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Monthly Archives: September 2007

AT the Trades Union Congress in Brighton this week, delegates have given a relatively timid expression of the determination of millions of workers to fight the Brown government and stop its wage cuts. Inspired by the ‘surprise’ one-day prison officers illegal strike – in defiance of the government and the...
Delegates voted unanimously for Composite 3: ‘Agency Workers’ at the TUC Congress yesterday calling for ‘legislation to outlaw discrimination against agency workers’. It called on the TUC to campaign to ‘end the exploitation of agency workers’. Moving the motion, Unite joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, said: ‘There is not a factory...
DELEGATES attending the TUC Congress in Brighton yesterday spoke out strongly in support of the Gate Gourmet sacked workers, and the postal workers. This was after they were met in the morning by a 70-strong All Trades Unions Alliance lobby, made up of sacked Gate Gourmet workers, postal workers and...
ROYAL Mail has announced that it has brought the ‘period of calm’ in the Royal Mail to an end, and that it will be imposing the changes that it wants to make next Monday. There could not be a more provocative announcement or a more aggressive assault on the membership...
Delegates to the TUC Congress in Brighton on Monday afternoon demanded a campaign to restore the right to take solidarity strike action. This followed prime minister Brown’s insistence on ‘pay discipline’ in his morning address to Congress. Delegates unanimously voted for Composite 3 Employment and trade union rights which called on...
THE Communication Workers Union yesterday announced new strikes before the end of September, if no agreement is reached with Royal Mail, who intend to impose the changes they want next Monday. A CWU spokesman told reporters at the TUC Congress in Brighton: ‘The postal executive decided to continue talks, but...
GENERAL David Petraeus, the top US military commander in Iraq, has clashed with his immediate military superior over President George W Bush’s troop ‘surge’ policy in Iraq, The Washington Post newspaper reported on Sunday. Admiral William Fallon, the head of Central Command and responsible for US military operations across the...
AFTER weeks of secret talks, which were extended by a further week and were conducted behind the backs of the CWU membership, the Royal Mail has arrogantly declared that the ‘period of calm is over’ and that it is now going to go over to all out war against...
THE Communication Workers Union (CWU) sent out a letter to its branches yesterday, declaring that Royal Mail was prepared to impose ‘change’ on the workforce and that ‘the period of calm’ is over. The letter states: ‘Dear Colleague – Royal Mail Dispute. ‘Talks between the Union and Royal Mail concluded without...
GORDON Brown gave his first speech as prime minister to the TUC Congress in Brighton yesterday. He told delegates: ‘All of us must prepare for the global era’. He continued to play the China card to tell delegates that they could price themselves out of a job, that would go...
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber yesterday opposed a boycott of Israel and did not answer a question about why there were no motions to the TUC Congress this year calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. At pre-TUC Congress press briefings in Brighton, News Line asked the trade...
‘WE are now about to move to ballot 270,000 members for industrial action, unless the government withdraws its threat of compulsory redundancies.’ This is what PCS civil servants’ union general secretary, Mark Serwotka, announced yesterday at his union’s pre-TUC Congress press conference. Serwotka continued: ‘DWP members will have a pay ballot...

TUC must boycott Israel!

IT is a disgrace that at this week’s TUC Congress there are no resolutions on the Middle East and Afghanistan where over a million lives have been lost in the last four years at the hands of the imperialist powers and its agents. There are no resolutions this...
TEACHERS who have been occupying the site of a planned City Academy at Wembley Park Sports Ground, next to Wembley Stadium in north-west London, vowed to continue their struggle at the weekend. This was despite being told they must leave the site. Hank Roberts, a member of the National Union of...
The exposure of the UK to the US sub-prime loans crisis will push up mortgage rates in the UK, a former Bank of England adviser warned yesterday. Former member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, Professor Willem Buiter said banks were in a state of ‘fear and...
UAW car workers President Ron Gettelfinger last Thursday lifted the lid just a little on the lives of tens of millions of US workers, and on how their American dream has given way to a nightmare. Dealing ‘just’ with the issue of workers’ health he pointed out that •...
Government ‘reforms’ to primary care have shifted professional control away from general practitioners and financial control away from government, argue senior doctors in this week’s British Medical Journal (BMJ). The changes raise important questions about public accountability, they warn. Since 2003 the UK government has created a market in primary care,...
‘It is too soon to tell how far the disruption in financial markets will impair the availability of credit to companies and households,’ said the Bank of England (BofE) yesterday. The Bank took the unprecedented step of issuing an immediate statement hinting at higher interest rates to come, with its...
THE rapidly deepening debt crisis of the capitalist system is leading to a financial collapse and a slump of historic proportions as the bankers’ hysterical demands for rescue from the Bank of England testify. The B of E is being told that it must follow the example of the...
The puppet Iraqi police force is infiltrated by sectarian militias and should be disbanded and reorganised, a panel of retired US generals led by former Nato commander James Jones has told the US Congress. In his testimony to Congress yesterday, General Jones said...
‘WE WILL never give up state education,’ a teachers union leader vowed yesterday, after the announcement of plans to remove more schools from elected local authority control. Schools Secretary Ed Balls announced the ‘first wave’ of ‘Trust’ schools that will have control of schools’ assets, staffing and the admission of...

Housing costs soar!

SINCE Labour took office in 1997, house prices have gone up four times more quickly than workers’ pay, according to figures published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) yesterday. Using official government statistics, the TUC found that the average price of a house in 1997 was £60,000, whereas today it...
A NEW TUC study just published has revealed ‘systematic exploitation’ of migrant workers in Britain. The TUC said: ‘Thousands of Polish and Lithuanian workers are being exploited at work in the UK. ‘Since 2004 when 10 new states joined the EU, more than 475,000 Polish and Lithuanian workers have come to...

Oecd Issues Slump Warning

US economic growth will slow sharply in the second half of the year and the risk of it going into a full-scale slump cannot be ruled out, the OECD warned yesterday. In updated 2007 forecasts, the Paris-based group predicted that the combined Group of Seven economies will grow by...
Prime Minister Gordon Brown attacked the RMT trade union yesterday, saying whatever its reason, the Tube strike is ‘unjustifiable’. Answering questions at his second monthy prime minister’s press conference, Brown said: ‘This is a wholly unjustifiable strike. ‘It is causing an enormous amount of trouble to the people of London and...
‘Privatisation has been a disaster, we want the complete renationalisation of the railway network in Britain,’ RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said yesterday. Crow was speaking outside the Department of Transport near Victoria yesterday, as more than 2,300 RMT members entered the first full day of their 72-hour strike over...
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown mounted an outspoken attack on members of the RMT railworkers’ union on strike at the London Underground bankrupt maintenance company Metronet and other public sector workers, at his monthly press conference yesterday. Asked about the strike on London Underground, the Prime Minister said: ‘This is a...
An independent report into the ICL Glasgow plastics factory fire disaster in which nine workers died in May 2004 has exposed a health and safety culture which is ‘dangerously dysfunctional’ and ‘blighted by fainthearted regulators’. The report concludes that regulators fail, because they are rarely seen and are increasingly reluctant...
AN end to the imprisonment of under-16 year olds ‘in all but the most exceptional circumstances’ was demanded yesterday, in an official report on the death of 14-year-old Adam Rickwood. The report also demanded a national review of the use of restraint, adding: ‘Issues around the use of all...
BRITISH troops retreated from Basra City, quitting their base in the Presidential Palace on the banks of the Shatt al-Arab waterway in the dead of night, beginning at 1am on Monday morning. The 550 members of the Fourth Battalion The Rifles, guarded by Challenger II tanks, Warrior armoured vehicles and...
ON Friday August 31, the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Birri, delivered a speech outlining his proposals for the current political crisis in the country, ahead of the presidential election in parliament later this month. The Amal movement leader Birri put forward his ideas in an hour-long speech...
IN A WEEK when billions were wiped off share prices in New York, Tokyo and London, on Friday both United States President George Bush and Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), were forced to speak about the huge debt crisis that has hit banks, other...
‘There’s a resurgence afoot in the American labour movement,’ said Anna Burger, Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in an article titled Celebrating Workers on Labor Day last Friday for today’s occasion. ‘If you saw this week’s Census Bureau report, you know why,’ Burger continued. ‘Income is up, but...
‘WE DON’T accept privatisation,’ RMT rail union leader Bob Crow said yesterday, on the eve of today’s strike by over 2,300 RMT members employed by the collapsed tube privateer Metronet. The three-day strike by maintenance staff who were formerly employed directly by London Underground is expected to bring whole parts...
‘Grave concerns’ have been expressed over the wider deployment of Taser electro-shock weapons to police officers in ten forces across the UK which are taking part in a pilot 12-month trial which began on Saturday, September 1st.  Up until now, Taser electro-shock weapons have only been used by specialist...
Children at two Edinburgh schools yesterday staged a walkout of classes as part of a campaign against the planned closure of 22 schools and nurseries in the city. Pupils from Craigentinny Primary and Castlebrae Community High walked out at the start of their school day before returning to lessons. Additional...
LABOUR ministers are boasting that the projected £983m under-spend in the National Health Service are evidence that it has regained its ‘financial footing’. Health Secretary Alan Johnson said that these efficiency gains would free up resources to tackle ‘hospital bugs and improve access to local doctors’. NHS service changes ‘are...