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Monthly Archives: May 2008

GMB members working in the NHS yesterday voted by over 96% to reject the 2008 pay offer in a consultative ballot on the government’s three-year wage cutting pay deal. A ballot of GMB members working in the Ambulance Service produced an even more resounding 97 per cent rejection of...
‘WE made Marks and Spencer their profits!’ said an angry Fenland Food worker fighting the closure of her factory and the loss of hundreds of jobs. Two coachloads of Fenland Food workers travelled hundreds of miles to descend on Marks and Spencer’s flagship London store at Marble Arch on Thursday. The...
Several thousand striking fishermen from across Spain, as well as some of their counterparts from France, Italy and Scotland, protested outside the Ministry of Agriculture in Madrid, yesterday. The strikers handed out 20 tonnes of fresh fish to alert the public to the problems they faced. The Spanish fishermen’s 100% solid...
THE development of the world capitalist crisis is now affecting every section of the working class and the poor in every part of the planet. What began as an imperialist adventure in Iraq to grab that country’s huge oil and gas resources, has turned into a massive crisis of...
New medical students are likely to graduate with debts of £37,000 warns a new British Medical Association (BMA) report published today. The BMA says this is hugely damaging to future government efforts to encourage students from lower socio-economic groups into the profession. The report, from the BMA’s Medical Students Committee, paints...
Hospital doctors and GPs on Wednesday condemned health minister Lord Darzi’s plan for London as ‘a disaster waiting to happen’ whose effect on NHS hospitals would be ‘carnage’ and applauded a call for occupations and industrial action. They were speaking at a special conference organised by the British Medical Association...

Save Fenlands Jobs

TWO coachloads of angry Fenland Foods workers descended on Marks and Spencer’s flagship London store at Marble Arch yesterday. The ready meal workers blame M&S for the planned closure of their factory in Grantham with the loss of 738 jobs. Over a hundred members of the GMB swamped the M&S store...
YESTERDAY road hauliers made it crystal clear that the Labour government had seven days to make a big cut in fuel duty, to save their family companies from going bust, or else there will be blockades of the oil refineries that will quickly bring the UK to a standstill. They...
Lorry Drivers and small hauliers rallied hundreds strong at Marble Arch in London yesterday to demand a government fuel subsidy or fuel tax relief for their industry which they say is heading for catastrophe. With many of them threatened with going out of business or losing their jobs,...
ANGRY road hauliers yesterday spelled out exactly what they will do when the government tries to ignore their huge protest convoys against soaring fuel costs in London and Cardiff. They warned Prime Minister Brown: cut 20p to 25p per litre duty, or ports and oil refineries will be blockaded ‘within...
All along the A40, road hauliers and truckers, parked up their big machines and made their way to Marble Arch to warn Gordon Brown that unless fuel costs came down, there would be no parking up next time. With banners strewn across their vehicles reading ‘Truck Off Gordon...
CWU members working in Royal Mail are facing the greatest threats to their jobs and conditions in the entire history of the postal service. With the speeding up of the Mail Centre and Regional Distribution Centre closure programme and the threat to the Saturday delivery, thousands of jobs are at...

Defend NHS!

GPs in Harrow are up in arms against plans to close down health centres and combine GP practices into large units, turning them into privately run Polyclinics. There are fears that many of the 39 GP practices in the borough will be closed, and that the elderly will...
FRANCE has been shaken for the past six months by an eruption of anger by the education trade unions and by student and school youth against the massive attacks that have been launched on education and teachers’ jobs and pensions. The reaction of the new French president Sarkozy has...
THE violence against foreigners accused of taking jobs and working as cheap labour that has swept the South African townships has its source in the fact that 18 years after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and 14 years after he became president of South Africa, the black...
Benin is one of several West African states gripped by soaring food prices. In a scene on a popular Benin TV series, a farmer named Codjo puts his wife out on the streets because she kept asking him for more and more money to buy groceries. But then, when he goes...
Plans to bring one of the world’s most advanced health scanners to Edinburgh risk creating a two-tier NHS, senior health economist, Professor Allyson Pollock, warned yesterday. The equipment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary will be helping to diagnose heart problems by the end of the year. NHS Lothian said that the...
THE PCS civil servants union held a 70-strong international rally at its annual conference in Brighton last Wednesday evening where it launched a joint PCS/War on Want initiative ‘Global Problems, Public solutions’. Hengride Permal of the Chagos Islands Community Association was given a warm welcome and told the meeting: ‘The...
‘My personal view is the unions should be up in arms over the number of beds lost in the NHS,’ East Surrey UNISON official Zina Dodgson told News Line yesterday. She was responding to the revelation that 32,000 beds have been lost in NHS hospitals since 1997. A parliamentary answer also...
THE Royal Mail’s pay, pension and bonuses award worth £3million for Chief Executive Adam Crozier was a major slap in the face for all of the CWU’s postal worker members, while it showed a big contempt for the CWU’s leaders, who are allowing the ongoing complete destruction of the...
The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Postal Executive has put forward an emergency motion for possible strike action by Mail Centre members for debate at the union’s annual conference in Liverpool next month. In a letter to branches,  CWU Assistant Secretary Indoor Department Martin Collins complains that Royal Mail bosses have...
SOUTH-EAST London Council of Action joined with local residents to stop the eviction of young people from homes on the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle yesterday, where tenants are resisting plans to sell-off the council housing to private developers. Vally Wilson, secretary of the South-East London Council of Action,...
PILOT’S union BALPA told News Line yesterday it will be campaigning to change European law after withdrawing from its High Court challenge to a ban on strike action at British Airways. BA pilots had voted to strike over the airline’s plans to launch a new subsidiary, OpenSkies, flying...
THE defeat of the Labour Party in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election – by 7,860 votes, making a 17.6% swing to the Tories from the 2005 General Election, on a 58 per cent turnout, two per cent less than the general election – was no ordinary by-election event. First of...
SOUTHWARK Council faced an angry lobby by more than 80 tenants and local residents from Heygate, Aylesbury and other council estates, against the plans to sell-off thousands of council homes and hand over the area to private developers. ‘We will not move!’ declared the South-East London Council of Action in...
THE very well paid police force – loaded up with housing and other benefits, on Wednesday bit the hand that has been feeding it. This is the police force that the Brown government wanted to empower to hold ‘terror suspects’ for 90 days, without charge, now modified to 42...

Crisis Hitting Jobs

Unemployment is set to increase sharply this year, economists have warned, after a Bank of England report showed more firms were looking to axe jobs than at any point for the last eleven years. The Bank’s monthly ‘summary of business conditions’ said there is ‘a clear softening...
Qatar formally announced on Wednesday a deal between Lebanon’s opposition and ruling bloc to end an 18-month political crisis that will see Army commander General Michel Suleiman elected as president within 24 hours, reported Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV on Wednesday. The agreement, announced by Qatari FM Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem al-...
Delegates at this year’s Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) national conference yesterday voted overwhelmingly for a strike ballot of 280,000 members working across the civil service over the government’s pay-cutting policy. The next few weeks will see the union preparing to ballot members across 200 government departments and related...
ROYAL MAIL bosses, Chairman Allan Leighton and Chief Executive Adam Crozier, are calling on the Labour government to give the go-ahead for them to issue shares to bring in private capital. This will give private investors a degree of control over this vital state-owned public service and provide them a...
workers, trade unionists and local people are marching through Enfield on Saturday 26th July against the closure of Chase Farm Hospital, the announcement of which is expected on Thursday 31st July. Workers and patients supporting Tuesday’s monthly mass picket of the hospital said they would occupy to keep it open. North...
THE fighting in Johannesburg and its surrounding black townships, over the past week – with more than 23 people being killed, pitched battles with riot police and more than 300 people arrested – is reminiscent of the era of the apartheid regime, almost 20 years ago. A week ago, in...
One in four older people in the UK have become so worried about the future that they are making themselves ill, according to the third annual ‘Spotlight’ report produced by leading older people’s charity Help the Aged. The number of older people concerned about their future to the extent that...
‘WE ARE calling on everyone to march with us through Enfield on Saturday, July 26th. Workers of Enfield won’t allow this government to close down this hospital.’ So said North East London Council of Action Secretary Bill Rogers on the picket line outside Chase Farm Hospital yesterday. Rogers, a train driver...
THE Independent Asylum Commission is today publishing Saving Sanctuary, the first of three reports of recommendations aimed at restoring public confidence in sanctuary for those who have fled persecution. The launch venue: 19 Princelet St, Spitalfields – literally ‘on the edge’ of the City of London – has...
THE BROWN government is now beating the big drum of patriotism, a quality that has often been termed as the ‘last refuge of a scoundrel’. With the British economy in a state of free fall and prices rising in inverse proportion, Brown faces an explosively sharpening class struggle, since his...
THE moment of truth is fast approaching for action to be taken to stop the closure of Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, north London. The Independent Reconfiguration Panel has arrived in the area at the behest of Labour health secretary Johnson. The Panel is charged with reviewing last year’s alleged...
OVER a hundred Chagossians attended the annual general meeting of the Chagos Islands Community Association in Crawley last Saturday afternoon and early evening. They re-affirmed Hengride Permal as their secretary, and re-affirmed their entire committee, with the members well pleased with the way that the association had fought for the...
A number of Labour MPs have tabled an amendment to the government’s Counter-Terrorism Bill in a bid to block plans to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days. Among those to sign it are several MPs who previously backed a 90-day limit, suggesting Prime Minister Brown will...
THE decision of the United Steelworkers of America trade union to follow the lead of the just-failed Democratic contender, John Edwards, whom the steelworkers backed, and to declare their support for Barack Obama is yet another signal to Hillary Clinton to quit the struggle to be the Democratic presidential...
IN his recent addres to the Oxford Union, Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa tried to assert, very unconvincingly, that he did not believe that there was a military solution to the war against the Tamil people and that he favoured peace talks. However, TamilNet reports that the Sri Lankan...
President Sarkozy threw down the gauntlet to the teaching unions immediately after the hugely successful national strike and demonstrations on Thursday. He shocked union leaders by ignoring their protests against his ‘reforms’ and took aim at the right to strike. He announced provocatively that he was ordering a Bill to...
BALPA (the British Airline Pilots Association) is going to the High Court in London on Monday to fight a British Airways (BA’s) strike ban. BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan has warned that the BA court injunction has ‘massive ramifications for every union’. In February, pilots voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike...
NOT ONLY has the world crisis of capitalism now been accepted as the reality by even the most sceptical of the bourgeoisie, its different factions have begun to clash over the different policies that they require to deal with it. The banks having been told that the government is at...
‘There is no alternative to the return to our homes and properties,’ declared the National Committee to Commemorate 60 years of the Nakba, on Thursday. The Committee’s statement declared: ‘To the People of Palestine: ‘Whether you live within the “Green Line”, in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, or in exile; you...