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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 September 2011

News in brief


BAE jobs massacre

BAE Systems has announced that it intends to axe 3,000 manufacturing jobs in the UK. The main brunt of the job losses will hit plants in Brough, East Yorkshire, and at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire. These losses follow thousands of job cuts announced by BAE earlier in the year.

The GMB trade union, which represents many threatened workers, complained of being kept in the dark by the company over the job losses.

BAE says the cuts are a result of slow sales of the Typhoon 'Eurofighter' military jet - a joint manufacturing enterprise agreed by British, German, Italian and Spanish governments. This multibillion euro folly helped to maintain sales and profits for military contractors. Had billions, instead, been invested in re-tooling to create green manufacturing jobs then mass lay-offs could have been avoided.

BAE enjoyed 691 million in profits for the first six months of 2011 and gave its shareholders a 7% dividend rise despite cuts in military spending. The company also benefited from a one-off 125 million payment from the Ministry of Defence in compensation for contract changes over the past nine years.

The trade unions should demand an independent examination of the company's accounts to determine BAE's real financial situation. The unions should also campaign to renationalise the aerospace industry and use the skills and technique for socially useful production.


Private tenants

A new national organisation for tenants in the private rented sector has been established. The National Private Tenants Organisation has been formed by four private tenants organisations in England based in Blackpool, Brent, Camden and Scarborough.

Chairperson Kevin Allen said: "This is a critical time for private tenants to have a national voice. With home ownership out of reach for many people and the lack of social housing, private renting is becoming the only option for many.

"We have real concerns about rogue landlords and sub-standard homes. According to Shelter local councils know more than 1,475 landlords who repeatedly give them cause for concern... A BBC news report in February this year reported that one million rented homes in England are dangerous. Changes to housing benefit, legal aid and changes to social housing tenancies are set to make this situation worse."

Membership of the national group is open to private tenants groups and individual tenants who cannot join a local group. For further information contact:

Jacky Peacock (secretary NPTO), email: jacky.peacock@bptrg.org 020 3002 2786


Tuition fees

With university tuition fees set to rocket to an average 8,400 in 2012 a report by financial consultancy Grant Thornton reckons that the rich will be "even better off" because they will be able to settle their debts sooner and pay less in interest than those graduates on lower incomes.

The report adds that the higher fees will have the greatest deterrent on those families whose parents did not attend university.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 28 September 2011:


Building for 30 November strike

Mass strikes can kick out Con-Dems


Jarrow march for jobs

Marching for a future

Join the Jarrow marchers on their 330 mile journey!

Why are you marching?

Why are you supporting the march?

Jarrow march - council puts high price on right to protest


The Socialist's editorials

World economy in meltdown - we won't pay for capitalist crisis

Pro-business Labour offers crumbs and promises cuts


Socialist history

1911 - Bermondsey women's uprising


Socialist Party youth and students

6,000 uni fees? An offer we can refuse!

Fight fees and cuts - join Socialist Students!

Youth demand a future in Tottenham

What I spent my EMA on


Socialist Party news and analysis

As Murdochgate scandal goes on - release Tommy Sheridan!

Scotland: SNP do the Con-Dems' dirty work

Dale Farm - call off the evictions of residents

Metal thefts - The hidden crime of capitalism

Socialism 2011: A weekend of discussion and debate

News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

As debt crisis deepens... Greek workers and youth in revolt


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers strike to defend agreements

Greenwich Unite takes fight to cuts councillors

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

PFI schemes - a national scandal

Salford says: Save Lancaster House!

Stop coastguard cuts!

Stroud demo against private sharks killing the NHS


Socialist Party review

Film review: Tinker tailor soldier spy


Readers' comments

My impressions of the Work Programme

More whacko ideas from Tories

Standing up for our pension rights


 

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