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Monthly Archives: January 2006

AMID media speculation that Blair’s government is willing to compromise on plans for independent ‘trust schools’, contained in next month’s Education Bill, the reality is the opposite. The latest Education White Paper, which has preceded the Bill, makes clear that ‘trust schools’ will function as independent business units funded by...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers said yesterday that they were very happy with their conference with the News Line on Sunday. Mrs Rajamy Sharma told News Line on the picket line at Heathrow: ‘We had very good support and we are very happy about the speeches and pledges of support....
UNISON has called on Health Secretary Hewitt to ‘stop tearing the NHS apart’. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s publication of the government’s health White Paper, the giant public sector union called on it to ‘stop and take stock of the constant revolution in the NHS or risk tearing the system apart’. Karen...
NEARLY 400 trade unionists and youth took part in the News Line-Gate Gourmet locked out workers’ conference in London on Sunday and speaker after speaker called for a new leadership in the trade unions to defeat the Blair government. Moving the resolution before the conference – which called for action...
‘WE MUST not allow the Gate Gourmet workers to be starved. ‘The whole trade union movement must rally round and provide the funds and make their struggle official and restore their hardship pay.’ That was the message from the All Trades Union Alliance National Secretary Dave Wiltshire to the locked out...
‘Reinstate the union president and stop union-busting immediately!’, said the banner of Japanese trade union officials outside the Indonesian embassy in Tokyo on January 24. Members and officers International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) of the Japanese affiliate Food Rengo, joined by...
TODAY the Labour Government will publish its Health White Paper. Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt gave a preview of its aims over the weekend, that is to close National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and tell patients they will have to get by with ‘care in the community’ instead. This is what...
GENERAL Motors (GM) bosses admitted on Thursday that their losses for 2005 were $8.6bn, their largest since 1992 when the board of directors was sacked and GM faced the prospect of going into bankruptcy protection. Financiers on New York’s Wall Street Stock Exchange have suggested that bankruptcy is a...
‘OUR conference will show the whole trade union movement that what the TGWU leadership has done to us is wrong,’ locked out Gate Gourmet workers Parmjit Bains told News Line yesterday. ‘It will also show that the TGWU leadership is wrong to say the Gate Gourmet dispute is over. ‘The leadership...

Basra Tensions Flare!

Basra governor Mohammed al-Waili yesterday warned the British occupiers he will break off all relations and called on Iraqis to demonstrate outside the British consulate in the southern Iraqi port city tomorrow. The bust-up between the puppet governor and the UK occupying authorities has erupted amidst mounting tensions...
HUMAN rights group Amnesty International has welcomed the call for European governments to cooperate fully with an investigation into ‘extraordinary rendition’ and secret detention centres used for torture. Amnesty said that it welcomed the Council of Europe’s interim report on the allegations that European governments allowed the CIA to...
HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) won a resounding victory in Wednesday’s general election securing 76 seats in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), on the first occasion on which it has stood candidates in national elections. The long-standing, dominant Palestinian political movement, Fatah, got 43 seats. As the extent of Hamas’s...
The number of people unemployed worldwide climbed to new heights in 2005, especially among the vast and growing legion of jobless youth, the International Labour Office (ILO) said in its annual Global Employment Trends. What’s more, the ILO report said the weakness of most economies to turn GDP growth...
THE locked-out Gate Gourmet workers at Heathrow have stepped up their campaigning ahead of the News Line-Gate Gourmet conference in London this Sunday. On Wednesday night, a group of them received support at a meeting of Harrow Trades Council and yesterday teams went to a meeting of west London bus...

Hamas Landslide!

Jubilant Palestinian masses were yesterday celebrating the historic election victory of Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. The final results declared at 5pm yesterday saw Hamas take 76 and Fatah 43 of the 132 contested seats making up the Palestinian Legislative Council. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei and his cabinet resigned yesterday morning...
Campaigning in the Palestinian legislative elections ended at mid-night on Monday. 24 hours before about 80 per cent of eligible voters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who had registered with the Central Elections Commission (CEC), began voting on Wednesday at about 1,000 polling centres to elect from...
YESTERDAY the News Line was informed by the London Region Office of the TGWU that the Gate Gourmet hardship fund was closed and that the last payment of the hardship fund has been made to the locked out workers. Gate Gourmet, the international air flight catering company, will be...
LOCKED-OUT Gate Gourmet workers are furious that their union leaders in the TGWU have ended their hardship payments. Lakhinder Saran told News Line yesterday: ‘We went to the union office and were told that the cheque we received on Monday was the last hardship payment. ‘We said what about those of...
The Iranian government yesterday accused Britain of organising and equipping bombers who killed eight people in attacks in the south-western city of Ahwaz on Tuesday. The city is in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq. Home to about two million Arabs, it was rocked by a...
GATE Gourmet locked out workers were angry yesterday when they were told by the local union office that that they had received the last of the hardship payments. They have been locked out for almost six months. They were told that the only way that they would be...
The Council of Europe’s interim report yesterday said it is ‘highly likely’ that European governments know of the secret transport by the CIA of more than 100 prisoners through Europe to third countries where they face torture. Citing statements made by American officials and others, Council of Europe investigator, Swiss...
THE big pensions clash between the trade unions and the government is underway after nine unions representing 1.5 million council workers agreed to ballot for strike action over the government’s plan to end their final salary pensions and add years to their retirement age. UNISON, AMICUS, TGWU, GMB, UCATT, CWU,...
Prime Minister Blair yesterday admitted at his monthly press conference that the opposition to his schools ‘reforms’ made getting them through parliament ‘a bit of a highwire act’. It was not lost on his media audience in Downing Street that he was admitting that he could come off the...
Last week’s collapses on Wall Street and on the Japanese stock market emphasised to the whole world that the capitalist crisis is deepening. The two shocks were accompanied by gigantic rises in the price of oil and gas. Oil is now heading for $70 a barrel, and is...
Locked out Gate Gourmet workers, trade unionists and youth, held a successful over 150-strong mass picket on the mound near the Beacon roundabout at Heathrow airport last Sunday morning. They kept up chants ‘No to the Compromise Agreement! We want out jobs back! Down, down Gate Gourmet!’ They also chanted against...
WHILST out campaigning yesterday, Gate Gourmet workers, now locked out for almost six months, spoke out very angrily about the unsigned letter just received from their union, the TGWU, threatening not to represent them at their employment tribunals. Speaking at the building workers Terminal five picket line early yesterday morning,...
The Blair government is aiming to engineer a situation whereby the carrying of an identity card by every person is compulsory, and at the same time every individual is on the police DNA database. This will create a unique situation. The state will be able to control the daily...
‘It could not have been more wrong what has been done to Jean,’ said a cousin of the young Brazilian man Jean Charles de Menezes, at a vigil outside Stockwell tube yesterday, attended by more than 100 people. The vigil was called to mark six months since Jean Charles was...
THE Department of Health’s (DoH) electronic ‘Choose and Book’ programme, is being introduced supposedly to facilitate a ‘patient choice’ of hospital. The procedures to be followed and huge IT programme, called ‘choose and book’, is aimed at driving patients into having their treatments in private centres and taking the referral...
‘We want our jobs back! No to the Compromise Agreement! Kick out Gate Gourmet!’ shouted 150 locked out Gate Gourmet workers and supporters at their mass picket yesterday. The locked out workers also expressed their feelings about the leaders of their union, the Transport and General Workers’ Union, who...
‘My message to you is about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the way to end it. I had not intended to speak to you about this issue, because, for us, this issue is already decided: diamonds cut diamonds. Praise be to God, our conditions are always improving...
THE sacked Gate Gourmet workers were locked out almost six months ago on August 10th-11th 2005 by a management and an owner that was determined to replace them with a cheap labour workforce on completely new terms and conditions, stipulated in the company’s survival plan. The ruthless and provocative management...
A DELEGATION of locked out Gate Gourmet workers joined the Terminal 5 building workers’ picket line at Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon. Parmjit Bains, one of the workers who has been locked out since last August 10th from the catering company that supplies BA, said: ‘We are glad to support the...
FACING an imposed ‘suffocating financial crisis,’ Palestinian officials have made no immediate comment yet on an EU decision on Tuesday to suspend 35 million euros ($42 million) in aid to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), coming shortly after freezing 60 per cent of funding for the PNA’s operational budget...
THANKS to the Labour government’s health market the NHS is on the brink of a large number of hospital trust closures and thousands of redundancies. Even three quarters of NHS bosses have had to report in a recent survey that patient care will suffer because of the current cash...
POST Offices are being wiped out, depriving the public of a vital service, leaders of the Communications Workers’ Union and the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters warned yesterday. They made the warning following the news that the government plans to scrap the computerised Post Office Card accounts of four million people,...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers visited Hillingdon Civic Centre, the Uxbridge library, Uxbridge bus garage, Uxbridge tube and Brunel University yesterday, to campaign for their conference on January 29. They are fighting for their jobs back and to defeat attacks on their pay and working conditions at Gate Gourmet, which...
Billions of dollars, pounds and euros were wiped off worldwide share prices yesterday as investors took fright at the abrupt collapse and closure of the Tokyo stock exchange and a slump in US profits. Leading US companies’ share prices fell sharply in opening trading on Wall Street yesterday following the...
LOCKED-out Gate Gourmet workers are delighted at last to have a shelter for their picketing. The TGWU ceased sending a tent as shelter for the picket in November and since then the locked-out workers have been picketing in all weathers in the open air. Raksha told News Line yesterday: ‘We are...
YESTERDAY the Dutch parliament delayed its decision to send more than 1,000 Dutch troops to Afghanistan, as part of a NATO force, under British command, that is to take over the south from the US military. They were helped to take their decision by the US envoy...
Workers and students at Bart’s and the Royal London hospitals are shocked and angry over the private finance initiative (PFI) crisis that threatens the existence of Bart’s and the development of the Royal London. News Line spoke to several of them last Tuesday. Bart’s radiography student Daniel Shoebridge said: ‘They...
LABOUR’S Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said yesterday that London’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital could face closure. She was being interviewed about her decision to carry out a Department of Health (DoH) and Treasury review of the £1.1bn Royal London Hospital Trust rebuilding project. This is a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme. Bart’s,...
THE Pakistani Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, yesterday spelt out that Pakistan cannot accept actions like the recent US cross-border air strike on a village in Pakistan that killed 18 people, mainly women and children. Aziz added: ‘The relationship with the US is important, it is growing. But at the...
BRITAIN, France and Germany are to call an emergency meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, (the IAEA) early next month to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme, the British foreign office said on Monday. ‘The EU-3 informed the other participants of their intention to call for an extraordinary IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) board...
THE campaign team of locked-out Gate Gourmet workers was in Hounslow yesterday working for their mass picket this Sunday and their conference in London the following Sunday. Speaking on the busy Hounslow High Street yesterday lunchtime, Mrs Lakhinder Saran told News Line: ‘We had a good response at...