Socialist Worker

Privatisation


Safety the victim in contract chaos

18 May 2002
RAIL PRIVATISATION has led to a catastrophic collapse in safety standards. Nowhere is this clearer than in the maintenance of the infrastructure-track, signalling, tunnels, bridges, and so on. There were wholesale sackings of experienced rail workers in the run-up to privatisation in 1996.

New PFI pilots get booted out

11 May 2002
HEALTH WORKERS last week ripped a hole in the government's strategy to force Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes through in the NHS. The government's plans for the NHS, including those announced in last month's budget, are based on a massive increase in PFI privatisation projects across the health service.

A day of international solidarity and socialism

11 May 2002
EDINBURGH: 1,000 people marched for international solidarity and socialism through the streets of Edinburgh to a rally in Princes Street Gardens on Saturday. Palestinian flags flew among trade union and socialist banners as the chants rang out against privatisation and for freedom for Palestine.

Sell-off story

11 May 2002
THE FILM The Navigators by socialist film director Ken Loach has just been released on video. It was written by a former rail worker, and exposes the impact of privatisation on the lives of rail workers. Some workers take a gamble by opting for redundancy money and life as casual workers.

Council housing

04 May 2002
A SECOND group of council tenants have rejected north London's Haringey council's plans for the privatisation of their homes. Some 86 of the 105 tenants on the Leven Drive estate in Waltham Cross took part in the ballot. The result was 57 against and 29 for the transfer to the Aldwyck Housing Association.

A real focus for people's anger

04 May 2002
THERE WERE some results the media totally ignored—the significant votes for socialist candidates offering an alternative to the pro-privatisation, pro-business policies of all the mainstream parties.

Post

27 April 2002
POSTAL WORKERS' union leaders were poised this week to call national strikes. The action will officially be over pay and conditions. But it will also focus the bitter anger against job losses, speed-up, harder working and privatisation. Delivery, sorting and driving workers voted overwhelmingly for national strikes over pay nearly three months ago.

Fill London's streets in protest on 1 May

27 April 2002
A CARNIVAL of resistance to privatisation and war is set to take place on Wednesday of next week. That is the 1 May march through the streets of central London. The campaign to "Make May Day our day" has been taken up by thousands of trade unionists, anti-capitalists and anti-war campaigners.

United in struggle

27 April 2002
SOCIALISTS argue for people to break with the Labour Party. Yet at the same time they spend a lot of time seeking to work alongside Labour Party members. Why should we campaign with Labour Party MPs and councillors to defend council housing when it is the Labour Party that is attempting to push through privatisation?

Postal workers

20 April 2002
POSTAL workers should demand action after the latest privatisation move. Post Office bosses announced this week they are continuing with plans to outsource the Romec engineering arm in a £1 billion deal. Work will be transferred to a joint venture with construction giant Balfour Beatty. Romec employs 5,000 people.

How council tenants beat New Labour in Birmingham

20 April 2002
BIRMINGHAM tenants delivered a body blow last weekend to the government's plans to destroy council housing. The two to one vote against privatisation shows New Labour's bullying can be beaten. Tenants were promised investment in their homes if they voted for transfer to a private housing association.

UNITED ON MAY DAY

20 April 2002
IF YOU want to protest against privatisation and war, be on the streets of London on Wednesday 1 May. May Day protests will unite trade unionists and anti-capitalists with the anti-war movement that has mobilised thousands on huge demos.

Birmingham tenants vote to reject New Labour's council housing privatisation

13 April 2002
GOVERNMENT MINISTERS were "stunned" and their housing policy was "hurled off course" this week when Birmingham tenants voted by 67 percent to 33 percent against housing privatisation. This was a key test case for New Labour's policy of destroying council housing. The vote shows how the gut feeling that people have against privatisation can be mobilised and focused by a strong campaign.

'Turn May Day into our day' – unite resistance to privatisation and war

13 April 2002
A call has gone out to trade unionists to "Make May Day our day". The appeal is from former Labour MP Tony Benn, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. It slams New Labour's privatisation plans and anti trade union laws. It also points out how the government's war plans against Iraq are opposed by the majority of the population.

Gordon Brown gloats over his budget for the bosses

06 April 2002
"The Labour Party is more pro-business, pro wealth creation and pro-competition than ever before." That was chancellor Gordon Brown's shocking description last week of what he and Tony Blair have turned the Labour Party into. Brown was trying to reassure big business that the government would continue to look after their interests, despite widespread opposition to New Labour's embrace of privatisation.

Postal workers: it's time to act, not just mouth

06 April 2002
Every day that passes increases the urgency of a fightback against job cuts and privatisation in the Post Office.

Vote Socialist Alliance

06 April 2002
People across England will have a chance to say a resounding no to Tony Blair's pro-privatisation and pro-war policies at the local elections on 2 May. Hundreds of Socialist Alliance candidates are standing. They say, "Put people before profit," and want to take on the pro-business consensus accepted by the three major parties.

NUT conference: teachers back call for protest against privatisation

06 April 2002
Pressure for a united demonstration by public service workers against the government's privatisation drive is mounting. Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference voted last weekend to back a national anti-privatisation demonstration. That comes after the call for such a protest by Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. Other public sector workers now have a chance to press their unions to take up the call.

Bring movement to streets on May Day

27 March 2002
This year's May Day looks set to offer anti-war and anti-privatisation activists across Britain a chance to take to the streets. The Greater London Trades Union Congress organises a march in London every year. Now trade unions have joined forces with Globalise Resistance to unite the labour movement and anti-capitalist activists.

Blair's gang wants this regime for all workers

27 March 2002
Tony Blair has formed an unholy alliance with the two most right wing leaders in Europe to drive through an assault on workers' rights across Europe. Blair's friends-Spain's leader Jose Maria Aznar and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi – want to push through privatisation, deregulation, more flexibility and attacks on trade unions.

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