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Monthly Archives: June 2009

DOCTORS at the British Medical Association Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) yesterday voted overwhelmingly to oppose the government’s ‘local hospital model for London’. They voted instead to defend NHS District General Hospitals. This was against the will of the platform and BMA Chairman Hamish Meldrum, and followed a morning of motions opposed...
‘END this ludicrous, divisive and expensive experiment of the market in healthcare in England.’ This was the call from Dr Hamish Meldrum, the Chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) at the doctors’ union’s Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) in Liverpool yesterday. He said moves to create polyclinics and PFI (Private Finance...
THE National Union of Students (NUS) has expressed alarm at the rapid rise in youth unemployment, warning that the chances of students getting summer work this year are the worst in living memory. The NUS said that both students and school leavers were being squeezed out of holiday jobs ‘because...
GENERAL MOTORS European operations, which include Opel plants in Germany, the Ellesmere Port Vauxhall car plant and Luton’s IBC van plant in Britain, have a very uncertain future. There was an announcement in Berlin a few weeks ago that GM Europe would be taken over by the Canadian company Magna...
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya on Saturday said he would accept joint control of the Rafah crossing. In a news conference, Haniya said his government would be ready to accept joint control of the Rafah crossing based on participation by the de facto government’s security, the Egyptians, the Europeans, and...
‘The government’s dogmatic and misguided plan to commercialise the NHS has gone too,’ British Medical Associatoin (BMA) Chairman of Council, Dr Hamish Meldrum warned yesterday. Addressing a press conference on the eve of the BMA Annual Representative Meeting, beginning today in Liverpool, he warned privatisation is ‘threatening the very futue...
PRIME Minister Vladimir Putin is currently acting like a frantic one man fire brigade seeking to hose down the growing anger of the Russian workers at the way that his bourgeois policies have opened up Russia to the full impact of the world wide capitalist crisis. The first casualties of...
‘It’s a good deal,’ sacked Lindsey oil refinery worker Dave Pritchard told News Line yesterday. He was responding to the agreement reached on Thursday night between union negotiators and refinery owner Total, contractor Jacob and subcontractor Shaws. The sacked Lindsey workers had been planning to stage a demonstration outside the Paris...
BRITISH Airways workers are faced with taking strike action to defeat the management onslaught on their jobs, terms and conditions. BA boss Walsh has issued a demand that every employee volunteers to work for nothing and take unpaid leave to cut costs for the airline. BA management is also demanding 4,000...
THE OECD has warned that the British capitalist economy is the sick man of the capitalist world and is currently experiencing a record fall in production, a record and growing indebtedness, and by implication is heading for revolutionary upheavals, as the capitalist class endeavours to force the working class...
BRITISH Airways workers are facing a huge fight to defend their jobs and conditions of employment against a vicious management onslaught. BA management have announced plans to decimate the workforce, sacking 4,000 out of 40,000 workers by 30th June. They intend to do away with ‘restrictive practices’ and demand that workers...
Doctors are extremely concerned about the impact of the private sector on healthcare, a snapshot BMA News survey has indicated. More than nine out of ten (94 per cent) of the 124 respondents to a poll for BMA News, the weekly magazine for British Medical Association members, said they were...
THE Community Union described as ‘devastating,’ yesterday’s announcement of 2,000 more job cuts in Corus plants across the UK, and said there was now a fight on for the future of British steelmaking. The Tata-owned steelmaker is cutting 2,000 more jobs at UK plants including Teesside, Scunthorpe and Rotherham,...
The Centre for Cities has predicted that the number of long-term unemployed young people, between 16 and 24 years of age in Britain, will rise from 130,000 in May 2009 to 350,000 by December 2011. Long term unemployed are those who have been unemployed for over a year. The...
Youth unemployment is set to more than treble over the next two years, research group, the Centre for Cities predicts in a report published yesterday. Based on the claimant count, the group says that the number of long-term unemployed young people will rise from 130,000 in May 2009 to 350,000...
Talks with contractors on Tuesday afternoon and evening, aimed at ending the bitter dispute over the sacking of 647 workers at Lindsey oil refinery, were adjourned until today. With workers defiant and calling for national strike action, the strength of the working class has forced union leaders to make the...
BRITISH capitalism is desperately cutting its coat according to its cloth as far as education is concerned. Deep in debt and risking state bankruptcy, the Brown government is about to slash state education, and savagely cut the number of university students, at the same time as slashing the number of...
Israeli occupation forces at dawn on Monday rounded up twelve Palestinians from the West bank districts of Al-Khalil, Bethlehem and Qalqilia, the Israeli military command announced. Hamas said that an Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) unit on Sunday night stormed the Safa village northwest of Beit Ummar in Al-Khalil district and...
‘FROM the moment Total and their contractors dismissed our members at Lindsey, this became an official dispute.’ So said GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny, addressing a 2,000-strong rally of sacked Lindsey contractors and their supporters yesterday. Kenny added: ‘They talk about an official ballot, but as far as I’m concerned, when...
AT least 10 people were killed in the latest clashes to shake Tehran, state television said on Sunday, as Iranian leaders took aim at Western ‘meddling’ in the post-election tumult that has triggered the biggest crisis since the Islamic revolution. The opposition deepened the split in the country’s Islamic rulers,...
THE provocative sacking of over 650 workers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery – who walked out to demand that a recently negotiated trade union agreement be carried out, to transfer 51 redundant workers to another contractor on the site who had 61 vacancies – is an attack on the...
The GMB trade union yesterday accused senior managers of provoking the unofficial dispute at Lindsey oil refinery by the sacking of 51 workers in breach of agreements. This accusation came as the unions, including GMB, prepared for a protest demonstration/rally outside the site at Eastfield Road, Immingham, from 6.30am onwards...
Over 1,000 families in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, have opted to return to their home areas in the north and northwest of the country. This is because of worsening insecurity and lack of aid at the camp, reports UN news agency IRIN. Zherai...
YESTERDAY it was alleged that ex-Prime Minister Blair made representations to the Prime Minister concerning the ‘independent inquiry’ into the war in Iraq, which resulted in Brown’s attempt to hold it in private. These representations were made through other ministers, who relayed Blair’s view to the Cabinet Secretary Gus...
News Line covered a number of CWU postal worker picket lines in the early hours of last Friday morning at the start of the 24 hour strike. At Acton sorting and distribution office in west London, CWU member Tony Farrell said: ‘Management are just walking all over us,...
‘No more cuts! Sack Adam Crozier!’ shouted angry postal workers outside Royal Mail’s London headquarters yesterday, as 10,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) walked out on strike across the capital. Postal workers at 139 London offices joined the 24-hour action, but the CWU cancelled strikes at the big...
900 construction workers were sacked at the Lindsey Oil Refinery, north Lincolnshire yesterday in what the GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny called ‘a case of mass victimisation’. The sackings came after 1,200 workers walked out at the Lincolnshire plant in defence of jobs. Workers are now walking...
THE New Labour Brown government has come out as the true representative of the biggest banks, as befits a government that has doubled the national debt while saving these same big banks from complete collapse. In his speech at the Mansion House, Chancellor Darling came out as an opponent of...
Public-sector union Unison yesterday cautioned against panic cuts in public services in the wake of record government borrowing. UK public sector net borrowing, which takes account of capital investment, in May 2009 was £19.9 billion, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This compares with borrowing of £12.2 billion in May...
TENS of thousands of supporters of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi staged a ‘silent’ protest rally in Tehran on Wednesday against the election results, witnesses said. They said the protesters marched from central Tehran’s Haft-e Tir and were heading to Vali Asr square. Wearing green wrist- and head-bands in...
YESTERDAY the Office for National Statistics produced figures showing the record breaking numbers of unemployed and the record breaking growth of unemployment. UK unemployment rose to 2.261 million in the three months to April, the highest since November 1996. The jobless rate thus rose to 7.2%, the highest since July...
A SUCCESSFUL picket to stop the closure of Chase Farm Hospital took place outside the hospital in Enfield on Tuesday, attended by over 50 people. The picket was joined by the local community, including residents who had taken part in the June 6 demonstration by the North-East London Council of...
More than ten thousand postal workers in all areas of deliveries, collections and processing across London will take industrial action for 24 hours starting from the early shift tomorrow Friday June 19. Further strike action will be announced if no progress is made, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) said yesterday. This...

Record Unemployment!

UK unemployment rose to 2.261 million in the three months to April, the highest since November 1996, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday. The jobless rate rose to 7.2 per cent, the highest since July 1997, up 0.7 over the previous quarter and up 1.9 over the year. The...

Prentis Warns Labour

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis yesterday pledged ‘our union will bring together an alliance of all public service unions’ to defend jobs and public services. He also warned the Labour government that a million Unison members ‘are tired of feeding the hand that bites them’, to big applause. He said the...
THE Willie Walsh plan for rescuing BA from the capitalist crisis is quite straightforward. He has gone beyond wage cuts, he wants ‘his’ 40,000 workers to work for nothing. They will be worse off than slaves, who were after all maintained by their ‘owners’! Perhaps Walsh and the owners of...
OVER 50 workers and youth turned out yesterday morning for the mass picket against the closure of Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield. Sacked Visteon workers joined the picket line and motorists hooted their horns to show support, while lorries sounded their klaxons against the threatened clo Speaking to News Line, Bill...
‘ABSOLUTELY must go!’ were the three words Admiral Elmo Zumwalt gave to US navy officials on Diego Garcia, concerned about the expulsion of Chagossians from their homeland. This terse, brutal response from the highest ranking official in the US navy was also the message for the Chagossians, said David Vine...
ISRAELI Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday endorsed for the first time the creation of a Palestinian state, provided it had none of the basic characteristics of a state, and was in reality a Bantustan. He demanded that such a state must not have an army, and must not have...
Workers of Ship-Repair Yard 178 in Vladivostok began a strike on June 3rd 2009, demanding their pay. The workers have not had any money since April. The prosecutor’s office has made enquiries about the non-disbursement of pay. The check showed that the general manager of the Labour Red-Banner Medal Ship-Repair Yard...
UNISON yesterday demanded ‘an end to this bottomless PFI pit’. The Treasury’s decision to pump an extra £2bn of taxpayers’ money into recession-hit PFI projects is ‘throwing good money after bad’, Unison warned in a report issued at its annual conference in Brighton yesterday. PFI’s reliance on the private sector...
THE CWU Conference last Wednesday backed two emergency motions from the postal executive calling on the government to remove the threat of privatisation, facilitate a moratorium between Royal Mail (RM) and the CWU and engage in negotiations over the future of the company. Proposing the first resolution, deputy general...
Palestinian civil society has called on democratic South Africa to end complicity with Israeli apartheid. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) has released a report entitled ‘Democratic South Africa’s complicity in Israel’s occupation, colonialism and apartheid’, based on research from the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (STW). The report...
The staffing crisis is continuing at Stafford Hospital, senior consultant Dr Pradip Singh has alleged. This is three months after the publication of a damning report by the Healthcare Commission which found budget cuts had led to 400 more patients dying than should have at the hospital. He has told MPs:...

Nationalise Gm Now!

‘GM workers in Luton should intensify their calls for a mass meeting to demand an immediate occupation,’ ex-Vauxhall convenor Arthur Lynn told News Line yesterday. His call came in the wake of the collapse of talks in Berlin on Thursday, where Business Secretary Mandelson and German Economy Minister zu Guttenberg...