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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 July 2008

Workplace news: In brief

Argos strike dates

Argos distribution workers will be on strike for 24 hours on 17 and 24 July over pay (see last week's Socialist). This will be followed by a four-day stoppage, which will be staggered across depots in Basildon, Bridgewater, Heywood (Manchester) and Magna Park (Leicestershire) (see for details).

Further education pay

The University and College union is to consult its membership in further education in England over pay. Pushed by strike action earlier this year, the employers have offered 3.2% from 1 October, which is an improvement on previous offers.

The union is calling a special conference on 20 September to decide whether to accept the offer or organise further strikes. Unison is balloting its membership and the result will be known on 8 September.

Unite day of action

Unite has organised lunchtime protests over pay in the NHS on 18 July. This is after a ballot rejected the three-year deal which amounts to a pay cut. Protests will be held outside many hospitals and other NHS workplaces. See for more details.

Unison has already accepted the offer and its leaders are apparently insisting that Unison members do not join the protests.

Fighting tax: office closures

Two Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members are to travel over 1,000 miles across Scotland in five days, sleeping in a tent in a bid to help save 19 tax offices threatened with closure.

From 14-18 July, this part of the Scottish HMRC Offices Under Threat (SHOUT) campaign will tour all 19 offices planned for closure in a HMRC announcement last month.

They will be collecting petitions in each of the threatened offices signed by union members, local staff and the public.

HMRC staff numbers have already fallen by 15,000 across the UK since March 2004 with over 200 offices closed or earmarked for closure. In Scotland, 670 more jobs stand to go.

Usdaw election

Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing as a candidate for Usdaw general secretary. Ballot papers will be distributed from 8 August.

At the National Shop Stewards' Network conference on 28 June Robbie launched a conference for all those who oppose the Usdaw leadership's social partnership strategy and the direction in which they are taking the union.

The conference will be held in London on Saturday 20 September. If you would like further details, email Robbie at

For up to date news and views on the election visit and There is an interview on her website where she expands on her programme.

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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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 16 July 2008:

Global finance crisis deepens

Feature: Price inflation - the sickness of capitalism

Global Warming

Change the system! not the climate

International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka general strike

Military threat to Iran stepped up

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS - birthday greetings and warnings

Ambulances - calls doubled, no extra staff

Polyclinic courts Branson

Ex-Foley-ated! Union bashing NHS boss resigns as staff defeat pay cuts

Socialist Party campaigns

Glasgow East by-election Socialist change needed

Durham Miners' Gala rejects New Labour

One Wales rule for the rich...

Post Office Leeds: Haranguing in the rain

Greenwich: Employers' hypocrisy

Bangor: Bus protest

Workplace news and analysis

Visteon takeover: Workers' determination defends conditions

Shop stewards conference: Workers and war

Workplace news: In brief


Notts campaign against the racist BNP grows

Anti-racism stall in Wrexham

No to the BNP's attempt to divide Stoke's communities!

'Dear Boris' - we will NOT be silenced!

The Socialist Comment

Government attacks single parents

Socialist Party review

Live Working or Die Fighting: How the working class went global


Home   |   The Socialist 16 July 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

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