Socialist Worker

London


MSF

13 November 1999
THE HABINTEG Housing Association, whose main office is in central London, has agreed in principle to recognise the MSF union as a negotiating body. This follows a recruitment drive in which 27 staff - 50 percent of the workforce - have joined the MSF over the last six months.

Help us raise £175,000

13 November 1999
SOCIALIST WORKER'S appeal burst through the £100,000 mark this week. Now the total has reached £114,448.51. The money we received included £365 raised from a walk by 50 people around London's East End through the sites of great working class struggles like the Match Girls' strike in 1888. A walking tour round Manchester raised £214.

Help us raise £175,000

06 November 1999
THE APPEAL total reached £98,048.27 at the beginning of this week. That does not include thousands of pounds which was pledged in sponsorship for dozens of fundraising events which took place on Sunday. Some 25 Socialist Worker readers cycled from Cambridge to London (60 miles!), raising over £2,000 in sponsorship.

Post

06 November 1999
POSTAL WORKERS at the giant Mount Pleasant office in central London are waiting to hear if their site is to lose 1,600 jobs. Royal Mail plans to shift most of Britain's international mail work to a new "greenfield" site at Langley near Slough in Berkshire. That would mean huge job losses at Mount Pleasant - and at Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Reading and Dover. The key date is 15 November when the Royal Mail board meets.

We haven't won equality. The fight has to continue

06 November 1999
"YOU CAN stick Loaded magazine up your arse!" "What do we want? Liberation!" That's what 600 students chanted as they marched for women's rights through the streets of east London on Wednesday of last week.

Gathering strength

06 November 1999
Sales of Socialist Worker outside workplaces are gathering strength. Last week in central London 14 were sold at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, 9 at Mount Pleasant post office and 5 at the Westminster site of the Jubilee Line Extension. In the north east 15 papers were sold at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary with £15 collected for the Socialist Worker Appeal and £11 at Sunderland Civic Centre where 11 was collected. In Manchester 16 papers were sold at the town hall, 12 at Oldham Road post office and 8 at the Marks and Spencer construction site. In Bristol sales included 11 at the Avonmouth Bridge site and 9 at the central telephone exchange, while on Merseyside 15 were sold at

Privatisation is the key divide

06 November 1999
"I FEEL ashamed to say that I'm a member of the London Labour Party. The shenanigans that are taking place to stop Ken from becoming mayor are a disgrace. This has nothing to do with democratic socialism. It is more like Stalin's Russia."

Solidarity & betrayal

30 October 1999
HUNDREDS OF Parcelforce workers struck unofficially for two days at the Canning Town site in east London last week. They won brilliant solidarity from other depots. But national union officials condemned their action. Then they narrowly persuaded a mass meeting to agree a return to work with very little gained from management. A CWU union member at Canning Town Parcelforce told Socialist Worker, "We have been shunted back to work when with a bit more support from the top we could have won."

Great strike revolts of 1888-9 : 'A small spark that kindled a great fire'

30 October 1999
IN THE summer of 1889 the London Evening News and Post reported on the huge strike wave then sweeping the capital. The Bryant and May match girls' strike a year earlier had been, it concluded, "the proverbial small spark" which had "kindled a great fire".

White collar part of working class

30 October 1999
WHEN I started work as a civil servant at the London Passport Office 18 years ago I made the terrible mistake of believing I was going up in the world. I arrived at work wearing my best suit. I got the shock of my life. Everyone else was wearing jeans. All I did all day was stamp passports. I was part of a clerical production line.

The real record of the GLC

30 October 1999
Tony Blair and his cronies are out to block Ken Livingstone from becoming London mayor. Only last week Neil Kinnock, former Labour Party leader, said: "When people get down to remembering Ken's real record as the man who brought about the destruction of the Greater London Council, the man who invented the London loony left, then they'll say we really don't want this guy to represent the greatest city in the world."

Outrage at Blair's mayor 'stitch up'

30 October 1999
"THE ELECTORAL college has nothing to do with democracy. It has everything to do with keeping Ken out." That is how one Labour MP, speaking to the Times newspaper, summed up Tony Blair's desperate attempt to block Ken Livingstone from becoming Labour's candidate for mayor of London. Even would be candidate Glenda Jackson, who was a government minister, complained that the selection procedure had the appearance of a "stitch up".

Police face new scandal

30 October 1999
THE POLICE Complaints Authority is to investigate eight officers who were called to investigate a racist attack on a black college lecturer but who then, allegedly, beat up the lecturer. Denese Mapp is a science lecturer at Haringey College in north London. She says she phoned the police after a man threatened her with a knife and shouted racist abuse at her family.

Time to back Ken Livingstone

30 October 1999
THE SHORTLIST of Labour candidates for London mayor will be announced in two weeks time on 16 November. Tony Blair wants Labour's candidate to be in place before Christmas.

Rail

30 October 1999
LONDON Underground workers on the Northern Line were celebrating a victory against management's attendance at work procedures this week. Members of the RMT union at Morden had balloted for strike action after driver Dave Emms was sacked for being ill. Management reinstated him the day before the result, which would have shown a big yes vote.

Challenge to New Labour

30 October 1999
THE BIGGEST region of Britain's biggest union, UNISON, has thrown its weight behind the socialist challenger to the union's current leadership. One of the delegates at the UNISON Greater London Regional Council spoke about why they decided overwhelmingly to back Roger Bannister's challenge to take over from general secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe after he steps down. She said, "The meeting showed a real mood against the union's leaders. "A statement opposing the union leaders' attacks on the recent lobby of the Labour Party was overwhelmingly passed. When Bannister spoke, he was applauded. Around 25 people got together at the end to organise around his campaign."

Drop the debt

30 October 1999
THE ANTI-debt Jubilee 2000 coalition has called a protest outside the Treasury in London for Thursday 11 November. The call has received an enthusiastic response from groups of students and more are set to discuss it in the days to come.

Sky Chefs

30 October 1999
THE SACKED Lufthansa Sky Chefs workers at Heathrow airport in west London are planning a number of events to mark the anniversary of their dispute. The workers have been fighting for their jobs for one year, after being ruthlessly sacked for taking part in a legal one day strike.

Harry Stanley

30 October 1999
"I'LL GO anywhere in the world to get this out in the open." Those are the words of Jim Stanley - brother of Harry Stanley, who was killed by police in east London.

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