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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 November 2007

In brief

Defend Eddie Fleming

On 22 November, Eddie Fleming was sacked on trumped-up charges. Eddie is the branch chair of the PCS branch at the Child Support Agency (CSA) in Hastings. His real 'crime' is to continue to represent his branch members in spite of management's bullying pressure.

His PCS branch and the national leadership of the union are fully behind Eddie. Please send messages of support to: with copies to Protest to CSA chief executive:

There will be a march and rally in Hastings on 8 December.

  • PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions, including the CSA, have voted for strike action over the imposition of a below-inflation pay offer. 62% voted to strike. The PCS group executive is meeting as we go to press to consider what action to take, including a possible two-day strike.
  • Airport strike ballot

    Workers at the seven airports run by BAA are being balloted for strike action over pensions. Over 5,000 members of Unite will be balloting from 29 November, as BAA's parent company closes the final salary pension scheme to new entrants.

    Crucial firefighting, security and maintenance staff are affected at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

    The ballot closes on 20 December, with the earliest date for strike action being in the holiday rush on 27 December.

    Midlands Shop Stewards Network

    Steve Bostock, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Prison Officers Association (POA) gave an inspiring and amusing description of the strike action by prison officers that caught the attention of many workers recently.

    Steve was addressing the first Midlands meeting of the National Shop Stewards Network, in Birmingham on 24 November.

    The audience of 28 workers from a range of industries including rail, cars, local government, education and health heard how the POA has changed from being perceived as a haven for racists to a union fighting to defend and improve conditions for members. Steve emphasised that the fight for full trade union rights for prison officers will not go away.

    Dave Chapple, chair of the NSSN explained the need for the network and commented on some of the issues the network will try to address. There was discussion of the recent postal dispute and the need for those opposed to the Royal Mail deal to continue campaigning whatever the outcome of the ballot.

    Other issues touched on were the single status battle at Birmingham city council, sacked Unison activist Karen Reissman, and the ongoing witch-hunt in Unison.

    A steering group was formed and a meeting of this will be held in January to start to broaden and deepen the support for and activity of the NSSN in the Midlands.

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    In The Socialist 29 November 2007:

    Northern Rock scandal: Nationalise the banks!

    Environment and socialism

    Stop the ruin of our planet

    What we think

    Mass scrutiny needed to protect our rights and privacy

    Data loss - no surprise to HMRC staff

    Socialist Party NHS campaign

    NHS - new 'surplus' but problems continue

    Demo shows support for victimised nurse

    Socialist Party news and analysis

    QinetiQ sell-off

    In brief: Who safeguards safety?

    Socialist Students

    Fight to save the NUS!

    Students protest at Griffin and Irving

    Exeter students gain anti-fascist victory

    Kick the BNP out of Northumbria

    Nigerian students detained

    Defend students from victimisation

    Che Guevara meetings

    International socialist news and analysis

    Brazil: An explosive brew in land of contrasts

    Australia: Howard disappears under a Labor party landslide

    France: Transport strikes suspended

    Scotland: Solidarity conference

    Marxist analysis: history

    Preparing a revolution and its party

    Workplace news and analysis

    Communication Workers Union ballot

    Teachers need a fighting union leadership

    Construction bosses found guilty

    In brief


    Home   |   The Socialist 29 November 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

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