Home 2007 August

Monthly Archives: August 2007

‘If tomorrow’s talks are not fruitful, we can’t rule out taking strike action again,’ Prison Officers Association spokesman Glyn Travis said yesterday. Today’s talks with the Justice Ministry come after the government held off from serving Wednesday’s High Court injunction on the union, which called off its 24 hour action...

£1bn NHS underspend

Public sector union UNISON yesterday called for a ‘fresh start’ in response to a forecasted £983m surplus in the NHS. Mike Jackson, Senior National Officer for UNISON said: ‘Undoubtedly the NHS is in a stronger financial position, but the under-spend of almost a billion pounds has led to a lot...
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown insisted yesterday that meagre pay rises, that are phased in and amount to a pay cut, will be imposed by the government on public sector workers. He made his statement after the first national strike by the 32,000-strong Prison Officers Association against having their 2.5 per...
‘In the two years since Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast, the Bush administration has failed miserably to deliver on the president’s promise to rebuild the area, especially New Orleans’, said the AFL-CIO trade union federation on Wednesday. Thousands of people, including leaders of the New Orleans AFL-CIO and...
UNITED States President George Bush was in New Orleans yesterday on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the city. The hurricane killed 1,600 people in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi and the flood protection barriers in New Orleans were overwhelmed and destroyed. Bush was due to attend...
Cuts in fire cover provision have been taking place all over the country, even after the Newquay fire disaster. The Fire brigades Union (FBU) has continued steadfastly to campaign to oppose these threats to public safety. Current campaigns are taking place in Lincolnshire, Berkshire and Cornwall. The FBU will present...
Prison Officers Association (POA) members defied the government yesterday and walked out for the first illegal strike against Labour over public sector poverty pay and trade union rights. The POA executive later said a court order declaring their action illegal and ordering them back to work immediately would...
Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world’s longest running film festival, showcasing the latest and best of world cinema, with something for everyone. This years showcasing of the latest in moving image talent reveals a new generation of film makers are struggling to lift their heads above the parapets. Top...
ALMOST a third of Britain’s 700 biggest businesses paid no corporation tax in 2005-2006, according to a study carried out by the official National Audit Office (NAO), the results of which were published yesterday. The NAO found that 220 of the companies paid no tax, 210 paid less than £10m...
Gordon Brown has ruled out setting a timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, saying they still have ‘an important job to do’. The prime minister said in a letter to Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell: ‘It is wrong to say that the continuing presence of UK...
REFUGEES from the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) celebrated their court victory last week, as they demonstrated opposite Downing Street yesterday against deportations and for the right to political asylum in Britain. Rev. David Inanda-Etana, president of the Congolese Community in the UK, told News Line: ‘We have been...
AS PAY negotiations between the American car giants General Motors (GM) and Ford, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have reached a critical point, company chiefs are threatening to close down their operations in the United States and shift production to low-wage countries in Latin America and Asia. Commenting on...
The Royal College of Nursing yesterday accused the government of exacerbating an already serious midwifery crisis. Student midwives’ leaders expressed alarm over the government’s decision to end a grant for trainees. Following the Department of Health decision to scrap midwifery diplomas in favour of degrees, the £6,000-a-year non-means-tested grant will no...
The News Line is pleased to publish two important letters. These concern the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the decision of the High Court that the Chagos Islanders should have the right to return to the outer islands of the group, and the decision of...
Health unions yesterday expressed concern after health secretary Alan Johnson endorsed plans to close maternity units at four Greater Manchester hospitals in Rochdale, Salford, Trafford and Bury. It means maternity care will be concentrated in just eight hospital sites across the whole region. A so-called Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) also...
THE Fire Brigades Union yesterday condemned as ‘disgraceful’ Cornwall Council’s proposals to downgrade Falmouth and Camborne fire stations, just one week after the Newquay hotel blaze. ‘These are the only two 24-hour crewed fire stations in the county – the only two guaranteed fire appliances in the county after 6pm,’...
FOUR Greater Manchester hospitals are to have their maternity units closed in drastic cuts after the Labour government’s health secretary, ex-postman, Alan Johnson frantically launched the government’s programme to close 60 District General Hospitals nationally. Rochdale Infirmary is one of the hospitals set to close its unit. The others are...
‘WE’RE here to meet the general secretary Tony Woodley regarding the mis-handling of the dispute with an anti-union employer, ICTS UK,’ sacked Belfast International Airport (Transport and General Workers’ Union) TGWU shop steward Gordon McNeill told News Line yesterday. He was speaking outside the TGWU head office in London ...
THE banning of the Under-19 Gaza football team from coming to play in Britain after they had been invited to play against Chester City and Blackburn Rovers amongst other teams is absolutely disgraceful. Without doubt it is a racist ban, and yet another anti- Palestinian action by a Labour...
‘GIVE us toilets on our stands, don’t just sit there on your hands!’ shouted over 300 bus workers outside Victoria Coach Station yesterday morning. TGWU members from across London are demanding proper facilities on all routes. They were lobbying offices of Transport for London in the coach station. News Line spoke...
President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad in Tehran on Wednesday voiced Iran’s readiness to share its nuclear achievements with other nations within the framework and under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog. He said: ‘Scientific progress should serve nations’ welfare and we are ready to share our experiences with other nations within...
US President George W Bush on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to the US occupation army in Iraq and all those who support the US occupation, to remove the Maliki government, when he publicly withdrew his sponsorship and protection from the puppet regime that he had placed into office. This...
THE Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya has told the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera on August 20 – ‘How can anyone talk of peace if they even cut off the electric power supply to our homes?’ He was referring to the EU and its decision to cut fuel...
Fourteen American soldiers were killed in northern Iraq yesterday when their Blackhawk transport helicopter came down during a pre-dawn flight, US command said in a statement. ‘Initial indications are that the aircraft experienced a mechanical malfunction,’ the US military said, adding that all four crew and 10 passengers...
THE UFCW US trade union has reacted strongly against the mistreatment of migrant workers during US government raids where they have been illegally held against their will, denied access to telephones, attorneys and even bathrooms. Members of UNI Commerce affiliate United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) have joined...
The propagandists for the bourgeois order are rushing to try and defend the capitalist system as being blameless as far as the crisis is concerned, and deny that even in its most prodigiously inflationary developments it contains the germ, as yet undeveloped of a full-scale financial crash, a...
Scores of health workers, youth, patients, pensioners and local residents took part in yesterday’s picket of Chase Farm Hospital, organised by North East London Council of Action. The 7am to 2pm picket called on workers and youth to be ready to occupy to stop the planned closures of the hospital’s...
CAMP for Climate Action protesters yesterday morning were still besieging British Airports Authority (BAA) head office at Heathrow Airport. Protesters were camped out under canvas shelters outside the buildings. On Sunday night, police made arrests after a group of eight protesters from the Camp for Climate Action blockaded British Airways’...
THE Newquay disaster proves what most people knew to be the case – that cuts in the fire service inevitably cost lives. Newquay is a fair-sized town, which attracts large numbers of tourists to its hotels. Yet the town had no full-time fire service at night, and did not...
If Metronet do not guarantee our members’ jobs, wages and conditions, and pensions by Wednesday night, we will name strike dates, said the leaders of three Tube unions yesterday. This was the message of RMT general secretary Bob Crow, TSSA general secretary Gerry Doherty and Unite assistant general secretary...
WITH more US troops dying and the numbers of Iraqi civilians being killed and injured rising throughout Iraq, the US military surge has failed tactically and strategically. The US military is now left with a crumbling Maliki government, that is looking towards Iran and Washington at the same time, and...
France is considering further sanctions against ‘the members and support structures’ of the Iranian government over Iran’s nuclear programme, the French foreign ministry said at the weekend. Meanwhile, Iranian leaders said Iran’s people would fight like ‘lions’ to defend the country from any American aggression, in response to US State...
‘Lives were lost because there wasn’t enough equipment to get people out – it’s our fire service,’ said Chris Findon yesterday, the owner of the next door hotel to the one destroyed in a fierce blaze on Saturday night. Newquay hotelier Findon added yesterday: ‘We are all very upset. We...
FORTY-FIVE drivers and warehousemen at Nippon Express Air Freight Agent in Hayes near Heathrow Airport are on their third day of a three day strike action today against management attempts to massively cut their terms and conditions. Striking Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) member Keith Dyerson spoke to...

Tuition fees must go!

STUDENTS going to university this autumn will face £3,000 a year tuition fees for the second year. But the trebling of fees – originally £1,000 a year when they were imposed by the Labour government – is just a beginning. In 2009, MPs will vote to lift the ‘£3,000...
‘One day after George W Bush asserted that the ‘fundamentals’ of the US economy are strong, the Dow Jones stock index plummeted by 387, for its second worst drop this year, when our nation’s subprime mortgage disaster spread to Europe, where banks fear they can’t accurately value these sinking...
THE US yesterday raised tensions considerably between itself and Iran by declaring that the main body of armed men maintained by the Iranian state, The Revolutionary Guards, charged by that state with defending and preserving Iran and its Islamic revolution, would be declared a ‘terrorist organisation’ by executive...
The top American commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus has said he is preparing recommendations on troop reductions before he returns to Washington next month for a report to Congress. He predicted on Wednesday that the US presence in Iraq would have to be ‘a good bit smaller’ by...
ON the third day of the Climate Change camp, on the northern perimeter of Heathrow Airport, 1800 police were on duty, searching, monitoring and harassing up to 500 resolute and law abiding climate change protesters. Lewis told News Line: ‘They are using anti-terrorism laws to search people. That’s the only...
POLICE raided the Climate Change camp on the perimeter of Heathrow Airport on Tuesday evening, with the aim of intimidating protesters, News Line was told yesterday. On the campsite, John Adams said: ‘They brought in riot police last night. ‘They wanted to bring Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) on site. ‘These are basically...
HEZBOLLAH’S victory over Israel in the July war of 2006 changed the relationship of forces in the Middle East, and the significance of that victory increases with time. It is something that the Israelis do not want to see repeated, since that July defeat has shaken the morale of the...
THE strengthening of regional treaties is a key factor to prevent the promotion of a unipolar system of domination by the US, and would benefit regional nations, and peace and security, President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad of Iran said last Tuesday 14 August. The president was launching a 3-nation tour of...
ALL Aer Lingus routes will be affected when 500 pilots strike for 48-hours next Tuesday and Wednesday. They are taking action against the airline’s plan to move their flights to Heathrow from Shannon Airport to Belfast Airport and pay their Belfast staff less than their colleagues in the Irish...
THE scandal of the gangmasters has caused uproar in the working class, but the leaders of the trade union movement are helping to cover the gangmasters in a cloak of respectability after the establishment of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. Yesterday it emerged that the authority has revoked the licence of...
The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee of MPs has said the UK government’s ‘decision not to speak to Hamas in 2007 following the Mecca agreement has been counter-productive’. It urged the Brown government and former prime minster Blair in his role as Middle East Quartet (EU, Russia, UN and...