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Monthly Archives: December 2005

ANYONE who has made a careful reading of Department of Health documents (see footnote) and considered the implication of the legislation can only come to the conclusion that the provision of clinical services is being privatised. Acts were passed introducing Primary and Social Care Trusts in 2002 and Foundation Trusts...

Teachers Strike!

TEACHERS in four schools in Calderdale, Greenwich, Newham and Doncaster will take strike action this week to protect salary levels following a review forced on schools by government changes to teachers’ salary structure. The four schools are: Hipperholme and Lighcliffe High School, Calderdale, on the 13 December; and on 15...
THE Government’s UK inflation rate figure fell again, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), for the third month in a row, down from 2.3 per cent in October to 2.1 per cent in November. However, although the Chancellor’s very limited Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell, it still remained...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers were yesterday campaigning outside the Transport and General Workers Union regional office in Hillingdon, near Heathrow Airport. On Saturday the Gate Gourmet bosses announced that only 137 of the over 700 workers had signed the notorious ‘Compromise Agreement’. This is despite the support of the TGWU...
A massive strike wave is taking place against the Greek right-wing government this week as workers are staging national strikes, including a general strike this Wednesday 14 December. All the trade unions in the public enterprises and industries staged a very successful 5-hour stoppage and rally yesterday and are organising...
AS far as the NHS is concerned the vultures are now gathering for the kill. On Monday, News Line publicised a leaked e-mail from the chief medical officer Sir Ian Donaldson’s chief of staff to DoH officials ordering an ‘embargo on all new commitments’ for ‘05/06 and all...
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) last Saturday condemned as ‘unacceptable’ Israel’s threat to turn the ‘economic siege’ it is imposing on the Gaza Strip into an official blockade. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz for his threats to besiege the Gaza Strip and close all...
‘NOW that Eric Born (managing director Gate Gourmet UK and Ireland) has admitted that only 137 have signed the Compromise Agreement, it shows that the deal has truly collapsed,’ locked out Gate Gourmet worker Harbinder Singh told News Line yesterday. He was speaking outside the TGWU regional offices in Hillingdon,...
LAST Friday, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions called a 100,000 strong national demonstration in Dublin, with demonstrations in many other Irish cities and towns, in support of the workers of Irish Ferries whose bosses are seeking to replace them with slave labour ‘earning’ just over £2 an hour. In...
Over 100,000 workers and youth marched through Dublin last Friday as Ireland was shut down in support of Irish Ferries SIPTU trade union members fighting replacement by cheap labour brought in from East Europe. There were rallies in towns across the country as workers came out on a general strike...
An email sent last month from chief medical officer Sir Ian Donaldson’s chief of staff to DoH officials orders a freeze on NHS spending ‘until further notice’ this year and ‘all future years’. The email from Donaldson’s office was leaked by a Department of Health (DoH) official who was angered...
LOCKED-out Gate Gourmet workers on the picket line yesterday were determined that they will win their struggle to return to their jobs on their long established wages and conditions. One of the pickets, Lakhvinder, told News Line that the company and the union leaders were ‘lying’ about claims that the...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers were on the picket line yesterday determined to take their struggle forward to victory. Shop steward Gurdip Heer told News Line: ‘I got a phone call from Iggy Vaid (the suspended British Airways shop steward and TGWU executive council member), to say that the union...

General Strike in Ireland

OVER 100,000 workers turned out for a massive demonstration through Dublin yesterday, as the country was brought to a halt in a general strike day of protest against super-exploitation by Irish Ferries. The day of protest was called by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in support of SIPTU members...
AT a briefing on their investigation into the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station on July 22, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was ‘likely’ that their report will go to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to decide if any criminal charges are...
NATO foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, have endorsed a plan to expand the alliance’s role in Afghanistan with Britain taking the lead. It will involve initially deploying 6,000 more troops, at least 4,000 of which are expected to be British troops. NATO at the moment has 11,000 troops in Afghanistan,...
The TGWU trade union and the author of the Gangmasters Licensing Act 2004, Labour MP Jim Sheridan, last Wednesday organised a briefing in the House of Commons to rally opposition to government plans to exclude food processing and packaging from the Act. The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural...
MORE than 20 locked out Gate Gourmet workers were picketing yesterday at Heathrow Airport determined to win their fight. Their lobby of the TGWU general council last Tuesday had a huge impact. TGWU general council member Iggy Vaid told News Line: ‘I have requested for further funds to be paid...
‘This is a momentous decision,’ said Amnesty International yesterday. ‘The Law Lords ruling has overturned the tacit belief that torture can be condoned under certain circumstances.’ Welcoming the ruling, human rights group Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti said: ‘Confessions extracted through beatings, electric shocks and pulled fingernails have no place...
Using the individual bombing attack in Netanya on Monday as a pretext, Israel is violating the Gaza borders agreement with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), imposing a closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, reported the Palestine Media Centre (PMC) on Tuesday. The PMC added that ‘despite the...
US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice arrived in the Ukraine yesterday, and immediately interfered in Russia’s internal affairs, condemning Russian legislation that will restrict the work of Western non-governmental organisations in Russia. These organisations are popularly regarded in Russia as being part of the West’s spying operations against the...
Locked out Gate Gourmet workers were on the picket line in the open air at Heathrow Airport yesterday. They were angry that the leaders of the TGWU have withdrawn their shelter, have said that they will stop paying their hardship fund and that the dispute will end on the...
TWO young Polish women, Marta and Kaisia, yesterday told a TGWU-organised briefing in the House of Commons of their experiences as cheap labour agency contract workers in a North West food factory. Marta said: ‘We came to England after being made promises by an agency. ‘We experienced overcrowded accommodation. ‘Most of the...
THIRTY FIVE Gate Gourmet locked out workers yesterday lobbied the TGWU executive meeting at the union’s headquarters in Holborn. They kept up chants of ‘Compromise Agreement no way’, ‘Woodley shame shame’, and ‘We want our jobs back.’ They told arriving delegates that they wanted their dispute to be made official, to...
140 people were killed yesterday when an Iranian military aircraft crashed into a block of flats in a residential area in the south of the capital Tehran. All on board were killed plus a large number of residents in the block of flats, which was home to many air...
CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown has confirmed to the BBC that he will run a Blairite administration if he becomes prime minister. He said that he would lead a reforming Labour Party, which encouraged an entrepreneurial economy. When pressed to say whether this meant a Brown administration would be Blairite,...
Amnesty International revealed on Monday that six planes used by the CIA for renditions have made some 800 flights in European airspace including 50 landings at Shannon airport in the Republic of Ireland. Amnesty said in a statement: ‘The information contradicts assurances given last week by the US Secretary of...
AT the rally in the Dominion community centre in Southall, after the over 1,000 strong march, a 17 strong panel of trade union and other speakers addressed a standing room only audience. A member of the GMB national executive brought the official greetings of his union. Danny Faith said he had...
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused to answer questions yesterday as to whether the United States government operates CIA secret prisons outside of the US, particularly in Europe. She said: ‘We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement and military operations. We expect other...

Crisis Pre-Budget

Britain has had to face ‘the toughest and most challenging year for the economy’ in which it has seen predicted economic growth halved to 1.75 per cent, admitted Chancellor Gordon Brown in his Pre-Budget Report to the House of Commons yesterday. Brown said: ‘the last year has seen a virtual...
‘I congratulate all the sacked workers who are standing up and fighting for their rights,’ said locked out Gate Gourmet worker Harbinder Singh to loud applause yesterday. He was addressing a mass rally after a march by more than 1,000 locked out workers and supporters through Southall to demand official...
President Mahmud Abbas on Friday accepted Italy’s offer to host Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, urged international commitment to the UN-adopted ‘roadmap’ peace plan, the Palestine Media Centre (PMC) reported yesterday. He also reiterated his pledge to hold secure and transparent legislative elections on January 25, the PMC added. Abbas’ remarks came during...
ON FRIDAY, the Health Secretary Hewitt announced that the NHS is heading for a £623 million deficit by the end of March. This deficit is the direct result of the establishment by the government of a health market where the pricing mechanism ensures that a Foundation Hospital never has enough...
‘WE have got more and more support for our fight to get our jobs back’, locked out Gate Gourmet worker Palmjit Bains told News Line yesterday, on the eve of tomorrow’s march through Southall. ‘People are disgusted that our own union leaders have turned on us. ‘When we were locked out...

3,000 NHS Jobs At Risk

THE Royal College of Nursing (RCN) yesterday warned that 3,000 NHS jobs, including 1,000 nurses’ jobs, are under threat. This was after the government announced that there would be an estimated £623 million NHS deficit by the end of next March. Health Secretary Hewitt announced that ‘turnaround teams’, known in...
THIS Sunday locked out Gate Gourmet workers will be marching through Southall determined to win their jobs back after a bosses’ coup last August 10 saw them locked out of the plant, and summarily dismissed, by a management that said that it would never work again with the...
LIBERTY has written letters to the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and to British police chiefs about the US’ ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme and the use of British airports to facilitate it. Now MPs and others are demanding answers. The airports allegedly involved include Biggin Hill in Kent, Birmingham, Bournemouth, RAF Brize Norton...
The Welsh TUC is supporting a rally at 1.30 pm tomorrow at Pembroke Dock in solidarity with the Irish Ferries workers fighting attempts to replace them with East European cheap labour. The protest is being organised by the international Transport Workers Federation (ITF). Wales TUC spokesman Darron Dupre said yesterday...
GMB trade union yesterday said it rejects the Turner report proposal to extend the pension age. Turner recommends extending the retirement age to ‘between 67 and 69’, which most have taken to mean 68. Paul Kenny, GMB Acting General Secretary said: ‘Lord Turner says correctly that there is a political trade...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers have been getting tremendous support for their campaign for their march through Southall demanding the reinstatement of all the sacked workers on their existing terms and conditions. Parmjit Bains and other locked out workers were on the local Punjab radio ‘Open Talk’ programme on Wednesday...
LORD Turner, the ex-CBI boss, is proposing that workers work a number of extra years before they take the state pension. Turner says that the pensionable age should be raised to 66 by 2030, to 67 by 2040 and to ‘between 68 and 69’ by 2050. 69 years of age...
Report of Comrade Trotsky on the development of the Red Army In this speech, made in 1919, Leon Trotsky reviews the development of the Red Army from a force of Red Guards in 1917 to a three million strong army of revolutionary workers and peasants which had been able...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers yesterday got great support for their march this Sunday for reinstatement for all sacked workers on their original terms and conditions. Whilst maintaining their picket in the open air at Heathrow, since the TGWU leadership has ceased providing the tent they used for shelter, two...
Yesterday human rights group Liberty called on Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to seek assurances in the next 14 days from the USA that it is not using UK airports to transport alleged terror suspects to secret torture centres in other countries. Liberty has written to Straw and to police chiefs...