Socialist Worker

Bristol


Transport from all over Britain

07 September 2002
CAMPAIGNERS in the Stop the War Coalition are uniting with local groups to get transport from across Britain to the 28 September demonstration. A 640-seat train is running through Glasgow and Edinburgh to the march. A further five coaches are booked from Edinburgh, and transport is organised from Greenock, Fife, Aberdeen and Dundee. In Runcorn, in the north west of England, and Bristol the postal workers' CWU union is running its own coaches to the demonstration. In Cardiff the CWU union has given £200 to help fund transport from the area. Around 100 coaches are booked from Birmingham. Around £10,000 has been raised to pay for billboard and newspaper adverts in the ru

Civil actions

29 June 2002
HUNDREDS OF civil servants met last week to defend democracy in their PCS union. Over 300 met in central London on Wednesday of last week, over 120 in Nottingham on Monday of this week and 50 in Bristol. They are protesting against the attempted coup by the discredited general secretary, Barry Reamsbottom, who wants to remove Mark Serwotka, the general secretary elect.

Foot down for more victories

01 June 2002
BUS DRIVERS working for First Group in Bristol have won their dispute after management conceded to all their demands. The dispute had arisen after management introduced "mystery shoppers", plainclothes inspectors, onto the buses to entrap drivers. At a mass meeting drivers gave management 48 hours to withdraw the mystery shoppers or they would ballot for a strike.

Buses

25 May 2002
BUS DRIVERS working for First Group in Bristol are threatening to strike over an attack by management. At a mass meeting last weekend the drivers decided to give First Group two days to retreat before beginning a ballot.

Anti Nazi League

11 May 2002
AS THE news of the BNP's victory in Burnley circulated, anti-Nazi campaigners across Britain took to the streets in protest. Over 100 people turned up in Bristol on Friday and marched, to a great reception from passers-by. People marched to the BBC to demand no platform for Nazis.

Rolls-Royce

04 May 2002
WORKERS AT Rolls-Royce Aerospace in Bristol are continuing to fight over plans to transfer their jobs. All three shifts in the compressor section walked out on strike on Monday of last week.

Debates aiming at real issues

09 February 2002
Muhammad Abbas Shaffi went to a Marxist forum on Kashmir last Thursday in Bristol. He said, "It was the first time I'd been to any meeting like that, but I was really inspired. The speaker had an overwhelming knowledge, and being Kashmiri myself it was the first time I had ever discussed Kashmir from an independent perspective. What I also liked was that it was an open and honest debate by people who had nothing to gain by being there apart from the betterment of humanity. It was debate, not for the sake of it, but to try and overcome the problems in Kashmir and think how to resolve the issue."

Anger at TUC smears

02 February 2002
Revelations that an official in the Trades Union Congress has been trying to stop the election of left wing candidates in union elections are fuelling anger among trade unionists. Socialist Worker reported two weeks ago on smears against Bob Crow, the left wing candidate for general secretary of the RMT rail union. A meeting of the union's west of England and South Wales region took place in Bristol, also two weeks ago.

A warning to every worker

12 January 2002
THIS IS a wake-up call to all trade unionists. Over the last year I have been working for First Great Western trains at Intercity House in Plymouth, but employed by the Manpower agency. First Great Western set up the operation in Plymouth by sacking staff in Bristol and Paddington and inviting Manpower to set up at Intercity House, where they opened an office and brought in a management team.

School protest

22 December 2001
More than 200 students boycotted classes for two hours at a Bristol school on Friday of last week. The school students were protesting at a plan by the Labour city council to close their school.

Bristol schools

24 February 2001
Over 100 people demonstrated at the "Save our Schools" event in Bristol last Saturday. The protest was a spontaneous response to the council's sham referendum over the council tax. The result means the Labour council will make millions of pounds of cuts to the education budget. The message from teachers, parents and the community was, "No way will we accept this ludicrous situation that could see 180 teachers sacked." Over 650 signatures were collected, and many pledged to come to an open planning meeting on 1 March.

Rolling again

24 February 2001
Workers at the Rolls Royce aerospace plant in Ansty, near Coventry, are to strike for the day next Monday. Skilled engineers at the plant have already taken one day's solid strike action against the company's plan to sack over 1,000 workers and to move work to Bristol and Canada. "The company has not shifted at all," says an MSF rep at the plant. "Everyone is solidly behind more strike action."

Campaigns

27 January 2001
I can't stand the way big brand name companies smother us with their distorted view of the world. So I was really pleased when I heard about a protest organised against Gap in the centre of Bristol. Gap employs child labourers at 22p an hour while the executives get £15,000 an hour. The protest last week was amazing. Within minutes we had over 100 people outside Gap. This soon rose to 150 people, holding placards, petitioning and giving out leaflets.

Building the left's election challenge

27 January 2001
Trade Unionists, community campaigners and socialists met in Bristol last week to select a Socialist Alliance candidate to fight in the general election. It was one of many selection meetings taking place to democratically select Socialist Alliance candidates. Socialist Alliance candidates are not careerists bankrolled by millionaires, but ordinary working class people chosen by working class people at open, democratic meetings.

Letters

20 January 2001
: A very fruitful Bristol protest I was one of the people who heard Tony Blair speak when he came to Bristol on Tuesday of last week. As I approached the council building where he was to be speaking I was delighted to see many different protest groups demonstrating. People were there protesting against the government's policy on Iraq, and children and parents shouted against the closure of their schools. The Bristol Socialist Alliance (BSA) were there too.

Poverty under Blair

11 December 1999
THE REALITY of inequality in Blair's Britain was revealed in research last week from Bristol University, the biggest study of health inequalities since the 1980s. The stark truth is that in Britain today, the poorer you are, the earlier you die. The study found:

Centres of a new struggle

27 November 1999
"IT'S LIKE George Orwell's 1984 in there. You can't even go to the toilet without someone in Coventry or London knowing where you're going and for how long." Those were the words of a BT call centre worker in Bristol who was out on strike on Monday along with over 4,000 call centre staff. Their fight is against bullying managers, understaffing and impossible work targets.

Help us raise £175,000

20 November 1999
THE MONEY collected for the Socialist Worker appeal has now reached £136,380.62. In the last week we received donations from many workplace collections, including: £4 from Jaguar in Solihull, £10 from Blackburn College, £14.98 from De la Rue Printers in High Wycombe, £17 from UCLH hospitals, £18 from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, £23.50 from Oxford City Council workers, £25 from Kirklees housing workers, £27 from Newcastle General Hospital, £40 amongst Huddersfield postal workers, £80 from BT workers in Bristol St Pauls, £5 from Rolls Royce workers in Bristol, £6 from Sheffield Southey Green housing association, £10 outside Manchester Royal Infirmary and £16 at a Sheffield Trades Council

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

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