Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/687/12862
News in brief
BAE jobs massacre
BAE Systems has announced that it intends to axe 3,000 manufacturing jobs in the UK. The main brunt of the job losses will hit plants in Brough, East Yorkshire, and at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire. These losses follow thousands of job cuts announced by BAE earlier in the year.
The GMB trade union, which represents many threatened workers, complained of being kept in the dark by the company over the job losses.
BAE says the cuts are a result of slow sales of the Typhoon 'Eurofighter' military jet - a joint manufacturing enterprise agreed by British, German, Italian and Spanish governments. This multibillion euro folly helped to maintain sales and profits for military contractors. Had billions, instead, been invested in re-tooling to create green manufacturing jobs then mass lay-offs could have been avoided.
BAE enjoyed £691 million in profits for the first six months of 2011 and gave its shareholders a 7% dividend rise despite cuts in military spending. The company also benefited from a one-off £125 million payment from the Ministry of Defence in compensation for contract changes over the past nine years.
The trade unions should demand an independent examination of the company's accounts to determine BAE's real financial situation. The unions should also campaign to renationalise the aerospace industry and use the skills and technique for socially useful production.
A new national organisation for tenants in the private rented sector has been established. The National Private Tenants Organisation has been formed by four private tenants organisations in England based in Blackpool, Brent, Camden and Scarborough.
Chairperson Kevin Allen said: "This is a critical time for private tenants to have a national voice. With home ownership out of reach for many people and the lack of social housing, private renting is becoming the only option for many.
"We have real concerns about rogue landlords and sub-standard homes. According to Shelter local councils know more than 1,475 landlords who repeatedly give them cause for concern... A BBC news report in February this year reported that one million rented homes in England are dangerous. Changes to housing benefit, legal aid and changes to social housing tenancies are set to make this situation worse."
Membership of the national group is open to private tenants groups and individual tenants who cannot join a local group. For further information contact:
Jacky Peacock (secretary NPTO), email: email@example.com 020 3002 2786
With university tuition fees set to rocket to an average £8,400 in 2012 a report by financial consultancy Grant Thornton reckons that the rich will be "even better off" because they will be able to settle their debts sooner and pay less in interest than those graduates on lower incomes.
The report adds that the higher fees will have the greatest deterrent on those families whose parents did not attend university.
In The Socialist 28 September 2011:
Building for 30 November strike
Jarrow march for jobs
The Socialist's editorials
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review