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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 February 2014

Workplace news in brief

Defending Mark Harding

Around 50 RMT members and supporters turned up to protest outside Hammersmith tube station on 25 February. They marched to the local courts where RMT rep, Mark Harding, is up for a preliminary hearing after being arrested on the picket line during the recent tube strike

PCS elections

The elections for the PCS leadership will start soon, with nominations closing on 6 March. The election will run from 8 April to 8 May.

Socialist Party members in PCS are part of Left Unity, which is standing candidates with the PCS Democrats - as the Democracy Alliance.

Socialist Party members who are standing include Chris Baugh for Assistant General Secretary, Janice Godrich for President and John McInally for Vice-President.

The union's Democracy Alliance-led leadership has a proven track record of fighting the Con-Dems' austerity attacks by fighting for jobs, services and working conditions.

PCS branches are being asked to nominate Democracy Alliance candidates - a full list is available on

No boots - no work

It appears that workers employed by Carillion at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford have been told to buy their own safety boots - which they have to have to work.

Most of these workers are on the minimum wage and are on contracts with limited rights. But it's OK if you can't afford a pair of boots out of your meagre wages - the company will let you hire a pair by the day, with just a 10 deposit.

NUJ strike

Striking NUJ members took to the picket lines on 18 February at three Newsquest titles in the North East.

Up to 25 jobs will be lost at the Northern Echo, The Press and the Bradford Telegraph and Argus if plans to move subbing jobs to Wales go ahead.

Staff from all departments of the T&A were at the picket line in Bradford, all aware that a reduction in numbers won't be followed by a loss in workload, meaning less people doing more work.

There was also frustration at the idea of moving an entire department 250 miles, to Newport, yet continuing to advertise themselves as a 'local' paper.

Many were equally wary of the practicalities of working with such a chunk of the newspaper being made away from the main building, and being done by staff who will be given multiple papers to sub within any one shift.

With other Newsquest titles facing a similar fate, as the company create a 'super hub' for subbing in Newport, this is unlikely to be the last action they face if they push ahead with their plans.

Ian Slattery

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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 26 February 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop cuts carnage

End housing crisis: Rich landlords are real scroungers

Floods show planning and investment needed

Tony Blair: The not-so-secret adviser to the rich

Them and us

Socialist Party feature

Great 1984-85 miners' strike remembered

International socialist news and analysis

President ousted: what next for Ukraine?

Venezuela: Chavism and the Right call for 'peace'

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS enters Scotland independence debate

Hospital workers fight for fair pay

Striking seafarers make gains

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Welfare reform' - an avalanche of misery

Atos - not capable of assessing work capability

Budget bloodbaths show TUSC needed

Nuneaton students demand proper wages and hours

Appeal: Help Socialist Party offer real alternative

Readers' comments and reviews

Genetic modification: A means of making profit

Wales: A Land of Whose Fathers?

Marxism in Today's World

Film review: The Lego Movie


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