Socialist Worker

Privatisation


Anti-privatisation festival

07 September 2002
"ANOTHER WORLD is possible" was the feeling in the air last Saturday as a festival against privatisation, racism and war gathered on the grassy slopes by the sea in Whitstable, Kent. Hundreds came to listen to music from local bands and performers.

Bosses threaten strike with anti-union laws

07 September 2002
TORY-CONTROLLED Westminster council has thrown down a major challenge to the Unison public sector workers' union. It was trying to use anti-union laws, introduced by Margaret Thatcher's Tory governments but kept by New Labour, to stop our strike action against privatisation.

Crucial fight to stop privatisation

07 September 2002
CAMPAIGNERS in east London have stepped up their fight to defend trade union rights and to stop a massive privatisation scheme. Over 40 people met on Thursday of last week to plan the campaign for the full reinstatement of Unison branch secretary Phil Billows (pictured right) at the Barts and Royal London NHS Trust.

Anger rising across unions

31 August 2002
THE MEDIA has begun to talk about strikes again for the first time in almost a decade. This is because pressure is growing among groups of workers for action over pay, privatisation and other issues.

The summit will not help world's poor

31 August 2002
"WE ARE inspired by Seattle and Genoa, and we hope our protest turns into something like Seattle." That's how South Africa's Anti-Privatisation Forum summed up its aim and hope for the mass protest it planned at the Earth Summit on Saturday. The forum is an umbrella group uniting a wide range of people campaigning for social justice.

'We beat giants of privatisation'

24 August 2002
HUNDREDS OF health workers packed into a social club in the East End of Glasgow last Friday evening. The celebration had been organised to mark a stunning victory. Over 300 health workers at the city's Glasgow Royal Infirmary took on the multinational firm Sodexho, which runs support services at the hospital, and won.

London Underground

17 August 2002
TUBE WORKERS are to hold a swift ballot for strike action over pay after management broke off talks and imposed a settlement. The move comes as the government presses ahead with its PPP privatisation scheme and follows a highly effective one-day strike by RMT union members on the tube over safety last month.

Is it a crime to fight for services?

17 August 2002
A POLITICAL show trial of 87 people began in Johannesburg this week. The accused face serious charges arising from demonstrations against privatisation and for the right to basic services.

Ministers plan to use scabs to break strikes

17 August 2002
NEW LABOUR is preparing a scab force to try to break strikes planned in the public sector in the next two months. It has drawn up secret plans against firefighters and postal workers who are fighting for decent pay and against privatisation. Ministers have agreed that the private firm Deya, which delivers Yellow Pages, could handle mail like utility bills during a post strike.

Back this strike against council's privatising plans

17 August 2002
MORE WORKERS are joining the ongoing strike against privatisation at Westminster council in central London. Around 250 workers are now striking against the council's privatisation plans. The Tory-run council plans to privatise up to 80 percent of services. But the workforce is making a stand.

Chance to stamp on sell-off

10 August 2002
PRESSURE FROM below has pushed the leaders of the Communication Workers Union to call a strike ballot over the privatisation of Romec, the Post Office's cleaning and buildings maintenance section. In just over two weeks time, on 27 August, all 180,000 postal workers will begin a strike vote.

International solidarity

10 August 2002
PROTESTERS will gather outside the South African embassy on Thursday next week in solidarity with 87 anti-privatisation activists from the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee. The 87, including renowned militant Trevor Ngwane, will be hauled before a court in Johannesburg on that day.

More sections join walkout

10 August 2002
"WE'RE FIGHTING to save our jobs, save our pensions and to not be privatised." That is how Nicky, a striker and Unison union member at Tory-controlled Westminster council, central London, summed up the battle to stop the wholesale privatisation of services. Nicky, along with 76 other members of the parking department at the council, has been out on strike for three weeks.

Sign up for anti-capitalism in Florence

10 August 2002
THE RIGHT wing axis of Blair, Berlusconi and Aznar has united to drive privatisation policies through Europe. Now Blair hopes to turn their axis into one that backs the US war. Even Germany's leader Gerhard Schršder has come out against the war on Iraq. These two issues, war and privatisation, are at the centre of the European Social Forum which is being held in Florence, Italy, in November.

Come to the European Social Forum and 'Join the call for a new society'

03 August 2002
A mass Europe-wide movement against privatisation and war is set to be launched in November. Tens of thousands of trade unionists and activists are preparing to gather at the European Social Forum (ESF) in Florence, Italy, to plan resistance. Many different groups are supporting the event.

Can the left reclaim the Labour Party?

03 August 2002
SIX MONTHS ago left wingers like Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn MP looked very lonely figures in the Labour Party. They were barely tolerated by the leadership as quaint reminders of a long-gone era when people thought capitalism could actually be done away with and privatisation was a swear word.

London tube walkout is a striking success

27 July 2002
A HUGELY successful strike by London's tube workers last week has shown they have the power to stop New Labour's crazy PPP privatisation scheme. Members of the RMT union struck for 24 hours from 8pm on Wednesday. The same day hundreds of thousands of council workers walked out. The strike hit London Underground management hard.

All out against privatisation in Westminster

27 July 2002
WESTMINSTER council workers began an all-out strike on Monday against a major privatisation plan by their Tory council. The strike in the London council began with 77 workers in the Parking and Highways Licensing Departments striking and staging lively pickets. At least three people joined the Unison union on the picket lines in order to take part in the strike.

Councils

20 July 2002
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.

In brief

13 July 2002
Hackney bins the profiteers HACKNEY LABOUR council in east London has carried out a humiliating U-turn over privatisation. It has announced it is taking the bins and street cleaning service back into council control. Serviceteam, the private firm that ran the services for the last 18 months, made up to £9 million "excess profit" from the cash-strapped council. While the privateers cashed in, crucial services have been shut down because the council has "no money".

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