Socialist Worker

Birmingham


Glasgow ballot battle over council housing

23 March 2002
Ballots are now under way in Birmingham and Glasgow. Britain's two biggest council landlords are asking their tenants to say yes to transfer to housing associations.

200,000 tenants in housing battle

16 March 2002
This month sees key battles in a largely unreported war over the future of one of the pillars of the welfare state. Tenants of Britain's two biggest landlords, Birmingham and Glasgow councils, will vote on New Labour plans to hand their homes to private housing companies. Thousands of tenants in Crewe are already voting in a similar ballot, and Bradford council tenants will also vote this month.

Rover Longbridge

16 March 2002
"IT'S FLEXIBLE working for the company, not for us. People are so fed up with it," said an MG Rover worker in Longbridge, Birmingham. Workers in the plant are voting this week in a ballot for action over pay and flexible working.

Banks after homes...

09 March 2002
Birmingham council tenants are being asked to hand control of their homes to the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Labour-run city council was meeting on Tuesday of this week to give the final go-ahead to a ballot starting on 18 March over the plan to privatise over 80,000 council homes.

Car workers

02 March 2002
Thousands of workers at the Longbridge MG Rover car plant in Birmingham are balloting on strike action. Both the TGWU and Amicus unions have agreed to ballot their members in a fight over bosses' attempts to get workers to accept more "flexible" working arrangements.

200,000 homes at stake in two ballots

16 February 2002
Decisive battles are set to take place. They are part of a hidden war waged by the New Labour government. It is a war to destroy one of the pillars of the welfare state-council housing. New Labour is out to privatise three million council homes. In Birmingham tenants will begin to vote on 18 March on whether their homes are handed to private housing associations.

A great response on the picket lines

02 February 2002
Socialist Worker went down a storm with striking Arriva rail workers. At the mass picket in York 27 copies were sold, while 6 were sold to pickets in Cleethorpes, 7 to pickets at Leeds Central station, and 4 in Bradford. Last Friday, in the build-up to the civil service strike, 11 were sold at Albert Bridge House in Manchester, 8 at the Employment Service head office in Sheffield, 4 at Ravenshurst benefits office in Birmingham, and 3 at each of Finsbury Park job centre, Tottenham job centre and Tottenham Benefits Agency.

Newsquest

26 January 2002
National Union of Journalists members at Newsquest-owned titles in Bradford struck for half a day last week over low pay. NUJ president Rory McLeod joined the picket lines. There were also NUJ delegations from Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry.

Stop the War protest

15 December 2001
A thousand people marched in Birmingham last Saturday against the war. The march was organised by Birmingham Trades Council and supported by the Stop the War Coalition. A rally heard speakers from a range of organisations and campaigns. Later Artists Against the War held an inspiring social with African drummers and visual projections.

Strong roots can feed mass protest

03 November 2001
Some 1,700 people marching through Sheffield, 2,000 demonstrating in Glasgow, 500 on a Preston march, around 1,600 at a public meeting in Birmingham. Those are just a few of the anti-war protests that have taken place in the last week.

Socialist Alliance

13 October 2001
A WELL attended liaison meeting of delegates from local Socialist Alliance groups met last Saturday in Birmingham. The meeting agreed to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition, and to encourage all Socialist Alliances to throw themselves into campaigning against the war.

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.

Putting the anti-war case

29 September 2001
SOCIALIST Worker supporters report a big increase in sales as large numbers of people look for arguments against Bush's war drive. Last Saturday saw large street sales-85 in Brixton in south London, 232 in Birmingham, 307 in Manchester, 28 in Guildford, 50 in Hove, and many others. They helped to create a visible opposition to the war as local anti-war coalitions started to take shape.

Birmingham University

15 September 2001
STAFF AT the University of Birmingham surprised their bosses on Friday of last week by driving in convoy into Chancellor's Court, which is reserved for senior management. Once there they covered their cars with union banners and posters protesting against proposed car parking charges.

'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.

Preparing election challenge

24 February 2001
Around 120 Socialist Alliance candidates, election agents and supporters met in Birmingham last Saturday to plan the general election challenge. "There is a real urgency. There are just 47 days to go if the election is on 5 April and 75 days if the election is on 3 May," said the chair of the National Network of Socialist Alliances in England, Dave Nellist, who introduced the day. The day was very productive, with sessions on campaigning, raising finance, the role of candidates and using the press.

Manchester to Montpellier

24 February 2001
In Leeds 9 copies of Socialist Worker were sold at the General Infirmary, 6 were sold at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, 5 at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and 4 at Shrubhill bus garage. Manchester sales included 7 at both Schlumberger's and at the Royal Infirmary. Elsewhere 8 were sold at De La Rue Printers in High Wycombe, 5 at Aston post office in Birmingham and 4 at Copperas Hill post office in Liverpool.

'A storming tour'

17 February 2001
Over 2,000 people packed into the continuing Globalise Resistance tour around the country last week. The previous weekend 1,800 people had attended the tour's Glasgow and London legs. "The tour stormed through Birmingham with a lively conference bringing together activists- black and white, old and young, red and green," says Chris Crean from West Midlands Friends of the Earth, one of the 250 people who attended the Birmingham conference.

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