Socialist Worker

Privatisation


Sertuc

27 March 2002
Some 180 trade unionists attended a conference on Saturday called by the South East Region of the TUC (Sertuc) in London in defence of public services. There was not only unanimous condemnation of privatisation but also a strong feeling that unions should be coordinating action to stop it.

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.

Postal workers must slay monster of privatisation

16 March 2002
POSTAL WORKERS in the CWU union will take to the streets in London on Saturday to say no to privatisation. Postcomm, the postal regulator appointed by government, has proposed that private firms should be allowed to grab almost half the mail in Britain from April.

Free our unions to fund socialists

16 March 2002
Why should we continue to fund those who support privatisation? Hundreds of trade unionists will be debating this question on Saturday at what promises to be one of the biggest rank and file trade union conferences for years.

Privatisation's original sin

16 March 2002
Revelations about Gateshead's Emmanuel College shows where school privatisation leads. The college has been teaching fundamentalist Christian creationism and undermining the scientific teaching of biology. It hosted a conference on creationism last week, and senior staff have given lectures urging teachers to promote creationism instead of evolution.

National march to save Post Office

09 March 2002
Postal Workers will hold a national demonstration in a week's time. Thousands will march through London protesting at plans to hand over the mail to private firms. This is a great chance to take the anger against privatisation and the rundown of public services onto the streets.

'Rail workers are hitting back now'

09 March 2002
Over 2,000 rail workers brought services across the north of England and Scotland to a halt last week as they struck over pay. "This is a demonstration of the power of rail workers to hit back, not least over privatisation," one picket in the RMT union in Newcastle told Socialist Worker.

Victory for the Korean strikers

09 March 2002
A major battle against privatisation in South Korea was continuing this week after rail workers won major concessions and the government threatened a crackdown on striking power workers.

Lib Dems for privatisation

09 March 2002
The Liberal Democrats are turning to the right. A policy review pushed by leader Charles Kennedy is set to recommend more use of PFI schemes and private firms to run schools and hospitals. It says PFI is helpful for bringing "more private sector management know-how into public service provision".

Anti-privatisation

02 March 2002
Over 150 trade union activists marched through driving snow and winds to lobby the Scottish Labour Party conference in Perth last Saturday. Some coaches were prevented from attending due to the snowfalls. John McAllion, the Labour MSP, spoke at a rally against privatisation after the lobby.

Now battle to turn votes into strikes

02 March 2002
The mood for strikes is back. One group of workers after another are voting for action over pay, the impact of privatisation, aggressive managers and New Labour's insults. But they also face pressure from many of their own union leaders to hold back from battle. Rail workers on Arriva Northern were set to strike over pay for 48 hours on Friday and Saturday of this week.

Defend council housing

02 March 2002
The close vote on privatisation at the Scottish Labour Party conference last weekend underlined the depths of opposition to policies like handing council homes to private companies. The vote came just after a significant minority of the ruling Labour group of councillors in Glasgow voted against the plan to go ahead with a ballot on privatising the city's more than 80,000 council homes.

Defend council housing

23 February 2002
The campaign to stop the privatisation of over 80,000 council homes in Glasgow is shifting into top gear, with tenants due to start voting in just over a week's time.

Glasgow & Tower Hamlets

09 February 2002
The Scottish Executive announced last week that it is to give £300 million of public money to shore up the plan to privatise Glasgow's council homes. New Labour is prepared to throw still more public money in to push the privatisation through in a tenants' ballot due to get under way in March. Glasgow is just one of the major privatisation plans coming to a head.

This is end of the truce

09 February 2002
The rows at Labour's spring conference in Cardiff last weekend signal the end of the truce between the government and certain union leaders that has existed since 11 September. Remember the morning of that day? Delegates were gathering at the Trades Union Congress and preparing for a huge battle over public services. Tony Blair was to speak, and union leaders were lined up to condemn privatisation and savage the government's priorities.

The dodgy accounts of PFI

09 February 2002
Tony Blair is relying on disgraced accountants Arthur Andersen and similar companies to push through privatisation schemes. Andersen did auditing and consultancy work for Enron, the bankrupt energy giant. It shredded documents showing how Enron hid its losses to appear to be making a profit.

New Labour: 'WRECKERS'

09 February 2002
Three pillar boxes on each street corner (and each one owned by a different company under crazy plan to sell off the Post Office) New Labour is poised to drive through Post Office privatisation in just seven weeks time. The government's regulator announced last week that it wants to see the Post Office (Consignia) totally sold off. This is the privatisation from hell, the maddest of the mad. It offers the crazy prospect of competing pillar boxes on street corners. Even Margaret Thatcher shied away from it.

Colombian occupation in defiance of privatisation

02 February 2002
"The Colombian city of Santiago de Cali ground to a halt. Traffic jams could be seen in every direction. Workers, the local communities and supporters filled the city's streets to rally in support of the occupation".

Millionaire out to kick the low paid

02 February 2002
BRIAN SOUTER-multimillionaire boss of South West Trains and union buster. He is the enemy of everyone who wants a decent public transport system. Souter owns Stagecoach, which runs South West Trains. He built his transport empire by exploiting the chaos of the Tories' rail and bus privatisation. He drove other rival bus firms off the road to gain a dominant position in the bus industry.

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