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Archive for May 2009

1 May 2009

spotVisteon workers ballot

Improved offer on redundancy pay made

5 May 2009

spotVisteon UK struggle: the story of what happened

Visteon workers outside the plant, photo Paul Mattsson

Visteon workers outside the plant, photo Paul Mattsson

April-May 2009: On 31 March Visteon went into administration and we were thrown out at six minutes notice without the redundancy money we had been guaranteed and without our pensions, writes Frank Jepson, Unite union convenor, Visteon Basildon.

5 May 2009

spotVisteon: Editorial comment

The hard-nosed Visteon bosses thought that they could just summarily close 'their' factories, throwing workers out on to the streets, with measly 'compensation'...

5 May 2009

spotVisteon workers show: Action gets results

Visteon workers, photo Paul Mattsson

Visteon workers, photo Paul Mattsson

Sacked workers at the three closed Visteon UK plants in Enfield (London), Basildon (Essex), and Belfast (Northern Ireland) have won a momentous victory, a substantial financial package from their bosses.
They will end their pickets and occupations as soon as the money is in the bank. Frank Jepson, Unite union convenor of Visteon Basildon, spoke to The Socialist

6 May 2009

spotDefend victimised trade unionist

ROB WILLIAMS, the Unite trade union convenor at the Linamar car components factory in Swansea, has been temporarily reinstated following his sacking by company bosses on 28 April...

6 May 2009

spotEditorial: Decisive action needed against victimisations

What we think "What are trade unions for?" This is a question which many workers ask increasingly when the unions themselves, in the face of the bosses' current offensive, appear to order a retreat or even capitulate to this pressure...

6 May 2009

spotANC returned to power in election landslide

ON 22 APRIL, in a record turnout that reversed falls in voter registration and polling in the two previous elections, 17.9 million voters - the highest number since the first democratic elections in 1994 - returned the African National Congress to power in a landslide, falling short of a two-thirds, writes Weizmann Hamilton, Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM - CWI, South Africa).

6 May 2009

spotDefending a shop steward, in spite of the anti-union laws

The 23 January started like any other day for me, I arrived at work at 6am. I work as a bus driver and I am a Unite shop steward. An argument started between a senior inspector and a fellow driver. As...

6 May 2009

spotSupport for No2EU at Usdaw conference

Socialist Party members at Usdaw conference this year got a lot of support, with shopworkers flocking to congratulate Robbie Segal on her 40.6% result in the general secretary elections earlier in the year, writes Alex Gounelas.

6 May 2009

spotSave Lewisham Bridge Defend education

Save Lewisham Bridge primary school protest, photo Lewisham Socialist Party

Save Lewisham Bridge primary school protest, photo Lewisham Socialist Party

LEWISHAM BRIDGE primary school is under threat of demolition. It is the latest in a series of school reorganisations that Lewisham's Labour council has been trying to push through - despite the local...

6 May 2009

spotFight to save higher education

The University and College Union, UCU, is currently balloting its members in higher education on pay and job security, writes Thomas House, Warwick University UCU executive, personal capacity.

6 May 2009

spotNational Shop Stewards Network national conference

Saturday 27 June. Keynote speakers from workers in struggle including Lindsey Oil Refinery construction workers' dispute, car workers, London Underground, local government, and more...

6 May 2009

spotWorkers look for alternative to bankrupt capitalism

May Day demonstration 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

May Day demonstration 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

CWI May Day statement: THE COMMITTEE for a Workers' International (CWI - the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated) sent May Day greetings to workers, youth and the oppressed everywhere...

6 May 2009

spotWidespread protests in Pakistan

May Day reports: Hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets across Pakistan to celebrate May Day. Workers from different sectors of the economy, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and religions marched together...

6 May 2009

spotThousands demonstrate in Hong Kong

A total of 7,000 people took part in this year's May Day demos in Hong Kong, the only place (along with Macau) in China that international workers' day can be celebrated, writes chinaworker.info reporters.

6 May 2009

spotBigger May Day demos in Sweden this year

May Day demos in Sweden were bigger than in the last few years. The dual fear of the economic crisis, as well as the new danger that the right wing government will not be defeated next year, were the major...

6 May 2009

spotCWI Germany calls for a one-day strike

May Day in Germany saw more than 400 local trade union rallies but also a number of big anti-fascist mobilisations against Nazi marches, and some far left 'revolutionary' demonstrations, writes Sascha Stanicic.

6 May 2009

spotSave linguistics at Sussex!

At the University of Sussex, the campaign to save the linguistics courses continues. Socialist Students are taking a lead, writes Lee Vernon.

6 May 2009

spotKeep fighting for further education funding

Wales: Unison and other campus unions in Gorseinon college Swansea are once again having to campaign against the effects of funding cuts, writes Ronnie Job, Unison rep Gorseinon college, personal capacity.

6 May 2009

spotYouth fight for jobs: Launch conference

Youth Fight for Jobs conference

Youth Fight for Jobs conference

Saturday 9 May Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1, University College London (UCL)
Nearest tubes and trains: Euston, Warren Street and Goodge Street
Ticket costs are 3 unwaged / 5 waged.
see: www.youthfightforjobs.com

6 May 2009

spotHow can the BNP really be defeated?

No2EU logo

No2EU logo

In the 2004 European elections the far-right, racist British National Party (BNP) received 800,000 votes. This time there is a real danger that it will succeed in getting members elected to the European Parliament.

Hannah Sell examines the processes behind this development, and the role of the NO2EU - Yes to Democracy campaign in stopping the BNP.

6 May 2009

spotSwine flu: The real issues behind the headlines

MEXICO CITY, a vast, vibrant city of 20 million people, became quiet as schools closed, workers stayed at home and gatherings were cancelled, writes Judy Beishon.

6 May 2009

spotRob Williams sacked by brutal bosses

Rob Williams, sacked Unite convenor, Linamar, photo by Paul Mattsson

Rob Williams, sacked Unite convenor, Linamar, photo by Paul Mattsson

Ex-Visteon Unite convenor sacked

8 May 2009

spotSacked convenor of Linamar

Rally to support Rob Williams

Sacked convenor of Linamar

Wednesday 13 May at 7.30 pm
Dolphin Hotel, Swansea.

Speakers include Frank Jepson (Convenor at Visteon Basildon) and Kevin Nolan (Convenor at Visteon Enfield).

All trade unionists welcome

8 May 2009

spotLinamar plan to lower terms and conditions

It has become clear why Linamar management sacked Swansea Unite Convenor Rob Williams on Wednesday. Group President Brian Wade outlined to Tony Woodley the Company's 'proposal' to lower terms and conditions...

8 May 2009

spotRally to support Rob Williams

Sacked convenor of Linamar: Wednesday 13 May at 7.30 pm in the Dolphin Hotel, Swansea. Speakers include Frank Jepson (Convenor at Visteon Basildon) and Kevin Nolan (Convenor at Visteon Enfield), writes All trade unionists welcome.

11 May 2009

spot"We've got the BNP on the back foot"

Press release from North West NO2EU: Speaking after clashes in Carlisle on Saturday between union-based left-wing Euro-elections party No to EU - Yes to Democracy and the far-right racist British National Party, Carlisle-based No2EU - Yes to Democracy candidate Craig Johnston said:...

12 May 2009

spotMPs live it up at our expense !

Youth Fight for Jobs and NO2EU on the 'Put People First' demo, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight for Jobs and NO2EU on the 'Put People First' demo, photo Paul Mattsson

"WE HANG the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office" - Aesop.
Ken Douglas passes judgement on the thieves in public office.
These politicians make you sick. They publicly attack people claiming unemployment and disability benefits - the poorest in society, while enriching themselves at our expense. And when they're caught red-handed they squeal that it is the 'system' that's to blame.

12 May 2009

spotSweep away the thieves and their system

Editorial: 'Fish rot from the head first'. The stink arising from the outright corruption, outright thievery - to give it its proper name - from the 'public purse', by the overwhelming majority of 'dis-honourable members' of the House of Commons presents a nauseating spectacle...

12 May 2009

spotFight all job cuts

Dave Nellist lived on a worker's wage as a socialist MP

Dave Nellist lived on a worker's wage as a socialist MP

Four million jobless by 2012. That's the stark prediction for the current 'free-market' recession by a group of former Bank of England economists, writes Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor and No2Eu - Yes to Democracy candidate in the forthcoming Euro elections.

13 May 2009

spotNSSN Conference: Saturday 27 June

Individual delegates 5, branch sponsorship minimum 20...

13 May 2009

spotNo2EU - Yes to Democracy campaign news

No2EU

No2EU

No2EU On Thursday 7 May the 'No2EU - Yes to Democracy' campaign declared its full slate of candidates for the 4 June European electon...

13 May 2009

spotNo to the EU gravy train

MPs' expenses are in the news! MEPs in the European parliament are on the gravy train too. How much has each Euro MP made in the last five years? We should be told! It is a gravy train, writes Dave Hill, No2EU -Yes to Democracy candidate for the European elections, southeast region.

13 May 2009

spotLinamar sack Swansea trade union leader

Lobby of Unite London headquarters over the sacking of Rob Williams, Linamar convenor, photo Alison Hill

Lobby of Unite London headquarters over the sacking of Rob Williams, Linamar convenor, photo Alison Hill

Socialist Party member Rob Williams, trade union (Unite) convenor of the Linamar car parts plant in Swansea, was sacked on 6 May. This was in spite of a walkout by his fellow workers when he was first told he was being sacked, and the intervention of Unite leader Tony Woodley.

The campaign for Rob's reinstatement is continuing, with the union balloting for strike action. Rob Williams spoke to The Socialist.

13 May 2009

spotVisteon workers discuss socialism

Thirteen Visteon workers attended a meeting of Basildon Socialist Party on 6 May. The workers at the Basildon plant are very glad of the support, practical assistance and advice they have received from the Socialist Party.

13 May 2009

spotA victory at Linamar would be a victory for all workers

Editorial: The sacking of Rob Williams by Linamar bosses is an attempt to remove a major impediment to their plans to worsen the pay and conditions of the Linamar workforce...

13 May 2009

spotDefeating the poll tax

Thatcher was defeated on the issue of the poll tax, photo Militant

Thatcher was defeated on the issue of the poll tax, photo Militant

Despite being "too young to remember the anti-poll tax battle", Bob Severn (The Socialist issue 578) rightly criticises the middle-class editors of a middle-class paper, the Independent, writes Rob Windsor, Socialist councillor and former anti-poll tax federation secretary, Coventry.

13 May 2009

spotDefending jobs and conditions at Fiddlers Ferry

A good spread of Warrington trade unionists and construction workers from across the north-west came to a meeting organised by Warrington trades council...

13 May 2009

spotDefending jobs and conditions at the Olympics site

Construction workers day of action at the Olympics site, photo Paul Mattsson

Construction workers day of action at the Olympics site, photo Paul Mattsson

Somewhere between 400-500 construction workers arrived in London for a day of action on 6 May. They gathered outside one of the main gates of the Olympic site to protest at the bosses' attempts to undermine...

13 May 2009

spotSocialist methods tested

The construction workers' demonstration outside the Olympics site on Wednesday 6 May showed the effectiveness of different ideas and approaches within the workers' movement, writes Greg Maughan.

13 May 2009

spotWales TUC: For trade union democracy and for trade union rights!

This year's Wales TUC, meeting in Llandudno from 19-21 May, looks likely to be the last annual gathering of the conference, writes Alec Thraves, Swansea trades council delegate.

13 May 2009

spotWorkplace news in brief

Unison witch-hunt: (Updated 19 May 2009) The next set of Unison disciplinary hearings have been cancelled. The hearing against four Socialist Party members were to be held on 20 and 21 May. Also: Sold out by John Lewis; Save linguistics at Sussex University; London Met University occupation

13 May 2009

spotPCS conference: A fighting union that defends its members

THE LEFT-led Democracy Alliance in the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has been re-elected for the seventh year in succession, writes Janice Godrich, national president PCS.

13 May 2009

spotNSSN - fight the bosses' offensive

THE NATIONAL Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) steering committee held its latest meeting on 9 May. Amongst issues discussed were the sacking by his employer of Rob Williams, NSSN vice-chairperson, the struggle at Visteon and the No2EU European election campaign.

13 May 2009

spotSave our schools Weston Favell, Northampton

AT A public meeting in Weston Favell school, Northampton, 120 parents, students, staff and trade unionists discussed the proposal to change the state comprehensive into an academy...

13 May 2009

spotLewisham Bridge primary school

PARENTS FIGHTING the closure of Lewisham Bridge primary school held a lively demonstration on 9 May in Lewisham town centre...

13 May 2009

spotThreat of academies

LABOUR PROMOTES academies as a solution to 'failing' comprehensive schools. Private sponsors, rich business people or corporations, religious charities or even rival private schools, can put in up to...

13 May 2009

spotRenationalise the railways

THE GOVERNMENT'S budget for Britain's rail system is facing chaos. First Great Western wants to walk away from a vital updating contract without footing the entire bill of 1.1 billion. Mark Pickersgill reports.

13 May 2009

spotSri Lanka's killing zone

Sri Lankan speaker addresses Youth Fight for Jobs conference on the plight of the Tamil people, photo Paul Mattsson

Sri Lankan speaker addresses Youth Fight for Jobs conference on the plight of the Tamil people, photo Paul Mattsson

HUNDREDS OF Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka were killed last weekend as a result of heavy artillery shelling in the war zone - a few square kilometres of coastal strip containing around 100,000 Tamil civilians and LTTE guerrillas...

13 May 2009

spotCorus jobs slaughter - fight the closure

NEWS THAT steel maker Corus is set to close its Redcar plant has sent shockwaves throughout Teesside, writes Elaine Brunskill.

13 May 2009

spotNews in brief

Taking liberties: THERE HAS been a huge rise in the number of stop and searches by police - mainly in London, Birmingham and Liverpool since 2007 - using section 44 of the 2000 Terrorism Act...

13 May 2009

spotGaza: the nightmare continues

THREE MONTHS after Israel's war against Gaza that killed nearly 1,400 people, 314 of them children, and wounded thousands, conditions in the strip remain appalling and are worsening rapidly, writes Niall Mulholland, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI).

13 May 2009

spotImperialism sucked deeper into Afghan quagmire

AS BARACK Obama dispatched 20,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, it was reported that an American airstrike in the west of Afghanistan wiped out over 100 civilians on 4 May, writes Dave Carr.

13 May 2009

spotYouth Fight for Jobs Launch conference

At Risk of Offending perform at Youth Fight for Jobs conference 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

At Risk of Offending perform at Youth Fight for Jobs conference 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Building on the success of the excellent March for Jobs in April, the launch conference of Youth Fight for Jobs was held on Saturday 9 May in London. Reports of the rallies and workshops that took place throughout the day from young people who attended.

15 May 2009

spotProtest outside Linamar, Swansea, Sunday

Meet Elba Crescent off Fabian Way, 12 noon

15 May 2009

spotMarvellous meeting supports Rob Williams, sacked Linamar convenor

"This is a meeting of solidarity" declared Ronnie Job, chairing the meeting called by Swansea Trades Council in support of sacked Linamar convenor, Rob Williams.

15 May 2009

spotEuro elections 2009: Challenging big business and the far-right

In this year's European elections working-class people have a positive alternative to vote for. A new electoral alliance, No2EU-Yes to Democracy has been launched to oppose the EU's big-business agenda

20 May 2009

spotCharlotte Turner

PARENTS AT Charlotte Turner primary school went into occupation on 7 May to try to force Greenwich council into talks about their threat to close the school...

20 May 2009

spotLewisham Bridge rooftop protest

AS THE Socialist goes to press, the rooftop protest at Lewisham Bridge primary school is still continuing against the council's threat to demolish the school...

20 May 2009

spotBT say they're sorry

BT's chief executive has apologised to shareholders for the 134 million loss suffered by the company in 2008-2009...

20 May 2009

spotWelsh-speaking worker bullied by boss

The front page of the North Wales Daily Post on May Day splashed a story of a worker at the Holyhead Morrisons store who had felt compelled to quit his job after being told not to speak Welsh, a Bangor Socialist Party member writes.

20 May 2009

spotPCS conference gathers

Delegates are gathering for the civil service union PCS conference, which starts on 20 May. Meanwhile group conferences are taking place, writes Bill Mullins.

20 May 2009

spotConstruction workers walk out

Stop press: In a continuation of the battle to stop large construction firms bringing in workers on lower than the trade union negotiated wages and conditions, workers at the South Hook liquefied natural gas site in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, walked out on 19 May...

20 May 2009

spotUnion organisation necessary to defend working conditions

This is an edited version of a letter written by Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) union steward Paul McDowell to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph exposing the company Irem.

20 May 2009

spotWorkplace news

NSSN Conference: The National Shop Stewards Network conference will be held on Saturday 27 June 11.30-4.30 at South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London, NW1 1RG...

20 May 2009

spotYouth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action

Youth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs

Jobs not dole: "We are determined to prevent a new generation becoming a lost generation". That's what chancellor Alistair Darling said in April. In fact, the whole of Westminster has been so busy scrambling for receipts and reading the Telegraph to see if they've been caught out over expenses, they seem to have forgotten about the looming youth unemployment crisis. Sarah Sachs-Eldridge writes.

20 May 2009

spotEnthusiastic reception for Youth Fight for jobs

Having marched through the rain at the Unite demonstration in central Birmingham on Saturday, Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners attended a 'Young Voices - Make Them Heard' meeting called by Unite, writes Stephen Burrell, Birmingham YFJ.

20 May 2009

spotRuthless EU is Thatcherism writ large

Below is a letter by European election No2EU candidate for the West Midlands, Dave Nellist. It was published in the Birmingham Post...

20 May 2009

spotFast news

Who, me?: DAVID CAMERON (salary 141,820) has claimed the moral high ground during the MPs' expenses scandal by demanding that Tory MPs repay any expenses claimed for personal gain...

20 May 2009

spotEnd Gaza blockade

SEVERAL THOUSAND people demonstrated in London on 16 May, to mark the 61st anniversary of the Palestinian 'Naqba' (catastrophe)...

20 May 2009

spotDon't close our schools!

Do not close our schools: Medway schools protest, photo Jacqui Berry

Do not close our schools: Medway schools protest, photo Jacqui Berry

Education feature: OVER 200 parents and children held a very loud, colourful protest outside Medway council cabinet meeting against the closure of three local schools, St John's Infants, Ridge Meadow Primary and St Peter's Infants, writes Jacqui Berry and Dave Berrie.

20 May 2009

spotWorkers strike at South Hook construction site in Wales

Over 200 workers have gone on strike at the South Hook LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) terminal construction site near Milford Haven in South Wales...

20 May 2009

spotConstruction strikes spread

Stop press: Workers at several construction sites walked out yesterday in support of lads at South Hook LNG plant at Milford Haven in Wales, where contractor Hertel UK reneged on an SPA to initially source labour locally by bringing in 50 Polish laggers, writes Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

20 May 2009

spotSwindling MPs are detached from reality

Editorial: In The Great Stink of 1858 the Houses of Parliament hung lime-soaked sheets at the windows to disguise the stench of untreated sewage rising from the Thames. In the Great Stink of 2009 no such solution is available - for the stink comes from inside...

20 May 2009

spotWhy socialists oppose the EU

North-West No2EU - Yes to Democracy

North-West No2EU - Yes to Democracy

THE RMT-led coalition for the European elections, 'No2EU-Yes to Democracy', is receiving a very favourable response as a workers' alternative to the rotten establishment parties...

20 May 2009

spotSri Lanka: The guns fall silent but the tragedy continues

"THIS BATTLE has reached its bitter end... We have decided to silence our guns". The dramatic announcement on the website of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on 17 May seemed to...

20 May 2009

spotThousands march for jobs in Birmingham

THOUSANDS OF workers marched through Birmingham last Saturday in protest against the decimation of industry and jobs, writes Kevin Parslow.

20 May 2009

spotTiananmen 1989: Seven weeks that shook the world

ON 15 APRIL 1989 Hu Yaobang, the former general secretary of the Communist Party of China, died of a heart attack. This became the start signal for one of the biggest mass movements in modern history, a movement that soon grew beyond the wildest expectations of its initiators and came close to toppling the dictatorial regime of the so-called 'communist' party, writes Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info.

20 May 2009

spotReinstate Rob Williams!

Lobby of Unite London headquarters over the sacking of Rob Williams, Linamar convenor, photo Alison Hill

Lobby of Unite London headquarters over the sacking of Rob Williams, Linamar convenor, photo Alison Hill

Defending trade union rights: On 13 May, Swansea trades council and the Linamar shop stewards' committee, held a marvellous meeting in support of sacked Linamar convenor Rob Williams, writes Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales.

20 May 2009

spotVisteon workers' victory march

On 18 May at lunchtime, sacked Visteon workers turned up at their factories in big numbers to mark the end of occupations and pickets, writes Paula Mitchell.

20 May 2009

spotWe need workers' MPs on a worker's wage

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage

House of Thieves: WORKING CLASS people are furious about MPs' huge 'expenses'. On Thursday 4 June, elections take place for the European Union, which for many members of the European Parliament (MEPs) is an an even bigger gravy train than Westminster.

20 May 2009

spotKings College, London

UNISON, UCU and Unite unions held a meeting of staff and students, 120 strong, to discuss the prospect of job losses and deep service cuts at Kings College London university (KCL).

22 May 2009

spotVideos: No2Eu - Yes to Democracy , part two

Socialist Party members Dave Nellist and Onay Kasab explain why they are supporting No2EU. Onay Kasab is Unison branch secretrary in Greenwich representing 3000 council workers...

22 May 2009

spotStrike success at Lindsey Oil Refinery and Conoco

A bit of France came to North Lincolnshire last week when around 1,000 construction workers walked off the job at Conoco and Lindsey Oil Refinery near Immingham, writes Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

26 May 2009

spotBob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, addresses Socialism 2009, photo Rob Emery

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union RMT, addresses Socialism 2009, photo Rob Emery

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union RMT, addresses Socialism 2009, photo Rob Emery

26 May 2009

spotYouth Fight For Jobs protest outside Parliament to protest at 1 million young people unemployed

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Parliament against 1 million unemployed young people, photo by Socialist Party

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Parliament against 1 million unemployed young people, photo by Socialist Party

26 May 2009

spotAn action plan for all construction sites

Despite the recession, there is predicted to be significant growth in the engineering construction industry over the next decade due to the decommissioning of power stations and the building of a new generation of nuclear power stations.

27 May 2009

spotSchool students organised strikes

Lessons from struggle: From school closures and increased university fees to poverty minimum wages young people need to fight for their future, writes 2003 - school students organised against Iraq war.

27 May 2009

spotHear No2EU - Yes to Democracy speakers

Meeting Listings

27 May 2009

spotProtest at MPs' sleaze: Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy

Protest at MPs' sleaze - Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy, photo The Socialist

Protest at MPs' sleaze - Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy, photo The Socialist

Bob Crow and Dave Nellist say why you should vote No2EU: The coalition that we've assembled in the last few weeks for this election is campaigning against privatisation, against low pay, against MPs' 'expenses' and the gravy train, writes Dave Nellist Socialist Party councillor, Coventry.

27 May 2009

spotFiddling Tory MP Mackay resigns

ON 22 May members of Reading and Bracknell Socialist Party joined the angry constituents of disgraced Tory MP Andrew Mackay to lobby his public meeting - which he called in the hope that apologies and platitudes would keep his supporters sweet...

27 May 2009

spotUKIP - yet another establishment party

WITH THE MPs' expenses scandal further undermining public support for the three main establishment parties, far right outfits like the UK Independence Party are hoping to revive their flagging fortunes in the forthcoming European elections...

27 May 2009

spotBNP fail to win Salford election

IN THE Salford Irwell Riverside by-election on 21 May, the BNP were confident of winning the seat from Labour...

27 May 2009

spotSouthampton protest: Stop the slaughter of Tamils

A SMALL but militant group of Southampton University students protested against the genocide of the Tamil people at the local civic centre and regional BBC building, writes Rosie Isaac, Southampton Socialist Students.

27 May 2009

spotLatvia: 'A capitalist inferno'

THE BALTIC state of Latvia's Gross National Product (GNP, ie national wealth) fell by 18% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter the previous year, writes Per Olsson, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI, Sweden).

27 May 2009

spotKashmir health workers' victory

A LONG health workers' struggle, including a threat of a second round of strike action, forced the government to finally honour an agreement reached three months earlier, writes Jamal Khan, Trade Unions Rights Campaign Kashmir (TURCK).

27 May 2009

spotNanjing college students in clashes with police

THOUSANDS OF students fought with police in the southern Chinese city of Nanjing after the city's administration officers beat up student vendors...

27 May 2009

spotAnger at council school closures

Parents temporarily occupied Charlotte Turner school in Greenwich, photo C Newby

Parents temporarily occupied Charlotte Turner school in Greenwich, photo C Newby

PARENTS FIGHTING to save Charlotte Turner School reacted angrily to Greenwich council's decision to close their school, writes Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison secretary (pc).

27 May 2009

spotLewisham Bridge primary school

THE TWO Socialist Party councillors on Lewisham council, Ian Page and myself, put a motion to the 20 May council meeting to delay the move of pupils from Lewisham Bridge primary school, which is threatened with closure, writes Chris Flood, Socialist Party councillor.

27 May 2009

spotWhy we must Stop the Strip!

IN A successful demo on 22 May over 100 people - local residents, trade unionists, students - joined the "Stop the Strip" campaign's loud and noisy protest against a lap dancing club in New Cross, south London, writes Tanya Eadie.

27 May 2009

spot"Dump cuts not elderly"

SCORES OF angry elderly protesters spoiled the ceremony of exchanging mayors at the town hall of Barnet in north London, writes Ron Cohen.

27 May 2009

spotYouth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July

Youth Fight For jobs demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight For jobs demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

The economic crisis continues to decimate young people's hope of a decent future.

Whether looking for work, or applying for education, opportunities are drying up everywhere.

Unemployment amongst 18 to 24 year olds is 16%, writes Sean Figg, YFJ national organiser.

27 May 2009

spotPCS conference: Preparing for future battles

Tracy Edwards at Youth Fight for Jobs conference 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Tracy Edwards at Youth Fight for Jobs conference 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

In a really excellent conference, the civil service union PCS, under its socialist leadership which was re-elected for the seventh time in succession, mapped out its strategy for the next 12 months, writes Bill Mullins.

27 May 2009

spotDelegates' anger at Public and Commercial Services union conference

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union conference met against a background of the worst recession since the 1930s and in the wake of a budget statement that set out the government's strategy to "deal with the economic crisis" they themselves have created, writes John McInally, PCS vice president, personal capacity.

27 May 2009

spotYoung members' voices heard at PCS conference

PCS has a strong left leadership, including members of the Socialist Party, that challenges the way trade unions act and fight on behalf of their members, writes Tracy Edwards, PCS young members' network, personal capacity.

27 May 2009

spotWales TUC conference - no good news for New Labour

The Wales TUC annual conference, from 19- 21 May demonstrated, as in previous years, the failure of New Labour in government to win the support of ordinary trade unionists across Wales, writes Andrew Price, delegate, Cardiff trades council.

27 May 2009

spotNational Shop Stewards Network conference

The National Shop Stewards Network conference will be held on Saturday 27 June 11.30-4.30 at South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London, NW1 1RG...

27 May 2009

spotNo2EU - yes to Democracy: Who's standing and why you should vote for them

Bob Crow (RMT), Dave Nellist (Socialist Party) and Brian Denny (RMT) explain why they are supporting No2EU

Bob Crow (RMT), Dave Nellist (Socialist Party) and Brian Denny (RMT) explain why they are supporting No2EU

For the first time since the Labour Party became a capitalist party, there will be a trade union-backed electoral alternative on a national scale for this year's European election...

27 May 2009

spotDiary of a Lindsey Oil Refinery shop steward

Steve Jones, a steward at the LOR site, wrote a diary of the strike. Tuesday, 19 May. On arriving to the monthly Project Council Meeting [PJC] in Grimsby, I received a phone call from a friend at Conoco who told me they had walked in support of workers in South Hook LNG plant.

27 May 2009

spotFight for real democracy!

"A Very British Revolution," thundered the Telegraph in the aftermath of the ejection from the House of Commons of Speaker Michael Martin, the first time this has happened since 1695. Shades of 'Jacobinism'? Not if you listen to the enraged voices of the 'street', writes Peter Taaffe

27 May 2009

spotConstruction workers: battle won but war not over

Workers strike at South Hook construction site near Milford Haven, Wales , photo Dave Reid

Workers strike at South Hook construction site near Milford Haven, Wales , photo Dave Reid

Construction workers at the South Hook LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) terminal construction site near Milford Haven in South Wales have won a big victory over employers by taking unofficial action in defiance of anti-union laws, writes Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales.

28 May 2009

spotRob Williams gets backing of Linamar workers

Rob Williams, sacked Unite convenor, Linamar, photo Paul Mattsson

Linamar workers in Swansea have voted for an all out strike in support of their sacked convenor rob Williams.

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Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

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East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

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