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Monthly Archives: September 2009

AT yesterday’s Labour Party conference Premier Brown focused on the ‘wrong choices’ that the Tories had made over policies to deal with the financial crash, contrasting his interventionist Keynesian approach with their more traditional bourgeois attitude of allowing the bankrupt bourgeois to go to the wall. However, the choice...
ROYAL Mail staff walked out on strike in London and other parts of the country again yesterday, as a national ballot by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) reaches its conclusion. The strikes are over the attack on jobs, terms and conditions by Royal Mail and the ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying’ by...
over 200 postal workers lobbied the heavily-fortified Labour Party Conference in Brighton yesterday, to demand the Labour government keeps the Royal Mail public and restores their pensions. Martin Walsh, Communication Workers Union London Divisional Representative, told News Line before the lobby: ‘We’ve come here to demonstrate and show that postal...
BRITAIN’S top general in Afghanistan has backed the call of his US commander for 40,000 more troops to be sent into the Afghan quagmire, including 1,000 more troops from the UK. Lieutenant-General Jim Dutton entered the political arena on Monday when he said that he supported a formal request...
THE McKinsey and Co report proposes cutting £20bn off the NHS budget and reducing the staff by 10% or 137,000 jobs. The government commissioned this 100 page report at great expense, but members of the public and trade unions cannot see it as it is ‘confidential’. This is a disgrace. The...
BUSINESS Secretary Lord Mandelson yesterday refused to give any guarantees to keep open the GM Luton and Ellesmere Port car plants and prevent mass sackings – despite claiming that he was ‘standing by’ the workforces. Mandelson told the Labour Party conference in Brighton that he had re-joined the government because...
MEDIA and entertainment union, BECTU, has today insisted that the BNP should not be given airtime to promote its racist politics. The union’s statement comes in reply to the BBC’s decision to accept a proposal from the producers of Question Time that BNP leader, Nick Griffin, should join the...

California Walk-Out!

THOUSANDS of students poured out of classes from University of California (UC) campuses across the state on Thursday to show their anger and opposition to devastating cuts to public education. The State of California, which has nearly gone bankrupt, has dumped the burden of a $750 million deficit which...
PRIME MINISTER Brown was yesterday under full scale attack from the bourgeois media. He faced the humiliation of appearing on the Andrew Marr BBC show and having to insist before an audience of millions that he was not either going blind, or going mad, the latter being the...
PRIME MINISTER Brown was fighting for his political life yesterday, as well as for a future for his right-wing ‘bankers’ government. Having saved the banks from immediate bankruptcy with his £1.3 trillion of financial aid and guarantees, the general ruling class opinion is that Brown has done as...
‘COMPLY or face the consequences,’ was the message delivered by President Obama and his puppets Brown and Sarkozy to the Iranian government yesterday morning. Iran had revealed the existence of a second uranium enrichment plant to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) on Monday, saying it was not yet operational...
Iran informed the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a letter last Monday that it has a second uranium enrichment plant under construction. This means that Obama was aware of the situation well before he made his UN speech about nuclear disarmament, well into the future for the...
Statement by RABINDER SINGH QC to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry RABINDER Singh QC has delivered his opening statement to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry, into the murder of the Basra hotelier following the British army’s invasion of southern Iraq in 2003. It is six years since Baha Mousa died, on...
THE UN Security Council yesterday voted unanimously to oppose the spread of nuclear weapons, and that the nuclear powers on the Security Council must move towards disarming themselves of these, to make for a nuclear bomb-free world. These powers are the US, UK, Russia, China and France. The resolution moved by...

Bank Fears For Pound!

THE pound continued to fall yesterday as the Bank of England called a crisis meeting for next Tuesday to discuss its ‘Quantitative Easing’ (QE) programme (printing money). Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, backed a weak UK currency, in an interview with north-east regional newspaper, ‘The...
THE CBI bosses organisation yesterday foresaw a ‘recovery’ from the capitalist crisis, but was forced by circumstances beyond its control to admit that, at the most, it was of a completely technical character, a 0.2% rise in production, after a mammoth fall in the preceding year. It therefore labelled its...
Postal workers in the Paris region are on an open-ended strike starting Monday, September 21, against the closure of 185 Paris post offices and 140 jobs cuts. On Tuesday there was a national strike against the proposed change in the constitution of La Poste in January 2010. The change will ultimately...

London Postal Strike 100%

LONDON delivery offices took all-out strike action yesterday in the ongoing battle by postal workers to defend jobs in Royal Mail. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is now in the middle of balloting members across the country for a national strike. On the picket line at the Southwark Delivery Office in...
5,000 European workers marched to the Opel plant in Antwerp yesterday afternoon to demand that it must not close as a result of the GM-Magna deal. There were motor car workers present from Germany, Spain, Poland, Austria, France and Hungary. They had responded to the the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF)...
• 20,000 march in Zaragossa • Thousands mass in Antwerp today • 1400-1800 jobs to go in UK TODAY tens of thousands of angry GM workers and supporters from across Europe and beyond are demonstrating outside the Antwerp Opel plant, pledging that they will take every action necessary to stop Magna shutting...
THREE global trade union federations – representing 55 million industrial workers – have issued a call to the G20 summit, taking place in Pittsburgh, to do something now to stop the worldwide wave of sackings. The call was made by the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), the International Textile, Garment and...
GM WORKERS are rising up all over Europe against the GM-Magna deal, under which plants in Spain and the UK and Belgium are to close, and over 11,000 workers will be sacked. The number is made up of 1,800 sackings in the UK, 2,700 in Antwerp, 2,100 in Spain...
The sacked Gate Gourmet workers marked the fourth anniversary of their struggle with a 200-plus strong rally and an evening of thrilling entertainment at the Dominion Centre in Southall on Sunday. One of the leaders of that struggle, Parmjit Bains, was the first speaker. She said: ‘What happened to us in...
THE top American army commander has admitted that the US does not have enough troops to sustain its eight-year-old military occupation of Afghanistan, that began in late 2001. General Stanley McChrystal said that unless more troops were sent, the war would ‘likely result in failure’. ‘Failure to gain the initiative and...
LIB DEM leader Nick Clegg has reiterated his original claim there will need to be ‘savage’ spending cuts. Clegg put forward the same position on the opening day of his party’s annual conference in Bournemouth, saying: ‘I have said there will need to be cuts, cuts that are...
US DEFENCE Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday insisted that the US change of mind over basing tracking radar and anti-missile missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic does not concede anything to Russia. Gates argued that the programme would not have been operational till 2017, and that the shift provides...
‘We commemorate the anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in honour of the hundreds of men, women and children killed by death squads armed, trained, financed, and instructed by the Israeli colonial masters’, says Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD. Qumsiyeh, author of Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the...
‘OUR trade union leaders did nothing for us,’ sacked Gate Gourmet worker Parmjit Bains told a 200-strong fourth anniversary rally for the sacked workers in Southall yesterday. Speaking about the beginning of their struggle in August 2005, she said: ‘We had a situation where we were all sacked, all shifts,...

Teachers Reject Savage Cuts

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) hit back yesterday at Education Secretary Ed Balls over his call to sack thousands of school heads and deputy heads and heads of departments, as part of plans to cut spending by £2bn. NUT general secretary Christine Blower told News Line: ‘Any characterisation of...
THE European trade union body, the Engineering Metalworkers Federation (EMF), has called for a mobilisation of GM workers in Europe on Wednesday, 23rd September 2009, at the Opel Plant in Antwerp. An EMF statement said yesterday: ‘Due to recent developments at Opel and the current restructuring of GM Europe/Opel/Magna,...
Part of the British Film Institute season: ‘On the Face of It: A Century of Coalmining on Screen’ (Also plays this month at the Showroom in Sheffield) ‘OPENING the Archives on the Miners’ Strike’, shown at BFI Southbank (the National Film Theatre) on Wednesday, is a valuable addition to the historic record of the great 1984-85...
THE debacle of the rigged Afghan elections, held under the guns of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, is just a reflection of an even greater debacle – the Anglo-US invasion of Afghanistan, which is, after eight years of war, facing defeat and humiliation. The ‘enlightened’ attitude of democrats such...
THE TUC CONGRESS yesterday managed to avoid an open split over the issue of Palestine, by allowing two motions to be debated, voted on, and carried. The FBU motion called for a boycott of all Israeli goods, while the TUC General Council motion called for a boycott aimed at goods...
DELEGATES at the TUC Congress in Liverpool on Wednesday voted unanimously for Composite Motion 2: Temporary Agency Workers, to demand that agency workers have full rights in line with all other workers. Moving the motion, Kevin Flanaghan, of the GMB, said: ‘Angry workers have waited long enough for their EU...
THE General Council of the Trades Union Congress held a crisis meeting yesterday morning, as it was split over Motion 76: Palestine, from the Fire Brigades Union. This calls for the TUC to promote ‘a targeted, consumer-led boycott’ and to ‘encourage trade unionists to boycott Israeli goods, especially agricultural...
AT A PACKED ‘Saving Vauxhall Jobs’ TUC Congress fringe meeting on Tuesday evening, Unite leaders Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson attacked the German government and the Magna takeover of General Motors Europe. The meeting, taking place during the TUC Congress in Liverpool, was opened by Dave Osborne, Unite national officer,...
THE TUC Congress in Liverpool was brought alive yesterday by a passionate call to fight for jobs with occupations by Mark Campbell of the University and College Union at London Metropolitan University. He was speaking in support of Composite 3: Jobs, the Recession and Redundancy Rights. Campbell said: ‘Redundancies should not...
THERE were no questions allowed at the Unite TUC fringe meeting in Liverpool on Tuesday evening evening, so determined was the Woodley-Simpson leadership that the dreaded word ‘nationalisation’ would not be mentioned in connection with saving the jobs of thousands of Ellesmere Port and Luton car workers. The Unite leadership...
THE TUC delegates in Liverpool at the 2009 Congress on Monday voted unanimously to defend public services. Composite Motion C21 Public Services and the Economy says ‘the conference resolves to oppose cuts in public services and pensions’. It also resolves to ‘pursue a payback tax on profits above a certain level...
GORDON BROWN’S speech yesterday, at the TUC, was a very poor effort from a politician and a party that have no intention of defending the interests of the working class and the trade unions. Brown continually repeated his slogan of ‘Working Together’ to try to convince delegates and the working...
GORDON BROWN had a very cool reception at the TUC yesterday. The mood was set by the PCS delegation, which held up placards saying ‘No cuts’. Steelworkers held a banner saying ‘Save Our Steel’ and Vestas workers were in the visitors’ gallery demanding action on their jobs. At the end of his...
THE TUC Congress in Liverpool yesterday unanimously voted for Composite Motion 16: Defending the NHS. The motion calls on ‘the General Council to reactivate the NHSTogether campaign.’ It also calls on the General Council to work with NHSTogether unions and patient groups to campaign for: ‘i) services to remain within the...
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown laid down the gauntlet at the weekend to the TUC Congress, being held in Liverpool. Downing Street has released excerpts of Brown’s speech to the Congress today, the essence of which is – if the trade unions won’t accept his cuts policy, then they...
FIRE chiefs in Warwickshire are planning to close seven fire stations and axe a third of fire appliances with the loss of one hundred jobs, and no doubt in time the loss of the lives of a number of local people. The FBU brigade secretary said yesterday that ‘If they...
TAMILNET reports that Sri Lanka’s technological refutation of the authenticity of a video of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers executing unarmed Tamil men broadcast by Channel 4 in August is based on a processed video-file taken from the broadcaster’s website, rather than the original mobile phone footage, experts said. ...