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Archive for June 2003

7 June 2003

spotFirefighters' Battle For A Living Wage And To Save The Fire Service

Reject The Deal!: THERE WILL be a third special FBU conference in Glasgow on 12 June, to discuss the latest offer. The London region of the union is recommending rejection of this offer, which will be discussed at branch...

7 June 2003

spotGovernment buries fire safety report

BY THE end of 2003, fire authorities across the country will have complied with one of the government's most contentious new directives, Integrated Risk Management Plans (IRMP), writes Dave Simpson, branch secretary, FBU Gainsborough.

7 June 2003

spotLeft moves by lecturers' union

NATFHE, the lecturers' union, passed a number of Left-wing resolutions at their annual conference in Blackpool, writes Clive Dunkley, NATFHE Wales Region.

7 June 2003

spotNo To Poverty Pay In The NHS

HEALTH WORKERS at Whipps Cross Hospital in East London were on strike for two days last week as they fought for a living wage, writes Peran, a domestic.

7 June 2003

spotLincolnshire health workers' pay battle

Ann Moses, from Grimsby UNISON, representing some of the 400 NHS staff involved in a battle with another NHS contractor, Carillion, spoke to the socialist...

7 June 2003

spot'Awkward Squad' Gains Another Member

TONY WOODLEY'S victory as general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) is a big defeat for Tony Blair and the Blairites in the trade unions...

7 June 2003

spotNorthern Ireland: Socialist To Lead Biggest Union

SOCIALIST PARTY (CWI in Ireland) member Carmel Gates has been elected President of NIPSA, Northern Ireland's largest trade union...

7 June 2003

spotHow Imperialism Impoverishes Africa

THE RECENT decision by the United Nations (UN) to send troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the latest in a series of interventions on the continent of Africa, ostensibly to quell ethnic conflicts and avert a "humanitarian nightmare", writes Keith Pattenden.

7 June 2003

spotFrance: Millions Strike Against The Raffarin Government

THE LEADERS of the world's richest and most powerful nations met this week at their G8 summit in Evian, France...

7 June 2003

spotPeru: Two Million workers and peasants strike against Toledo

IN THE early hours of 28 May Peru's president Alejandro Toledo declared a 30-day state of emergency, suspending democratic rights, to prevent workers striking over low pay and high taxes...

7 June 2003

spot"Who Can Blame Them?"

Mark, from north London sent us this article after looking at the Socialist Party's website...

7 June 2003

spotFrance: Millions On Strike

AIRPLANES WERE grounded, trains didn't run and the roads and motorways were gridlocked as France's workers walked out, writes Judy Beishon, Paris, Tuesday 3 June..

7 June 2003

spotBosses To Blame For Sackings

"UNFORTUNATELY SALARIES not paid. Please do not contact office. Full details to follow later today." This outrageous text message told workers at The Accident Group (TAG) they were being made redundant.

7 June 2003

spotExposed - Blair's Weapons Of Mass Deception

AS TONY Blair jetted his way through the Gulf area, meeting Kuwaiti sheikhs, lecturing to British squaddies and kissing Iraqi children in one big photo-opportunity, evidence was growing that he and US president Bush lied about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction (WMD)...

7 June 2003

spotG8 at Evian: Multinationals 'United' In Exploitation?

IN EVIAN, France, representatives of the world's most powerful capitalist nations discussed many issues, including globalisation, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), North Korea and the Middle East, writes Paul Hunt, Coventry.

14 June 2003

spotFighting For A Living Wage

Low paid workers at Whipps Cross hospital, east London voted for a further three days strike action at a mass meeting on 9 June...

14 June 2003

spotEuro debate - independent workers' struggle needed

GORDON BROWN'S Commons statement on the euro, the world's biggest currency union, deliberately faced both ways...

14 June 2003

spotFrance - millions keep up strike movement

STRIKES AND protest actions are continuing across France on a daily basis, against the Raffarin government's pension 'reform' plans, writes Judy Beishon.

14 June 2003

spotDrop All Charges Against Day X Detainees

THE DEFENDANTS in the Lewisham Day X Detainees case, Rene Bravo, Marcela Massingnotti and Karl Debbaut appeared at Greenwich magistrates court on 4 June...

14 June 2003

spotTony Woodley Speaks To The Socialist

Tony Woodley, newly elected general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) gave an exclusive interview last week to Bill Mullins, the Socialist Party's Industrial Organiser...

14 June 2003

spotUnison And The Political Fund

THE BATTLE over the political fund at this year's UNISON conference is crucial. UNISON pays well over 1 million a year to the Labour Party and the trade union movement has paid a colossal 250 million...

14 June 2003

spotLeft Make Gains On Unison Executive

THE left swing amongst rank and file trade unionists was a factor in public sector union UNISON's national executive council (NEC) elections...

14 June 2003

spotPCS Elections - Big Opportunities For The Left

THE CIVIL service union PCS national executive (NEC) elections, which run from 6 June to 4 July are as important as any election in the history of the union...

14 June 2003

spotManchester: Electricians Fight De-Skilling

ELECTRICIANS WORKING at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, a major prestige project for the city council, started to take strike action a few days ago, writes Christian Bunke, Manchester Socialist Party.

14 June 2003

spotDick Turpin rides again

"AT LEAST Dick Turpin wore a mask when he robbed the drivers" reads the strike placard at South Yorkshire First's main Sheffield bus garage, writes Alistair Tice.

14 June 2003

spotBlair's Lies Sow Divisions At The Top

ANY TRIUMPH Blair hoped for after the Iraq war is vanishing rapidly. The accusations of Blair lying about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) have now revealed antagonisms between the intelligence agencies...

14 June 2003

spotBush's plan for an Israeli/Palestinian conflict settlement comes unstuck

The 'road map': THE JOURNEY along George Bush's 'road map' to a Israeli/Palestinian peace settlement hit an obstacle when Palestinian militias attacked an Israeli army checkpoint in Gaza, last Sunday...

14 June 2003

spotAustria Over One Million Strike Against Pension Cuts

MORE THAN one million workers in 18,000 workplaces all over Austria, a third of the entire Austrian workforce, took industrial action on 3 June - the country's biggest strike since world war two, writes Laura Rafetseder, SLP, Vienna.

14 June 2003

spotIran 1978-79: A Revolution Stolen From The Working Class

IRAN TODAY is, effectively, a religious dictatorship but twenty-five years ago a revolutionary movement of workers, which toppled the Iranian monarchy, could have led to a socialist republic...

14 June 2003

spotNew Labour Isn't Working

Build A New Workers' Party: WHILE BROWN and Blair have been bickering about the euro, the jobs massacre has been picking up pace. 400 manufacturing jobs have been lost every day since the beginning of the year, writes Bill Mullins Socialist Party trade union organiser.

14 June 2003

spotIraq: Occupiers, Privatisers And Exploiters

THE US-led coalition forces occupying Iraq can't get the country's power supply going regularly nor can they create health and education services for local people...

21 June 2003

spotWedgwood Potteries Closure

THE NEWS that Wedgwood has decided to close two factories is a body blow for the workers of Stoke-on-Trent, writes Disgruntled Wedgwoods worker.

21 June 2003

spotWales further education colleges: Lecturers Fight For A Living Wage

LAST NOVEMBER the Welsh Assembly, through its education minister Jane Davidson, intervened in the long-running dispute over Further Education (FE) college lecturers' pay, writes Andrew Price, NATFHE NEC member FE Wales and a Wales pay negotiator.

21 June 2003

spotKick Poverty Pay Out Of The NHS

Public Services Not Private Profit: LOW-PAID health workers at Whipps Cross hospital in east London are striking for three days from 18 June, in their battle for a living wage...

21 June 2003

spotFrance: Workers Still Angry At Bosses' Plans

TRADE UNION organisers say 1.5 million workers struck in France against government attacks on state pensions on 10 June, when the plans were presented to the National Assembly (parliament)...

21 June 2003

spotSorting Out The Bosses

WHEN I started working for the Post Office 12 years ago, they were making millions in profit, most of which went to the government, writes A Northwich Communication Workers' Union (CWU) member.

21 June 2003

spotTameside Day Centre Users Protest Against Cuts

Carers, Friends (including Tony Booth!) and users of Gorse Hall day centre, Stalybridge, demonstrated at the Tameside town hall on 11 June against proposed cuts at their centre, writes Elaine Healey Manchester.

21 June 2003

spotAnti-discrimination regulations: Fight Concessions To The Religious Right

LESBIAN, GAY, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have long been campaigning for equal treatment at work, writes Lionel Wright, MSF-AMICUS and convenor, Socialist Party LGBT Group.

21 June 2003

spotIranian Student Protest

"THE CLERICAL regime is nearing its end. Vigilantes commit crimes, the leader supports them," chanted defiant student protesters at Tehran university, Iran...

21 June 2003

spotIsraeli / Palestinian conflict Socialism - The Only Road To Peace

THE ROAD map to 'peace' in the Middle East is becoming soaked in blood. Since the Israeli army attempted to assassinate the deputy leader of the Islamic Palestinian organisation, Hamas, on 10 June, the...

21 June 2003

spotFirefighters dispute: It Didn't Have To Be Like This

"THE FIREFIGHTERS' decision yesterday to call off their long-running dispute marks a signal victory for ministers, writes Bill Mullins, Socialist Party trade union organiser.

21 June 2003

spotWhat can we do about the 'fat cats?'

THE WEALTH gap in Britain is widening rapidly. The most noticeable gainers have been the owners of big companies and their 'fat cat' top executives (themselves usually top shareholders), who are getting...

21 June 2003

spotEast Germany 1953: When the Workers rose Up Against Stalinism

ON 15 June 1953, about 60 building workers on the Friedrichshaim hospital building site in East Berlin stopped work to draw up a letter protesting at a 10% increase in the work norms imposed by East Germany's Stalin-ist government...

21 June 2003

spot'President' Blair Fails Again

Build a new workers' party: TONY BLAIR'S government is in trouble. His attempts to implement a hurried and botched 'constitutional reform' and hide it behind a government reshuffle without even consulting his own Cabinet have...

28 June 2003

spotScrap All Tuition Fees

ANOTHER FORM of tax - tuition fees - was debated in Parliament this week. Over 100 New Labour MPs either abstained or voted for a motion to abandon proposals for top-up fees...

28 June 2003

spotStop SATS

WHEN MY daughter took her Key Stage One tests, SATs, she cried because the teacher could not help her, writes Nicky Downes, Coventry, year 6 teacher and parent of a six-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter.

28 June 2003

spotHealth Workers Strike At Sick Wages

IN RECENT weeks, low-paid hospital workers at Whipps Cross hospital, east London, at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Lancashire and at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole hospitals trust, have been striking for NHS pay and conditions for staff employed by privatised companies...

28 June 2003

spotMarching Against Global Capitalism

AROUND 100,000 people demonstrated in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 21 June to show their opposition to the European Union summit, writes Martin Powell-Davies, Thessaloniki.

28 June 2003

spotSupport Colombian Trade Unionists - Boycott Coca-Cola

International Socialist Resistance (ISR) is campaigning in support of the international boycott of Coca-Cola products, writes Clare James, ISR national coordinator.

28 June 2003

spotSexual Health Crisis

ACCORDING TO a report by the Commons Health Committee, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) amongst young people are rife, creating a major health crisis, writes Sarah Mayo.

28 June 2003

spotTransport union meets as Morris bows out

THE TRANSPORT and General Workers' Union (TGWU) Biennial Delegate Conference (BDC) 2003 will be marked by the election of Tony Woodley as general secretary, writes Teresa MacKay, chair of the national committee of the RAAW Trade Group.

28 June 2003

spotUnison conference - Labour link debate

PUBLIC SECTOR union UNISON, with 1.3 million members, is the biggest trade union in Britain. One of the most important sessions at this year's UNISON conference was the debate on the union's link with...

28 June 2003

spotMiddle East: Sharon's Deadly Assassination Squads

ARIEL SHARON appears to be biting the hand that feeds him. The assassination of another leading Hamas activist by an Israeli hit squad has further undermined George Bush's efforts to put a lid on the...

28 June 2003

spotExclusive - Gary Mills and Tony Poole Jailed for 14 years by a corrupt system

GARY MILLS and Tony Poole were released recently from prison after campaigning for 14 years to force the justice system to admit what is blatantly obvious, they were wrongly convicted of the murder of Hensley Wiltshire, a black man who died in Gloucester police custody...

28 June 2003

spotGeorge Orwell: Facing Up To The Contradictions

THIS MONTH'S centenary of the birth of novelist and political commentator George Orwell (1903-50) has been widely commemorated in the press and media...

28 June 2003

spotMarseille marches to a militant beat

MARSEILLE WAS at the height of the recent strike wave in France. Its militant traditions were reflected in the numbers on the streets, writes Manny Thain, participant in the recent mass workers' actions in France.

28 June 2003

spotMake The Fat Cats Pay

CABINET MINISTER Peter Hain's very modest proposal - to increase the tax rate paid by the rich - caused a political storm...

28 June 2003

spotRMT conference: Not A Penny More To Labour

THE FORTHCOMING annual general meeting (AGM) of the rail union RMT has the opportunity to make a clear call for a new party that will give working-class people a political voice, a conference delegate writes.

28 June 2003

spotBooks that inspired me

KEITH ELLIS looks at Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell.

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