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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2016

Workplace news in brief

POA special conference

In 2013 at a special delegates conference, the Prison Officers Association (POA) voted in favour of "efficiency benchmarking" - a cost saving exercise that promised to keep the prison service in public ownership, which was proposed by the National Offender Management Service. The union voted in favour, on the understanding that any savings would not impact the safety of its members. Since then there has been a dramatic increase in violence on staff and staff numbers have been cut to dangerous levels. Many prison inspections since the introduction of benchmarking have criticised staffing levels and highlighted how increasingly unsafe prisons have become for both inmates and workers. On 14 January POA members will convene again at a special delegates conference to debate and vote on the withdrawal from benchmarking. The conference was called by the Wormwood Scrubs branch. It would seem that there is a huge appetite for this debate among POA members.

A POA member

Junior docs strike back

Junior doctors are to carry out their threat to strike after three weeks of talks with NHS bosses and the government failed to resolve the contract row. England's 45,000 junior doctors are to stage their first walkout in 40 years on 12 January, after suspending previous action in December 2015. They will only provide emergency cover in hospitals. A further 24-hour walkout will take place on 28 January with a full withdrawal of labour between 8am and 5pm on 10 February.


Kill the Bill meeting

Transport workers' union the RMT in Lancashire has organised a public meeting against the anti-trade union laws on 27 January. The meeting will take place at Friends Meeting House in Lancaster at 7pm with speakers including Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool councillor and Socialist Party member; Steve Hedley, RMT assistant general secretary; Terry Renshaw, one of the Shrewsbury pickets. The aim of the meeting is to build a serious and committed campaign against the laws which are likely to be in force by March 2016.

Steve Metcalfe, RMT

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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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 6 January 2016:


What we think

2016: Crisis-ridden capitalism will meet with bitter mood of resistance

No retreat on resisting council cuts!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight the flood of cuts

Support junior doctors' and student nurses' action

Another black man shot dead by the police

UK's private rail fares six times public rates

Birmingham Labour to axe at least 1,200 jobs in 165m cuts onslaught

UK wage growth will be lowest since 1920s

NHS England chiefs block hospitals from publicising emergencies

What we saw: Sadiq Khan's promises on London transport

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Floods, climate change and capitalism

Carlisle Socialist Party's action plan on floods

Profit system exacerbates flooding

Tories' hypocritical green policies pledge

Renationalise the water industry


International socialist news and analysis

No government majority as Podemos partially recovers


Workplace news and analysis

Union action needed to defeat attack on student nurses

Nationalise rail now! Rail workers strike around the country

Steel: public ownership needed as private buyers threaten pay and pensions

Condescending Tories savage Yorkshire fire service

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Dark comic book fantasy throws light on abusive relationships

"I chose to be involved in politics, Michael Crick"

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A 'People's Budget' to defeat cruel cuts

Stop the closure of Calderstones hospital!

2015 marks best fighting fund total this century!

Eleanor Marx: celebrate a life of struggle for socialism


 

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