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Archive for November 2011

1 November 2011

spotCuba, a tale of two countries

A recent trip to Cuba reminded me that it is a land of contrasts, writes Tony Mulhearn. Magnificent beaches, luxurious resorts and hotels, contrasted by poor wages, poor housing and, particularly in Havana, evidence of neglect and poverty

1 November 2011

spotSouthampton - Sink Tory cuts

On Wednesday mass meetings of Unite and Unison Southampton council workers will discuss the next steps in their fight against cuts...

2 November 2011

spotLiverpool council 'does its best' for the bankers

In rejecting the option to stand up and fight for Liverpool's hard-pressed working families, council leader Joe Anderson, at Liverpool council's Question Time public consultation on 27 October, claimed that he was doing his best for the people of the city, writes Tony Mulhearn.

2 November 2011

spotTony Blair advises Kazakhstan's dictatorial regime

Press reports in the past week have revealed a very close relationship between former Labour prime minister Tony Blair and Nursultan Nazarbayev, the dictatorial ruler of mineral-rich Kazakhstan, writes Ken Douglas.

2 November 2011

spotFast News

Spare no expense: Former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair together have claimed over £1.7 million in 'expenses' in the last five years...

2 November 2011

spot1985 school strike exhibit shows how young people can organise to fight back

The school student strikes of 1985 showed how young people are able to organise and fight back when their futures are under attack, writes John Cosgrove, Liverpool Youth Fight for Jobs.

2 November 2011

spotBattle for Bexley Square

Review: Salford Socialist Party member Paul Gerrard has produced a new pamphlet on Salford's 1931 'Battle for Bexley Square'...

2 November 2011

spotThe World's Biggest Bomb

TV review: This documentary dealt with the nuclear arms race between the USA and the Stalinist USSR from the late 1940s, culminating in the USSR detonating the world's largest nuclear device in 1961, writes Andy Ford.

2 November 2011

spotWorkers can show their power in 30 November strike

Behind all the events being covered in the media at the moment, looms the massive 30 November strike (N30) to defend public sector pensions

2 November 2011

spotAn interview with Mick Dooley

Mick Dooley, barred from standing for UCATT general secretary after he exposed previous election to be illegal, photo by Paul Mattsson

Mick Dooley, barred from standing for UCATT general secretary after he exposed previous election to be illegal, photo by Paul Mattsson

Defending building workers' rights: The election for the general secretary of the building workers' union Ucatt starts on 11 November. This election has been called after the 2009 general secretary election was found to be illegal. Then,...

2 November 2011

spotTunisia: Elections mask the growing anger from below

Following the revolutionary events at the start of 2011 in Tunisia, in which the country's youth, unemployed and workers overthrew the 24-year long dictatorship of president Ben Ali, elections have recently taken place for a constituent assembly...

2 November 2011

spotLansley closes another hospital A&E department

Government health minister, Andrew Lansley, has decided to press ahead with the closure of the A&E department and maternity services at the King George Hospital in Goodmayes, east London

2 November 2011

spotWhy you should join the Socialist Party

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

The 'Occupy' movement has rapidly spread across the world. Support for it is huge. Why? Because of the growing understanding that we, the vast majority of humanity, are being forced to pay for a crisis that is not of our making

2 November 2011

spotRead the Socialist - the paper that fights all the cuts

The Socialist is a weekly paper that opposes all cuts to jobs and services. Why should we suffer cuts to pay the bankers' deficit, while those very same bankers - many of whom financially back the Tories, continue to enjoy a life of luxury?

2 November 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Support Vik Chechi: As reported in the last issue of the Socialist, Vik Chechi, Unison branch secretary at Queen Mary university in east London has been suspended from work...

2 November 2011

spot30 November and beyond

Building a coordinated strategy for strike action against the Con-Dem cuts: The joint strike against the Con-Dem attacks on pension rights on 30 November could be one of the biggest strikes in modern trade union history, John McInally writes...

2 November 2011

spotAs the Jarrow March for Jobs arrives in London... Youth demand their future!

Youth Demand a Future, photo The Socialist

On Saturday 5 November join the final leg of the Jarrow march! 12 noon at Temple tube on the Embankment to march to a rally in Trafalgar Square

2 November 2011

spotConstruction protests showing results

Continued protest at the Carrington paper-mill site in the north west halted traffic this morning, causing it to back up for miles. In London, protesting continued too, gaining media publicity. NB: Newcastle report added on 3.11.11

2 November 2011

spotBradford joins the 'Occupy' movement

Anti-capitalist protest outside St Pauls in London following the Wall Street protests - We are the 99%, photo Paul Mattsson

Following Occupy London Stock Exchange (LSX), and similar protests in Glasgow, Nottingham, Bristol and Newcastle, among others, a group has now established Occupy Bradford

2 November 2011

spotIreland: Spectacular election result for socialists

Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party Ireland

Along with the Irish presidential election, a parliamentary by-election took place in Dublin West on 27 October which Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party Ireland contested...

2 November 2011

spotPension talks: Opponent wavers, now's the time to push ahead with action!

Martin Powell-Davies, an executive member of the NUT and a Socialist Party member, commented on his blog on the government concessions on pensions. [Also see the NSSN statement: Reject the government's new pension offer - all out together on N30!]

2 November 2011

spotBosses prosper, workers suffer...

Manchester: 30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions , photo Hugh Caffrey

Join the 30 Nov strike: A recent survey of top 100 FTSE chief executives has shown that in the last year these bosses have received, on average, 50% pay rises

2 November 2011

spotNo return to hire and fire - Tories consider abolishing more workers' rights

It's not the endless pursuit of profit or the speculation of bankers that has caused economic crisis; it is 'unproductive' and 'underperforming' workers, writes Dave Gorton

3 November 2011

spotMark Serwotka calls pensions raid only "slightly less"

Commenting on the latest government offer on pensions, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said it "would still force public servants to pay more in and work longer for less in retirement".

3 November 2011

spotJarrow marchers to meet Iain Duncan Smith

On Friday 4 November six Jarrow marchers (who are part of the recreation of the Jarrow March of 75 years ago) will meet work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith in his Chingford constituency...

3 November 2011

spotUnison: 78% of voters say 'yes' to strike

Members of UNISON, the UK's largest union, have today voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to protect their pensions...

3 November 2011

spotBombardier protest against job losses

10,000 marched against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in the biggest demonstration in Derby for decades, backed by the RMT and other trade unions, photo Paul Mattsson

10,000 marched against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in the biggest demonstration in Derby for decades, backed by the RMT and other trade unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Around 40 Bombardier workers, trade unionists and others protested outside the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum conference

4 November 2011

spotUnison members say YES to strike

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

Unison members voted overwhelmingly to strike in defence of their pensions. It means 30 November will witness one of the biggest single demonstrations of working class power since the 1926 general strike and is a decisive step against the Con-Dem government and its austerity and cuts

5 November 2011

spotJarrow marchers march into history

Jarrow Marchers 2011

Jarrow Marchers 2011

Jarrow marchers march into history

7 November 2011

spotPaul Murphy MEP detained in Israeli prison

Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy, from Dublin in Ireland, was part of the aid flotilla to Gaza that was stormed by Israeli troops on Friday

8 November 2011

spotVirgin boss Branson not stopping low pay of train cleaners

Hundreds of cleaners working on Virgin west coast trains will strike for 48 hours on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November, against insultingly low pay 'rises'

9 November 2011

spotSites shut as construction workers march through City of London

Construction workers, electricians, demonstration 9 November 2011, photo by Neil Cafferky

Construction workers, electricians, demonstration 9 November 2011, photo by Neil Cafferky

Today's national demonstration of construction workers in London started with a rank and file led protest outside the Pinnacle tower building site on Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street station

9 November 2011

spotWe won't pay £9K! - Scrap tuition fees

Last month it was revealed that as the Ucas university application service opened for 2012, applications were down by 9% on last year...

9 November 2011

spotJarrow march ends, fightback continues

Jarrow March 2011: Jarrow March for Jobs arrives in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Jarrow March 2011: Jarrow March for Jobs arrives in London, photo Paul Mattsson

On Saturday 5 November the Jarrow March for Jobs came to an end with a demonstration of thousands in central London, writes Ollie Fournier, Cambridge.

9 November 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Vik Chechi: On 18 October, Queen Mary University (QMUL) Unison branch secretary Vik Chechi was suspended from his post at the east London university...

9 November 2011

spot1935 - when angry Welsh protests forced a government u-turn

On 4 February 1935, Ceridwen Brown of Aberdare led an army of women, some carrying babies, to Merthyr Tydfil Unemployed Assistance Board (UAB) offices, writes Geoff Jones.

9 November 2011

spot1915 - How strikes and rent strikes won gains for Scottish tenants

In this article Sinead Daly from Socialist Party Scotland shows how working class families resisted rent rises and appalling housing conditions in Glasgow nearly 100 years ago...

9 November 2011

spotNews in brief

Bonus bonanza: RBS, the bank that became synonymous with greedy speculative bankers (Fred 'the shred' Goodwin), huge corporate losses and publicly funded bailouts, has once again rewarded its top investment bankers with a £500 million pay and bonus pot...

9 November 2011

spotMiliband the militant? No way!

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has come out in favour of the occupation at the London Stock Exchange, writes Paul Gerrard.

9 November 2011

spotFailed G20 summit takes eurozone nearer to the abyss

The G20 meeting of the world's most powerful government leaders on 3 and 4 November was a 'No Cannes Do' summit. The discussions were hijacked by the Greek crisis...

9 November 2011

spotGreek workers must resist the dictatorship of finance capital

'National unity' government will pursue same austerity measures: Greek prime minister George Papandreou has been forced to leave office. His Pasok government will be replaced by a 'national unity' coalition government.

9 November 2011

spotSocialist MEP among Gaza peace activists kidnapped by IDF

Solidarity action urgently needed: On 4 November, Socialist Party Ireland MEP, Paul Murphy, was detained by the Israeli Defence Forces, along with other activists from the Freedom Waves Flotilla

9 November 2011

spotIsrael: General strike over job security

A general strike took place in Israel on Monday 7 November, with workers in the civil service, public transport, universities, airports, sea ports and local authorities among those striking

9 November 2011

spotHousing slump

A housing protest on the Seven Stars estate in Wrekenton, Gateshead, photo Elaine Brunskill

A housing protest on the Seven Stars estate in Wrekenton, Gateshead, photo Elaine Brunskill

The ever deepening housing crisis has been revealed by the latest new build figures. They show that the number of new homes built in 2010/11 in England has slumped to 121,200

9 November 2011

spotConstruction workers kettled - please send urgent protests!

After the construction workers' demonstration today, 200 protesters from the demo marched off to join the student demonstration that is also taking place today, but have been kettled by the police near Blackfriars Bridge...

9 November 2011

spotBuild for 30 Nov strike - The fight of all our lives!

Jarrow March 2011: Jarrow March for Jobs arrives in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Photo P Mattsson

We’re just days away from 30 November, when up to three million public sector workers will be striking to defend their pensions. This will be an overwhelmingly popular strike because all those who have suffered from these cuts want someone to stand up for them.

9 November 2011

spotSouthampton: Sink Tory cuts!

At mass meetings of Unite and Unison Southampton council workers, it was agreed to carry on with industrial action short of a strike until the ballot result on the council's latest offer is known

10 November 2011

spotThousands say no to fees, cuts and privatisation

Wednesday, 9 November, saw up to 10,000 students take to the streets to protest against the government's plans to snatch away the future of young people

10 November 2011

spotPolice kettle electricians

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) condemns the actions of the police in kettling over 200 construction electricians for well over an hour...

13 November 2011

spotVideos of speeches at Socialism 2011

Videos of speeches at the Socialism 2011 Saturday rally have been added to article: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13116...

15 November 2011

spotCleaners win 10% pay rise

While the 30th November public-sector strike dominates the news, contract cleaners working on West Coast mainline trains have won a 10% pay rise, writes Hugh Caffrey, north-west Socialist Party.

16 November 2011

spotIrish Socialist MEP Paul Murphy speaks out: solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza will continue

Paul Murphey MEP press conference on his release from Israeli prison

Paul Murphey MEP press conference on his release from Israeli prison

On 4 November Socialist Party Ireland MEP Paul Murphy along with other peace activists from the Gaza Freedom Waves Flotilla were arrested in international waters and held in Israeli prisons for one week...

16 November 2011

spotWales: Fight the NHS cuts

A recent opinion poll shows clear opposition to Welsh Labour's plans to cut hospitals in Wales - despite health bosses claiming that the poll supports their plans to downgrade general hospitals in Wales...

16 November 2011

spotSouthampton - opposing all the cuts

Southampton council workers on strike 6.10.11, photo Nick Chaffey

Southampton council workers on strike 6.10.11, photo Nick Chaffey

Southampton council workers have been at the forefront in recent months in fighting savage pay and job cuts by the Tory council, writes Nick Chaffey.

16 November 2011

spotReinstate Vik Chechi

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) Unison is currently running a public campaign demanding the reinstatement of its suspended branch secretary Vik Chechi...

16 November 2011

spotThe first shop stewards movement

Rent strike on Clydeside

Rent strike on Clydeside

The outbreak of World War One in August 1914 cut across the great industrial unrest which had been gathering pace since 1911...

16 November 2011

spotEnd the dictatorship of the markets!

The imposition of the 'technocrats', in reality bankers, in both Italy and Greece, shows the seriousness of the crisis for the capitalist class nationally and across Europe, writes Paul Murphy, Ireland Socialist Party MEP.

16 November 2011

spotJobs crisis - 'We can't afford capitalism'!

"Decent jobs and decent pay!" That was the modest demand of the young people on the Jarrow Youth March for Jobs, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

16 November 2011

spotRiot cops assault Occupy protesters

Friday, Day 14 of w:Occupy Wall Street - photos from the camp in Zuccotti Park and the march against police brutality, walking to One Police Plaza, headquarters of the NYPD, photo by David Shankbone

Friday, Day 14 of w:Occupy Wall Street - photos from the camp in Zuccotti Park and the march against police brutality, walking to One Police Plaza, headquarters of the NYPD, photo by David Shankbone

Riot police in the USA attacked, arrested and evicted people from the anti-capitalist camps in New York, Portland and in Oakland, California...

16 November 2011

spotFast news

Pollution ignored: According to the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee inquiry report published last week, the government has "failed to get to grips" with the human cost of air pollution...

16 November 2011

spotPoppy mania for bosses...

To cheers from the press, David Cameron and Prince William intervened so the England football team could wear the poppy during their match against Spain...

16 November 2011

spotStrike together, Protest together, Win together

30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Paul Mattsson

30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Get ready for 30 November: On Wednesday 30 November (N30), up to three million workers will strike to defend their pension rights against this Con-Dem government of the rich for the rich

16 November 2011

spotElectricians march to defend pay and conditions

Construction electricians entered the next phase of their battle to maintain terms and conditions following their national day of action on 9 November, writes Kevin Parslow

16 November 2011

spotAll out together on 30 November

30 November is going to be a momentous day. Millions of workers across the country will strike together in a mighty show of force to warn the Con-Dem government and its cabinet of millionaires that we will not accept drastic cuts to our pensions

16 November 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Support Paul Kelly!: Transport union RMT rep Paul Kelly has recently been involved in protesting against the imposition of new rosters at Wightlink Ferries in Portsmouth

16 November 2011

spotCuts kill - Poverty, despair and a suicide pact

Cuts to public services and benefits are causing massive suffering and misery. Tragically, the bodies of a vulnerable couple, Mark and Helen Mullins, were found in their Warwickshire home this month.

16 November 2011

spotBerlusconi quits as debt crisis hits eurozone's third largest economy

The deepening eurozone crisis has claimed another government with the departure of Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi...

16 November 2011

spotStop the government austerity juggernaut

Government ministers are considering ending the rise in benefits linked to inflation and threatening to cut benefits to the working poor if claimants don’t work longer hours

16 November 2011

spotCardiff occupation evicted

After a heroic six-hour stand off, South Wales police physically forced supporters of Occupy Cardiff off their protest site at Cardiff Castle

16 November 2011

spotWeekly construction protests continue as Unite ballot begins

Construction workers' national protest outside the Pinnacle site, London, 9.11.11, photo by Harry Smith

Electricians gathered at Farringdon station in London this morning in the struggle to defend the JIB agreement [NB: reports from Liverpool and West Burton added on 17.11.11; Redcar on 18.11.11]

16 November 2011

spotMurdochgate scandal shows need for democratic and accountable media

Cameron, the Murdoch empire and the police have been involved in a corrupt attempt to subvert the democratic rights of the British people, photo Paul Mattsson

Cameron, the Murdoch empire and the police have been involved in a corrupt attempt to subvert the democratic rights of the British people, photo Paul Mattsson

"You must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise", said Labour MP Tom Watson to James Murdoch, chairman of News International

16 November 2011

spotSparks battle pay cuts

Rob Williams, chair, National Shop Stewards Network, addresses the Construction workers, electricians, demonstration 9 November 2011, photo Neil Cafferky

Rob Williams, chair, National Shop Stewards Network, addresses the Construction workers, electricians, demonstration 9 November 2011, photo Neil Cafferky

Emboldened by the construction electricians' protest in London on 10 November, around 200 sparks turned up at Corus Steel on Teesside on 14 November, writes Elaine Brunskill.

16 November 2011

spotNHS under attack

Privatisation, cartoon by Alan Hardman

Cartoon A Hardman

Stop the privatisation vultures: On 10 November, a £1 billion contract was announced for the private firm Circle Health to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, for ten years 'on behalf of the NHS'

16 November 2011

spotDefend the right to strike and protest

30 June strike of PCS, NUT, UCU and other unions, photo by Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

Build for 30th November strike: Twenty eight unions are now expected to join the strike against cuts to public sector pensions, showing the massive potential power of the working class

17 November 2011

spotUnite votes Yes to strike action on 30 November

Members of the union Unite who work in the public sector have voted resoundingly in favour of industrial action to defend their pensions...

17 November 2011

spotSocialism 2011

Socialism 2011: Crucial preparation for the fightback

18 November 2011

spotSupport Egyptian students' struggle at the German University in Cairo

The CWI website socialistworld.net has reported this week on a students' struggle for an independent, democratic students' union at the German University in Cairo (GUC)...

21 November 2011

spotCapitalism is crisis - there is an alternative - fight for socialism!

26 March TUC demonstration, photo by Senan

The titanic 30 November strike will display the colossal power of the working class to resist the savage cuts demanded by the capitalists and Con-Dems, writes Peter Taaffe, General Secretary, Socialist Party.

22 November 2011

spotSiteworker leaflet: Balfour Beatty (BBES) ballot - The Truth - Why you should vote for the strike

The pressure is building on the 'Big 7'
construction companies who want to
withdraw from the JIB agreement and impose
the new BESNA contracts which will cut pay
by up to 35%. Electricians all over the country
are fighting back. Last week saw walkouts
and stoppages at many sites, including
Corus on Teesside, Ratcliffe and West Burton
power stations, Saltend and Farringdon in
London.

23 November 2011

spotNorthern Rock and Branson's present

The latest Con-Dem jape is to con the long suffering taxpayer who will stump up £13 a head to give Richard Branson the 'good' part of Northern Rock, writes Tony Mulhearn

23 November 2011

spotFire service cuts

South Yorkshire Fire Authority is planning to close four fire stations, take three engines out of service and cut 140 firefighters' jobs (20% of the workforce) by introducing four consecutive 24 hour shifts...

23 November 2011

spotBus drivers strike over pay

South Yorkshire bus drivers, members of Unite the union, took strike action on 18 and 21 November. Many pickets were out all day on both days at the Barnsley and Rawmarsh (Rotherham) depots, writes Alistair Tice.

23 November 2011

spotTragic effect of recession

What a tragic waste of human life this economic crisis is creating! In the Socialist (issue 694), we read about the Warwickshire couple who committed suicide because they didn't have enough to live on...

23 November 2011

spotObituary - Geoff Atkins

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of comrade Geoff Atkins following a long struggle with cancer, writes Nick Chaffey.

23 November 2011

spotCon-Dems worsen the housing crisis

Homelessness protest, photo Paul Mattsson

Homelessness protest, photo Paul Mattsson

It isn't surprising that the Con-Dems fear that housing is becoming a toxic issue. New housing proposals, announced on 21 November, are woefully inadequate. They come nowhere near reversing earlier cuts...

23 November 2011

spotMassive job cuts undermining NHS

Hardly a day passes without another revelation about devastating cuts undermining the National Health Service (NHS)...

23 November 2011

spotThem & Us

Rock bottom: Northern Rock, the failed bank rescued by the previous Labour government, has been sold off on the cheap to Virgin Money by the Con-Dems...

23 November 2011

spotWhy Europe's capitalist leaders cannot save the floundering eurozone project

Workers from European countries protest against the European Union neoliberalism and austerity cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Workers from European countries protest against the European Union neoliberalism and austerity cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Europe in turmoil, a socialist analysis, 18 June 2005: The capitalist leaders of the European Union are incapable of resolving the ever deepening sovereign debt crisis afflicting many countries in Europe today...

23 November 2011

spotEgyptian masses fight for real change

Thousands of activists have fought running battles with security forces for control of Tahrir Square, Cairo...

23 November 2011

spotTories and Labour fail to give 'Any Answers'

I went to a recent recording of BBC Radio 4's programme Any Questions in Worcester, writes Peter Scott, Worcester Socialist Party.

23 November 2011

spotWomen: sick of sexism, discrimination and cuts?

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

It doesn't have to be like this!: On 30 November millions of workers will participate in what is likely to be the biggest coordinated strike action since the 1926 general strike, writes Eleanor Donne, Socialist Women steering committee.

23 November 2011

spotSave Coventry Sure Start

Earlier this year Coventry's Labour-led council proposed to remove £1 million from the annual £1.8 million budget for day care at Sure Start centres in the city, writes Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor, Coventry.

23 November 2011

spotUpdate: Occupy

Cardiff: Occupy Cardiff outmanoeuvred both police and Cardiff council by starting a camp in the grounds of the Unite union offices in Cardiff...

23 November 2011

spotJarrow marchers put forward an alternative

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

Minimum wage not to blame: On the day that the latest unemployment figures were announced I was asked to debate with Mark Littlewood of the Insititute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on the Tony Livesy show on BBC Radio 5Live, writes Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser.

23 November 2011

spotReasons to be on strike

30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Paul Mattsson

30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Union reps prepare for N30: My partner and I are union reps in the public sector. Over the last few weeks we have been giving people information on pensions and the strike ballots

23 November 2011

spotWorkplace In brief

Pension mythbuster: Teachers' union NUT has revealed that £46.4 billion more has been paid into the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) since its foundation in 1923, than has been paid out

23 November 2011

spotWhy I became a socialist

As a teenager in 2008 I left college with great confidence in finding work. However life is all about timing. I had 'chosen' one of the world's worst recessions to try to find my first job

23 November 2011

spotRuling PSOE battered in Spanish general election

Poisoned chalice of dealing with the crisis handed to PP: As widely expected, last week's Spanish general election saw the right-wing Popular Party (PP) win an overall parliamentary majority, although its percentage share of the vote barely rose

23 November 2011

spotSupport the anti-cuts election challenge

Oppose Tory, Liberal and Labour cuts: As trade unionists prepare for the biggest ever public sector industrial action, many are also thinking about the political side to their struggle

23 November 2011

spotPensions protest in Maude's constituency

West Sussex Teachers' Association (WSTA), with the backing of Unison and other public sector unions, is holding a protest in Horsham, Sussex

23 November 2011

spotMansfield - build houses, create jobs

2,000 young people in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire can't find work. Over 9,000 people in Mansfield are on the council housing waiting list. So why have building workers been thrown on the dole?

23 November 2011

spotNo answers from politicians on Newsnight

Ian Pattison, Jarrow marcher, addresses the Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 which ended with a demonstration in London on 5 November , photo Sujeeth

Ian Pattison, Jarrow marcher, addresses the Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 which ended with a demonstration in London on 5 November , photo Sujeeth

On Tuesday 15 November, I was asked to appear on a live Newsnight debate alongside 29 other young people who were either unemployed or underemployed, writes Ian Pattison, Jarrow marcher.

23 November 2011

spotState intimidation of young protesters

On 14 November, my nephew was arrested after taking part in a protest outside Knowsthorpe incinerator in Leeds against Stericycle, writes Dylan Murphy.

23 November 2011

spotGreece and Italy get unelected technocrats - Southampton gets chief executives!

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

Southampton protest on 13 June, photo Paul Mattsson

A November Southampton city council meeting approved the 'change programme', newspeak for the wholesale privatisation of council services, writes Gavin Marsh, Southampton Anti-Cuts Union.

23 November 2011

spotConstruction workers fight pay cuts

The pressure is growing on the 'Big 7' construction companies who want to withdraw from the Joint Industry Board agreement and impose the new BESNA contracts which will cut workers' pay by up to 35%...

23 November 2011

spotSyria: Eight months of mass protests met with bloody brutality

United working class-led movement needed for real regime change: Grenade attacks by Syrian army defectors on the ruling Baath party headquarters in Damascus and a few days earlier on an air force intelligence centre mark a new phase in the Syrian uprising

23 November 2011

spotElectricians occupy building company headquarters

Grattes managers blockaded on stairwell refuse to tell protesting electricians why they are cutting their wages by 35%

This morning 150 construction workers occupied the head office of Grattes Brothers in Kings Cross, protesting against the tearing up of the JIB agreement.
Articles added 24.11.11: Pay-slashing construction companies lose £billions; + North East report

23 November 2011

spotEnough is enough! Make N30 the start of a fight to stop all cuts

Fight till we win! TUC - Call next strike, photo Paul Mattsson

This government of millionaires claimed that its savage cuts in public spending would eliminate Britain's structural deficit by 2014-15, but it has now admitted this is impossible

23 November 2011

spotMillions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!

Jarrow March for Jobs, rally in Trafalgar Square, London, photo by Paul Mattsson

Jarrow March for Jobs

Unemployment is now 2.62 million in the UK, and youth unemployment stands at 1.2 million - the highest number since records began, writes Alex Moore, Jarrow marcher.

24 November 2011

spotArrested in Kazakhstan - Free Georgii Epshtein!

Georgii Epshtein, a leading member of the Russian CWI, on a visit to Kazakhstan, was arrested by the police in the office of the "Leave People's Homes Alone" campaign in Almaty

24 November 2011

spot1.16 million NEETs - Youth Fight for Jobs demands a better future

Official figures today show that a record high of 1.16 million 16- to 24-year-olds in England are not in education, employment or training, almost one in five...

25 November 2011

spotHonda convenor Paddy Brennan has suspension lifted

Paddy Brennan, Unite convenor at the Honda car plant in Swindon, has finally had his suspension lifted...

28 November 2011

spotEurozone: Into the abyss?

100,000 demonstrate in Brussels in 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

100,000 demonstrate in Brussels in 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

The Eurozone is at a tipping point. EU leaders are in disarray and have no clear strategy for resolving the crisis.
Fragmentation of the Eurozone could trigger another deep financial crisis and global economic downturn. Lynn Walsh, Editor, Socialism Today, monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, analyses the crisis.

29 November 2011

spot'Not guilty' - support for Cardiff activists

On 11 November six Occupy Cardiff activists were arrested by South Wales police, simply for exercising their right to protest peacefully

29 November 2011

spotCon-Dems' autumn statement: 'pain now, pain tomorrow and more pain for longer'

"The train is heading over the cliff", declared an MP, about the economy. Now George Osborne has taken some desperate measures to try to partially alleviate the nightmare, but the autumn statement is not a 'Plan B'

30 November 2011

spotUnprecedented support for N30 strike

PCS reps across the UK are reporting more activity than ever on strike day as they join millions of members of other unions taking action to defend their pensions

30 November 2011

spot30 November shows... We can win!

N30 - Millions strike back at Con-Dem government on 30 November 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

N30, pic Paul Mattsson

TUC must set the date: next united strike before 31 January: Extract of the speech given by John McInally, PCS civil service union vice-president, at the Bristol strike rally on 30 November

30 November 2011

spotSolidarity message to UK public sector workers, from Berlin, Germany

Striking health facility workers in Berlin, Germany, have sent the following solidarity message to public sector trade unionists in Britain

30 November 2011

spotThem & Us

Scroungers: There are today in Britain a group of well-paid public sector workers who are bleeding the economy dry, not creating any wealth and just contributing to the debt, writes Dan Gillman, Waltham Forest teacher.

30 November 2011

spotStoke Socialist Party's public meeting success

The Socialist Party's public meeting in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on 24 November was packed. This compares to Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems, who have had no public meetings locally to outline their policies...

30 November 2011

spotLeeds Against Cuts: defiant mood to fight 'daylight robbery'

A Leeds Against the Cuts public meeting during the build-up to the 30 November strike action saw a resolute and defiant mood as people agreed the government's plans were a daylight robbery of pensions, writes Nial Vivian, Hyde Park and Headingley Socialist Party.

30 November 2011

spotEgypt: Millions cast their votes in the first post-Mubarak elections

But military-controlled elections do not signal transition to democracy: Long queues formed at many polling stations, on 28 November, in Cairo and other Egyptian cities and towns, writes Niall Mulholland.

30 November 2011

spotA message from Tommy Sheridan

Tommy Sheridan, class fighter and socialist ex-Member of the Scottish Parliament, sent this message of solidarity to be read out to the Socialism 2011 rally on 5 November...

30 November 2011

spotWhen bankers were good?

Ian Hislop's BBC documentary 'When Bankers Were Good' starts by quoting ex-New Labour minister Peter Mandelson's line "I'm intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich", writes Ian Pattison.

30 November 2011

spotShowing racism the red card

Sepp Blatter, the reactionary, out of touch head of FIFA (world football's governing body), recently told a CNN interviewer that there is no racism in football, writes Chris Newby.

30 November 2011

spotThe Tory solution to pensioner poverty?

The winter fuel allowance scandal: You will have heard of Good King Wenceslas. You may not have heard of his evil twin Bad King Wenceslas, writes Derek McMillan.

30 November 2011

spotElectricians occupy building company HQ

Construction electricians brought their campaign of defiance to the home of one of the 'Dirty Seven' contractors in London on 23 November, writes Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network chair.

30 November 2011

spotUsdaw: Fighting against the policies of 'social partnership'

Activist is the paper of Socialist Party members in the shop workers' union Usdaw. Recently it carried an article explaining how, after 12 years, Robbie Segal has decided not to stand for re-election...

30 November 2011

spotJarrow March for Jobs 2011

Youth Fight for Jobs Jarrow March 2011 launch demonstration in Jarrow, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight for Jobs Jarrow March 2011 launch demonstration in Jarrow, photo Paul Mattsson

Preparing the ground for a mass movement of young people: On 1 October a group of young people from every corner of the country - mostly strangers to each other - gathered in Jarrow, just south east of Newcastle, writes Sean Figg, Jarrow marcher.

30 November 2011

spotBrighton Greens fail to fight the cuts

Brighton local government elections in May 2011 resulted in 23 Green councillors, 18 Tories and 13 Labour, giving the Greens, elected on an 'anti-cuts' election campaign, control over the council cabinet

30 November 2011

spotLondon trade unionists support electoral opposition to cuts

Trade unionists are supporting the call for anti-cuts election candidates in the 2012 London assembly elections

30 November 2011

spotKazakhstan: Demand Georgii Epshtein's release!

There is new evidence that the Kazakh authorities' charges against Russian Committee for a Workers' International member Georgii Epshtein have been completely fabricated

30 November 2011

spotConstruction workers defend the JIB

Construction workers' national protest outside the Pinnacle site, London, 9.11.11, photo Harry Smith

Construction workers' national protest outside the Pinnacle site, London, 9.11.11, photo Harry Smith

Strike to fight pay cuts: The pressure is building on the 'Big 7' major construction companies who want to withdraw from the Joint Industry Board (JIB) agreement and impose the new BESNA contracts which will cut pay by up to 35%.

30 November 2011

spotWho cares about home care?

The Con-Dems don't: Two recent reports highlight the plight of the elderly in England and Wales. Firstly, the Office for National Statistics reported 25,700 deaths due to cold weather in 2010/11

30 November 2011

spotWorkplace inbrief

Supporting N30: Steve Hedley, London regional organiser, RMT explained how the RMT is supporting N30: "We're organising a march from the RMT HQ to support everyone who's on strike...

30 November 2011

spotFight this bosses' charter!

As almost three million workers prepared to strike against one onslaught on their future, business secretary Vince Cable was announcing another, writes Dave Gorton, Unite LE/372 branch.

30 November 2011

spotWhy I joined the Socialist Party

'Thanks to my Tory MP': I know it might sound a bit strange but I've got so much to thank my Tory MP for, writes Darren Gibson, Brighouse.

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