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Monthly Archives: September 2005

HUMAN rights organisations yesterday furiously condemned the government for planning the introduction of internment in Britain, by giving police the powers to detain suspects for 90 days without charge. The power was demanded by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair following the July 7 London bombings. Yesterday Home Secretary Charles Clarke...
TALKS are taking place between Gate Gourmet management and the Transport and General Workers Union today. Locked out Gate Gourmet workers told News Line on the picket line at Heathrow yesterday that at the talks the union must demand all of them are reinstated on their old terms and conditions. Mrs...
LOCKED-OUT Gate Gourmet workers, boosted by their successful intervention at the TUC in Brighton on Monday, are calling for immediate reinstatement or action to achieve it. On the picket line at Heathrow yesterday, TGWU member Ali Karshe told News Line: ‘Gate Gourmet and the union are having a meeting this...
THE Trades Union Congress yesterday voted unanimously to ‘call on the British government to set its own unilateral date for an early and speedy departure from Iraq’. Moving the motion, Doug Nicholls, of the Community and Youth Workers Union, said: ‘We say to our own government: if you didn’t...
THE message from the Blair-Brown leadership to the trade unions and their leaders is ‘face up to globalisation or cease to exist’. Even the two’s heroine, Margaret Thatcher, did not threaten to put an end to trade unionism if it did not do the wishes of big business. One has to...
A NUMBER of workers have been lobbying the TUC to demand support and action in defence of jobs and against cuts. Amicus members were lobbying against the probable closure of the Dara defence plant at St Athan in south Wales. Catherine Speight, Amicus Welsh regional secretary, told News Line: ‘We are...
I don’t know which is the more terrifying: the American Dream or the American Nightmare. The dream? All of us on the margin of the Anglo-Saxon world know what that is: a satiated life, wealth, immense buying and selling power, the reward gained in the end by the self-made-man....
GATE GOURMET strikers were on the picket line at Heathrow Airport yesterday in high spirits, after their successful intervention at the TUC in Brighton on Monday. Mrs S Dhillon said: ‘It was a great day yesterday. We won 100 per cent support. ‘They didn’t want to let us all go in,...
THE TUC yesterday voted unanimously to oppose city academies. The National Union of Teachers President Hilary Bills urged the TUC to step up a campaign against city academies. Moving Composite Motion 13: School Education, she said: ‘Academies are about the introduction of a system that undermines local communities.’ She added: ‘The government...

US Threatens Syria With War

THE US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, who was recently transferred from Afghanistan, last Monday threatened the Syrian government with war. He accused Syria of giving aid and assistance to insurgent groups in Iraq, and of allowing insurgents to cross the Syria-Iraq border. He added that without this aid, the Iraqi...
AS well as the Gate Gourmet workers’ struggle, this year’s TUC will be a battleground over pensions and privatisation. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber at his press conference on Sunday announced the publication of a TUC dossier ‘showing shocking new evidence of the depth of Britain’s pensions crisis’. Barber said this...
‘NO to redundancies!’ ‘We want our jobs!’ ‘We want justice!’ shouted over 300 locked out Gate Gourmet workers yesterday inside the TUC Congress in Brighton. The Gate Gourmet workers chanted as they received a second standing ovation, called for by Transport and General Workers Union General Secretary Tony Woodley,...
YESTERDAY the trade union bureaucracy was skating on the thinnest of thin ice at the TUC Congress. With one hand, trade union leader after trade union leader pledged complete support for the struggle of the Gate Gourmet locked out workers, while with the other they voted for a resolution that...
THE 670 Gate Gourmet workers, members of the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), sacked over a month ago for taking strike action, know what they want. Every day on their mass picket, down the road from the plant, they are demanding that the leaders of the 820,000-strong T&G and...
A LARGE number of sacked Gate Gourmet catering workers from Heathrow were on their way to Brighton to lobby the Trades Union Congress early this morning – where they are going to demand immediate action by the TUC to win all their jobs back on their current terms and...
UAW auto workers trade union President Ron Gettelfinger addressed the Detroit Economic Club last Thursday and attempted to deal with aspects of the crisis of American capitalism. He said: ‘I’m here today to talk about an issue that we as Americans don’t like to talk...
LAST Thursday afternoon, at a meeting attended by TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, TGWU leader Tony Woodley told the Gate Gourmet shop stewards that the company wanted a large number of redundancies. He advised that those who wanted to return to work should seek to do so, but that it...
Palestinian and Israeli officials said on Wednesday that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) will close the international Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt until further notice, at least for six months. Palestinian Cabinet Secretary-General Samir Hleileh said that the move by Israel to close the Rafah crossing...
The Gate Gourmet pickets at Heathrow Airport yesterday had a Transport and General Workers Union shop stewards report back on a meeting held with TGWU General Secretary Tony Woodley at Transport House in London on Thursday afternoon. Shop steward Jim Wickar addressed the pickets assembled on the hill, saying:...
UK petrol and diesel prices are still rising in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with the average cost of petrol now at 95.1 pence a litre, but peaking at above £1 a litre in Wales and other areas of the UK. However, super unleaded fuel topped the £1 barrier...
GATE Gourmet strikers are travelling to the TUC Congress in Brighton on Monday demanding action to win their dispute from the TUC not just words. On Tuesday 10 strikers are to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown at the TUC, according to TGWU national officer Paul Baulch. Strikers...
Postal workers called for action to defeat privatisation at a mass rally of over 600 at Friends Meeting house in central London on Wednesday. Speaking from the floor, Richard, Harrow CWU, said: ‘We are under attack from a Labour government. ‘We should not go cap in hand asking them not to...
NHS HOSPITALS are facing an immediate cut of £1.6 billion, with the government ordering NHS Trusts to ‘balance their books’ by making cutbacks and ‘efficiency savings’ this autumn. It was said a long time ago that accountants were taking over the NHS. But when the Labour government first came to...
THE Gate Gourmet mass picket at Heathrow airport was visited yesterday by RMT general secretary Bob Crow, along with a number of RMT executive members and officers. Crow told the pickets: ‘Our belief is that all those working for the same company should take action at the same time. ‘However, we...
‘I BELIEVE we can win this,’ Communication Workers Union General Secretary Bill Hayes told a mass rally against privatisation by over 600 postal workers in London yesterday. Speaking about the government’s plans to privatise the postal service, he said: ‘Share ownership is creeping privatisation.’ He warned: ‘Once we take shares for...
‘WHAT do we want? Justice! – When do we want it? Now!’ and ‘Police – murderers!’, shouted more than 70 people at a demonstration and vigil for Paul Coker outside Plumstead police station on Tuesday night, a month after he died in custody. A minute’s silence was held for Paul,...
ON all fronts the Blair government is speeding up its privatisation offensive, so that his governments can leave as their legacy for big business, the smashing of the Welfare State. Under both Labour and Tory governments the NHS has seen, first of all, the rise of the private contractors,...
PRIOR to the deregulation of the buses in 1985-86 many important decisions concerning our bus services were decided by the Traffic Commissioners and local authorities, not by bus companies. Timetables normally lasted a minimum of six months, staff were paid enhanced rates of pay for working weekends, rest days, nights...
GATE GOURMET strikers were sacked four weeks ago today and were very angry yesterday morning that they have been out so long withtheir union leaders having no plan of action to win reinstatement for them all. As soon as TGWU full time official Oliver Richardson arrived at the mass picket...
THE National Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday accused Education Secretary Ruth Kelly of trying to impose ‘impossible’ targets on state schools that would lead to their closure and the smashing up of comprehensive state education. In speech to the Local Government Association, Kelly said that in future ‘failing’ schools in...
‘TODAY immigrant workers in this country face an epidemic of workplace injury and death,’ stated the Afl-Cio trade union federation yesterday. In fact, immigrant workers are at far greater risk of being killed or injured on the job than native-born workers. Overall, workplace fatalities among foreign born workers increased...
THE Gate Gourmet strikers are fighting in the most determined fashion to win back their jobs in the face of a hostile union busting management. Their determination to win their jobs back has also brought them into conflict with the leaders of the TGWU, which even before the dispute began,...
AN EMERGENCY resolution on the Gate Gourmet dispute is to be heard at the TUC conference in Brighton next week, TGWU full-time officer, Oliver Richardson, informed strikers at the mass picket at Heathrow Airport yesterday. Strikers told News Line that they want a resolution calling action for their immediate reinstatement,...
CIVIL rights group Liberty yesterday warned that Prime Minister Blair is seeking to cross a ‘fundamental line in the sand’ by sending people to countries where they face torture by the authorities. Speaking in China, Blair said the government would try to push through changes in the law, if necessary,...
‘TELL the BA workers and every worker on the airport, we need their help again,’ Gate Gourmet striker Mrs P Samara told News Line on the mass picket at Heathrow yesterday. The 670 strikers are united in their determination to defeat the company which sacked them at ‘three minutes’ notice’...
THE New Orleans disaster stands as a testament – with its over 10,000 dead and over 200,000 refugees – to the bankruptcy of the capitalist system. It also proves the unpostponable necessity of overthrowing that system, by the revolutionary action of the US working class, in a second American revolution,...
LOUISIANA authorities say they now have control over the capital New Orleans and have restored law and order, almost a week after the chaos caused by Hurricane Katrina. A massive air and bus evacuation has cleared all hurricane survivors from inside the New Orleans Superdome and convention centre, where they...
THE New Orleans river front was hit by a massive blast yesterday morning, with fires raging in the area. The blast at a chemical plant on the south-west outskirts of the flooded city lit up the sky. The cause is as yet unknown. Police sent a team to see if toxic...
YESTERDAY 300 Arkansas national guards were sent into the hurricane hit city of New Orleans, after having just returned from Iraq. The Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, said of them: ‘These troops are fresh back from Iraq, well trained, experienced, battle-tested and under my orders to restore order in the...
ANGRY Gate Gourmet strikers told News Line yesterday that Transport and General Workers’ Union head of civil aviation, Brendan Gold, had visited them on the mass picket at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday afternoon with ‘a message of despair’. They said that they were determined to maintain their unity and reject...
THE United States ruling class, running the world’s number one super-power and presiding over the richest nation on Earth, was yesterday shown to be completely unprepared, unready and unable to defend the lives and homes of its citizens in one of its major cities, New Orleans. The hurricane...
‘UP to 11 million UK workers could face serious health problems from prolonged standing at work, and they are offered less protection than employees from the Victorian era,’ says a new report from the TUC, just published. The report appears in the latest edition of the TUC-backed health and safety...
YESTERDAY morning Gate Gourmet strikers were dismissing and rubbishing the letters that they have been receiving from the company. These offered them a minimum pittance of two weeks’ pay (£560) for every year of their service as compensation for being sacked. The arrogant bosses also wrote: ‘The company reserves the absolute...
EVEN puppet politicians are complaining about the conduct of British troops in southern Iraq. The Basra newspaper Al-Manarah has interviewed National Assembly Deputy Mansur al-Ka’nan. Mansur al-Ka’nan said: ‘On 13 August 2005, I was on my way to Baghdad to attend the deliberations on the...
THE chairman of the British Medical Association’s Consultants Committee has written an open letter to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, warning that the NHS is facing a catastrophe, if funding continues to be diverted to the private sector. In his letter, Dr Paul Miller says NHS Trusts are now facing a...