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Archive for September 2007

6 September 2007

spotStrike against public sector pay cap

Prison officers' action: On 29 August, the Prison Officers' Association (POA) held its first ever national day of strike action, with over 20,000 staff walking out from all public prisons in England and Wales...

6 September 2007

spotPrison officers defy government's pay cap

Editorial: The one-day strike on Wednesday 29 August by the Prison Officers Association (POA) was highly significant in that the entire Association, including its leadership, deliberately defied a no-strike 'agreement' with the govern...

6 September 2007

spotPrison Officers' strike reports

Prison Officers' strike: A SEA of shining white shirts greeted me as I walked up to the picket line at HMP Brixton, bringing solidarity from my local Unison branch....

6 September 2007

spotDefend Newcastle General Hospital

Fight Tesco's plans: IN NEWCASTLE, proposals have been put forward to close the General Hospital (NGH) and build a Tesco store on the site.

6 September 2007

spotSheffield Northern General Hospital bulk stores strike

Agenda for cheap: "Agenda for cheap". That's how one Unison steward described the wage cuts being imposed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust on bulk store workers... By Alistair Tice and Edd Mustill

6 September 2007

spotTUC conference resolutions need to lead to action

TUC conference 2007: The annual Trades Union Congress (TUC) takes place on 10-13 September, against a background of increasing attacks on workers' pay and conditions but also a willingness of some unions to take action in defence of jobs...

6 September 2007

spotTUC conference fringe meeting

National Shop Stewards Network: Speakers: Bob Crow, general secretary RMT, Brian Caton, general secretary POA, Chris Baugh, asst...

6 September 2007

spotSocialism 2007 - a weekend of discussion and debate, hosted by the Socialist Party

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

17-18 November 2007, University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1.

Speakers include:

Brian Caton, general secretary POA, (recently led strike action which was declared illegal)

Mark Serwotka, general secretary PCS

Peter Taaffe, general secretary, Socialist Party

6 September 2007

spotThe growing wealth gap

The Super-Rich, the owners of Britain's industrial and financial giants, are getting enormously richer while workers are more and more forced to take industrial action merely to defend their pay, pensions and conditions...

6 September 2007

spotCardiff: More schools fight closures programme

OPPOSITION IS still building against Cardiff council's school closures programme...

6 September 2007

spotGreece is burning

OVERSHADOWING THE forthcoming general election in Greece has been the terrible tragedy of forest fires which have claimed many lives...

6 September 2007

spotBelfast Airport workers score a victory

Belfast airport workers have won a stunning victory in a Fair Employment Tribunal but the shop stewards vow that their fight for justice will go on.... By Bill Mullins

6 September 2007

spotUnison witch-hunt

Five Unison branch officers from four branches are under attack from the Unison leadership...

6 September 2007

spotPlymouth dockyard

There was a walkout of over 1,000 'non-industrial' workers at Plymouth Dockyard on 31 August... By Sean Brogan, Devon Socialist Party

6 September 2007

spotFela Kuti, revolutionary musician

The socialist review: Ten years after the death of Fela Kuti, the resonating messages of a revolutionary musician are still all too relevant.... By Lanre Arogundade & Segun Sango

6 September 2007

spot'Holding Fire' by Jack Shepherd

While London theatre rarely concerns itself with labour history, this new play deals with the Chartist movement in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century...

6 September 2007

spotSave the 'Westie' in Aldershot

Residents, artists, music lovers, young and old, from Aldershot and surrounding areas spilled into the street outside Aldershot's West End Centre... By Nick Kirk Reading Socialist Party

6 September 2007

spot'Agitate, educate, organise': the role of the workers' press

The Socialist issue 366

The Socialist issue 366

DURING 500 issues the socialist has carried news and analysis, reviews, letters, historical material, cartoons and reports of campaigns and struggles across England and Wales and the world.

It has put forward strategies for opposing privatisation of public services such as the health, fire and postal services and the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, among other issues.

6 September 2007

spotStrikers solid in London tubes stoppage

RMT strike: London tube workers strike in September 2007 after Metronet bankruptcy, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT strike: London tube workers strike in September 2007 after Metronet bankruptcy, photo Paul Mattsson

THE STRIKE on most of London's tube system, the parts previously maintained by the bankrupt Metronet company, had a huge effect...

6 September 2007

spotSwansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions

AS WE go to press, workers in the Swansea Visteon plant are voting on a company offer to settle their long-running dispute... By a Visteon steward

13 September 2007

spotPostal workers: "We have the power!"

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge spoke to Jason, a postal worker from east London, as negotiations between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have broken down...

13 September 2007

spotTUC conference: Standing up to Brown's attacks

TUC conference: WHEN GORDON Brown spoke at the TUC, he stressed the point that most British workers have jobs, unlike in the past... By Jane James at the TUC conference

13 September 2007

spotNeeded: a combative trade union movement

Editorial: THE SUCCESSFUL strike actions of the Prison Officers Association (POA) and the RMT maintenance workers on London Underground have potentially changed the industrial situation in Britain to the benefit of trade unions and work...

13 September 2007

spotTube workers' strike scores victory

A strike by 2,300 RMT rail union members who work for the failed Metronet consortium brought the London tube network to a virtual standstill last week... By an RMT Metronet maintenance worker

13 September 2007

spotNurses strike

A protest in Leeds against Health cuts

A protest in Leeds against Health cuts

TWO HUNDRED health-workers and supporters rallied on 9 September against Manchester Community and Mental Health Trust management... By Hugh Caffrey, Manchester

13 September 2007

spotManchester cuts maternity services

HALF A million objections, millions of £s in "consultation", an "independent" review and a few months for Health Secretary Johnson to think it over..... By Hugh Caffrey and Lynn Worthington

13 September 2007

spotLeeds - no more deficits and cuts

OVER THREE years, there have been big cuts in every hospital making up Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust... By Alan Turner, Leeds Socialist Party

13 September 2007

spotBosses get away with murder

On 28 August, two firms ICL Plastics and ICL tech were fined a paltry £400,000 after admitting four charges of negligence, which resulted in the deaths of nine workers... By Liam O Connolly, Glasgow

13 September 2007

spotIraq: Get the troops out now

International Socialist Resistance demonstrate against war

International Socialist Resistance demonstrate against war

"Generals lie, Soldiers die," chanted pro-testers when general David Petraeus appeared before a Congressional committee in Washington on 10 September...

13 September 2007

spotA life of debt and poverty?

THE EROSION of real wages, growing bills, a grossly overpriced housing market and a financial crisis that led to five interest rate rises in 18 months...

13 September 2007

spotAPEC summit: Thousands defy police crackdown

AS THE Asia Pacific Economic Co-Operation (APEC) forum wound up in Sydney last weekend, Australian prime minister John Howard was trying to spruik (champion) its success... By Socialist Party reporters in Sydney and Melbourne

13 September 2007

spotOvercrowded prisons, overworked staff

BRITAIN'S PRISON officers held their first-ever national strike, mainly on pay, in August... By Iain Dalton

13 September 2007

spotKeeping tabs on the millions?

DNA database: A SENIOR appeal judge, Sir Stephen Sedley, has called for the genetic details of all the 60 million people who live in Britain and the 30 million who visit every year to be added to the national DNA database.... By Bob Severn

13 September 2007

spotTory party struggles to recapture territory taken by New Labour

A FEW months ago there seemed to be a Tory revival. Yet now, senior Tories are carrying out a public spat and Cameron seems unable to contain it...

13 September 2007

spotImpressions of China

Socialist Party member Ron Groves gives a first-hand report on the glaring social contradictions in modern-day China....

13 September 2007

spotRobert Blincoe - a life that illuminates an age

THE REAL OLIVER TWIST : Was the real life story of a parish orphan 'Robert Blincoe' the inspiration for Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist'...

13 September 2007

spotFighting Unions Need a New party

RMT protest against Tube privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT protest against Tube privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

Smash the pay freeze: Insisting that public sector workers must accept below inflation pay rises - in reality, pay cuts - Gordon Brown showed how little difference there is between the Blair and Brown governments... By Councillor Dave Nellist Chair, Campaign for a New Workers' Party.



20 September 2007

spotEconomy hits a rock

FOR TEN years Gordon Brown has claimed that New Labour have created economic stability, overcoming capitalism's "cycle of boom and bust"...

20 September 2007

spotCrisis will hit north east jobs

NORTHERN ROCK'S headquarters are in Gosforth, near Newcastle, and they employ around 4,700 people in North-Eastern England... By Elaine Brunskill

20 September 2007

spotTime for a new party

Break with Labour: The new merged union 'Unite' is leading a lobby of Labour Party conference on Sunday 23 September... By Rob Williams, Unite convenor, Swansea Visteon plant, personal capacity

20 September 2007

spotSocialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

BRITAIN IS a divided country, with life for the super-rich seeming like another world all together. While thousands of workers queued for hours outside Northern Rock, fearful they could lose their life savings, the Bank of England bailed out company chiefs, just as they did with Barclays Bank a few weeks ago to the tune of £312 million.

20 September 2007

spotMake Socialism 2007 an unforgettable weekend

Socialism 2007 is fast approaching and is shaping up to be the best Socialism event yet... By Greg Maughan

20 September 2007

spotTUC conference: Workers defy Brown

 Brown dashed from the TUC to meet the hated Margaret Thatcher

Brown dashed from the TUC to meet the hated Margaret Thatcher

TUC conference - public-sector pay: At last week's TUC conference, Gordon Brown used his speech to kick public-sector trade unionists in the teeth by repeating his demands for pay "discipline"...

20 September 2007

spotLinking the struggles together

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) fringe meeting at the TUC met at the same time and in the same hotel as the Labour Representation Committee's "Saving Labour Party Conference" meeting... By Nancy Taaffe

20 September 2007

spotRemploy workers fight for jobs

Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Chris Moore

Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Chris Moore

"If need be, we will take this attitude to the battlefield and with this attitude, we will win"

20 September 2007

spotCWU: Further national action discussed

Pay and jobs battle: There has been a further meeting between the CWU negotiators and Royal Mail over the national pay dispute...

20 September 2007

spotDefend the Burslem 12

No victimisation of postal workers: Postal workers at Burslem delivery office in Stoke walked out on 11 September when twelve workers were suspended on trumped up charges of 'suspicion of harassment'... By Andy Bentley

20 September 2007

spotNHS: Our message to Labour

NHS: A REPORT has been published for the right-wing think tank, the Kings Fund, by Sir Derek Wanless, former adviser to Gordon Brown... By Lois Austin

20 September 2007

spotVictory! Campaign saves nursery

Huddersfield Examiner reports on the saving of Tiddlywinks nursery.

Huddersfield Examiner reports on the saving of Tiddlywinks nursery.

Huddersfield: LOCAL PARENTS, their children and staff at Tiddlywinks Nursery in Huddersfield are celebrating a victory in reversing Kirklees council's decision to close it down... By Mike Forster

20 September 2007

spotMedway schools

THE LOCAL press in Medway, Kent, published a leaked local authority memo this week, which explained that ten unnamed schools will have their futures reviewed for merger or closure in the New Year... By Jacqui Berry

20 September 2007

spotLobby demands asylum for Sadiq

Save Sadiq: Lobby demands asylum for Sadiq, photo Jack Royston

Save Sadiq: Lobby demands asylum for Sadiq, photo Jack Royston

ABOUT 30 people lobbied Keith Hill MP's surgery in Lambeth on 15 September calling for asylum for Sadiq Abakar, a refugee from the Darfur war zone. ...

20 September 2007

spotFight for a living grant

Students protest against fees

Students protest against fees

Scrap student fees: "I have no incentive for going to university. I can get an alright job without a degree and there's no debt to deal with..." By Holly Robbins, Somerset Socialist Students

20 September 2007

spotStudent Socialist: Issue 5 out now!

Student Socialist: The Student Socialist is a magazine produced by Socialist Students for students who want to campaign and fight back....

20 September 2007

spotStudying on a low wage

I work for a catering agency that pays £6.50 an hour. To make it worthwhile I work 12 hours, finishing very late at night. ... By What are your experiences of working as a student?

20 September 2007

spotFlexible hours? Suits you sir!

Like many students starting university this year, the idea of a £22,000 debt over my head is a shocking one... By Arran Cottam Exeter Socialist Party

20 September 2007

spotConsumed: How markets corrupt children, infantilise adults and swallow citizens whole

Readers of the socialist could readily agree with the title of this book. The destructive nature of the capitalist system, based upon production for profit... By Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party General Secretary

20 September 2007

spotEgypt: Worker militancy shows pressing need for political voice

THE EGYPTIAN working class over the last year has jumped into action, coming out in mass strikes, blockading their work-places and more importantly, establishing independent workers' organisations, set apart from the corrupt... By Jim Thomson

20 September 2007

spotNationalise the banks

Make the bankers pay: As panic spread that the building society Northern Rock was about to collapse, thousands of people queued overnight outside its branches to withdraw their hard-earned savings... By Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy General Secretary

20 September 2007

spotWhat do youth think?

Youth are apathetic; they only care about new trainers and the latest games consoles... this is the picture that is painted of how we think, feel and behave! By Carlene Ritchie Walthamstow branch

20 September 2007

spotSwansea - no more cuts for cash

Marching through Swansea to save NHS services

Marching through Swansea to save NHS services, photo Socialist Party Wales


SWANSEA NHS Trust has announced the closure of 86 beds and plans to shed 742 jobs, almost half of them nursing posts... By Alec Thraves, Swansea Socialist Party

27 September 2007

spotBritish banking crisis: Toxic system exposed

THE NEAR collapse of Northern Rock bank, accompanied by the most astonishing scenes of panic for generations outside its branches, has serious political implications for Britain and the government of Gordon Brown...

27 September 2007

spotBrown's blue bluster in Bournemouth

Unite trade union demonstration outside Labour Party conference 2007, photo Bob Severn

Unite trade union demonstration outside Labour Party conference 2007, photo Bob Severn

BEFORE THIS year's Labour Party conference, the unrelenting process of removing democracy inside the Labour Party had already helped to transform the party into the capitalist party that it is today...

27 September 2007

spotUnion protest at Labour's sterile conference

THE UNITE union lead a demonstration of 2,000 people to lobby the start of the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth, asking for a better deal for workers.... By Bob Severn

27 September 2007

spotLiberal Democrats - Struggling in third place

"PUBLIC OPINION will force Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling to hammer the rich at the next election," claimed Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell at his party's annual conference, before he announced plans to give the rich, at b... By Ken Douglas

27 September 2007

spotSalmond's first hundred days

THE SCOTTISH National party (SNP) government recently marked its first 100 days in power in Scotland... By Philip Stott, Dundee

27 September 2007

spotStoke's 'unpopular front' council coalition

NEW LABOUR and the Tories signed up to a coalition this May to run Stoke-on-Trent city council... By Andy Bentley, Stoke-on-Trent

27 September 2007

spotScrap PFI!

Coventry Councillor Dave Nellist on NHS demonstration 1st November 2006

Coventry Councillor Dave Nellist on NHS demonstration 1st November 2006. Photo Paul Mattsson

Save Coventry hospitals: THE PRIVATE Finance Initiative (PFI) hospital at Walsgrave in Coventry has threatened to cut over 300 jobs, and has announced a massive rise in car parking charges for the disabled... By Rob Windsor, Coventry Socialist Party councillor

27 September 2007

spotLocal health services under private control

AN ARTICLE in the British Medical Journal by Professor Allyson Pollock and colleagues exposes the power that private contractors now have over health services... By Councillor Jackie Grunsell and Ian Slattery

27 September 2007

spotSwansea NHS trust - balancing books at patients' expense

SWANSEA NHS trust's announcement that they intend axing 750 nursing and health care hospital posts and 86 beds over the next three years has angered nurses and hospital staff...

27 September 2007

spotPCS prepares for more strikes

PCS's national executive committee (NEC) has unanimously voted to hold a consultative ballot of PCS members for national industrial action to stop compulsory redundancies and defend pay and conditions... By John McInally, PCS NEC, personal capacity

27 September 2007

spotBelfast Airport workers continue their battle

The three former TGWU stewards at ICTS security firm at Belfast International Airport, whose victory in an Employment Tribunal we reported in issue 500, were back in London on 20/21 September... By Kevin Parslow

27 September 2007

spotBus workers win victory

Stagecoach bus drivers, members of RMT and Unite, went on a 24-hour strike in Chesterfield on 7 September over pay and won a pay rise from the management....

27 September 2007

spotGreek elections: Support slashed for New Democracy and PASOK

THE RESULTS of the Greek elections, on 16 September, represent the biggest blow for many years against the governing right wing New Democracy and the opposition social democratic, pro-capitalist PASOK party... By Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI, Greece)

27 September 2007

spotUniversity freshers fairs

Northumbria University: IF YOU were a student at Northumbria University's freshers fair, and were interested in socialist ideas, our Socialist Student stall was the only stall for you!...

27 September 2007

spotSupport the postal workers

Postal workers on strike in June 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

Postal workers on strike in June 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

Royal Mail bosses force further strikes:

THE BATTLE lines have been drawn between Royal Mail and the postal workers. Without doubt we are heading for a showdown, where the very future of our industry...

By Gary Clark, sub area rep, Scotland No. 2 branch Communication Workers Union (CWU)



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