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Archive for June 2011

1 June 2011

spotGovernment plans for the NHS: Privatisation and world class profits!

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation - protest by Royal College of Nurses (RCN) in 2006, photo Paul Mattsson

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation - protest by Royal College of Nurses (RCN) in 2006, photo Paul Mattsson

A review of The Plot Against the NHS by Colin Leys and Stewart Player: Some on the political left believe that, despite all its betrayals, Labour still retains more of a commitment to the NHS than the Tories, writes Roger Davey, Unison health service group executive, personal capacity.

1 June 2011

spotFifa scandal

The ugly side of the 'beautiful game': FC Barcelona's revolutionary blend of artistic flair and collective organisation in the Champions League final showed why millions worldwide love the "beautiful game"...

1 June 2011

spotShoesmith sacking - social work under growing pressure

Sharon Shoesmith, former Director of Children's Services in Haringey, north London, was removed by Ed Balls when he was children's minister after the Baby P scandal...

1 June 2011

spotSouthampton - council workers' strike spreads

Southampton council workers lobby their council, photo Nick Chaffey

Southampton council workers lobby their council, photo Nick Chaffey

Southampton refuse workers finished their first strike action against cuts to pay, jobs and services on 27 May, writes Nick Chaffey.

1 June 2011

spotLewisham teachers - Action threat spells victory

Two small but significant victories for Lewisham NUT, south London, have shown how an organised response - and the threat of union action - can achieve success in fighting the threat of cuts and redundancies, writes Martin Powell-Davies, NUT national executive member, personal capacity.

1 June 2011

spotNewcastle East Coast rail call centre - Save jobs!

Customer services on the East Coast Mainline are dealt with by National Express call centre workers at Baron House in Newcastle, but not for much longer if East Coast gets its way, writes Elaine Brunskill.

1 June 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

All out on 30 June!: Over 250,000 civil service union PCS members began voting on 25 May in a ballot for national strike action...

1 June 2011

spot18 years since Stephen Lawrence murder

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

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

We still need to fight racism... and cuts: Two men are now to stand trial for the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager who had ambitions to become an architect but was killed in a vicious racist attack in 1993, writes Onay Kasab.

1 June 2011

spotCoventry action against academies grows

School students and teachers protest against academies at Tile Hill Wood school in Coventry, photo Coventry Socialist Party

School students and teachers protest against academies at Tile Hill Wood school in Coventry, photo Coventry Socialist Party

A third trade union, Unison, has now joined the battle to defend comprehensive education against the privatisation of our education via 'academies' in Coventry, writes Sunara Begum, Coventry Socialist Party.

1 June 2011

spotRage against bankers

UK Uncut protest against banks and to save the NHS in Cardiff, photo Socialist Party Wales

UK Uncut protest against banks and to save the NHS in Cardiff, photo Socialist Party Wales

Fight for a socialist alternative: 'Bankers are scum', they are 'parasites', they are 'gangsters'. It has become a truism; something so widely accepted that it is hardly even worth mentioning. And yet the hatred intensifies, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

1 June 2011

spotNew attacks on women's sexual and reproductive rights

Picket of Tory MP Ann Widdecombe's anti-abortion meeting 6 February 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Picket of Tory MP Ann Widdecombe's anti-abortion meeting 6 February 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Women's sexual and reproductive rights have taken quite a beating in recent weeks. The latest assault comes at the hands of Tory MP and education minister Michael Gove, writes Beth Granter.

1 June 2011

spotNews in brief

Children's homes axed: In what must be one of the low points in local authority cuts, Tory-controlled Essex county council will consider a proposal at its next cabinet meeting in June to close all its children's homes...

1 June 2011

spotGreece: unite the struggles and bring down the government

Since Wednesday 25 May the central squares in Athens and other Greek cities have been occupied by protesters...

1 June 2011

spotLib Dems - a party rooted in capitalism

Sheffield protest against the Liberal Democrats - Unison campaign for jobs and services, photo Sheffield Socialist Party

Sheffield protest against the Liberal Democrats - Unison campaign for jobs and services, photo Sheffield Socialist Party

Veneer of social reformism stripped away by Coalition attacks on the working class: Despite Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg's hopes, anger at his party and at Lib Dem cabinet ministers has grown massively since the 2010 general election, writes Jim Thomson.

1 June 2011

spotStrike - to defend jobs and pensions

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference will meet on Saturday 11 June in Camden, London, to help take forward the battle against all cuts and attacks on workers' pay, pensions and conditions being made by the government, councils and big businesses

1 June 2011

spot"Frontline first" a dangerous tactic - unity is the key

The Conservatives have pledged to protect "frontline" NHS services and cut back on bureaucracy. In reality, this is another broken promise. They have no intention of saving even frontline staff.

1 June 2011

spotGil Scott-Heron

Musician, poet and writer Gil Scott-Heron died on 27 May. He was well respected for his contribution to the arts and his influential role in radical politics in America in the 1970s

1 June 2011

spotTUC disability conference

Disabled people are in the front line of the government's attacks on the welfare state. The government has made a critical error

1 June 2011

spotDisabled protester - "inadvertently struck with a police baton"

Disabled activists are outraged by the Metropolitan Police's directorate of professional standards decision to reject a complaint by Jody McIntyre after he was batoned and deliberately pulled out of his wheelchair twice during a demonstration against Con-Dem tuition fees rises last December

1 June 2011

spotEgypt and Tunisia: Revolutions at the crossroads

Egyptian protest

The wave of revolutions that swept across the Middle East and North Africa have now reached turning points

1 June 2011

spotGlencore - Profiting from global hunger

The Swiss based multibillion dollar mining, energy and food trader Glencore was listed on the London and Hong Kong stock markets on 24 May, writes Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info.

1 June 2011

spotCardiff NHS protest against Topshop tax dodger

UK Uncut protest against banks and to save the NHS in Cardiff, photo Socialist Party Wales

Cardiff protest, photo Socialist Party Wales

Topshop in Cardiff city centre was occupied on Saturday 28 May in protest at cuts to the NHS taking place while billionaire business people like Topshop's owner Sir Phillip Green avoid paying tax

1 June 2011

spotYorkshire meetings make Jarrow plans

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) held a successful weekend with a regional YFJ conference on Saturday 28 May and a national Jarrow marchers' meeting on Sunday 29 May, writes Matt Whale, YFJ unemployed organiser.

2 June 2011

spotThe 'no-fly zone', the Left and the 'Third Camp'

Following an article by Peter Taaffe published in the May 2011 issue of Socialism Today, titled 'Libya - the no-fly zone and the left', Peter has written two responses to comments made on the article

2 June 2011

spotPCS Revenue & Customs staff taking action on 7-8 June

PCS members in Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be taking industrial from 4pm on 7 June: The dispute is over attendance management policy...

2 June 2011

spotMood for action among Unison members in Waltham Forest

Over 300 Unison members in Waltham Forest council in north east London voted unanimously to support a motion which included a call for a consultative ballot on strike action to fight the cuts

2 June 2011

spotLlanelli and West Wales Socialist Party: The attack on education and the socialist alternative

Thursday June 2 2011: What role will the pensions strike play in the fight back against the attacks on education?...

2 June 2011

spotSouthern Cross - Social care on the brink

Southern Cross Healthcare's private residential home care in crisis, photo B Severn

Southern Cross Healthcare's private residential home care in crisis, photo B Severn

Southern Cross Healthcare is on the brink of collapse. This company provides residential care to 31,000 people and has 44,000 employees

3 June 2011

spotStrike action against pensions attack at Sheffield university

University staff strike in Sheffield to save pensions, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

University staff strike in Sheffield to save pensions, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

Hundreds of Sheffield University support and ancillary staff took strike action on Friday 3rd June against their pension entitlements being slashed

3 June 2011

spotGreek bus workers' union leader speaking at NSSN conference

The National Shop Stewards Network has announced that Apostolis Kasimeris, a member of the executive committee of the Union of Public Transport Workers in Attica, Greece, will speak at the NSSN conference on 11th June

3 June 2011

spotUCU becomes sixth union to back Jarrow march

At its conference, the University and College Union overwhelmingly agreed to support the Jarrow March for Jobs taking place in the autumn.

5 June 2011

spotEssential Info

6 June 2011

spotProtests against cuts in legal aid

Up to 100 people attended a protest on Friday in Coventry city centre against the Con-Dem cuts to legal aid. This was just one of many protests that took place around the country...

6 June 2011

spot'No excuse for rape' say Cardiff marchers

About 250 angry women and men gathered in Cardiff to march against the myth that rape is caused by what women wear.

6 June 2011

spotTUC demo 26 March 2011

Half a million march through central London against the ConDem cuts on TUC demonstration, photo Socialist Party

Half a million march through central London against the ConDem cuts on TUC demonstration, photo Socialist Party

Half a million trade unionists marched against the ConDem cuts in central London

7 June 2011

spotUCU congress calls for 24-hour public sector strike

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

UCU in Sheffield

The University and College Union congress in Harrogate called on the TUC to organise a 24-hour public sector strike against cuts

8 June 2011

spotHuman rights service staff defend jobs

PCS members at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) took their third period of strike action on 6 June against plans to close offices and cut jobs, writes Ross Saunders.

8 June 2011

spotFight Welsh universities' fees hike

The Welsh Assembly government's promise to keep down annual fees at Welsh universities lies in tatters, writes Dave Reid.

8 June 2011

spotNHS: Lansley must resign!

'Were I Andrew Lansley, I would resign over this issue," claimed Mike Hancock, Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, when presented with a 'Save Our NHS' petition by local anti-cuts campaigners, health workers and trade unionists...

8 June 2011

spot'Slutwalk' protests

Slutwalk protests: fighting back against sexism and discrimination in Newcastle, photo by E Brunskill

Slutwalk protests: fighting back against sexism and discrimination in Newcastle, photo by E Brunskill

"Yes means yes! No means no! Whatever we wear, wherever we go!" was the chant as women and men took to the streets of Newcastle on 4 June in a lively 'slutwalk' protest...

8 June 2011

spotNews in brief

A 'good dictatorship': While pro-democracy opponents of Bahrain's monarchy languish in the country's notorious police cells, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone (23rd richest person in the UK) has given the green light to restage the cancelled Bahrain grand prix later this year...

8 June 2011

spot'Butcher of Bosnia' faces trial

But western powers also have blood on their hands: Bosnian Serb ex-General Ratko Mladic is now detained by the 'International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia', facing charges of genocide

8 June 2011

spotEnd the 'insane' pursuit of oil profit

In parts of the USA you can set fire to your tap water. Now an enterprising company seems to want to bring the practice to Britain, writes Pete Mason.

8 June 2011

spotTamil Solidarity: important resolution agreed at the European Parliament

Tamil representatives, solidarity and human rights campaigns and individual activists converged on the European parliament on Wednesday 1 June, writes Manny Thain, Tamil Solidarity national secretary.

8 June 2011

spotEconomic crisis in 'them and us' Britain

Wages fall

Wages fall

Editorial of the Socialist: For a few at the top, Britain is still booming. In 2010, while the majority suffered the biggest squeeze on their incomes since 1977, the earnings of FTSE 100 chief executives rose by 32%...

8 June 2011

spotFighting the anti-strike legislation

RMT and TSSA members strike against cuts on the London Underground , photo Paul Mattsson

RMT and TSSA members strike

The Con-Dems' attacks: The anti-trade union laws are important weapons in the bosses' armoury. Business secretary Vince Cable has threatened this week to make the laws even tougher, in the light of coordinated strike action. Alex Gordon, president RMT, writes.

8 June 2011

spotSaltend dispute: lessons for future struggles

Scaffolders and electricians, employed by contractors for Vivergo in Teeside, protest at British Sugar. They voted by about 90% to walk out again in support of the locked out BP/Vivergo Redhall workers at Saltend, Hull, photo  Socialist Party

Scaffolders and electricians, employed by contractors for Vivergo in Teeside, protest at British Sugar. They voted by about 90% to walk out again in support of the locked out BP/Vivergo Redhall workers at Saltend, Hull, photo Socialist Party

The heroic struggle of engineering construction workers locked out from the BP Saltend bioethanol plant, near Hull, has ended, writes Alistair Tice.

8 June 2011

spotCWU conference - unanimous call for 24-hour general strike

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, addresses the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, addresses the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

At the Communications Workers Union (CWU) conference at the end of May the scale of the attacks on postal and telecoms workers was put alongside the wider government attacks

8 June 2011

spotBirmingham: city of a thousand cuts

Birmingham council workers strike, April 2008, included Unison, GMB, NUT and PCS workers, photo S O'Neill

Birmingham strike 2008

Birmingham has been hit hard by the ongoing capitalist crisis. Unemployment stands at 11.6% and the city is now facing brutal council led cuts

8 June 2011

spotSolid strike at Tile Hill Wood secondary school

The campaign in Coventry against academies continues with strike action at two schools this week

8 June 2011

spotSylvia Pankhurst: Everything is possible

Sylvia Pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst protesting against British policy in India, at Trafalgar Square, 1932

Film review: World write, an 'education charity committed to global equality', has produced a new documentary based on the work of the tireless, though unfortunately neglected in Britain, human rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), writes Indianna Purcell.

8 June 2011

spotProtests grow as young people say: 'We want a future!'

Protests grow as young people say 'We want a future!'

"We are not commodities in the hands of politicians and bankers!" say Spanish protesters. Their "real democracy" movement expresses genuine aspirations for a society in which people have control over...

8 June 2011

spotVulnerable patients abused at privately run Bristol hospital

In a shocking exposť of Winterbourne View 'hospital' near Bristol, owned by Castlebeck, an undercover Panorama reporter Joe Casey filmed people with learning disabilities and autism being systematically abused by staff

8 June 2011

spotCuts in jobs and services: We are fighting back!

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

Workers across the country are facing cuts. In Birmingham, not only are 7,000 council jobs under threat but the Con-Dem council wants to offshore the IT department to super-exploit workers in India...

9 June 2011

spotCustoms & Revenue staff strike against attendance management policy

HMRC PCS members' strike, Sherbourne House, Coventry 8.6.11

HMRC strike, Coventry

Reports from Bradford, Leeds and Coventry. Plus Cardiff - added on 13.6.11. On Tuesday 7 June, PCS members in HMRC across the UK walked out for an hour

9 June 2011

spotSocialism 2011 reports and videos

The world is becoming a more uncertain place. Three years ago the 'boom' turned into a catastrophic bust...

10 June 2011

spotFighting anti-cuts meeting in Scotland hears socialist alternative

Clare Daly, Socialist Party TD in the Irish parliament , photo Socialist Party Scotland

Clare Daly, Socialist Party MP in Ireland

Socialist Party Scotland hosted two successful and inspiring public meetings this week on the theme of fighting the cuts and the case for socialism. More than 70 socialists, trade unionists and young people came along to our meetings in Glasgow and Dundee. Report from Socialist Party Scotland.

12 June 2011

spotNSSN conference - serious and inspiring preparation for battles to come

National Shop Stewards Network conference June 2011, photo  Socialist Party

National Shop Stewards Network conference June 2011, photo Socialist Party

One of seven workers from the Honda car plant in Swindon commented "I wish we could have brought a coachload!", reports Linda Taaffe, NSSN secretary, on a successful conference.

13 June 2011

spotSouthampton 'Fight the Cuts' demonstration

Monday 13 June 2011: Assemble 12.30pm in Hoglands Park, by the Debenhams roundabout, Southampton...

13 June 2011

spotSheffield university strikers more determined

Sheffield university Unite rep on support staff picket over pensions, 10.6.11

Unite rep Martin

More pickets, flags, placards and more determined were the Sheffield University support staff on strike again on 10th June

15 June 2011

spotCon-Dem health plans ignore patients and staff

The Socialist's coverage of the Con-Dems' destructive Health and Social Care Bill has exposed the government's privatising agenda, writes Terry Pearce, Chair Bracknell Unite (personal capacity).

15 June 2011

spotLondon 'Slutwalk' protest: Fight sexism, discrimination and cuts

"Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no!" That was the call that rang out throughout London's 'Slutwalk' demonstration on 11 June, writes Claire Laker-Mansfield.

15 June 2011

spotThe growing housing scandal

Housing campaign: Cardiff Socialist Party campaigning to stop house repossessions, photo SP Wales

Housing campaign: Cardiff Socialist Party campaigning to stop house repossessions, photo SP Wales

Private renting: high rents, no security and bad conditions: Paul Kershaw, from Unite LE 1111 housing workers' branch reveals the details of some of the Con-Dem attacks...

15 June 2011

spotTube drivers prepare to strike

Tube strike: RMT strikers picket the London Underground, photo Paul Mattsson

Tube strike: RMT strikers picket the London Underground, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT tube drivers on London Underground (LU) will be striking on 19-20, 27-28 June and 30 June - 1 July. This is in defence of victimised tube driver Arwyn Thomas...

15 June 2011

spotUnison NEC elections - left retakes lost ground

The results of Unison's national executive council (NEC) elections give the left 17 seats. Socialist Party members in Unison fought these elections in an electoral alliance with the United Left...

15 June 2011

spotNews in brief

Power profits: Scottish Power has dealt a body blow to its 2.4 million customers with a whopping 19% rise in gas prices and a 10% increase in electricity prices from August...

15 June 2011

spotAusterity and anger in Greece

Apostolis Kasimeris of the Union of Public Transport Workers in Attica, Greece, speaking at National Shop Stewards Network Conference June 2011, photo  Socialist Party

Apostolis Kasimeris of the Union of Public Transport Workers in Attica, Greece, speaking at National Shop Stewards Network Conference June 2011, photo Socialist Party

On the eve of a tenth general strike in Greece, APOSTOLIS KASIMERIS, one of the leaders of the OASA bus workers' union in Athens, spoke at the recent National Shop Stewards Network conference in London...

15 June 2011

spotNo cuts to English language classes!

In November 2010 the Con-Dem coalition announced huge cutbacks in English for Speakers of Other Languages (Esol) services, writes Neil Cafferky.

15 June 2011

spotHands off our pensions!

The leafy lanes of Surrey will reverberate to the chant "hands off our pensions" on 30 June, writes Paul Couchman, Save Our Services in Surrey.

15 June 2011

spotStrike 30 June

For a 24 hour public sector gehneral strike now! , photo Suzanne Beishon

Huge votes in defence of pensions, jobs and services: Civil servants, teachers and lecturers balloted to strike on 30 June against the Con-Dems' attacks on public sector pensions and public services

15 June 2011

spotTories make token changes - save the NHS

Editorial of the Socialist: As the Socialist goes to press ministers have accepted the 'changes' to the proposed NHS reform. These recommendations, in reality mere tokens, from the Future Forum Report, follow a ten-week consultation

15 June 2011

spotNHS "listening events" - Flip chart 'democracy'

About 120 people gathered at the Manchester City stadium for the NHS "Listening Event" - we seemed to be a mixture of NHS managers, health workers, voluntary sector and community activists

15 June 2011

spotSay no to government's slave labour programme

Last week the government unveiled its national back-to-work scheme - the 'Work Programme'. Yet again this Bullingdon Boys' government wants to make the most vulnerable in society pay

15 June 2011

spotWinterbourne View - fight privatisation, end abuses

The multiple accounts of abuse being investigated at Winterbourne View private hospital near Bristol are sickening and upsetting. They show the reality of privatised health and social care services

15 June 2011

spotDewsbury rejects racist EDL

Arriving in Dewsbury on the day of an English Defence League (EDL) march, I was immediately met with an incredibly tense atmosphere

15 June 2011

spotTo hell with for-profit education

Rising fees, scrapping EMA student payments and devastating cuts to further and higher education budgets will mean that working class young people have little to no chance of a decent education...

15 June 2011

spotCarmarthenshire council day club closure lobby

Unison member and anti-cuts campaigner: On Wednesday 8 June about 20 people, made up of service users of the Noddfa Teilo Day Club, trade unionists, Llanelli Anti-Cuts Campaign and community activists lobbied Carmarthenshire county council...

15 June 2011

spotPCS members have voted for strike action

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) have voted by a clear majority in favour of strike action and action short of strike, in their dispute over pensions, pay and job cuts...

15 June 2011

spotUnison conference - No to pension attacks

Demonstration in Southampton by Unite and Unison against Tory attacks on terms and conditions and cuts in public services, photo by Dave Smith

Photo by Dave Smith

Council workers are facing unprecedented attacks - in the form of massive job cuts and a tearing up of terms and conditions in many areas

15 June 2011

spotChild poverty increasing under the Con-Dems

Review - 'Poor Kids' TV documentary: Three and a half million children in Britain live in poverty. The gap between rich and poor has never been greater. BBC One's "Poor Kids" filmed children in their homes and neighbourhoods

15 June 2011

spotWorkers turn up the heat in Southampton

Over 1,000 council workers, striking Medirest cleaners and others marched through Southampton on 13 June in a powerful show of solidarity against vicious council cuts and the scandalous consequence of the private sector in the NHS , photo Paul Mattsson

Over 1,000 council workers, striking Medirest cleaners and others marched through Southampton on 13 June in a powerful show of solidarity against vicious council cuts and the scandalous consequence of the private sector in the NHS , photo Paul Mattsson

Over 1,000 council workers, striking Medirest cleaners and others marched through Southampton on 13 June in a powerful show of solidarity against vicious council cuts and the scandalous consequence of the private sector in the NHS

16 June 2011

spotLobby of Kazakstan embassy

Thursday 16 June 2011: Oil and gas workers are on strike in Kazakhstan (see http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5132)...

17 June 2011

spotAll out together on June 30th and after?

Members of the NSSN and the Socialist Party argue for the maximum possible pressure to be put on the leaders of those public sector unions yet to commit to coordinated strike action, to build for the June 30 rallies and to initiate their own strike ballots

17 June 2011

spotCon-Dems' pension attack - brutal class warfare must be fought

HMRC PCS members' strike, Sherbourne House, Coventry 8.6.11 , photo Coventry SP

HMRC PCS members' strike, Sherbourne House, Coventry 8.6.11 , photo Coventry SP

John McInally, national vice-president PCS, personal capacity: The government is attempting to steal £2.8 billion from public sector pensions in Britain. This is a brutal act of class warfare directed against millions of mainly low-paid workers

17 June 2011

spotColeg Morgannwg: Victory over victimisation

UCU members at Coleg Morgannwg announced today that college management have withdrawn disciplinary charges against lecturer and UCU Cymru president Guy Stoate

17 June 2011

spotLeeds Unison urges members to reject council's final offer

Unison members in Wales protest against privatisation, photo Socialist Party Wales

Unison members in Wales protest against privatisation, photo Socialist Party Wales

At present all Unison members in Leeds City Council are being balloted on the council's final proposal for cuts

19 June 2011

spot'Save ESOL' demonstrations

Sunday 19th June 2011:

22 June 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Tube strike for justice: Transport union RMT members working as drivers in London Underground began a series of strikes on 19 June...

22 June 2011

spotFinsbury Park - No to A4e cheap labour schemes

David Cameron's 'big society' is a backdoor attempt to introduce privatisation into our public services and undermine wages and conditions of workers, writes Neil Cafferky.

22 June 2011

spotNews in brief

PFI man: Predictably many Tory backbenchers regard the prime minister's cosmetic changes to the government's health and social care bill as a capitulation...

22 June 2011

spotSri Lanka's killing fields

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

TV review: Horrifying. Heart-rending. Enraging. Those words can barely describe the reaction to the barbaric acts shown in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, a Channel 4 documentary aired on 14 June, writes Manny Thain, Secretary Tamil Solidarity.

22 June 2011

spotStaffordshire NSSN builds support for 30 June action

Trade union reps and members from PCS, NUT, CWU Postal, CWU Telecoms, Unison, GMB and Unite met on 15 June in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, to plan how to build support for workers taking strike action on 30 June against attacks on pensions, writes Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party.

22 June 2011

spotKeep Tidemill in public hands

Concerned parents at Tidemill school in Deptford, south London, have persuaded local Labour MP Joan Ruddock to write to Tory education secretary Michael Gove, asking him to delay approval of headmaster Mark Elms' plans to make their school an academy...

22 June 2011

spotSpreading to primaries?

Education secretary Michael Gove's latest headline-grabbing wheeze is to convert 200 "failing" primary schools into academies...

22 June 2011

spotBarnsley lecturers fight job cuts

UCU members at Barnsley College were on strike on 17 June against attacks by bullying management that could see a quarter of the academic staff lose their jobs, writes Ian Pattison, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

22 June 2011

spotBusting the public sector pensions myths!

Public sector pensions are "too generous": The Con-Dem ministers who attack the unions for taking strike action in defence of public sector pensions on 30 June are liars. They will say anything to try and divide the working class...

22 June 2011

spotStrike action to defend Royal Mail jobs

Communication Workers Union, CWU, lobby of parliament over the privatisation of Royal Mail postal services Feb 09, photo Paul Mattsson

Communication Workers Union, CWU, lobby of parliament over the privatisation of Royal Mail postal services Feb 09, photo Paul Mattsson

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) recently announced its intention to hold a national strike ballot if any postal worker, anywhere in the country, is made compulsorily redundant.

22 June 2011

spotHousing crisis

Housing: homeless person, photo Paul Mattsson

Housing: homeless person, photo Paul Mattsson

Con-Dems are presiding over a growing social catastrophe: The latest government figures show that the number of people approaching their council as homeless is 23% higher than at the same time last year, writes Paul Kershaw.

22 June 2011

spotSouthern Cross bosses demand huge cuts in pay and conditions

After announcing 3,000 job cuts Southern Cross, the near bankrupt private care homes company has demanded that its workforce accept a new contract of employment that borders on slave labour

22 June 2011

spotLabour MP fails to answer questions on cuts

At a trades council and University and College Union (UCU) meeting in Haringey, north London, attended by around 30 people, Labour MP David Lammy was billed as one of the speakers

22 June 2011

spotHillingdon workers back the pensions strike

A large crowd gathered in Friends Meeting House in Uxbridge on 16 June for a special Hillingdon Against the Cuts (HAC) meeting to build solidarity and support for the public sector pensions strike on 30 June.

22 June 2011

spotPOA to hold protest meetings

The national executive committee of the Prison Officers Association (POA) has announced that lunchtime pension cuts protest meetings will be held at every prison and secure hospital on 30 June...

22 June 2011

spotUnison conferences discuss action on pensions

Half-million strong TUC demo, central London, 26 March 2011, against the government's cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Half-million strong TUC demo, central London, 26 March 2011, against the government's cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

In the days running up to Unison's local government conference, on 19-20 June, general secretary Dave Prentis made announcements to the press about strike action to stop pension attacks.

22 June 2011

spotComprehensive education under attack

School students and teachers protest against academies at Tile Hill Wood school in Coventry, photo Coventry Socialist Party

School students and teachers protest against academies at Tile Hill Wood school in Coventry, photo Coventry Socialist Party

This year was supposed to be a special year for Coventry - a celebration of 50 years of comprehensive education in the city, writes Jane Nellist, Coventry NUT, personal capacity.

22 June 2011

spotGreece's debt crisis threatens worldwide banking system

Xekinhma, Greek section of CWI, on massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

Xekinhma, Greek section of CWI, photo Stephan Kimmerle

Workers resist Pasok's savage cuts and privatisation programme: Greece's deepening sovereign debt crisis is threatening to destroy the eurozone and trigger a worldwide banking collapse, according to the International Monetary Fund...

22 June 2011

spotCon-Dems still plan to destroy NHS - Save our health service!

The Con-Dems' tinkering with the Health and Social Care Bill has not stopped their assault on the NHS or their agenda of privatisation, writes Andrew Walton, Unison rep (personal capacity), Leicestershire Partnership Trust.

22 June 2011

spotAs the cuts bite, millions ask: 'Does it have to be like this?'

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

Despite protests in Athens their country "is busted" and even "a socialist revolution would not change that reality", claims the Independent newspaper. Peter Taaffe busts the myth and explains the socialist alternative.

22 June 2011

spotReaders' comment: apprentice sexists

Alan Sugar and his hopefuls are back again, in a dog eat dog competition to be his next 'apprentice'...

22 June 2011

spot200 workers challenge Labour council cuts

Photo Senan

Photo Senan

Over 200 council workers staged a noisy and colourful protest outside Waltham Forest town hall in north east London, calling on the Labour council to step back from forcing new contracts on the workforce.

22 June 2011

spotTribunal rules tube driver Arwyn was unfairly dismissed

London Underground driver, Arwyn Thomas, a member of the RMT union, has won his employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal...

22 June 2011

spotSouthampton: strikes set to continue

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

Following the failure of ACAS arbitration talks on 16 June, Unite and Unison have announced further strike action to intensify the pressure on Southampton council.

23 June 2011

spot'No redundancies!' say Forest Hill school teachers

Forest Hill school strike, Lewisham, June 2011, photo Martin Powell Davies

Forest Hill school strike, Lewisham, June 2011, photo Martin Powell Davies

NUT members at Forest Hill school in Lewisham had a one-day strike against compulsory redundancies

23 June 2011

spotUnite rules conference - steps forward for members

The Unite union rules conference on 13-15 June saw a shift to the left by the union, including a decision to promote "a socialist vision".

23 June 2011

spotLondon Met strike against compulsory redundancies

Unison and UCU members held a one day strike at London Met university on 22 July after management had repeatedly refused to talk to the unions

24 June 2011

spotShafted By AEI cables

AEI Cables, sacked workers protesting, June 2011, photo Elaine Brunskill

AEI Cables, sacked workers protesting, June 2011, photo Elaine Brunskill

'AEI - You owe us' chanted sacked workers on a demonstration outside the factory gates of AEI cables in Birtley, in Tyne and Wear

24 June 2011

spotNational Pensioners Convention parliament

Support for workers on 30 June: 1,500 pensioners from all over Britain attended the National Pensioners Convention parliament in Blackpool on 14-16 June

24 June 2011

spotUnison conference Socialist Party meeting spells out action needed

Socialist Party fringe meeting at June 2011 Unison conference  , photo Greg Maughan

A packed Socialist Party fringe meeting at Unison conference played host to a vital discussion on how to build for coordinated public sector action

24 June 2011

spotRMT victory - Arwyn Thomas reinstated

Following an employment tribunal ruling that London Underground train driver Arwyn Thomas was unfairly dismissed, negotiations between the RMT union and London Underground bosses took place in which Arwyn's reinstatement was agreed...

27 June 2011

spotItaly - brutal dawn attack on peaceful protest camp

At 5am this morning, 2,000 police stormed the protest camps in Val di Susa, northern Italy, to try to allow work to start on a High Velocity Railway (TAV)...

27 June 2011

spot'Hard lesson' for tube management as driver wins reinstatement

Tube strike: RMT strikers picket the London Underground, Oct  2010 photo Paul Mattsson

RMT tube strikers

On 23 June Arwyn Thomas, a victimised London Underground train driver was reinstated following a long battle

29 June 2011

spotWhy I left Labour - and joined the socialists

Being the son of a south Wales valley miner, I have always been a socialist, a trade unionist and I was also a long-time Labour Party member, writes Caerphilly Socialist Party.

29 June 2011

spotTrade union news in brief

London Met university strike: Unison and UCU members held a one-day strike at London Met university on 22 July. This was after management had repeatedly refused to talk to the unions since November, or even go to arbitration service...

29 June 2011

spotSyria: Regime steps up repression... but opposition continues to grow

Eyewitness reports of horrific brutality have been emerging from Syria. In and around the northern city of Jisr al-Shughour, the Syrian army has pursued a 'scorched earth' policy, evicting whole villages...

29 June 2011

spotWorkers say: Renationalise the railways!

RMT protest against Tube privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT protest against Tube privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

McNulty report points to further fragmentation and privatisation: The McNulty report on railway 'value for money' stands alongside Lansley's NHS 'reforms' as a brazen attack on our public services by this aggressive government, writes TSSA rail union, personal capacity.

29 June 2011

spotTrade unionists must fight for LGBT rights

LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual and trans) firefighters organised by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are refusing to march at Pride London on Saturday 2 July under the banner of their employer, the London Fire Brigade, writes Socialist Party LGBT group convenor.

29 June 2011

spotWestern governments more concerned about business deals than human rights in China

Ahead of premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Europe, to cement more trade deals, the Chinese authorities released from jail prominent dissidents Ai Weiwei, the artist, and Hu Jia...

29 June 2011

spotNews in brief

Dishonourable member: Tory education minister Michael Gove attacked the 30 June pensions strike by teachers on the grounds that taking such action would sully the good name of the teaching profession...

29 June 2011

spotSave heart services for children!

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

A public meeting was held in Leicester recently as one of many 'consultations' on changes to children's congenital heart services in England, writes Becci Heagney.

29 June 2011

spotJobs threat at Derriford hospital

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth is to axe 281 posts as part of a savage £31 million cuts package. Frontline NHS workers will be forced out of their jobs, including a shocking 145 nurses, writes Steve Merritt.

29 June 2011

spotNuneaton: exterminate the cuts!

Nuneaton's New Labour Lord Mayor Neil Phillips had a surprise recently as he chatted with campaigners from Nuneaton Against Cuts. He was quizzed by a very unusual constituent - a Dalek!, writes Nuneaton Socialist Party.

29 June 2011

spotMarching against cuts in Haringey

On Saturday 25 June a march of 250 people, organised by Haringey Alliance for Public Services, showed opposition to the cuts, writes Haringey & Enfield Socialist Party.

29 June 2011

spotThe Pitmen Painters

The Pitmen Painters, photo by Keith Pattison

The Pitmen Painters, photo by Keith Pattison

Play review: Lee Hall, creator of Billy Elliot, focuses here on the real experiences of Ashington miners who, through the Workers Education Association (WEA), become celebrated artists in their spare time, writes Mark Baker.

29 June 2011

spotPublic money into private firms' hands

If the government was really interested in saving money, it would address the issue of how much they are being charged for goods and services, writes Richard Owen.

29 June 2011

spotUnison delegates reject leadership proposals

This year's Unison conference was far livelier than previous years. Unusually for a union conference, the rules revision session was one of the most lively debates, which showed a lack of trust in the...

29 June 2011

spotUniversities on the cheap!

University staff strike in Sheffield to save pensions, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

University staff strike in Sheffield to save pensions, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

This week has seen further announcements about the sweeping privatisation set to hit our higher education system unless it is successfully fought, writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socilaist Students.

29 June 2011

spotPrivate railways rip off fares

Research undertaken for the RMT transport union shows that passengers on privatised UK trains have to fork out £4.6 billion a year more than equivalent travellers in France, where railways remain publicly owned.

29 June 2011

spotSocialist Party summer camp - bigger and better than ever!

Friday 26th August to Monday 29th August 2011
New venue, Epping Forest:
Debden House Centre, Debden Green,
Loughton, Essex IG10 2NZ

29 June 2011

spotLondon trade unions public meeting - all welcome

photo Manchester Socialist Party

Monday 18 July, 6pm, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Sq, W1T 6AQ. Called by the NSSN and London RMT, FBU, PCS and CWU. A marker has been put down by the strikes on 30 June - this is just the beginning! TUC must organise 24-hour public sector strike

29 June 2011

spotWho speaks up for workers?

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

The battle to defend public sector pensions shows again the political vacuum that exists in Britain today, with no mass party representing workers' interests...

29 June 2011

spotCon-Dems' pension attack demands coordinated and determined response

UCU strikers defend pension rights, photo by Iain Dalton

UCU strikers defend pension rights, photo by Iain Dalton

Editorial: As the Socialist goes to press 750,000 public sector workers are gearing up for coordinated strike action on 30 June...

29 June 2011

spotGreece, Spain, Britain... We won't pay for their crisis

Xekinhma, Greek section of CWI, on massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

Xekinhma, Greek section of CWI, on massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

"Liars and thieves!" That's the accusation that Greek workers and youth are hurling at those in the Greek parliament voting for further cuts, writes Sean Figg.

30 June 2011

spotReports: Massive 30 June public sector pensions strike

Demo in London on 30 June strike day, photo Paul Mattsson

30 June, London, photo Paul Mattsson

More reports added on 5 July (to top of list). "We need other unions, all the public sector, to come out together"

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