Socialist Worker

Birmingham


22 May 2004
WORKERS AT EURO Packaging in Birmingham began a three-day strike on Tuesday this week. This follows their first strike two weeks ago. Workers at the plastic bag factory are demanding a cut in working hours, union recognition, the reinstatement of those unfairly sacked, and the removal of the threat of further redundancies.

Workers in battle to win dignity

15 May 2004
\"THEY TREAT us like slaves. It is almost criminal.\" Those were the words of one striking worker at the Euro Packaging factory in Highgate, Birmingham. In the first week of a 48-hour walkout and overtime ban, expected to last for the next eight weeks, up to 200 workers walked out over poor pay, working conditions and threatened redundancies.

Our choc pay shock

08 May 2004
TEN WOMEN workers at Cadbury World are threatening to strike in a dispute which could see pickets on the gates of the Birmingham tourist attraction. The workers run one of the shops at Cadbury World and were horrified to discover that they are paid £2 an hour less than men who work at the shop across the road from them. Cadbury has ignored the problem for two years.

Follow this campaign plan

01 May 2004
AS OPPOSITION mounts to the presence of troops in Iraq last Saturday's national council of the Stop the War Coalition decided to focus campaigning energies on opposing the continuing occupation. Some 65 representatives from local groups, who met in Birmingham, decided the following:

Respect campaign hits the headlines

01 May 2004
RESPECT CAMPAIGNERS in the West Midlands are having a big impact in the local media. They have shown Respect supporters everywhere how to get the message across. The Birmingham Post is the city's daily morning newspaper. The paper was forced to publish a letter by two leading Respect candidates in the West Midlands, John Rees and Salma Yaqoob, on Thursday of last week.

French Führer is not welcome here

24 April 2004
THE FRENCH Nazi leader Le Pen was due to come to Birmingham on Sunday. The leader of the National Front organisation announced on his website this week that he was planning an \"official visit\" in England on Sunday. He was likely to be speaking at an £80 a head fundraising dinner for the British National Party (BNP) in the West Midlands.

War anger fuels mood to demand Respect

17 April 2004
IN BIRMINGHAM, thousands of copies of the \"Bliar! Bliar! Iraq's on fire\" Respect postcard were given out in the city centre. \"The response was brilliant. People took handfuls of the cards away with them and left their names to get involved in Respect,\" says Ian, who helped with the stall. It was also quite moving that so many people came up who had relatives in Iraq or who had been to Iraq. They were furious and just wanted to get the troops out now.\"

Civil liberties

10 April 2004
AROUND 100 people attended a meeting in Birmingham organised by the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission on Wednesday of last week. Speakers included Azmat Begg, father of Moazzam Begg who is currently being detained at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Natalia Garcia, a human rights lawyer representing those being held in Woodhill and Belmarsh prisons under current anti-terrorism legislation, John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat leader of Birmingham City Council and Corin Redgrave of the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission.

Post

20 March 2004
Walkout in Aston SOME 100 postal workers at the sorting office in Aston, Birmingham, stopped work on Monday of last week. Their strike was against the sacking of Peter Longbottom, who was accused of having consumed alcohol before arriving at work. One union activist said, "Members were particularly annoyed that the same manager who accused Peter of drinking was the one that sacked him. Judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one."

Meetings round-up

06 March 2004
"I APPEAL to everyone not to let the Muslim and Asian communities suffer the way the Irish suffered under the anti-terrorist laws," Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six urged a public meeting in Moir Hall, Glasgow, last week. The meeting, held on the eve of the Scottish Labour Party conference, was called to oppose the latest government attack on civil liberties.

I want to know how my brother died

31 January 2004
'A ABOUT 4AM we got a phone call from my brother in law in Birmingham. My husband told me that Mikey was dead. I refused to believe it. Later I called back myself. So we got up, with my two year old daughter Kiara, and me being seven and a half months pregnant, to drive from Hertfordshire to Birmingham.

Kashmir

17 January 2004
AROUND 50 representatives of the Kashmiri solidarity organisation Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK met in Alum Rock, Birmingham, last week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN resolution calling for a plebiscite so that the people of Kashmir can determine their own future.

Stop 'terror' raids, council tax, fire threat, NHS

17 January 2004
OVER 150 representatives and activists from across Birmingham's Muslim community attended an emergency meeting on 4 January in Birmingham's central mosque.

Anger is growing in car industry

13 December 2003
Workers from Peugeot in Coventry, Land Rover in Solihull and MG Rover in Birmingham spoke to Helen Shooter

Journalists

06 December 2003
NATIONAL UNION of Journalists members at the Birmingham Post and Mail are working to contract in protest at threatened redundancies.

British politics at the crossroads

15 November 2003
Manchester OVER 300 people packed into a lecture hall at Manchester's UMIST university to hear George Galloway MP, Salma Yaqoob from Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and John Rees from the Socialist Alliance.

HSBC bank in the rush to the bottom

25 October 2003
BANKING giant HSBC has become the latest multinational to announce plans to move jobs overseas. Some 4,000 jobs will be axed from its call centres in Swansea, Birmingham, Brentwood and Sheffield, and transferred to call centres in India, China and Malaysia.

Shop workers

27 September 2003
BIRMINGHAM'S NEW multimillion pound Bullring shopping centre opened last month with massive publicity. But it's a 21st century building under 19th century management. A shop worker told me about working there:

'Victorian' bosses attack the weakest and most needy

13 September 2003
THE recent announcement of the permanent closures of social security offices in the Birmingham area will create huge problems for the weakest in society. Local social security offices have served the community for many years and the hardship for the disabled and pensioners has not been included in the thinking behind the changes.

Anti-war

13 September 2003
CND THE CAMPAIGN for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) held its conference in Birmingham last weekend. The 350 participants debated alliances with other movements and how best to oppose war. Kate Hudson was narrowly elected as CND national chairperson. Kate stands for a close working relationship with groups such as the Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain. People with similar views won 12 of the 15 national executive positions.

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