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Archive for May 2011

1 May 2011

spotBerlin, Germany - Charité hospital workers to strike on 2nd May

Members of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) in SAV - Sozialistische Alternative - are supporting a struggle by workers at the largest university teaching hospital in Berlin - Charité...

1 May 2011

spotSocialists elected to leading positions in Greenwich Unite

On 26th April Unite union members working for Greenwich council, south London, elected Socialist Party members Onay Kasab and Chris Slater into the positions of branch secretary and treasurer respectively. (An edited version of this article appeared in The Socialist issue 669.)

2 May 2011

spotOsama Bin Laden - killed by US forces

US / Pakistan: The US government has announced a successful military assault on a large mansion in Abbottabad, near Islamabad, which has resulted in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, writes Tony Saunois, from socialistworld.net, website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI. (An edited version of this article appeared in The Socialist issue 669.)

2 May 2011

spotSolidarity action builds for BP/Vivergo Saltend workers

Scaffolders and electricians, employed by contractors for Vivergo, voted by about 90% to walk out again in support of the locked out Saltend Redhall workers, photo by  Socialist Party

Scaffolders and electricians support the locked out Saltend Redhall workers, photo by Socialist Party

Addition appended 3.5.11 The 400 Redhall construction workers, locked out for two months by BP/Vivergo from the bioethanol plant at Saltend, Hull, received two big boosts to their campaign for reinstatement last week. (An edited version of this article appeared in The Socialist issue 669.)

2 May 2011

spotMay Day in Kazakhstan marked by attacks on CWI activists and supporters

Having been prevented from organising their own May Day event, activists of the socialist "Kazakhstan 2012" movement and Socialist Resistance Kazakhstan (the CWI in Kazakhstan) decided to participate in the official event...

3 May 2011

spotA busy May Day bank holiday weekend in south west Wales

Wales May Day celebrations, with young TUSC supporter, photo Les Woodward

Wales May Day celebrations, with young TUSC supporter, photo Les Woodward

Socialist Party members and supporters in south west Wales are exhausted but enthusiastic after the Bank Holiday weekend, writes Alec Thraves, Swansea Socialist Party

3 May 2011

spotMay Day: challenging the cuts in Leeds

Wales May Day celebrations, with young TUSC supporter, photo Alec Thraves

Wales May Day celebrations, with young TUSC supporter, photo Alec Thraves

Saturday 30 April saw the biggest May Day demonstration for some time in Leeds with around 500 participating, including contingents from the GMB, Unite, Unison, PCS, as well as anti-cuts campaigns across the city and from nearby towns and cities

3 May 2011

spotBolsover Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Meeting

7.15pm: Tuesday, 3rd May...

4 May 2011

spotCardiff activists chase Nick Griffin out of town

Part of Cardiff protest as residents mobilised on Monday 2 May to literally chase BNP leader Nick Griffin out of the city, photo by Cardiff Socialist Party

Cardiff residents protest

Cardiff residents mobilised on Monday 2 May to literally chase BNP leader Nick Griffin out of the city as he attempted to campaign for his party

4 May 2011

spotExeter Anti Cuts March and Rally: video and pictures

Jim Thomson addressed the Exeter Anti Cuts March and Rally 2 May 2011, photo Nick Hall

Jim Thomson addressed the Exeter Anti Cuts March and Rally 2 May 2011, photo Nick Hall

4 May 2011

spotCuts hit disabled people hard

Cuts hit disabled people hard, photo Paul Mattsson

Cuts hit disabled people hard, photo Paul Mattsson

Benefits slashed: Disabled people and family carers are now experiencing an unprecedented attack. Cuts made and planned by the Tory/Liberal coalition will hit the public and community services they use and the benefits...

4 May 2011

spotRotherham teachers strike again to defend their union rep

Over 30 members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham went on strike again on 4-5 May against compulsory redundancies...

4 May 2011

spotNational Shop Stewards Network

The 2011 NSSN conference will be held on 11 June at the South Camden Community School, London NW1 1RG...

4 May 2011

spotReview: The monarchy - reserve weapon of the ruling class?

Tony Mulhearn speaking at a  public meeting organised by Liverpool Trades Council on Thursday 10 February, to debate the way forward against the cuts, photo Harry Smith

Tony Mulhearn speaking at a public meeting organised by Liverpool Trades Council on Thursday 10 February, to debate the way forward against the cuts, photo Harry Smith

BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze programme recently dealt with the monarchy against a background of the circus surrounding the wedding of Wills and Kate...

4 May 2011

spotMay Day in Kazakhstan marked by attacks on socialists

The ruling parties in the former Soviet countries usually use May Day, international workers' day, in a cynical manner, organising official events to which people are expected to turn up to wave balloons and listen to speeches and pop music...

4 May 2011

spotNHS: Stop the Connaught closure

Health workers, patients and anti-cuts campaigners took part in a protest on 28 April against the threatened closure of the Connaught day centre at Whipps Cross hospital in north east London, writes Bob Severn.

4 May 2011

spotFast news

Smoke and mirrors: City of London fat cats saw their 2010-11 bonus pot shrink 8%, compared to a year earlier, to £6.7 billion...

4 May 2011

spotCracks grow in Con-Dem coalition

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) on the May Day 2011 in central London, photo Paul Mattsson

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) on the May Day 2011 in central London, photo Paul Mattsson

From the start the Con-Dem government has been weak. The Tories were forced into a coalition because they could not win a mandate for massive cuts in public spending. With the biggest drop in family income since 1977, and the cuts starting to bite, the unpopularity of the government has grown dramatically. As a result, the cracks in the coalition are widening.

4 May 2011

spotMore teachers vote for pensions strike ballot

Headteachers have voted overwhelmingly to ballot for strike action over pension cuts. At the annual conference of the National Association of Head Teachers 99.6% voted for a ballot, while 0.4% abstained.

4 May 2011

spotProtest outside Kazakhstan embassy, London

Wednesday 4 May 2011: The embassy is at 33 Thurloe Square, London, SW7 2SD (nearest tube South Kensington)...

4 May 2011

spotAnti-cuts May Day in Exeter

Exeter Anti Cuts March and Rally 2 May 2011, photo Nick Hall

Exeter Anti Cuts March and Rally 2 May 2011, photo Nick Hall

On May Day bank holiday Exeter played host to a vibrant and up-beat anti-cuts demonstration. The demonstration was the biggest Exeter has seen since the anti-war movement

4 May 2011

spotCoventry residents' victory over Academy land snatch

Charterhouse residents in Coventry win first stage of their fight to defend public land, photo Coventry  Socialist Party

Charterhouse residents in Coventry win first stage of their fight to defend public land, photo Coventry Socialist Party

Campaigners and socialists in Coventry won a concession from the council in the battle to halt a private land-grab...

4 May 2011

spotJoin the Jarrow march!

Dundee school students stage anti-cuts strike, photo Leah Ganley

Dundee school students stage anti-cuts strike, photo Leah Ganley

March for jobs 2011: Recent research has shown that half of all final year university students say they wouldn't have applied to university if fees had been £9,000 a year, writes Tom Baldwin.

4 May 2011

spotNHS Cuts: Stop the Con-Dem wreckers

NHS Cuts - Stop the Con-Dem wreckers, graphics by Suzanne Beishon

NHS Cuts - Stop the Con-Dem wreckers, graphics by Suzanne Beishon

Tory minister Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care Bill threatens the break-up of the NHS. What the bill introduces, such as contracting out GP services to private groups and companies, is bad enough...

4 May 2011

spotParis commune 1871: When workers "stormed heaven".

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

The mass struggles against dictatorships and poverty sweeping North Africa and the Middle East encourage workers and young people in the region and internationally to seek to learn from previous revolutionary movements, writes Niall Mulholland

7 May 2011

spotTUSC local election results

TUSC logo

Final results 7/5/2011 21:41pm The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stood 143 candidates in the 5 May 2011 UK local elections...

8 May 2011

spotSNP landslide – but it will be a government of savage cuts

20,000 people marched through Edinburgh on 23 October 2010 on a demonstration against cuts organised by the Scottish TUC , photo by Ray Smith

Edinburgh demonstration, photo by Ray Smith

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has won the elections to the Scottish parliament by securing an unprecedented 69 MSPs, an increase of 23 on 2007, gaining an overall majority.
This is the biggest vote ever for the nationalists and was achieved largely due to the collapse of the votes of the Con-Dem parties in Scotland

8 May 2011

spotGovernment Con-Demned at ballot box

Half-million strong TUC demonstration 26 March 2011, photo by Dave Beale

TUC demonstration 26 March 2011, photo Dave Beale

The general election of May 2010 seems a lifetime ago. For the 1,000 richest people in Britain, whose wealth has increased by 18%, the year that followed has been a resounding success.

9 May 2011

spotOverwhelming rejection of Con-Dems in Leicester

In last week's council elections in Leicester the Tories and Lib Dems were reduced to one seat each compared to Labour's 52. The Labour vote needed weighing rather than counting.

9 May 2011

spotLabour wins Welsh Assembly election -

But socialist alternative to cuts needed Welsh Labour has won the Welsh Assembly elections, although it has been unable to secure an overall majority, winning just 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd, Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales.

9 May 2011

spotThe anti-cuts fight in Stoke goes on

Reflecting the current mood to punish the Con-Dem government for their savage cuts, New Labour increased its grip on Stoke-on-Trent city council in the local elections on 5 May

9 May 2011

spotSalford TUSC challenged Labour in one of its heartlands

George Tapp, Unite member and Socialist Party member, stood for TUSC in Salford's Ordsall ward on 5th May and won 381 votes, 16%, coming second only to Labour

10 May 2011

spotCoventry - support for Socialist Party still strong in St Michael's

Coventry Socialist Party increased its vote across Coventry and gained 30% of the vote in St Michael's ward

10 May 2011

spotEquality Commission staff in PCS on eve of second strike

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) walked out for an hour on Wednesday 4 May in protest at a 68% cut in the EHRC budget...

11 May 2011

spotUN report on Sri Lanka war crimes

100,000 strong demonstration calling for an end to the war in the north of Sri Lanka , photo Paul Mattsson

100,000 strong demonstration calling for an end to the war in the north of Sri Lanka , photo Paul Mattsson

How can justice and democratic rights be secured?: A United Nations (UN) report published on 29 April on the final phase of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009 reveals "credible allegations" of war crimes perpetrated by the ruling regime of president Mahinda Rajapaksa...

11 May 2011

spotCrucial time for Saltend dispute

On 6 May, a mass meeting of the Redhall engineering construction workers, 400 of whom have been locked out for eight weeks from working on the bio-ethanol plant at BP Saltend near Hull, voted again to reject an increased financial settlement in order to continue the fight for their jobs, writes Alistair Tice.

11 May 2011

spotPoverty minimum wage

A Labour Research Department publication has stated that the TUC welcomed the government's confirmation that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for workers aged 21 and over will go up by 2.5%, writes Mark Evans.

11 May 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Connexions: Connexions staff, members of Unison employed by Birmingham city council, staged a half day strike on 4 May, writes Clive Walder, Birmingham Socialist Party.

11 May 2011

spotCon-Dems put squeeze on democratic rights

Documentary photographer Marc Vallée recently debated new emergency counter-terrorism stop and search powers on Radio 4's Today programme with chief constable Andy Trotter of the Association of Chief Police Officers...

11 May 2011

spotBahrain repression: Muted criticism of West's ally

The vicious regime in Bahrain has arrested and detained doctors and medical staff for treating injured protesters during recent clashes with security forces. 47 are to be tried in military courts, writes John Sharpe.

11 May 2011

spotNews in brief

Kazakhstan repression: Members of the Socialist Party staged a protest outside the Kazakhstan embassy in central London on Friday 6 May in support of trade union and socialist activists who are suffering repeated attacks and harassment by the Nazarbayev regime...

11 May 2011

spotFight for the NHS

Who's banking on the NHS, photomontage by Chris Bird and Leon Kuhn

Who's banking on the NHS, photomontage by Chris Bird and Leon Kuhn

The Tory/Lib Dem coalition has voted through the Health and Social Care Bill, now at report stage, which will lead to wholesale privatisation of the NHS...

11 May 2011

spotLibrary cuts hit staff and users: time for action against the cuts

The library service I work for has been told to cut over £1 million. Immediately this has led to the cutting of overtime for staff and the effective scrapping of a casual pool of labour

11 May 2011

spotThe Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Robert Tressell Banner, made for the Robert Tressell Society in Hastings, showing The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

Robert Tressell Banner, made for the Robert Tressell Society in Hastings, showing The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

Book review and anniversary: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell is a classic book, which every socialist should read...

11 May 2011

spotReview: Panorama on housing: The human impact of the crisis

By talking to some of the people affected, the Panorama programme on 4 May gave a rare glimpse on prime time TV, of the human impact of the housing crisis, writes Paul Kershaw, Unite LE 1111 housing workers' branch, personal capacity.

11 May 2011

spotSuffolk Tories in retreat?

An article in the Guardian on 5 May proclaimed that "a Tory local council has halted controversial 'virtual council' plans to outsource all its services, after public opposition to spending cuts and a collapse in staff morale triggered a political revolt by backbenchers.", writes Roger MacKay, Ipswich & District TUC.

11 May 2011

spotStudents occupy against cuts at London Met

Students protest against cuts, photo by Senan

Students protest against cuts, photo by Senan

On 4 May 30 students began an occupation of London Metropolitan University in defence of courses and services there, writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, National organiser, Socialist Students.

11 May 2011

spotDefend independent living rights

Pensioners and elderly disabled people protesting against cuts in services outside Waltham Forest council, photo Paul Mattsson

Pensioners and elderly disabled people protesting against cuts in services outside Waltham Forest council, photo Paul Mattsson

In April, Elaine McDonald, a former prima ballerina with the Scottish Ballet, took her fight to maintain her dignity and stop cuts to her care package to the Supreme Court, an Independent Living Fund user writes.

11 May 2011

spotDefending trade unionism on London Underground

In a ballot for strike action to defend two transport union RMT reps, the result was overwhelmingly in support, an RMT member writes.

11 May 2011

spotTUSC shows alternative to Con-Dem and Labour cuts

Campaigning for TUSC in Swansea, photo by Socialist Party Wales

Campaigning for TUSC in Swansea, photo by Socialist Party Wales

Roundup: 174 candidates, standing in 50 councils, contested the English local elections under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella, polling over 25,000 votes...

11 May 2011

spotFor sale: university places

Youth and Student news: Tory education minister David Willetts' latest crackpot idea to make more money out of young people's education is to allow universities to charge rich students more for extra places, writes Ben Robinson.

11 May 2011

spotPCS conference: prepare for united action on 30 June

Part of the PCS contingent on the massive 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Senan

Part of the PCS contingent on the massive 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Senan

John McInally, national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), explains, in a personal capacity, some of the main issues facing delegates to this year's conference...

12 May 2011

spotBritish Airways cabin crew balloting on latest offer

A mass meeting of Unite cabin crew members at BA has agreed to ballot the wider membership in regard to the company's latest offer to settle the long running dispute

13 May 2011

spotClosure of a fifth of benefit processing offices and call centres announced

Jobcentre Plus has been announced that 17 benefit processing sites and five contact centres will be shut, mostly within 12 months, with the loss of 2,400 jobs...

13 May 2011

spotHardest Hit protest - pictures

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

Thousands of disabled people and their families, carers, supporters etc, protested in central London on 11th May against government spending cuts.

18 May 2011

spotDerriford hospital announces huge cuts

Derriford Hospital, the major health facility in west Devon and Cornwall, has announced massive cuts, write Plymouth Socialist Party members

18 May 2011

spotTeachers' strike stops job cuts

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

National Union of Teachers (NUT) members at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham have secured victory in their fight to stop compulsory redundancies

18 May 2011

spotBritain now facing crisis on all fronts

March to save the NHS, 17 May 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

March to save the NHS, 17 May 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

If splits at the top denote opposition from below, then the character of the divisions between the alleged 'partners' in the Con-Dem government means that a massive social and political revolt is brewing in Britain

18 May 2011

spotFight all the cuts - come to the NSSN conference

National Shop Stewards Network anti-cuts conference (NSSN), photo Paul Mattsson

National Shop Stewards Network anti-cuts conference (NSSN), photo Paul Mattsson

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is at the forefront of the battle against the Con-Dem cuts...

18 May 2011

spotUCU at the crossroads on pensions

UCU pickets at Bradford University, photo Iain Dalton

UCU pickets at Bradford University, photo Iain Dalton

Lecturers in the further and higher education sectors are being attacked on all fronts by the Con-Dem government and the employers - cuts, job losses, pay and pensions...

18 May 2011

spotThe Hardest Hit march and rally

 Hardest Hit Protest: Disabled people and their families protest in central London against government spending cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Hardest Hit Protest: Disabled people and their families protest in central London against government spending cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

I attended the disabled people's protest in central London on Wednesday 11 May as part of a group organised by the Royal National Institute of the Blind, writes Adrian Picton.

18 May 2011

spotNews in brief

Losing your home: More evidence that the government's austerity measures are pushing the economy back into recession comes from the latest house repossession figures...

18 May 2011

spotNorthern Ireland: The 'no change' elections

On 5 May elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly and local councils saw the further consolidation of the two largest parties, the loyalist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the republican Sinn Féin, writes Socialist Party (CWI, Northern Ireland).

18 May 2011

spotTory cuts hit children and young people

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

A leading think tank has estimated that the Con-Dem coalition's spending cuts could push another 300,000 children below the poverty line, writes Sunara Begum.

18 May 2011

spotTeachers strike and parents picket at Shorefields

Strike action by the NUT and NASUWT unions closed Shorefields secondary school in Dingle, Liverpool for the second time in a month on 11 May, writes Dave Walsh.

18 May 2011

spotCampaigners put pressure on Lambeth council

Tory-run Wandsworth council hit the headlines recently with its outrageous plans to charge children £2.50 to use the local playgrounds at weekends...

18 May 2011

spotPCS conference agrees ballot for action on pensions

PCS members demonstrate, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members demonstrate, photo Paul Mattsson

NB: Report of fringe meetings appended on 19.5.11.

The conference taking place this week of civil servants in the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has voted overwhelmingly to start a ballot for strike action against the Con-Dem attack on public sector pensions

18 May 2011

spotStrike back at pensions robbery!

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

NUT on TUC demo

National Union of Teachers members across England and Wales are balloting for strike action over pensions. So are members of the smaller ATL teaching union. We must win those ballots and defeat the government's plans to make every teacher pay more for a worse pension, writes Martin Powell-Davies, NUT national executive member.

18 May 2011

spotBattle for the NHS!

March to save the NHS 17 May 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

March to save the NHS 17 May 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

David Cameron has made clearer than ever what side he's on regarding the NHS. "It is because I love the NHS so much that I want to change it," he said. This speech spelt out that only very minor compromises,...

18 May 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Strike at EHRC: Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in the Cardiff office of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had solid support for their second walkout on 11 May, writes Katrine Williams PCS Wales chair.

18 May 2011

spotBA dispute: Mass meeting votes to put latest agreement to membership

British Airways cabin crew on strike at Heathrow airport, photo Paul Mattsson

British Airways cabin crew on strike at Heathrow airport, photo Paul Mattsson

On 12 May at a mass members' meeting, Unite British Airways (BA)cabin crew voted to put the latest agreement between the union and management to a ballot of the membership, writes Neil Cafferky.

18 May 2011

spotThe difference a union makes

An example of the utter inability of capitalism to answer the basic needs of society, and its young people particularly, was provided to me by my own family recently, an east London Socialist Party member writes.

18 May 2011

spotIraq war: Labour's lie machine

A former British senior intelligence officer claims that Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spin doctor, 'sexed up' the Labour government's 'dodgy dossier' in 2002 to include the bogus threat that the Saddam Hussein regime could launch weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against British interests within 45 minutes.

18 May 2011

spotPay gap grows ever wider

'Under capitalism the rich get richer and the poor get poorer'. Merely Marxist propaganda? Not so. A new report by the high pay commission shows that the wage gap between UK's highest earners and the rest of workers will soon be as wide as in Victorian times.

18 May 2011

spotCWU conference: Support joint union action on 30 June

Morale among postal workers has never been so low. We think things can't get any worse but they do. One of the Brown government's final acts was to appoint new chief executive, Moya Greene, with the job of privatising Royal Mail.

18 May 2011

spotCon-Dems: Supporting Youth Enslavement

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

In an attempt to demonstrate the 'unity' of the coalition after the Lib Dems' disastrous results in the local elections, Cameron and Clegg attended a series of events to launch their new plan 'Supporting Youth Employment'.

18 May 2011

spotCrisis deepens in the eurozone

What we think The eurozone faces its deepest crisis since the euro was launched in 1999. Failure to resolve the sharpening Greek debt emergency would have a devastating effect on the European and world economies.

18 May 2011

spotWorld Economy

5) The chorus of capitalist commentators to the effect that capitalism is on a recovery road to promised 'sunny economic uplands' is bogus...

18 May 2011

spotEurope

11) In Europe, the economic meltdown in Ireland threatens to spread to Portugal and even to Spain, which according to some capitalist economists is the fourth largest economy in Europe and "too big to save"...

18 May 2011

spotEducation, Students and Indications of 'social war'

47) A similar battle is opening up in education - in the first instance in the university and college sector...

18 May 2011

spotImmigration and the far right

57) Britain has throughout history been affected by waves of immigrants coming to these shores. The influxes in the last 200 years of Irish, Jews, Afro-Caribbeans, South Asians, Africans and, latterly,...

18 May 2011

spotThe NSSN, the anti-cuts struggle and the Trade Unions

63) This is one indication of the social war that is in its first stages in Britain. The first large front in this war will be on the issue of the cuts...

18 May 2011

spotLiberal Democrats and the Coalition, Labour and the Greens

75) The government claims that it does not have a 'Plan B', an alternative policy in the event of its ruthless deflationary policy collapsing, as it will...

18 May 2011

spotBritish Perspectives

A Socialist Party 2011 Congress document: This document was first drafted in mid-January 2011 by the Socialist Party executive committee; subsequently some amendments were incorporated during a discussion at the party's congress on 26-28 February 2011...

18 May 2011

spotBritain's economic position and the cuts

14) The hopes of a revival in the fortunes of the ConDem government - which is already under siege from opposition to the cuts - will be dissipated...

18 May 2011

spotStruggle necessary against the cuts

36) As earlier with the poll tax - because of the character of the period we are in of a drawn-out economic agony - for the working class above all the choice is between a conscious organised movement led by the trade unions and the labour movement generally but with a militant fighting policy...

19 May 2011

spotUnison leaders failing to adopt the demands of health workers

Around 100 nursing stewards attended Unison's first nursing and midwifery professional seminar in York on 11-12 May

20 May 2011

spotNHS demo in London needs to be a step towards united national strike action

March to save the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

March to save the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

2,000 people marched with London 'Keep Our NHS Public' on Tuesday 17 May. Several NHS trusts across London have announced big cuts

20 May 2011

spotBlacklisted electrician stands his ground on right to protest

After two years of harassment against blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson, Scottish and Southern Electricity (S&SE) has backed down...

20 May 2011

spotThree day strike to stop redundancies at Sheffield College

UCU lecturers on a three day strike to stop redundancies at Sheffield College  , photo A Tice

UCU lecturers on a three day strike to stop redundancies at Sheffield College , photo A Tice

College lecturers in the UCU in Sheffield have taken three days of strike action against threatened compulsory redundancies

23 May 2011

spotLondon postal workers vote 'Yes' for strike action

Postal workers in London have voted by four to one (79%) in favour of strike action against plans to shut three mail centres and one delivery office

23 May 2011

spotCWU calls for 24-hour general strike against cuts

The CWU conference has voted unanimously to call on the TUC to coordinate a 24-hour general strike against the cuts and attacks on wages and pensions

23 May 2011

spotNewport Passport Office - campaign saves 150 jobs but fight goes on

The Tory immigration minister has announced the closure of Newport Passport Office as a processing centre but in a big concession to the massive campaign led by the PCS, retained half of the threatened jobs

23 May 2011

spotSouthampton city council workers strike

Southampton refuse workers strike, 23.5.11

Southampton refuse workers strike, 23.5.11

"No ifs, no buts, you can stick your Tory cuts", "Cut my pay, No way" were the angry chants of Southampton refuse workers today, out on strike against savage cuts to pay

23 May 2011

spotSpain: this is what democracy looks like!

'Thank you for fighting for our future' - message from Spanish youth protesting in central Madrid to the thousands gathered against the Spanish government's austerity package , photo by Sarah Wrack

'Thank you for fighting for our future'. Photo by Sarah Wrack

Members of the CWI in Spain have participated in the Spanish youth movement in eight different cities with a special leaflet calling for unity with the working class and a general strike, for elected democratic committees of workers and young people to prepare such a movement and for a revolutionary socialist policy

24 May 2011

spotCuts in hospital parking charges as result of Coventry campaign

Bosses at Coventry and Warwickshire University Hospitals NHS Trust have announced cuts in some of the charges for car parking at Walsgrave hospital

24 May 2011

spotCivil servants start voting in national strike ballot

More than a quarter of a million members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will start voting this week in their national strike ballot over cuts to pensions, jobs and pay

25 May 2011

spot'Slutwalk' protests: Women reject sexism

Over recent weeks a number of issues have come up which highlight the degree of sexism women face, here and internationally, and the opposition to it

25 May 2011

spotPCS conference: developing strategies for struggle

PCS workers strike , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS strike , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS conference was genuinely historic. Delegates voted overwhelmingly to ballot for industrial action against the government's attacks on jobs, pay, pensions and conditions, writes John McInally, PCS vice president, personal capacity

25 May 2011

spotBattling to defend the NHS

March to save the NHS 17 May 2011 , photo by Paul Mattsson

March to save the NHS 17 May 2011 , photo by Paul Mattsson

In the Con-Dems' Health and Social Care Bill the NHS faces a serious attack on its very existence. But the huge anger the Bill has inspired is putting massive pressure on the coalition government. Health workers and activists explain what needs to be done

25 May 2011

spotNational shop stewards conference - Unite to stop the cuts

Southampton refuse workers in Unite on strike, 23.5.11 , photo Southampton Socialist Party

Refuse workers on strike

The mood to fight the cuts, which brought over half a million onto the streets on 26 March, has been boiling up, writes Linda Taaffe, NSSN secretary.

25 May 2011

spot"We are London Met Uni, not EasyMet"

UCU  members on strike at London Met university in 2009 say No Job Cuts, Save our staff, and Education not for sale , photo Paul Mattsson

UCU members on strike at London Met university in 2009 say No Job Cuts, Save our staff, and Education not for sale , photo Paul Mattsson

In April London Met university announced the closure of 70% of its courses. A campaign by staff and students has been fighting to defend the university

25 May 2011

spotAs the cost of living soars...: 'We are going to fight back'!

Cuts in public services, a widening wealth gap and declining living standards for the majority of working and middle class people could lead to an explosion of anger in Britain...

25 May 2011

spotWeak and unpopular coalition can be defeated

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

When, on 26 March, over half a million took to the streets on a trade union demonstration against the cuts, Independent journalist Dominic Lawson sneered that more would be prepared to march in favour of the cuts...

25 May 2011

spotUCU facing battles on all fronts

With its 2011 conference on 28-30 May, UCU - the trade union for lecturers, researchers and related staff - is being attacked from every angle by the government and the employers, writes Dave Beale, UCU, personal capacity.

25 May 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Newport Passport Office: On 23 May Tory immigration minister Damian Green announced the closure of Newport Passport Office as a processing centre, writes Dave Reid.

25 May 2011

spotAn offer we must refuse

Local government workers across Britain are facing attacks on their jobs, pay and terms and conditions as part of the Con-Demolition of public services...

25 May 2011

spotFirefighters discuss strategy to fight cuts

Seventy delegates to the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) conference attended the official fringe meeting about how to fight the cuts, writes Hugh Caffrey, North West Socialist Party.

25 May 2011

spotChallenging Tories' plans to kill our health service

About 40 people gathered at a meeting, called by Defend the NHS, at the West Kirby Social Club, Wirral, on 20 May to quiz Tory MP, Esther McVey on the NHS white paper, writes Andy Ford, Unite North West regional health committee.

25 May 2011

spotShowing an alternative to cuts in Dorset

Socialist Party members sold 25 copies of the Socialist and raised over £35 fighting fund on 21 May at our first stall in Poole, Dorset, for many years, writes Sean Clothier.

25 May 2011

spotSlave labour schemes must be resisted

The supposed training opportunities the government is offering young people are nothing more than a back door way of moving people from the unemployment figures into unskilled work whilst not having to spend any money, writes Graham O'Reilly.

25 May 2011

spotLeadership failed print workers in vital battle

Demo supporting the 1986 Wapping print workers strike, photo Mick Carroll

Demo supporting the 1986 Wapping print workers strike, photo Mick Carroll

Wapping exhibition review: Throughout May the Marx Memorial Library (MML) in Clerkenwell Green, London has been largely given over to the 'News International Dispute; 25 years on' exhibition, writes Bill Mullins.

25 May 2011

spotReview: The street that cut everything

Journalist Nick Robinson follows the residents of a street in Preston who have agreed to go without any council services for six weeks, writes Sean Figg.

25 May 2011

spotWhy Liverpool needs a needs budget

On 14 May 2011 Derek Hatton, deputy leader of the 47 Liverpool councillors in their battle against the Tory government's cuts from 1983 to 1987, pronounced in the Liverpool Echo newspaper that refusing to implement the cuts would be political suicide for present-day Labour leader Joe Anderson...

25 May 2011

spotAtos Origin - profiting from pain

Disabled people are extremely angry with Steve Cram for accepting the post of 'ambassador' for big business privatisers Atos Origin in their capacity as IT partner for the London 2012 Olympics, writes Les Woodward, Remploy Trade Union National Convenor.

25 May 2011

spotCare homes privatisation hits the elderly

31,000 people living in care homes face uncertainty over their future, writes John Sharpe.

25 May 2011

spotNews in brief

Tata jobs: Tata Steel, the world's biggest steelmaker, is to slash another 1,500 jobs at plants in Scunthorpe and Teesside. This latest blow to jobs in the north east is on top of the 2,000 axed in 2009...

25 May 2011

spotIreland: 'Reclaim the unions'

Successful activists forum held: On 7 May, 70 activists from a range of trade unions met at a forum in Dublin organised under the title Reclaim the Unions, writes Michael O'Brien, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland).

25 May 2011

spotMcNulty's railway report: not 'value for money'!

National Shop Stewards Network national conference 2010, Steve Hedley, London Regional Secretary, RMT, photo Socialist Party

National Shop Stewards Network national conference 2010, Steve Hedley, London Regional Secretary, RMT, photo Socialist Party

Sir Roy McNulty's railway 'value for money' report, commissioned by the government, seems to blame and penalise workers for the failed privatisation policies of successive Tory and Labour governments

25 May 2011

spotEyewitness report: Mass youth protests in Spain

Madrid: Spain’s town squares filled with tens of thousands of indignados (angry people), mainly youth, in protest at the anti-social consensus of both PSOE and the PP , photo Sarah Wrack

Madrid: Spain’s town squares filled with tens of thousands of indignados (angry people), mainly youth, in protest at the anti-social consensus of both PSOE and the PP , photo Sarah Wrack

Since 15 May, central squares in towns and cities across Spain have been occupied. In the run up to the local and municipal elections which took place on 22 May, the mainly young protesters demanded real democracy

25 May 2011

spotGreece: Resist bosses' agenda and the far right

Greece's second 24-hour general strike held this year, on 11 May, saw massive workers' participation and completely paralysed every aspect of economic life in Greece

26 May 2011

spotSpontaneous lecturers' walkout in South Wales against victimisation

Guy Stoate (L) addresses a UCU Cymru rally in defence of pensions in Cardiff Bay on 24.511. Photo by Edmund Schluessel

Guy Stoate (L) addresses a UCU Cymru rally in defence of pensions in Cardiff Bay on 24.511. Photo by Edmund Schluessel

Lecturers walked out of Coleg Morgannwg on 25th May in support of UCU Cymru president Guy Stoate

26 May 2011

spotShropshire Socialist Party: Imperialism and revolution in the Middle East

Thursday 29th May 2011: From Tunisia, to Egypt, to Bahrain, to Libya, to Yemen, to Djibouti and Morocco, the revolution that was sparked by the self-immolation of the desperate and heroic street seller in Tunisia has erupted throughout the Middle East...

27 May 2011

spotNew report 'shatters the government's case' for pension cuts

A House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report "The impact of the 2007-2008 changes to public service pensions" confirms what unions have been saying - that there is no need for public sector workers to be paying in more for their pensions...

28 May 2011

spotLeeds 'Keep Our NHS Public' march

Saturday 28 May 2011: Members of Leeds Keep Our NHS Public alongside health workers and service users will march this Saturday from St James hospital to Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) against NHS cuts and privatisation...

29 May 2011

spotDemonstration against closure of day centre in Llandeilo

Photo Socialist Party Wales

Photo Socialist Party Wales

Users of Noddfa Teilo Day Club in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, protested outside the centre which has been a base over the years

29 May 2011

spotSaltend construction workers' struggle ends

The heroic struggle by engineering construction workers locked out from work on the bioethanol plant at BP Saltend near Hull has ended after nearly three months

31 May 2011

spotFighting talk at TUC disability conference

 Hardest Hit Protest: Disabled people and their families protest in central London against government spending cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Hardest Hit protest

The TUC disability conference was in a combative mood following the anti-cuts march of thousands of people with disabilities a week earlier

31 May 2011

spotSouthampton city council strikes continue

Refuse workers finished their first strike action against cuts to pay, jobs and services on Friday 27 May 100% solid. Support has poured in from around the country and internationally...

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