Socialist Worker

Privatisation


A fiddle to sell homes

01 October 2001
TWO OF New Labour's flagship council home privatisation schemes were suddenly rescued last week when extra money appeared to ensure the sell-offs went ahead. The plans to hand all council homes in Glasgow and Birmingham to private housing companies are the two biggest in the country.

Royal London Hospital

29 September 2001
SOME 200 people joined a protest against threatened PFI privatisation at east London's giant Royal London Hospital on Wednesday of last week. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis addressed the rally against the proposed PFI scheme to redevelop the hospital.

In brief

29 September 2001
OVER 400 angry UNISON members met last week to plan a campaign against privatisation proposals in Nottinghamshire county council. The chief executive, who is about to take up the post of director general for schools in England, is pushing for over 600 jobs to be handed to a private company.

Sackings, privatisation no let up from their side

29 September 2001
"IT HAS been suggested that it is appropriate to hold back our anti-privatisation campaigning for the forseeable future, in the wake of events in the US. Such a move might make sense if the government itself was suspending the privatisation drive, but it is clearly doing no such thing.

Business as usual for Blair's plans

22 September 2001
TONY BLAIR has cynically taken advantage of last week's tragic attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon to try to squash opposition to his privatisation drive.

A taste of the Brighton demo

22 September 2001
"NO TO privatisation" chanted 200 trade unionists and campaigners as they demonstrated through the streets of Milton Keynes last Saturday. The march was called by local trade unionists in the post workers' CWU union and the GMB union and was joined by children, parents and teachers from the local Save Our Schools campaign.

Newcastle revolts

15 September 2001
PLANS FOR major strikes against privatisation were given a boost on Monday, when over 500 UNISON members in Newcastle City Council voted for action. This will now trigger a one-day strike, probably on Friday 28 September, which could see up to 9,000 workers out across the city. The workers balloted are mainly staff in information technology and street lighting departments of the Labour-run council.

Crunch time in the post

15 September 2001
THE CRUNCH is coming over privatisation in the Post Office. This week the postal regulator, PostComm, was expected to announce that it was awarding licences to private company Hays DX for mail collection and delivery. Hays wants to operate in the business districts of London, Edinburgh and Manchester, cherry-picking mail that is easy to move.

NHS

15 September 2001
SOME 230 people demonstrated in Hereford on Saturday against the impact of a PFI scheme on the Hereford Hospitals Trust. Over half the protesters were health workers. "This is supposed to be Middle England," one told Socialist Worker. "But we are protesting because jobs and services are under threat due to privatisation.

In lethal company

15 September 2001
SOME PRIVATE companies working most closely with New Labour to privatise public services have found themselves in the dock recently. Carillion (formerly called Tarmac) is a leading business backer of New Labour. It gives money to the New Local Government Network. Carillion's staff have been seconded to government departments to "advise" on privatisation.

NHS privatisation

15 September 2001
TONY BLAIR claims the government will protect the jobs and conditions of workers in PFI privatisation schemes. He should tell that to the health workers at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. They are to be axed even before the flagship PFI hospital opens.

Join us to back council housing

11 August 2001
"THE GOVERNMENT is determinedly pushing the privatisation of 328,000 homes. It has assembled a taskforce to help overcome tenants' opposition. "Arms Length Companies" are being reworked as an "alternative" which in reality will neatly package our homes ready for a second wave of privatisation. The housing association lobby increasingly echoes the demands of the big lenders and bankers. "Businesslike'' housing associations are failing to house the vulnerable and homeless. Paid board members will displace tenants, and encourage mergers and rationalisation. Housing association chief executives' salaries and payoffs soar into six figures. By introducing "market forces" into counci

Bosses fear we can sink privatisation

11 August 2001
PROTESTS COULD "kill off" the government's Private Finance Initiative (PFI). That is the fear of John Gains, chief executive of construction firm John Mowlem. The giant firm is a key player in PFI projects in hospitals, schools, councils and transport around Britain.

'I'm leaving Labour after 26 years'

10 March 2001
Socialist Worker spoke to some of the people on last Saturday's demonstration against privatisation in Birmingham about why they're supporting the Socialist Alliance. STEVE GODWARD is the divisional secretary of the West Midlands Fire Brigades Union:

'Sold down the river to make businessmen richer'

10 March 2001
Around 1,000 people marched through Birmingham last Saturday to demand an end to privatisation of public services. There were 36 banners on the march including the local RAGE campaign against the closure of elderly people's homes, Defend Council Housing, the regional FBU and UCATT union banners, and several from local Socialist Alliance groups.

Rage against privatisation

03 March 2001
"I call on everyone to attend this Saturday's march and rally in Birmingham. We can make a difference." That statement comes from Steve Godward, the divisional secretary of West Midlands Fire Brigades Union, urging support for the anti-privatisation demonstration in Birmingham.

Now you can hit back at Tory Blair

03 March 2001
The Socialist Alliance launched its general election campaign this week. People across Britain now have the chance to say a resounding no to Tony Blair's pro-market, pro-privatisation policies, and to vote for a socialist alternative.

Rob Dawber

03 March 2001
Trade unionists and socialists in Sheffield will be sad to learn of the death of Rob Dawber. Rob was an active socialist and trade unionist since the mid-1970s. Rob was local RMT branch secretary at the time of rail privatisation. He and thousands of track workers were made redundant. Rob turned his hand to film writing and wrote a prophetic script about the effects of privatisation on rail safety.

Fight the sell-off of our services

24 February 2001
A swathe of privatisation proposals across the West Midlands have united anti-privatisation campaigners in a determined battle. Dudley Group of Hospitals is at the centre of the plans. Health workers are now on strike to fight the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme that means axing staff, privatising jobs and slashing beds.

Meeting sends out clear signal

24 February 2001
A meeting called by the Fire Brigades Union in north London to oppose privatisation and support tube workers showed the potential for solidarity with the fight to stop the tube sell-off. Some 120 people came to the meeting in Islington on Thursday of last week. There were groups of firefighters, post office workers, tube drivers and station staff, teachers, council workers and others.

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