Socialist Worker


'Build on successes we've had'

19 June 2004
In Birmingham and other areas Respect got a significant vote. Activists explain why

Euro Packaging

10 June 2004
THE BITTER dispute at Euro Packaging in Birmingham ended last week with mixed emotions among the strikers. There was a feeling of triumph and achievement at achieving union recognition in the teeth of ruthless opposition from a hardline boss.

A demand for Respect

05 June 2004
Workers at the Euro Packaging factory in Birmingham have organised a series of strikes against low pay and bullying managers, and now they've voted to go all out. Some of the strikers and Respect candidate Salma Yaqoob spoke to Salma Iqbal about the dispute.

Save manufacturing jobs

27 May 2004
AROUND 500 manufacturing workers marched through Birmingham on Saturday on a march called by the TGWU, GMB, Amicus and other trade unions. They were marching to protest against the decline of manufacturing industry. Contingents from Land Rover, Vauxhall, Alstom and other workplaces in the Midlands marched behind their union banners.

Bitter battle in Brum

27 May 2004
WORKERS AT Euro Packaging in Birmingham are continuing with their industrial action over low pay, long working hours, union recognition and threatened redundancies. Joint managing director Shabir Majid provoked further outrage in a meeting last week by announcing a total of 80 redundancies out of a workforce of 180. Workers were told that the remaining 100 would have greater job security by severing ties with their GPMU union.

Paper sale has created network

27 May 2004
CAROLINE IS a Unison shop steward in Birmingham. She works at a small day centre for people with learning difficulties. Because she has a network of regular paper readers around her she was able to organise a workplace meeting recently at short notice.

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.


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.


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

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