Socialist Worker

Privatisation


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.

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.

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".

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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