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Monthly Archives: March 2010

There were even more determined pickets at Heathrow Airport by striking cabin crew yesterday, in the last day of their current round of strike action. They were chanting: ‘Two, four, six, eight – Willie won’t negotiate!’ and ‘I would rather be a picket than a scab!’, ‘What do we want?...
THERE were renewed calls yesterday by Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and other political leaders of major capitalist countries for international cooperation to tackle the financial crisis and introduce taxes on banks. In the US, Obama is clawing back government funds put into the banks in the wake of the October...
NHS patients are being refused basic operations because primary care trusts want to save money, six leading surgeons revealed in a devastating letter that was published on Monday. The representatives of six major surgeons’ bodies say operations for back pain and common hernias through to varicose vein removal are being...
UNITED States President Barack Obama made his first trip to Afghanistan on Sunday since he took office 14 months ago. The visit was aimed at boosting the flagging morale of American troops and making a public display of support for discredited puppet President Hamid Karzai. Obama told 2,500 US troops...
Israel detained eleven Palestinians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Sunday, amid protests over restrictions preventing Christians from performing religious rites in Jerusalem over Easter. Dozens of protesters, joined by international peace activists and Muslim supporters, took to the streets after Sunday prayers held for the Christian holiday...
The British Airways cabin crew strike is gathering strength as the management fails to keep the airplanes flying through the dispute. During the Saturday of the second weekend of strike action, British Airways had to cancel almost a hundred flights at Heathrow airport. The Unite trade union said six planes leaving...
STRIKING British Airways cabin crew received great support from workers and other trade unionists over the weekend. Last Saturday, News Line interviewed cabin crew on their picket lines at Heathrow and Gatwick, and at their headquarters at Bedfont Football Club, which is the base from where minibuses transport the strikers...
THE media were out in force at the end of last week to hear German Chancellor Angela Merkel reveal details of a bail-out package to rescue the bankrupt Greek state and save the euro from disintegration. The agreement, which was finally announced on Friday, involves the 16 eurozone states and...
A battle bus toured Heathrow Airport with megaphones, flags and banners yesterday. It was rallying support from other airport workers for the 13,000 striking BA cabin crew who are now into the third day of their current four-day strike action. Cabin crew have discovered that after last weekend’s three-day strike many...
Cabin crew resumed their determined strike against British Airways’ attempted union-busting at Heathrow, Gatwick and the other airports at midnight last night. They are taking four more days of strike action running until next Tuesday, defying BA boss Walsh’s attempted intimidation and vindictive attack on their travel allowances. The dispute is...
ON THE eve of the four-day strike by British Airways cabin crew, which begins today, the company’s Chief Executive Willie Walsh stepped up his threats against them and their union, Unite. Walsh declared belligerently that those cabin crew who had their travel concessions permanently withdrawn after going on strike last...
Up to a quarter of a million civil servants were out on strike on Wednesday, expressing their anger at the threat to thousands of jobs. Strong PCS union pickets formed outside the Houses of Parliament, Customs and Excise, the National Museums, Home Office, Job Centres and many other government departments. Marcus...
THE Budget, presented by Chancellor Alistair Darling last Wednesday, was clearly part of Brown’s re-election campaign. In three months time, after the general election, most of this budget will be put in the shredder. The incoming Labour, Tory, or coalition government will have to reduce public borrowing and the record...
Four days of national strike action against job cuts and in defence of safety were announced by the RMT and TSSA rail unions yesterday, in which 12,000 maintenance workers and 800 supervisors will stage an all-out strike from 6am on Tuesday April 6th until 11.59pm on Friday April 9th. At...
Amnesty International is demanding ‘a full inquiry to end secrecy’, over the British state’s involvement in human rights abuses since the ‘war on terror’ was launched in 2001. Amnesty issued a briefing with ‘ten key questions that an inquiry should seek to answer’. Amnesty International’s UK Head of Policy and Government...
Parliament Square yesterday reverberated with the slogans of hundreds of Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) workers who had joined hundreds of thousands of their colleagues for a nationwide one-day strike. All over London and the rest of the country, pickets were outside government departments, including the Houses of Parliament,...
CHANCELLOR Alastair Darling yesterday delivered his Budget speech in the middle of the civil servants’ strike action, starting it by claiming that the UK economy is now ‘emerging’ from the ‘deepest global recession for over 60 years’. Darling’s Budget signals the countdown to the general election expected to be called...
ISRAELI Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and United States President Barack Obama held two sessions of secret talks at the White House yesterday, lasting a total of two hours. In contrast to previous visits by a Prime Minister of the Zionist entity to Washington, there was no photo opportunity of the...
DURING its weekly cabinet meeting on Monday, the Palestinian government in Ramallah condemned the killing of four Palestinians in Nablus in less than 24 hours by Israel forces. The cabinet also condemned Israeli military strikes on the Gaza Strip. Ministers warned that Israel’s recent escalation in military violence endangered the...
BRITISH Airways’ deepening crisis showed yesterday as it still cancelled flights in the aftermath of a three-day strike by cabin crew. The airline’s website shows it has cancelled nearly 200, or more than 19%, of flights that had been scheduled up to midnight on Tuesday. BA is now reviewing its schedule...

PCS-Budget Day Strike!

UP to a quarter of a million civil and public servants from across the UK will be taking part in a one day strike on Budget day today, in a dispute over cuts to redundancy pay. The stoppage, called by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), follows a strongly...
FIRST of all the French electorate gave the right wing Sarkozy regime a bloody nose, and now yesterday’s general strike by the public sector workers has signalled that the French working class is going to bring it down. This means that the developing workers’ revolution in Europe which began in...
UN chief Ban Ki-moon slammed Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip during a tour of the war-battered coastal territory on Sunday, saying it was causing ‘unacceptable sufferings.’ ‘I have repeatedly made it quite clear to Israel’s leaders that the Israeli policy of closure is not sustainable and that it’s wrong,’...
WHILE hundreds of Afghan civilians are being killed in General Petraeus’ Afghan surge, and British and US casualties escalate upwards despite the ‘victories’ being achieved, the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai – who retained the presidency when a second round election run off was cancelled after the first round...

Cabin Crew 100% Solid

‘HUNDREDS of planes are grounded,’ Unite said yesterday, on the third day of the strike action by its British Airways cabin crew members. Unite said yesterday morning that the strike was ‘biting’. ‘The evidence shows that BA’s much-vaunted contingency plans are failing. Of the 77 flights scheduled: • ‘37 of these have...

ALL OUT ON THE 27th

AT Gatwick, on Sunday morning, pickets at the South Terminal roundabout got tremendous support from passing motorists, coaches and lorries, and fellow airport workers, with passengers in one car shouting out: ‘We think you’re really brave!’ A cabin crew member told News Line: ‘It is a complete myth pumped out...
AT Gatwick and at Heathrow on Sunday morning pickets got tremendous support from passing motorists, coaches and lorries, and fellow airport workers. The lines of stationary BA aircraft told the full story. This was that brave and determined cabin crew, all Unite members, having voted twice for strike action against...
‘THIS is like the 1980s with the miners, even though this is meant to be a democracy and we’ve got the right to withdraw our labour. The judge overruled our ballot when we had at least 8,000 out of 9,000 votes for strike action.’ A British Airways cabin crew member...
British Airways cabin crew are taking three-days of strike action today, tomorrow and Monday and a further four-days strike action starting on March 27th. After talks at the TUC ended yesterday lunchtime, Unite union leader Tony Woodley said BA boss Walsh and the ‘hawks’ had won, and that they wanted...
UNITE co-leader Tony Woodley stated yesterday that it was not possible to get an agreement with BA and cancel the BA cabin crew strike actions, since BA boss Walsh had actually put a worse offer on the table that could never be put to the membership and which...
‘AFTER a full year, the British Government still refuses to reveal its “Torture Policy’’ – reneging on assurances that it would be published before today’s parliamentary debate on torture,’ Reprieve said on Thursday. Reprieve was reacting to the news that the government had ‘postponed’ the publication of new guidelines to...
‘WHAT a shameful act by a Labour prime minister as possibly his final act – opening the door to the Tories to come in and sack workers on the cheap,’ PCS (Public and Civil Service union) leader Mark Serwotka told News Line yesterday morning. Serwotka was speaking aboard the PCS...
BRITISH Airways’ chief executive Walsh and Unite union joint leader Tony Woodley yesterday met at the TUC headquarters. The talks are now back on and continuing. It is crystal clear that what has brought ‘Rambo’ Walsh back to the table is the worldwide movement of workers prepared to stop BA flying. It...
IRAQ’s election race tightened between the two main rivals Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the former Premier Iyad Allawi, after a count, of 79 per cent of the votes cast in last week’s national polls, showing both their blocs neck-and-neck in the way to dominate parliament. Maliki’s State of Law...
STRIKING lecturers and students at Sussex University celebrated yesterday when six suspended students were reinstated. The six were suspended by the university’s management for taking part in the occupation of the university on March 3. Sussex UCU branch president, Paul Cecil, told News Line that the union fully supported the students...
MASSIVE, worldwide support for the British Airways cabin crew yesterday forced BA boss Walsh back to the negotiating table with the Unite union. Aviation unions around the world have responded to the call for solidarity, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) reported. Unions in over 120 countries, representing cabin crew, pilots,...
GREEK workers of the State Electricity Corporation staged a solid-rock 48-hour national strike on Tuesday and Wednesday and occupied several power plants as well as administrative offices against the government’s austerity measures which have cut their wages by seven per cent and their wage supplements by 30 per cent....
THE BMA yesterday condemned the Reform report, ‘Fewer Hospitals, more competition’, stating in response to the Reform privatisation manifesto that ‘bed closures will be disastrous’. Dr Mark Porter, Chairman of the BMA’s Consultants Committee, continued to say that ‘Cutting beds for purely financial reasons would be...
‘WE stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Unite who are fighting for a fair contract at British Airways,’ says the Teamsters trade union in the United States. ‘The Teamsters are the most powerful union in the US and an active member of the International Transport Workers Federation...
BA BOSS Walsh’s war on the Unite trade union was stepped up yesterday when he turned down a Unite offer to suspend the strike actions by BA cabin crew due to start this Saturday. The Tony Woodley offer was to suspend all strike actions, if BA would return its withdrawn...
THE PCS civil service union yesterday announced that members across the UK will be walking out for a third day of strike action on Budget Day, March 24. The strike is over big cuts to redundancy terms, the PCS said. ‘The imposed changes will see staff robbed of up to a...
THE US SPECIAL envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, who negotiated the basis of the power sharing agreement in the north of Ireland, yesterday postponed a planned visit to Palestine. This came after Israeli PM Netanyahu’s latest provocative speeches – supporting 1600 new settlement houses to be built in...
THE American trade union federation, the AFL-CIO, is this week launching a ‘Make Wall Street Pay’ national campaign in protest at soaring unemployment in the United States. The campaign coincides with a 400-mile march by Californian teachers to fight for the future of public education in the West Coast state. Launching...
COSATU’s 1st Deputy President, Tyotyo James addressed South Africa’s Public Sector Summit on March 12 2010. He said: ‘COSATU is pleased to have been invited to this important gathering, whose primary task is to discuss what we consider to be the heartbeat of our country’s democracy. ‘The Reconstruction and Development...
LABOUR PM Gordon Brown yesterday condemned the BA cabin crew members of Unite for the seven days of strike action due to take place on March 20 and March 27. He called the action ‘unjustified’ and ‘deplorable’, and ‘against the national interest’ and demanded that it be called off. This is...