.

Newcastle demonstration against privatisation

19 October 2002
A MAJOR demonstration and rally are planned in Newcastle upon Tyne in suppport of public services and against privatisation. GMB union general secretary John Edmonds and CWU union general secretary Billy Hayes are among the speakers.

WTO demands privatisation in Britain

19 October 2002
THE WORLD Trade Organisation (WTO) is demanding that Britain and British firms embark on wholesale privatisation of public services, government documents revealed this week. They revealed that Britain faces WTO demands to "remove all establishment restrictions on hospital and social services, rest, convalescent and old people's homes".

Companies expect to make £900 million from London's tube infrastructure

19 October 2002
THE COMPANIES due to take over the infrastructure of London's tube under the government's PPP privatisation scheme expect to get a 500 percent return on their investment. The figure comes from a study by the Labour Research Department.

Will privatisation put the lights out?

19 October 2002
MILLIONS OF people in north west England and East Anglia this week faced worry and uncertainty over their electricity supply. An enormous crisis is sweeping Britain's power generating industry, with power stations already being shut and warnings that worse could be to come. Millions across Britain could face the kind of power cuts which hit California in the US two years ago.

An attack on every low paid worker

12 October 2002
TONY BLAIR last week declared war on workers fighting for better pay. He laid into tube workers for daring to be in the forefront of a growing revolt over pay and for standing up to a management that is hell-bent on privatisation. On the same day, he said the pay claim put forward by firefighters and emergency fire control operators was "unrealistic" and would "damage the economy".

Unions lead resistance to privatisation

12 October 2002
HUNDREDS OF thousands of workers went on strike across South Africa against the policies of the ANC government last week. Bosses and the government claimed the strike was a flop but the Cosatu union federation, which called the action, disputed their figures. Cosatu leaders said that up to 60 percent of their members had taken part in the strike.

Post revolt against new privatisation

05 October 2002
STRIKES ARE back in the Post Office. The anger against management last week burst through the union leaders' efforts to hold it back. A quarter of the Post Office's cash handling network was closed by unofficial walkouts at the beginning of last week as CWU union members reacted angrily to a management briefing.

Delegates tell Blair, 'You're wrong on PFI'

05 October 2002
LABOUR conference delegates inflicted a serious defeat on Tony Blair's privatisation policies on Monday. By a vote of 67 percent to 33 percent they called for an independent review of the use of private finance in public services - the government's PFI and PPP schemes.

Post

21 September 2002
The postal executive of the Communication Workers Union has narrowly voted in favour of a deal to end the dispute over the privatisation of the Romec cleaning and maintenance section of the Post Office. After a long debate the executive voted by ten votes to six to accept management's offer. The minority who wanted to throw out the deal and push hard for action against the joint venture were absolutely right.

'We have been betrayed'

14 September 2002
WESTMINSTER Unison members are very angry and hurt by the decision by our union, both regionally and nationally, to instruct us to return to work. Union leaders called the return to work after a seven-week strike by nearly 300 Unison members against Westminster Tory council's plans for wholesale privatisation of services. This decision came after the council initiated legal action against the strike, using the anti trade union laws. But if the national and regional union had followed the strategy of the local branch, this legal action would not have happened.

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