Socialist Worker

Manchester


Council workers

31 May 2003
AROUND 140 council manual workers, members of the TGWU and GMB unions, met on Wednesday of last week in central Manchester to discuss resistance to the imposition of new contracts by Manchester City Council. Hundreds of cleaners and "street scene" workers face new duties and the loss of weekend working pay enhancements.

Defend council housing

24 May 2003
COUNCIL TENANTS and trade unionists face major battles in the coming months as the government presses ahead with its plans to privatise council homes. Some 125,000 council homes are targeted in the coming year in 17 major councils for straightforward transfer to housing associations, dubbed Large Scale Voluntary Transfers, from Manchester and Hartlepool to Lambeth and Islington.

Recognising will to fight

24 May 2003
AMICUS MEMBERS at the Fujitsu Services site at West Gorton, Manchester, voted by two to one in an indicative ballot for action up to and including striking in support of their pay claim.

Anti-war

17 May 2003
OVER 400 people packed into Friends Meeting House in central Manchester on Friday of last week for a Stop the War Coalition rally on the occupation of Iraq.

Campaigners take on the BNP threat

03 May 2003
"WE HAVE to stop the British National Party, make people more aware about the threat they are, and do much more campaigning." Those were the words of Darlington council worker Margaret Clemence, who joined 2,000 trade unionists at last Saturday's demonstration in Manchester against racism.

Mobilising against Britain's Nazi party

26 April 2003
TRADE UNIONISTS and campaigners were set to march through central Manchester on Saturday in a united protest against racism. The demonstration and rally was called by the TUC and the Unison union, and backed by the Anti Nazi League. It is a recognition of the danger posed by the British National Party (BNP), which has been targeting the north west of England.

'We've got to hit companies hard'

19 April 2003
GUARDS ON three more train operating companies have voted to join the campaign of strike action by the RMT union to defend safety. That brought the total number of companies involved in a strike called for Thursday of this week to 12. Delegates to the RMT's train grades conference in Manchester last week applauded news of the three latest ballot results and discussed the importance of the whole dispute.

Guards strike to put safety first on the railways

29 March 2003
GUARDS IN the RMT rail workers' union on ten companies were set to strike for 24 hours on Friday of this week and Monday of next over safety. "It is the first effectively national strike we have had on the guards' side since privatisation," says Alex Holden, a guard and RMT safety rep in Manchester. "The fragmentation of the industry means we have had to have a series of synchronised ballots." The companies are:

Permanent protests

29 March 2003
THOUSANDS OF people who could not get to London last Saturday demonstrated in their own cities. Up to 2,500 protesters blocked roads in the centre of Bristol for the third day running while around 4,000 marched through Manchester. Some 1,000 protesters in Newcastle were physically blocked from marching by the police, and 1,000 demonstrated in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Norma Wilson

22 March 2003
IT IS with immense sorrow that we record the death of Norma Wilson, for many years a full-time organiser for CND in Manchester. Norma died after a long, courageous and cheerful battle against cancer. Many readers will have heard Norma speak at Marxism.

Around the movement

15 March 2003
"NO WAR! Blair out!" was the chant as thousands of protesters converged on Manchester city centre from three separate starting points on Saturday of last week. Some 15,000 people defied appalling weather to join the protests, which coincided with International Women's Day.

From the front line

01 March 2003
"THE GREATER Manchester Coalition to Stop the War is coordinating an antiwar demonstration on 8 March. This will involve three separate marches converging on the city centre. On the city centre stall on Saturday 5,000 leaflets and hundreds of posters were distributed.

More barriers to working class children

01 February 2003
VIRGINIE is at Parswood Technical College in Manchester. "I want to study medicine so the idea of top-up fees really worries me. After three years you could have £20,000 of debt, but I might be at college for four, five or six years. I could be in debt for the rest of my life. I knew it would be hard just to live for three years at university-now it is worse, because it's not just living expenses but fees as well.

Media have ignored Algeria's suffering

25 January 2003
THE MEDIA have whipped up hysteria against refugees from Algeria after last week's killing of a police officer in Manchester. They paint a picture that those coming here from the North African country are all potential killers, linked to a dangerous network of Islamist terrorists. This is racist nonsense. And the real reasons people are fleeing Algeria are rarely even discussed.

Why we welcome refugees

25 January 2003
THE MOST right wing and privileged forces in society are trying to create hysteria over people fleeing persecution to come to this country. They are even trying to turn the death of a policeman in Manchester into a campaign against asylum seekers. The logic is barking. The fact that the three suspects arrested at the Manchester house had claimed asylum says nothing about the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers.

Defending refugees

18 January 2003
PROTESTERS AGAINST the government's brutal new laws on refugees took to the streets of London, Glasgow and Manchester last week.

Defending refugees

14 December 2002
ON THE anniversary of the declaration of Human Rights last Saturday, 100 asylum seekers and their supporters joined the annual "speak-out" in Manchester. Young asylum seekers read articles from the declaration, and through poems and songs, dance and drumming showed their strength of spirit. This government excludes many asylum seekers from even the most basic rights - a home, family life, work and refuge.

Love Music, Hate Racism

14 December 2002
AROUND 500 people came to a brilliant Love Music Hate Racism club night in Manchester last Saturday. "It was a fun and defiant event against all the racist and Nazi crap," said one clubber.

Talking about a 'world on fire'

14 December 2002
HEARTLESS CREW are one of the leading acts behind the Anti Nazi League's Love Music Hate Racism organisation. They played at the carnival in Manchester in September and at the London launch party on Friday last week.

Labour left conference

07 December 2002
SOME 80 people attended a conference in Manchester organised by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs on Saturday. The morning session was boosted by about 200 firefighters who turned up for what was billed as a rally in support of their strike.

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