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Monthly Archives: May 2010

ON Monday May 25th, David Laws, the new Chief Secretary of the Treasury, standing next to his master Chancellor Osborne, announced that the £6.2 bn of savage cuts that he had helped to draw up were ‘draconian’ and would send ‘shock waves’ through society. As the chosen one of the...
On the eve of the new Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s announcement of plans to drive the unemployed and sick off benefits, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) issued a call for an overhaul of the ‘deeply flawed’ Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) benefit. They say ESA is causing...
THERe was a family day event for the striking BA cabin crew at Bedfont Football Club yesterday, with bouncy castle, face painting and other fun events. Striking Unite members ‘Paul’ and ‘Steven’ said: ‘We’ve been denigrated by the mass media as overpaid but we’ve got mortgages and kids to support...
SPANISH Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist Party government scraped through Parliament its 15bn euro (£13bn) austerity package, by 169 votes to 168, on Thursday. Finance Minister Elena Salgado told the Parliament that the measures were ‘painful but inevitable’. Zapatero is following in the footsteps of Greece’s PASOK premier...
STRIKING British Airways cabin crew made it clear yesterday that they are determined to win their struggle in defence of jobs, wages and conditions, as they prepared for the next round of strike action which starts tonight. On the very lively Hatton Cross picket line, with its music, flags and...
‘REPORTS implicating the UK in grave violations of human rights of people held overseas continued to emerge,’ Amnesty International says in its 2010 Report. Amnesty says: ‘The European Court of Human Rights found that, by detaining a number of foreign nationals without charge or trial (internment), the UK had violated...
TORY Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government unveiled its plans to target the unemployed and others on benefits, depriving them of their entitlements, or making draconian cuts to their benefits. Former right-wing Tory leader and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition, Iain Duncan Smith,...
Hezbollah marked the tenth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day on Tuesday at the Sayyed Al-Shouhada compound in Beirut’s southern suburb. Official, religious, military, and popular figures attended the ceremony in which Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech for the occasion and tackled recent developments in...
The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) yesterday slammed plans by new Works and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to force five million people off benefit and onto workfare. The PCS said: ‘Plans by the new work and pensions secretary for further reform of welfare and benefits are doomed to...
THERE were lively picket lines around Heathrow Airport yesterday, as the British Airways cabin crew took their 11th day of strike action in defence of their jobs, wages and conditions. Talks in a secret location between Unite and BA bosses broke down after six hours on Wednesday and are due...
THE OECD said yesterday that state indebtedness, and rapidly growing inflation is threatening to bring down the entire banking system. Its secretary general, Angel Gurria, told a press conference that ‘correction’ of public finances was now vital in many countries. Gurria described the explosive contradiction that is gripping bodies such as...
The Peace Camp in Parliament Square was brutally raided by armed police at 8am on Tuesday morning and its leaders were arrested and dragged away. On the morning of the Queen’s Speech, Met Police, accompanied by dogs, went in early in anticipation of mass protests over their actions. Brian Haw has...
Tony Woodley told striking British Airways cabin crew to cheers yesterday that: ‘Derek Simpson and I stand here as one behind your campaign behind your dispute and behind you’. Speaking at a Heathrow airport rally, he rejected reports that ‘you have been browbeaten into submission, demoralised, battered and bruised’. Woodley continued...
PICKET lines at Heathrow Airport were all manned successfully yesterday and there was a carnival atmosphere at the Bedfont Football Club, as a battle bus toured the airport. Samuel, at the Hatton Cross picket line, said: ‘We had no choice to strike, we have been forced into it.’ His fellow picketer...
The Peace Camp in Parliament Square was brutally raided by armed police with dogs at 8am yesterday morning and its leaders were arrested and dragged away in handcuffs. Brian Haw has been camped in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament since 2001, protesting first against the cruel and...
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its concerns about Spain’s economy, saying ‘far-reaching’ reforms are needed to ensure its recovery. It said the country faced ‘severe’ challenges, including the need to urgently reform a ‘dysfunctional’ labour market, and its banking sector. Spain has 20 per cent unemployment. The IMF made its...
THE INITIAL £6.25 billion spending cuts announced by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government on Monday, that will lead to thousands of sackings and closures in the public sector and industry, were roundly condemned yesterday by the trade unions. The TUC warned of a ‘double-dip recession’, with TUC General Secretary Brendan...
US Congressman Steve Driehaus (Democrat-Ohio), a senior member of the United States National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, in a letter to US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has asked her to ‘urge the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to conduct an investigation into reported human rights violations,’...
TORY CHANCELLOR Osborne provided an outline of his £6.2bn of spending cuts for 2010-11 yesterday, with Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laws using words such as ‘draconian’ to describe the measures, and ‘shock wave’ to describe what their impact on society would be. Nevertheless, they gave no details...
Chancellor Osborne yesterday announced the first £6.2bn of savage cuts planned by the Tory coalition. At a press conference, Osborne confined himself to generalities, then handed over to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liberal Democrat David Laws ‘who will take you through the detail’. However, Laws’ speech was lacking in detail...
‘Walsh isn’t interested in compromise. This is our eighth day on strike and it has gone on to a different level’. British Airway’s cabin crew member ‘Stephanie’, was speaking to News Line in the Bedfont Football Club base at Hatton Cross yesterday. There were lively flag-waving pickets all round Heathrow...
THE second ship to join the Freedom Flotilla en route to Gaza left Istanbul Saturday afternoon, joining eight other boats from three countries carrying 10,000 tons of aid for Gaza’s residents, supplies embargoed by Israel. A statement issued by the Freedom Flotilla’s organisers said the latest ship to set sail...
Civil servants union, the PCS, is gearing up for action to fight over 300,000 public sector job cuts, planned by the Tories. PCS NEC member Andy Reid yesterday called for joint action with other public sector unions. Asked to respond to leaked details of the planned cuts contained in tomorrow’s...

BA–No Deal

The five-day strike by British Airways (BA) cabin crew went ahead at midnight last night after talks between the Unite union and BA management broke down over the weekend. This was despite a ‘let’s put the public first’ last minute appeal by Unite joint secretary Tony Woodley. He offered to...
THE leaking of the Queen’s budget speech is unprecedented, and is an expression of the depth of the split and the cynicism in the Tory party over the Cameron-Lib Dem coalition. The leak was made on the eve of the announcement by Chancellor Osborne of just what...
Trade unionists estimated that some 150,000 workers and youth participated in the two separate marches in Athens on Thursday. The GSEE (Greek TUC) stated that millions of workers participated in the one-day general strike against the government’s Pensions Bill. The PAME (Greek Communist Party trade union section) held a rally in...
THE Vauxhall-Opel GM bosses statement put out yesterday claimed as its subject: ‘Vauxhall and Opel employees dive into their pockets to support the company turnaround.’ It should have said that the Unite leaders, and other union leaders, had enthusiastically signed up to a deal that will see the company diving...
‘Vauxhall employees contribute in support of the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround plan,’ General Motors announced yesterday. The deal was struck in Rüsselsheim on Thursday. A GM press statement said: ‘Yesterday, representatives of Unite, the Union, signed the UK Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and European framework agreement in respect of employee...
• No to the destruction of the state pension system • Down with the junta of the IMF-European Commission-Papandreou! • For an indefinite Political General Strike! Statement by the Revolutionary Marxist League Greek section of the International Committee of the Fourth International FOLLOWING the historic and huge 5th of May general strike in...

Law Lords Retreat!

British Airways (BA) cabin crew outside the High Court cheered and danced yesterday morning after a panel of three senior judges overturned a ban on their industrial action. Five days of strike action will begin on Monday after the Unite union successfully appealed against the injunction granted last Monday...
BRITISH Airways cabin crew cheered and danced and celebrated yesterday morning. They sang ‘We are the Champions’ after their strength forced a panel of three senior judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, to overturn a judicial decision that their strike action was illegal. While the cabin...
Public sector trade union Unison, yesterday condemned the bosses’ organisation, the CBI, for calling for a two year public sector pay freeze. Unison warned that hitting public sector wages now would pull down demand for private sector goods, risking a double dip recession. Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said:...
THE CBI BOSSES organisation yesterday called for an immediate freeze in the public sector pay bill for two years and a ‘re-engineering’ (destruction) ‘of the public services to ‘help get the public finances under control’. It said that, after the private sector banking disaster, this pay freeze needs to...
‘WE CALL upon the British trade union movement to work with us in solidarity, to bring about an international investigation into war crimes against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka,’ Kumar Kumarendran, of the British Tamils Forum told News Line at Parliament Square on Tuesday. He was speaking at a...
RPI INFLATION soared by 5.3 per cent last month, indicating that a huge cut in workers’ wages and a major hike in the cost of living had taken place in April. The reaction of the Unison union to this 0.9 per cent rise was to warn local government bosses yesterday...
COMMENTING on yesterday’s decision in the High Court banning the BA cabin crew strikes, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘This is a desperately worrying judgement. A strike that clearly has majority support has been turned over on a tiny technicality. This – and other recent decisions – begin...
The University and College Union (UCU) on Monday warned that lifting the cap on tuition fees would be ‘the most regressive piece of education policy since the war’. Responding to calls from the Russell Group of universities for the cap on fees to be lifted and fees trebled, the...
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said yesterday that he was ‘desperately worried’ about the High Court decision to make the cabin crew strike at British Airways illegal. Barber said ‘fundamental freedoms’ were being eroded. Meanwhile, the PCS civil service union said the ban was the talk of delegates as they assembled...
The four five-day strikes by British Airways cabin crew were yesterday declared illegal by the High Court. The first set of strikes was due to commence at midnight last night. BA had moved to get the action called off on purely pedantic grounds, centring on an allegation that in no way...
YESTERDAY the RMT rail workers trade union warned that an all-out assault on workers’ rights was taking place as BA used the Network Rail v RMT ruling to try to get the judiciary to declare today’s BA cabin crew strikes illegal. Central to this assault is the new Tory-led coalition....
FRANK Field, the notorious Labour party right winger has joined the Tory coalition and is to be its ‘Poverty Tsar’, no doubt bringing back the hated means testing and work camps of the 1930s national government. That he must be expelled from the Labour Party without delay is obvious. However,...
CIVILIANS uprooted from Valikaamam in Vadamaraadchi 20 years ago by the occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA), who converted their lands into a High Security Zone (HSZ), have lost all hopes of return, reports TamilNet. This is despite repeated promises and announcements made by government ministers, officials and the Jaffna...
‘Free Palestine!’ shouted over 800 protesters at a Nakba (Catastrophe) Day demonstration opposite Downing Street on Saturday. The protestors insisted that Palestinian refugees must have the right to return. Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union chair Hugh Lanning was one of a delegation which handed in a letter to prime minister...
Birkenhead MP Frank Field yesterday became the first Labour right winger to defect to the Tory-led coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Field, who is an enthusiastic promoter of workfare cheap labour, has agreed to take on the role of the nation’s ‘Poverty Tsar’, prime minister Cameron revealed yesterday. Field is to...
THE Palestinian Presidency spokesperson, Nabil Abu-Rudaynah said yesterday, the decision of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on continuing settlement activity in East Jerusalem, proves that Israel continues to create obstacles to the peace process, and proves its lack of seriousness in moving towards peace. Abu-Rudaynah said that that these actions...