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Archive for January 2012

3 January 2012

spotPCS Left Unity open organising conference in defence of pensions

Saturday 7 January, 11am - 4pm, Friends Meeting House, opposite Euston station, London. Chair: Janice Godrich, PCS president

4 January 2012

spotLiverpool's managed decline: Tarzan to the rescue?

In a breathtaking example of Tory mendacity former 'Minister for Merseyside' Michael Heseltine claims he rescued Liverpool from 'managed decline', writes Tony Mulhearn, Former Liverpool councillor.

4 January 2012

spotUnity against wage cuts in construction

Construction workers’ strike on 14 December: Corus Redcar electricians, photo Elaine Brunskill

Construction workers’ strike on 14 December: Corus Redcar electricians, photo Elaine Brunskill

The 'Dirty 7' construction companies, who want to slash skilled workers' wages, have finally been dragged kicking and screaming to the negotiating table, writes Rob Williams, Chair, National Shop Stewards Network.

4 January 2012

spotCuts used to attack trade unionists

In its latest round of cuts, Waltham Forest's Labour council has cut another 26 jobs and merged its library service with the Waltham Forest Direct benefits, council tax and advice service...

4 January 2012

spotFight job-cutting academies

The only thing Santa brought the staff at the Oasis Academy, Salford, is P45s. Thirteen staff are to lose their jobs, nine teachers and four support staff, writes Paul Gerrard.

4 January 2012

spotHands off the NHS!

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation , photo Paul Mattsson

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation , photo Paul Mattsson

Con-Dems' lethal policies threaten health service: Under cover of the Christmas break, the government slipped out two lethal policies for the National Health Service, writes Terry Pearce, Save Heatherwood Hospital campaign, personal capacity.

4 January 2012

spotNigeria: Boko Haram's Christmas Day bombings

Among the more audacious previous attacks of Boko Haram were the bombings of the National Police headquarters and the United Nations office in the capital, Abuja, writes Segun Sango, General secretary, Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM - CWI, Nigeria).

4 January 2012

spotWe're not scroungers!

Ian Pattison - a marcher on the Youth Fight for Jobs Jarrow march - replies to Labour leader Ed Miliband's recent comments which claim to offer a 'radical rethink' on benefits, writes Dear Ed Miliband.

4 January 2012

spotUSA: Occupy movement links with working class

The US 'Occupy' movement and its slogans, such as "We are the 99%", have reflected the huge anger at widening economic and social inequality at a time of recession...

4 January 2012

spot2012: Millions face poverty and homelessness

There's been no good news for people worried about their housing situation over Christmas and New Year, writes Sarah Wrack.

4 January 2012

spot"Seismic collapse" of private pensions

Government ministers have continually attempted to sow divisions between public and private sector workers over occupational pensions, writes Dave Carr.

4 January 2012

spotThem & Us

The real scroungers: Benefit scroungers are destroying our economy, right? All those greedy, lazy people living off the hard work of others? But as the website Political Scrapbook pointed out, the average benefit fraud amounts...

4 January 2012

spotReject pensions 'deal' - fight until we win

Editorial: The strike on 30 November - involving 24 trade unions and up to two million workers - was the biggest single day of strike action in many decades...

4 January 2012

spotReview: Days of Hope

Recently film director Ken Loach contrasted the BBC of the 1960s and 70s, which allowed a degree of political commitment and artistic freedom, with today's conservative, commercially driven programme making...

4 January 2012

spotNational meeting for women in the Socialist Party

1500 marched on the Fawcett Society demonstration 19 November to tell the government

1500 marched on the Fawcett Society demonstration 19 November to tell the government "Don't turn back time" on women's rights, dressed in 1950s clothes, photo Sarah Wrack

National meeting for women in the Socialist Party, Sunday 8 January, 10am - 3.30pm
Morning: Women and the Cuts - how the crisis is affecting women
Afternoon: The Socialist Party and the Women's Movement

4 January 2012

spotA world in turmoil

World in Turmoil

In this special new year feature, Peter Taaffe looks back at 2011, a year of crisis, struggle and revolution. This article is based on a statement prepared for the Committee for a Workers' International, the world socialist organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated.

6 January 2012

spotFighting racist attacks and the far-right

Youth against Racism in Europe protest against the BNP in 1993, photo The Socialist

After 18 years two men have finally been convicted of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. Here we republish an article from the Socialist in 2003, written on the 10th anniversary of Stephen's death

6 January 2012

spotAmbulance workers vote for action to defend pensions

NHS ambulance workers in the NHS have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action short of strike action in defence of their pensions...

6 January 2012

spotNUT confirms won't sign pensions 'heads of agreement'

The NUT has issued a press release confirming that it will not sign up to the heads of agreement for the TPS as it doesn't resolve any of the issues of paying more, working longer, getting less...

8 January 2012

spotOrganising to step up the pensions struggle

"PCS Left Unity have called this emergency meeting because this is an emergency" PCS president Janice Godrich said as she welcomed around 500 union activists to an open organising meeting yesterday in Friends Meeting House in London

8 January 2012

spotMark Serwotka speaking

New video: Mark Serwotka speaking at the PCS Left Unity open organising conference in defence of pensions on Saturday 7 January...

10 January 2012

spotUnite rejects local government pensions offer

The government's latest proposals to cut local government pensions were rejected by Unite, Britain's biggest union, today (Monday, 9 January)...

11 January 2012

spotHaringey - Save community schools, No to academies

Six hundred parents, teachers, governors and other local residents were at a meeting at Downhills primary school in Haringey, London, to build the campaign to stop the school from becoming a 'forced academy'

11 January 2012

spotReader's comment: The right wing media and Diane Abbott

Shadow health minister Diane Abbott was wrong when she said: "White people love playing divide and rule", writes Senan, Tamil Solidarity international coordinator.

11 January 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Unite rejects pensions attacks: Unite's local authority national industrial sector committee rejected the government's pensions proposals on 9 January...

11 January 2012

spot1,200 jobs threatened by DVLA closures

PCS union members working at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are angry and frustrated at plans by the Con-Dem government to shut all 39 local offices by the end of 2013, writes Hugh Caffrey.

11 January 2012

spotWe need more railway jobs

In December 2011, after a dispute between Scotrail and rail union Aslef, an agreement was reached which provides for the recruitment of at least 32 train drivers in 2012 and for eliminating rest day working by April 2013, writes Pete, Worcester.

11 January 2012

spotCuts councillors dishonoured

Waltham Forest workers and campaigners will lobby the north east London borough's first 2012 council cabinet meeting on 12 January in support of sacked library and Waltham Forest Direct workers, writes Bob Severn.

11 January 2012

spotNigeria shut down at start of indefinite general strike

Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in Nigeria, sister party of the Socialist Party in the UK, , photo by DSM

Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in Nigeria, sister party of the Socialist Party in the UK, , photo by DSM

Nigeria has been gripped by widespread anger and protest since the sudden New Year's Day announcement of a more than doubling in the price of fuel; something which hits not just transport of people and goods but also fuel for the generators people need for electricity and fuel for cooking...

11 January 2012

spotFat cat pay: empty words from Cameron

Prime minister David Cameron now tells us that he is determined to announce action in this spring's Queen's speech on the phenomenally high pay of 'fat cat' company executives, writes Roger Shrives.

11 January 2012

spotClock turned back on housing

The cumulative effect of unemployment, a shortage of affordable housing and the cuts to housing benefit is turning the clock backwards on housing, writes Alison Hill.

11 January 2012

spotThem & Us

Feast like an MP: When was the last time you had seared breast of pigeon with aubergine purée and spiced couscous? How about risotto of pea and broad bean with Golden Cross goat's cheese? Well that's the kind of cuisine...

11 January 2012

spotSocialist Party 2011 fighting fund target smashed!

Help support the fightback in 2012: Socialist Party members raised a magnificent £33,322 fighting fund in the last three months of 2011, surpassing the target of £25,000 for the quarter and reaching 133%, writes Ken Douglas Socialist Party national treasurer.

11 January 2012

spotRaffle - Ken Loach at the BBC

Win the Ken Loach at the BBC DVD box set (RRP £51.05), reviewed in the Socialist issue 699, by entering the Socialist Party raffle - £1 a ticket...

11 January 2012

spotFilm review :The Iron Lady in meltdown

Thatcher: The Iron Lady, still from movie

Thatcher: The Iron Lady, still from movie

The widely hyped film 'The Iron Lady' is not intended to cover all the political events of Thatcher's life. It deals with the political issues through the incoherent rambling recollections of an old and demented Thatcher...

11 January 2012

spotReject slave labour for young unemployed

The Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 ends with a demonstration in London on 5 November , photo Sujeeth

The Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 ends with a demonstration in London on 5 November , photo Sujeeth

"Thanks but no thanks": In October, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) activists, marched over 300 miles from Jarrow to London to hand a petition into Downing Street demanding job creation instead of workfare, bringing back EMA student payments, scrapping tuition fees, saving youth services and building affordable housing...

11 January 2012

spotWorkers need an electoral alternative that fights for them

ust days after hundreds of trade unionists met to plan how to continue to fight the Con-Dems' attacks on public sector pensions, Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged that a Labour government would have to 'face the reality of the deficit' and make cuts, writes Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party

11 January 2012

spotSocialist Women: At the frontline of the resistance

Socialist Party members from eight regions were represented at an excellent national women's meeting on 8 January, writes Sarah Wrack.

11 January 2012

spotFighting the pensions battle: An interview with Mark Serwotka

Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, speaking at the PCS Left Unity, photo by  Socialist Party

Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, speaking at the PCS Left Unity, photo by Socialist Party

Rob Williams, the Socialist Party's industrial organiser, interviewed PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka in the run-up to the PCS Left Unity meeting on 7 January.

11 January 2012

spotUnison member: no pensions sell-out

Unison placard - we won't pay for the financial crisis on 30 November 2011 strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison placard - we won't pay for the financial crisis on 30 November 2011 strike, photo Paul Mattsson

This is an extract of a response on the pensions 'heads of agreement' which was recently sent to a Unison official in local government, from a steward in a large Unison branch...

11 January 2012

spotHeseltine continued Liverpool's decline

 Liverpool struggle in the 1980s.  pic: Philip Gordon

Liverpool struggle in the 1980s. pic: Philip Gordon

Former Liverpool councillor and then-District Labour Party president Tony Mulhearn shows how it was a Labour council, led by supporters of Militant (the forerunner of the Socialist Party), that saved the city from Tory decay.

11 January 2012

spotWe say: NO WAY! Strike to defend pensions

PCS left Unity meeting: Organising to step up the pensions struggle

PCS left Unity meeting: Organising to step up the pensions struggle

On Saturday 7 January Left Unity in the PCS civil service union hosted an emergency open organising meeting because our movement in defence of public sector pensions is at a critical point, writes Janice Godrich, PCS President and national chair of PCS Left Unity.

11 January 2012

spotPensions dispute: Everything is still to fight for

PCS left Unity meeting: Organising to step up the pensions struggle , photo by Senan

PCS left Unity meeting: Organising to step up the pensions struggle , photo by Senan

What we think The open organising conference on Saturday 7 January, hosted by PCS Left Unity, the left in the largest civil service union, could prove to be a very significant moment in the public sector pension struggle...

11 January 2012

spotStephen Lawrence murder - the untold story

Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) and Panther platform in Welling as part of the campaign to drive the racists out after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, photo R. Newton

Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) and Panther platform in Welling as part of the campaign to drive the racists out after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, photo R. Newton

On 3 January 2012 Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of the horrific murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and sentenced to life imprisonment...

12 January 2012

spotSuccessful Merseyside Shop Stewards Network meeting

Merseyside Shop Stewards Network held a successful meeting on 11 January, with 18 attending from unions including PCS, Unison, Unite and ASU/GMB, writes Hugh Caffrey, North West Socialist Party.

12 January 2012

spotJobs massacre at La Senza

Administrators KPMG announced they were 'delighted' to have saved 1,000 jobs with La Senza in the UK on Monday, writes Ian Harris, Hillingdon Socialist Party.

12 January 2012

spotUnion members lobby the TUC Public Services Liaison Group

Over 100 union members lobbied the TUC Public Services Liaison Group (PSLG) today, Thursday 12 January, to call on the union leaders to reject the government's new offer on public sector pensions and to set a new strike date, writes Rob Williams.

12 January 2012

spotPensions: the fight continues

 N30: two million public sector workers went on strike on 30 November 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

N30: Pic Paul Mattsson

Following the strike of two million public-sector workers in November, the fight to safeguard pensions hangs in the balance.
Socialist Party deputy general secretary Hannah Sell reports on this crucial stage of the battle.

13 January 2012

spotShop Stewards' Network Meets in Preston

Local supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network met in Preston on Wednesday 11 January to discuss the national pension dispute, writes Dave Beale, Preston Socialist Party.

13 January 2012

spot'The members want to fight!' - Greater Manchester shop stewards network meeting

Supporters of the Shop Stewards Network in Greater Manchester met on 12 January to review the situation on the pensions dispute in light of the TUC's refusal to coordinate further action, and PCS's statement that together with other 'rejectionist' unions it will seek to continue coordinated action, writes Hugh Caffrey, Socialist Party north west secretary.

13 January 2012

spotUnilever: hands off our pensions

Unilever's attempt to scrap its workforce's final salary pension scheme, which will affect 5,000 workers, is being vigorously opposed, writes Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Socialist Party

16 January 2012

spotEDL intimidation fails in Barking

EDL in Barking

EDL in Barking

Protected by a large wedge of police, roughly 100 supporters of the racist and divisive English Defence League (EDL) marched through Barking town centre in east London on Saturday 14 January...

16 January 2012

spotSouth Yorkshire Stagecoach bus drivers take eighth day of strike action

Stagecoach bus drivers in Barnsley and Rotherham, members of the Unite trade union, took their eight day of strike action on Monday 16th January in pursuit of their pay claim for £9.50 an hour...

16 January 2012

spotAppeal from protesting electricians and construction workers

The Socialist Party received this message from Alan Keays, Joint Sites Committee: 'Our dispute has reached a critical stage. Wages will be cut by 35%.'

16 January 2012

spotRob Windsor: socialist fighter and Coventry Socialist Party councillor 1964-2012

Rob Windsor

Rob Windsor

On 14 January Rob Windsor, socialist fighter and previous Socialist Party councillor in Coventry, lost his long struggle against liver disease and died at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital.

16 January 2012

spotElectricians' national meeting plans next steps in battle against pay cut

Electricians from across England, Scotland and Wales met in Birmingham to plan the next steps for the fight in defence of pay rates and their skilled trade

18 January 2012

spotUnilever strike: 'It's us that make them their money!'

"Unilever is the 18th richest company in the world. But it's us that makes them their money!"...

18 January 2012

spotRemploy workers vote for industrial action

Remploy workers in Chesterfield and Springburn, Glasgow voted to take industrial action over the semi privatising of their factories, writes Les Woodward, National Convenor and Trades Council Coordinator, Remploy Trade Union Consortium.

18 January 2012

spotCameron's attack on Scottish independence referendum backfires

National tensions over the issue of Scottish independence were raised significantly following the recent blundering intervention of David Cameron and the Con-Dem coalition, writes Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland.

18 January 2012

spotUnilever workers say hands off our pensions

Unilever's attempt to scrap its workforce's final salary pension scheme, which will affect 5,000 workers, is being vigorously opposed, writes Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

18 January 2012

spotDoctors support call for action

As the fight for public sector pensions intensifies, unity in building the resistance is crucial. The message from the Con-Dems is clear in their final offer for public sector pensions - work longer, pay...

18 January 2012

spotEnd the slave labour culture of workfare

Youth Fight for Jobs on the Jarrow march, in London marching past Parliament, photo by Sarah Wrack

Youth Fight for Jobs on the Jarrow march, in London marching past Parliament, photo by Sarah Wrack

The clocks are being turned back. The future for young people is looking like it has been ripped from the pages of Dickens' novels - with the Con-Dem government and local governments playing the role...

18 January 2012

spotJohn Lewis economy: another fantasy from Corporal Clegg

Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has outlined his vision of a 'John Lewis economy' saying that businesses owned by their staff are more dynamic and have higher morale, writes Elaine Brunskill.

18 January 2012

spotOfsted: "requires improvement"

Ofsted, the body responsible for inspecting schools, wants to toughen the language of inspections in England - changing the "satisfactory" rating to "requires improvement", writes Derek McMillan, Mid-Sussex Socialist Party.

18 January 2012

spotThem & Us

Bonus restraint? Fat chance!: I have just seen with disgust that Bob Diamond, the boss of Barclays Bank, is in line for a £10 million bonus (on top of his £1.3 million a year salary) for his efforts in the financial world this year, writes Lin Black, Swansea.

18 January 2012

spotNigeria: Fuel strike suspended

Nigeria's trade union leaders called off the unions' week-long general strike after the government agreed to partially reinstate the cancelled fuel subsidy...

18 January 2012

spotStand up to Tory bullies

Strikers marching through London on 30 November 2011, photo Senan

Strikers marching through London on 30 November 2011, photo Senan

Cameron's Con-Dem coalition wants workers to pay for the bosses' economic crisis. This millionaires' government wants to cut workers' jobs, pay and conditions such as pensions. In the public sector...

18 January 2012

spotGreece: Non-payment movement against new housing tax

Massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

Massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

In October 2011 the Greek Pasok government of George Papandreou (just before being forced out of office), announced the implementation of a new housing tax through people's electricity bills, writes Christina Ziakka, Xekinima (CWI in Greece).

18 January 2012

spot1972 Derry - "this was murder"

Forty years ago, on Sunday 30 January 1972, members of the Parachute Regiment (the Paras) shot 27 unarmed civilians, (14 of whom died) on a protest through the barricaded Bogside area of Derry in Northern Ireland...

18 January 2012

spotKeep private vultures out of our NHS!

Public Health not private wealth - protest against privatisation in the NHS 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

Public Health not private wealth - protest against privatisation in the NHS 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

Breast implant scandal exposes private healthcare: The Health and Social Care Bill, currently working its way through Parliament, is a huge threat to our NHS, writes Sue Powell.

18 January 2012

spotWelfare Reform Bill:- Lords compromise is no victory

On 11 January, the House of Lords rejected the Con-Dem coalition government's proposal in its misnamed welfare reform bill to limit the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that is contribution-based for disabled and sick claimants to one year, a disabled activist writes.

18 January 2012

spotIrish 'poll tax' battle has begun

A massive campaign against a new 'Household Charge' has begun in Ireland. The new flat tax affects 1.6 million households across the country, including the overwhelming majority of ordinary workers...

18 January 2012

spotSave community schools - no to academies

Six hundred parents, teachers, governors and other local residents were at a meeting at Downhills primary school in Haringey, north London, to build the campaign to stop the school from becoming a 'forced academy', writes a Haringey Socialist Party member.

18 January 2012

spotProtect women's rights - oppose the abstinence bill

In May 2011, Tory MP Nadine Dorries made an attack on sex education via a private member's bill. Dorries proposed that girls be given "information and advice" on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity...

18 January 2012

spotPensions attacks can still be defeated

Strikers marching through London on the 30 November 2011 'N30' public sector strike, photo by Senan

30 November public sector strike, pic Senan

What we think: The public sector pensions battle is at an important turning point. The decision of the Unison and GMB union leaderships to break up the united front of striking unions which saw up to two million workers taking action on 30 November is a setback and will inevitably lead to a sober reappraisal of tactics and strategy.

18 January 2012

spotLabour leadership approves the Con-Dem cuts

Public opposition to cuts, photo Senan

Public opposition to cuts

Ed 'Moribund' and the Labour leadership's brainwave to boost election poll ratings is "Vote for us and we will freeze your pay and cut your services"! writes Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales.

18 January 2012

spotAnger swells in 'lost generation'

Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs spokesperson said "Young people struggling to find work have again been dealt a devastating blow..."

18 January 2012

spotTax office workers strike

Hundreds of staff at the huge HMRC tax office off Bridge St in Manchester joined a very well-supported morning walkout on 16 January, writes Hugh Caffrey.

19 January 2012

spotPrison Officers' Association (POA): Trade union rights application accepted by European Court of Human Rights

The POA are delighted that the European Court of Human Rights have accepted the Union's application for restoration of Trade Union Rights, writes Steve Gillan General Secretary of the POA stated:.

19 January 2012

spotUCU activists suspended in North Wales

Coleg Harlech in North Wales has suspended three trade union tutors and is threatening to discipline them for gross misconduct, writes Craig Lewis.

19 January 2012

spotDithering in Durban

Socialism Today issue 155 February 2012

Socialism Today issue 155 February 2012

Once again, a United Nations-sponsored climate change conference has completely failed to address the issue of global warming. The latest attempt pushed any hope of a deal back far too late for meaningful action, writes Pete Dickenson for the latest Socialism Today.

23 January 2012

spotTony Mulhearn replies to diatribe of council leader Joe Anderson against the 'Liverpool 47'

"There are so many falsehoods and distortions in Joe Anderson's latest intemperate attack on me and the 47 (Echo 16/1/12) that I can only deal with one or two" writes Tony Mulhearn

24 January 2012

spotStrike action by Jet tanker drivers

123 oil tanker drivers employed by road haulage firm Wincanton began a week long strike at 5am on Tuesday 24 January 2012, photo Alistair Tice

Strike action by Jet tanker drivers could lead to fuel shortages and petrol running out at the forecourts. Meanwhile the Coryton oil refinery in Essex is going into administration, writes Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

25 January 2012

spotSweetheart stitch-ups in the electrical industry: A spark's history of the Joint Industry Board

Electricians are currently fighting a 35% pay cut and the deskilling of their trade, being imposed by seven companies using the new "Besna" contracts, writes Eddy Current.

25 January 2012

spotNUS calls national student walkout

The National Union of Students (NUS) has finally announced a series of actions to fight against the sweeping privatisation and cuts threatened to hit our universities if the government get their way...

25 January 2012

spotAdd your name to the TUSC petition

As the leaders of the big Labour-supporting trade unions warn Labour of the risk of losing trade union support, an electoral challenge in the Greater London Assembly elections involving leading trade unionists is being prepared...

25 January 2012

spotFight the Tories' Welfare Reform Bill

The Lords won't save us!: Tory Iain Duncan Smith's vicious Welfare Reform Bill, which the government aims to make law by May, will leave thousands destitute, writes Ben Robinson.

25 January 2012

spotPontefract hospital: Army withdrawn - now kick out PFI!

At Pontefract hospital in West Yorkshire NHS bosses had been in discussion about using army medics to help run the accident and emergency unit, writes Adrian O'Malley, Unison Mid Yorkshire Health branch secretary (personal capacity).

25 January 2012

spotLlanelli: Save Prince Philip's A&E

In Llanelli, south west Wales, the threatened closure of Prince Philip accident and emergency unit will not be accepted without a fight, writes Rob Owen.

25 January 2012

spotTrade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election conference

Open to all TUSC candidates, agents and supporters, and those still considering whether to stand in the local elections on 3 May...

25 January 2012

spotStop the Salford day centre closures

Over 100 people - service users, carers, staff, pensioners - filled the room at a Salford Unison protest meeting to stop the closure of two day centres for the elderly and disabled, writes Salford Socialist Party.

25 January 2012

spotKirklees parents say 'save our children's centres!'

Towards the end of last year, the Labour-led Kirklees council in Yorkshire announced a consultation over the future of 32 Sure Start centres, writes Mike Forster.

25 January 2012

spotGreenwich Unite members oppose cuts, privatisation and racism

Unite members in Greenwich, south London, were out in force for the second Saturday running on 21 January, fighting to stop the council privatising the library service, writes Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unite.

25 January 2012

spotFinancial vultures kill Peacocks

249 workers have been shown the door at Peacocks' head office in Cardiff following the retail company going into administration, writes Dave Reid, Wales Socialist Party.

25 January 2012

spotCon-Demned to unemployment

Official figures show that in the three months up to November last year unemployment rose by another 118,000 to break the 2.5 million mark, writes Jaime Davies, South East Wales youth organiser.

25 January 2012

spotExposed - the dirty world of the construction blacklist

A London Employment Tribunal has found that engineer Dave Smith had been blacklisted by Carillion (JM) Limited and Schal International Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Carillion) because he raised concerns about asbestos on building sites and because of his trade union activities...

25 January 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Victory for POA: The European Court of Human Rights have accepted the prison officers' union application for restoration of trade union rights, writes Domenico Hill.

25 January 2012

spotVictory against Dorries' abstinence education bill

On Friday 20 January a demonstration against Tory MP Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (required content) Bill 185 was interrupted mid way through when a victory was announced, writes Beth Granter.

25 January 2012

spotBalfour Beatty re-ballot: Vote to strike again

Construction workers protesting in Cardiff, 7.12.11, photo Mariam Kamish

The next two weeks are absolutely vital in the construction electricians' struggle against the employers' imposition of the Besna contract, writes Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network chair.

25 January 2012

spotEgypt - A year of revolution and counter-revolution

Egypt - A year of revolution

The 2011 revolutionary movements of young people, workers and the most downtrodden swept through north Africa and the Middle East and inspired social movements across the world...

25 January 2012

spotDefend Len Hockey: Outrageous attack on Whipps Cross hospital workers

Shock and outrage by porters, domestics and switchboard staff at Whipps Cross hospital east London, greeted the news of the threat by Initial Facilities to discipline Unison joint branch secretary Len Hockey, a Unison member writes.

25 January 2012

spotHard Times - but not for the 1%

On the London demonstration during the 30 June public sector pensions strike, photo Paul Mattsson

On the London demonstration during the 30 June public sector pensions strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Defend pensions, fight the cuts in jobs and pay: As the clouds of recession grow darker, practically every section of society feels the grim effects. Apart from one group - there are few signs of recession for the super-rich! writes Roger Shrives.

25 January 2012

spotThem & Us

What a banker: Cameron's rhetoric about clamping down on bankers' bonuses is becoming more and more farcical. RBS chief executive, Stephen Hester, looks set to receive a bonus of up to £1.6 million.

25 January 2012

spotKeep the racist EDL out of Leicester

The 'English Defence League' (EDL) is threatening to visit Leicester on Saturday 4 February. The last time they came, in October 2010, they attacked shoppers and smashed city centre shops.

25 January 2012

spotSave Vine services

Vine in Leeds provides specialist education provision for young adults with severe and complex learning difficulties, a Unison steward writes.

25 January 2012

spotStepping up the action to defend pensions at Unilever

Unilever strikersat Ewloe, north Wales, 18 January 2012, photo by Stillshooter

Unilever strikersat Ewloe, north Wales, 18 January 2012, photo by Stillshooter

Workers at multinational company Unilever are making a stand to defend pensions. Following a strike of 2,500 workers last month, from 17 January thousands of Unite, Usdaw and GMB members at Unilever are taking strike action...

25 January 2012

spotPublic sector pensions: 'Coalition of the willing' gathering strength

30 November public sector strike (N30) , photo Paul Mattsson

N30 Public sector strike

A 'coalition of the willing' - unions determined to fight - are regrouping, writes Martin Powell-Davies

25 January 2012

spotWelfare Reform Bill: Lords confusion exposes limits of campaigners' strategy

The House of Lords recently amended the government's Welfare Reform Bill to retain the three month qualifying period for claimants...

25 January 2012

spotThe trade unions and Labour

Unions like Unite have donated millions to Labour but Labour promises nothing in return to union members, photo Paul Mattsson

Unions like Unite have donated millions to Labour but Labour promises nothing in return to union members, photo Paul Mattsson

What we think: Labour lords voted against the introduction of the benefit cap which threatens 67,000 families with poverty and homelessness. Yet Liam Byrne, shadow Work and Pensions secretary, made it abundantly clear Labour supports the cap.

25 January 2012

spotHaringey parents say: No to academies!

16 February teachers at Chestnut Grove School in Balham, Wandsworth, south London, went on strike to show their opposition to the school becoming an academy.

Chestnut Grove School in Balham, Wandsworth, south London

Primary school parents in Haringey, north London, are in the front line of the battle against the Con-Dems' destruction of our education, writes Paul Gerrard, National Union of Teachers.

26 January 2012

spotUnilever Burton-on-Trent - a solid and well-organised strike

Before Christmas, when Unilever workers were deciding on strike action, some Unilever bosses were gloating that workers at their Burton-on-Trent factory would not go on strike, writes Andy Bentley.

26 January 2012

spotRail union RMT secures £2,500 Olympics pay deal on Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Transport union RMT has secured a ground breaking Olympics pay deal on DLR worth £2,500 made up of a guaranteed attendance payment of £900 and guaranteed overtime payments for all staff throughout the Olympic and Paralympic games...

26 January 2012

spotReinstate John Brookes, sacked PCS Steward!

A flying picket of a dozen PCS activists leafleted Triage offices in Middlesbrough and Darlington in support of sacked union activist, John Brookes, on Monday 23 January...

26 January 2012

spotSparks protest at Conoco and solidarity with Jet tanker drivers

Electricians from West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire and BP Saltend in Hull took strike action on Wednesday 25 January against the new Besna contracts being imposed on them, writes Alistair Tice.

26 January 2012

spotElectricians to protest on 1 February in Manchester

Manchester electricians protesting on 31.8.11 as part of protests around the country against the employers' assault on pay and conditions. From left to right, Simon, Steve and Sean leafleted outside the Carillion site on Corporation Road in Denton, M, pho

Manchester electricians fighting the new Besna contracts because of pay cuts and deskilling, are appealing for a huge turnout on Wednesday 1 February from 7am at the town hall/central library site, writes Hugh Caffrey.

26 January 2012

spotOccupy USA - Crisis USA - London Socialist Party video

Bryan Koulouris, from Socialist Alternative, photo  Socialist Party

Bryan Koulouris, from Socialist Alternative, photo Socialist Party

Occupy Wall street - US Presidential elections - Economic downturn - Bryan Koulouris, from Socialist Alternative, the sister party of the Socialist Party in the USA, explains how the USA is being transformed by the occupy movements which have arisen in anger at the growing inequality between the 1%.

27 January 2012

spot'Save Manchester Sure Start' hosted conference

Campaigners from across the north-west and beyond fighting to save Sure Start children's centres held a very successful conference on 7th January, writes Rosie Heaton

27 January 2012

spotLow-paid Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners fight for free travel

Tyne & Wear Metro, protest of cleaners, 26.1.12, photo by Elaine Brunskill

"If Bernard gets up your nose - picket!", was the slogan on the leaflet handed out by cleaners from Churchill Contract Services who work on Tyne and Wear Metro.

28 January 2012

spotAnger over Tommy Sheridan 'gagging order'

"Tommy Sheridan's lawyer has accused prison authorities of trying to "gag" him on his release from jail, writes BBC report: 28 January 2012 Last updated at 13:41.

30 January 2012

spotTrade unionists and socialists prepare for May elections

TUSC candidates Alex Gordon, President, RMT, Joe Simpson, Assistent general secretary, POA, steve Hedley, RMT London region secretary, and , photo by Paul Mattsson

TUSC candidates, pics Paul Mattsson

Last Saturday over 50 prospective candidates and campaign organisers from around the country met to plan the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's (TUSC) challenge in May's local and London Assembly elections

30 January 2012

spotJet tanker drivers' strike - latest news

The Wincanton employed tanker drivers deliver 20% of all fuel to Jet forecourts. The week long strike has had a massive impact.

30 January 2012

spotStagecoach drivers reject bosses' offer

Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus drivers, members of the union Unite, have stepped up their action in the fight to improve their wages

30 January 2012

spotPCS members in HMRC strike on 31 January

Around 20,000 PCS members in Revenue and Customs are taking strike action against the introduction of the private sector into contact centres

30 January 2012

spotLondon Docklands transport workers win Olympics deal

Serco Docklands, operator of the Docklands Light Railway, agreed to a 25% rise in the standard overtime rate for about 550 of its employees. London RMT organiser Steve Hedley comments on this deal

30 January 2012

spotDisabled protesters demand scrapping of 'welfare' bill

Anti-cuts and disabled activists protesting against the Welfare Reform Bill, London 28.1.12, photo by Ben Robinson

The Welfare Reform Bill returns to parliament on Wednesday 1 February. The Saturday before, 28 January, up to 200 protesters occupied Regent Street

30 January 2012

spotConstruction workers plan mass protest on Friday 3rd Feb

On 2nd February the ballot result for Balfour Beatty workers will be known. Unite the union is expecting a legal challenge. But come what may, a mass protest is planned at Blackfriars station on 3rd February at 7am and 7pm

30 January 2012

spotGagging order on Tommy Sheridan is lifted

The threat to stop Tommy Sheridan from speaking out after his release from prison today has been withdrawn, but not his tagging

31 January 2012

spotUnilever strikers condemn bosses' greed

Unilever workers striking for their pensions, Gloucester, 25.1.12, photo by Chris Moore

To the sound of hoots of support from passing traffic, the delivery lorries supplying Walls Ice Cream in Gloucester were backing up, as drivers refused to cross the picket line

31 January 2012

spotHMRC workers strike back against privatisation

PCS members in HMRC processing offices and contact centres took a day's strike action on Tuesday 31st January, in an escalation of a campaign against privatisation which has already seen staff walk out on two previous occasions

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