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Monthly Archives: April 2006

THE Labour movement must salute the courageous action of Flight-Lieutenant Kendall-Smith who yesterday declared, after a court martial had found him guilty on five counts of disobeying orders, that he would do exactly the same again, and refuse to serve in Iraq. In the dock he refused to be bullied...
YESTERDAY the TUC leader Brendan Barber, who organised the betrayal of the 760 locked-out Gate Gourmet workers, and before that organised the betrayal of the FBU national pay claim in the Autumn of 2002, was at it again, this time organising for the end of final salary pensions in...
Prime Minister Blair yesterday told hospital trust executives at a Downing Street meeting that his NHS privatisation ‘reform’ programme will proceed. That was his message despite hospitals in Britain announcing thousands of job cuts in recent weeks in the face of multi-million pound deficits. The meeting came a day after West...
LOCAL government trade union leaders yesterday called off this month’s planned pensions strikes and accepted Deputy PM Prescott’s abolition of the Rule of 85 as ‘a framework for developing a new look scheme’. The surrender took place at a meeting chaired by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber at Congress...
ABD-AL-AZIZ ALl-DUWAYK, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), said in Amman yesterday that Hamas’s recognition of Israel’s final borders is linked to Israel’s definition of its borders and is subject to a Palestinian public referendum on this issue. He said that this referendum, which would pave the way...
Europe is lurching to the left after the revolutionary uprising in France, and the defeat of Berlusconi in Italy. Millions of French workers and youth took to the streets to smash the CPE ‘Hire and Fire’ law for youth, brushing aside the CRS riot police in the process, and humbling...
GATE GOURMET locked-out workers had their picket stopped yesterday at the main gate of the Heathrow plant by the Heathrow Airport police and the British Airports Authority Airport Duty Manager. Before this, the pickets set up their banner and picketed as they have done almost every day since they were...
THE two general strikes and the massive mobilisations of trade unionists, students, lycee students, and unemployed and working class youth which brought millions onto the streets of the major French cities and saw the majority of universities occupied, has forced the right wing French presidency and government into retreat,...
GATE Gourmet locked-out workers were stopped from picketing the Gate Gourmet plant yesterday by the Heathrow Airport police and by the British Airports Authority Airport Duty Manager. Inspector Bogie told the pickets: ‘I am asking you to leave because you have been requested to leave by the Airport Duty...
THERE is a universal shortage of 4.3 million healthcare workers, but the crisis is most severe in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Health Report 2006, launched on Friday. The shortfall occurs worldwide, but is ‘most severe in sub-Saharan Africa, which has 11 per cent of the...
FRENCH Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was yesterday forced to make a dramatic climbdown by withdrawing the hated CPE (Contrat Premiere Embauche) for youth. The measure, allowing employers to hire and fire young people under 26 at will, sparked two general strikes and brought millions of people onto the streets. After...
THE New Yorker has published an article by award winning journalist Seymour Hersh, that claims that the US administration of President G W Bush is planning an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities using nuclear bunker busting bombs, as its principal attack weapon. The article reveals that the propaganda line is...
Student nurses are being used to plug staffing gaps as NHS trusts axe thousands of qualified nurses in the face of government-induced deficits, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and UNISON warned yesterday. The RCN and Unison said 2,000 nurses and midwives were axed last month and student nurses were...
Yesterday two warnings were given as to the critical situation in Iraq and of US plans to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. Award-winning US journalist Seymour Hersh, who broke the Abu Ghraib tortures story, warned that US President George Bush is pushing forward plans presented by the Pentagon to...
WHILE keeping mum on the ongoing Israeli destruction of Palestinian infrastructure and killing of Palestinians, the US and EU on Friday joined Israel and Canada in the economic and diplomatic war against the Hamas-led Palestinian government. This was an attempt to sow divisions and instigate conflict between the presidency and...
YESTERDAY the European Union followed the example of the US and suspended its aid to the Palestine National Authority. The EU has given $400 million to the PNA , since its foundation in 1994, while the US has given $600 million. The US and the EU are bringing retribution, in...
¸??ternational has released a new report which exposes a covert operation whereby people have been arrested or abducted, transferred and held in secret or handed over to countries where they have faced torture and other ill-treatment. The report describes how the CIA has used private aircraft operators and front companies...
TWENTY Gate Gourmet locked-out workers picketed a meeting of TGWU sacked Gate Gourmet shop stewards at the Hillingdon regional office yesterday. Most of the shop stewards, though not all, who attended the meeting support the sell-out Compromise Agreement made by the Woodley leadership of the union with the company. It was...
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS plans to axe 720 healthcare workers across three hospitals, out of a 4,500 workforce, in a bid to save £30 million. This brings the number of NHS workers axed across the country to nearly 7,000 in the past three weeks. The trust runs the Worcestershire Royal Hospital...
FRENCH youth are in no mood to give up fighting for their employment rights. They are vowing to continue their blockade of universities and high schools through the Easter holidays – unless the government meets an April 17 deadline set by French unions on Wednesday to withdraw the ‘hire and...
The British and Irish governments yesterday set a November 24 deadline for north of Ireland politicians to agree to work together in a restored Northern Ireland Assembly. The ‘make or break’ plan was delivered in a joint statement by UK Prime Minister Blair and Irish Taoiseach Ahern at a press...
THE British and Irish premiers yesterday outlined their plan to restore direct rule from Westminster, via Dublin, if the Paisleyite DUP does not agree to restore the power sharing local government executive in the north by November 24th. The two Prime Ministers said that the assembly will be recalled on...
DEFENCE SECRETARY Reid’s recent speech to the Royal United Service Institute entitled ‘20th-Century Rules, 21st-Century Conflict’ is a reflection of just how desperate the crisis of the imperialist system is, and how its rulers feel the need to be able to lash out at the peoples of the world...
Fears that China intends to reduce the amount of US government bonds it holds as part of its foreign exchange reserves, shook the US dollar and US capitalism yesterday. Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that China’s parliamentary vice-chairman, Cheng Siwei had called for a change in the make-up...
LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers were yesterday angry that the TGWU leaders have once again refused to allow them any hardship pay. This is despite the fact that they have been locked out since last August 10th 2005, and had their hardship pay stopped on January 6 2006, after...
Firefighters in Hertfordshire are to vote on strike action against plans to axe job losses and close fire stations, Hertfordshire FBU has announced. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said Tuesday that up to 700 of its members will vote over the next two weeks. The FBU is furious at Hertfordshire County...
THE new Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahmud al-Zahhar urged the international community last Saturday to respect the Palestinian people’s choice in electing the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas in the January legislative ballot. Al-Zahhar, a senior Hamas leader who was sworn in as the new Palestinian top...
Yesterday afternoon, Israeli military forces attacked Gaza from the land, sea and air. Aircraft launched two missile strikes against the Palestinian presidential headquarters in Gaza City, artillery shelled northern Gaza and shells were fired on the Gaza coast from gunboats in the Mediterranean. This followed an announcement yesterday morning by...
EX-CBI boss, Lord Turner’s plans for pensions are just the means chosen by the Blair government to make the working class pay for the crisis of the capitalist system. This has seen stock market crashes wipe out the final salary pensions schemes of millions, and rising inflation threaten the...

Welsh NHS Cuts!

‘We are very concerned for our members and our communities,’ Wales UNISON head of health Dave Gallaghan told News Line yesterday. He was responding to the launch of a public consultation over proposals to decimate the major hospital services in north Wales and mid-Wales. Gallaghan said that in north Wales: ‘They’re...
More than 2,000 students meeting outside the entrance of Jussieu university in the centre of Paris yesterday afternoon voted virtually unanimously to strike until the government withdraws the CPE – First Job Contract – that President Chirac approved last Friday night. The students also voted by a large majority to...
THE government has launched a blitzkrieg of around £900m cuts to NHS hospitals resulting in the closure of thousands of hospital beds and compulsory redundancies. Over 4000 jobs were lost in the last 3 weeks and predictions for future losses reach 25,000 plus. These include nurses midwives and...
THE world crisis of the capitalist system is deepening rapidly, and is creating a political and revolutionary crisis in the major capitalist states, where the ruling classes and the working class have begun to do battle with each other. The message of the ruling classes is simple. The crisis means...
‘ISRAEL is going to enter the Guinness Book of Records for having built the world’s biggest prison,’ said an angry Abed Yabrud, waiting his turn to cross the Qalandiya military checkpoint last Saturday. The checkpoint, on the separation barrier Israel is building through the occupied West Bank will, from today,...
DOWNING STREET denials that there is a meeting today of top military, state and government officials to discuss the implications of a US attack on Iranian nuclear facilities are being taken with large pinches of salt everywhere, since it is common knowledge that such an attack is being prepared...
‘Britain’s FBI’, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) – which combines former MI5 and MI6 spies with former ‘specialists’ from the police, customs and immigration services – is today being officially launched by prime minister Blair. It will have an annual budget of £400 million. The new elite and secretive national...
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard Shoemaker have issued this statement on Delphi’s announcement that it will file Section 1113 and Section 1114 motions today with the US bankruptcy court in New York. ‘Delphi’s misuse of the bankruptcy procedure to circumvent the collective bargaining process and slash...
US authorities were still guarding freed hostage Jill Carroll in Iraq on Friday, after insurgents released her from nearly three months of captivity and posted a video on the Internet showing her praising them. ‘I think the mujahideen are very smart and even with all the technology and all...
From today, NHS organisations are to be charged ten per cent interest on money they borrow when they run up deficits. The NHS Bank, run in conjunction with the Department of Health, has traditionally lent money at no charge. The Department of Health (DoH) says NHS Bank was set up in...
NHS trust hospitals and Primary Care Trusts are to be charged 10 per cent interest on money they borrow from their strategic Health Authority from today. This is part of an ‘overhaul’ of NHS finances. The deficit is to be deducted from their next year’s finances, plus 10 per...
TRYING to divide the Palestinian leadership, the United States and Canada on Wednesday suspended contacts with and aid to the new Palestinian 24-member Hamas-formed government. THIS was sworn in by President Mahmud Abbas in Gaza city earlier in the day, marking the tenth Palestinian government since the establishment of the...