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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2016

Workplace news in brief

Virgin dispute

Socialist Party members join RMT strikers on the picket line at Leeds train station photo Leeds SP

Socialist Party members join RMT strikers on the picket line at Leeds train station photo Leeds SP   (Click to enlarge)

RMT pickets were out in force at Leeds train station on 4 October picketing all three major station entrances as part of the Virgin Trains East Coast strike. They were joined, as ever, by local Socialist Party members, assisting them in reprinting their leaflet which had been eagerly snapped up by commuters interested in finding out what the dispute was about and unsurprised at owner Richard Branson's profiteering antics.

See the report online at

Ritzy strike again

Following the loud, bustling picket line that shut down the Ritzy cinema in Brixton at midday on 24 September, workers will walk-out again from 1pm on Friday 7 October in their dispute over pay. In 2014 the Picturehouse workers, members of Bectu, took 13 days of strike action in their fight for the London Living Wage (LLW). They won a 26% pay increase, back pay going back nearly a year and an agreement from management to implement the LLW this year. Management have reneged on this agreement in pay negotiations and the workers' minimum pay remains at 8.80 an hour - 60p short of the LLW. They balloted for action and secured a 90% yes vote - 80% of the workforce is in the union. The strike has spread to the Picturehouse cinema in Hackney where workers are balloting for action, with the result due on 6 October.

Newsquest walkout

Journalists working on newspapers owned by Newsquest in south London have voted to hold a 14-day strike starting on 6 October in response to company plans to put nearly all the newsroom staff at risk of redundancy. They want to put pressure on the company to rethink these plans and highlight concerns about health and safety at work, inadequate staffing levels, excessive workloads and deterioration in the quality of local journalism due to consecutive local cuts. The titles and websites affected include the Croydon, Epsom, Sutton, Wandsworth and Wimbledon Guardians, the Richmond & Twickenham Times, the Surrey Comet and the News Shopper in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham. The two-week strike will take place from 6 October until 19 October.

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 5 October 2016:

What we think

Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories out!

Come to Socialism 2016!

Sam Allardyce corruption shame: reclaim the game!

Asos workers fear taking toilet breaks, sacked for panic attacks

UK workers born in early 1980s half as wealthy as those born in 1970s

Millions have less than 100 savings

Them & Us

What we saw

Black History Month

Fighting racism today

Workplace news and analysis

RMT president Sean Hoyle speaks to the Socialist

Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike

Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination

London Met strike against job cuts and victimisation

Workplace news in brief

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Corbyn's praise for Cardiff Labour is mistaken

Review: where you live can kill you

Review: international jazz protest storytelling

The Socialist inbox

Socialist Students

Socialist ideas - winning a new generation of students

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march against Tory conference

Protests against children's centre closures in Bolton

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fighting fund record smashed again!

Leeds: Solidarity demo with Irish abortion fight

London: Socialism Today milestone celebration

Worcester: Public meeting discusses Corbyn

International socialist news and analysis

Poland: Fighting back against anti-abortion law

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment!

Joint declaration by Izquierda Revolucionaria and the CWI


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