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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Unilever Pensions Action

A rolling programme of strike action is set to hit corporate giant Unilever’s UK operations as workers step up action to defend their final salary pension scheme. Unite, the workers’ main union, yesterday announced strike action that will hit all the UK sites beginning at 06:59 on Wednesday 18 January,...
RUSSIAN Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev spoke on Thursday about the situation surrounding Iran and Syria, and the United States. He said: ‘The US would like to gain direct access to the resources and transportation facilities of the vast area of the Caucasus, the Caspian and Central Asia. There are...
‘Thank you everybody! Let’s save the NHS and kill this Bill!’ declared consultant Clive Peedell as he an David Wilson arrived to cheers outside the Department of Health in Whitehall yesterday afternoon. The two doctors were greeted by a crowd of some two hundred on the completion of their ‘Bevan’s...
LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has defended his party’s decision to support the government’s pay cuts for public sector workers, and to continue with Tory cuts if the party is re-elected to government. Miliband tried to say that the only way that jobs could be protected was to agree to wage...
THE EU is still reeling from Friday’s decision by Standard and Poor’s rating agency to downgrade France’s triple-A status, at the same time as it cut the credit rating of Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal by two notches, with Cyprus and Portugal given ‘Junk Status’, while Austria, Slovakia,...
RUSSIA said yesterday that it strongly disagreed with changes to its draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria made by the western imperialist powers. ‘Unfortunately, the West’s approach radically differs from ours,’ said Deputy Foreign Minister Gannady Gatilov. He added: ‘Judging by the contents of their proposed amendments, their goal...
The general strike in Nigeria entered its fifth day yesterday, as talks between President Goodluck Jonathan and trade union leaders failed to end the dispute over the axing of fuel subsidies. The oil union Pengassan said yesterday it would begin shutting down crude oil production on Sunday if there was...
The NASUWT union yesterday said it stands ready to take industrial action over ‘draconian’ measures announced by Education Secretary Gove to bully teachers out of their jobs. It was responding to the government’s ‘reforms of teacher performance management’. NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: ‘This is yet another depressingly predictable announcement...
FORTY thousand women are affected by the industrial-grade silicone breast implant scandal in Britain alone, and now recriminations are flying between the government, the manufacturers and the regulatory bodies over who will pay for the replacement surgery involved. Ninety-five per cent of the implants were inserted by private clinics, but...
THE Tory/LibDem coalition suffered three defeats on Wednesday; in the House of Lords over their plans to slash £1.6 billion from the benefits of the very sick and disabled. Lord Patel, a former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians, led the attack on the government describing the welfare bill...
Teachers union NASUWT on Wednesday slammed a report on military academies for ‘promoting National Service for the poor’. NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates condemned the report titled ‘Military Academies – Tacking Disadvantage, Improving Ethos and Outcomes and Revitalising our Armed Forces’, produced by the think tank, ResPublica. This calls for academies...
Over 92 per cent of respondents to a poll carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) think that it is appropriate to seek the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill, the RCGP revealed yesterday. When asked if the College should call for the bill to...
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS); will not prosecute an MI5 officer over the torture of UK resident Binyam Mohamed in Pakistan in 2002, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer announced yesterday. MI5 chief Jonathan Evans said he was ‘delighted’, praising the officer, known as Witness B, as being a ‘dedicated’...
Last Tuesday Unilever workers from all over the country descended on the London headquarters, outraged at the companies ending of their final salary pension scheme. Workers came down from Purfleet in Essex, from Gloucester, from Port Sunlight, and from Burton-upon-Trent which is north of Birmingham. After touring around central London in...

Defend Benefits!

A lively contingent of single mums, people with disabilities, unemployed youth and their supporters protested to the House of Lords yesterday, to demand the law makers oppose the Welfare Reform Bill, which they say will lead to poverty and even deaths. The Single Mothers Self- Defence organisation,...
LAST WEEK President Obama, speaking at the Pentagon, told the American people that he was going to open up a new front for the American ruling class, and that the US would become much more of an Asia Pacific power, with China and Iran very much in its sights. The...
The daily picket of Chase Farm Hospital to stop its closure kicked off last Monday with an extremely lively mass picket. From the moment the North East London Council of Action set up the picket at 7.00am, passing motorists beeped their horns in support and the they didn’t stop until...
THE GENERAL strike in Nigeria over the removal of gasoline subsidies, now in its third day, has shut down most shops and businesses, cut oil production and cocoa exports and is gaining in strength. Gasoline prices more than doubled after President Jonathan abolished 1.2 trillion naira ($7.4 billion) of subsidies on...
‘BUT my argument starts by recognising that tough times will continue,’ said Labour leader Miliband yesterday on his policy for dealing with the crisis. He continued to show that this meant that Labour will be matching the Tories cut for cut, with the only difference being a fake argument about...

Defend Unilever Pensions

Unilever workers from all over the country yesterday descended on the London headquarters, outraged at the company’s ending of their final salary pension scheme. They began the day touring central London in a battle bus, then had a march round to the front of the Unilever building where they organised...
PRISONER and Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi has emphasised the need to accelerate the reform and development of the PLO; to hold the National Council elections in which all factions participate; to hold presidential and legislative elections in an atmosphere of unity, cohesion and solidarity; to reject internal violence and...
THE BOURGEOIS financial markets opened yesterday to the unprecedented news that Germany has sold 3.9 billion euros of debt at a negative rate of interest. What this means is that international banks and investors have bought this debt, which is repayable in six months time, at a rate of interest...
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trades Union Congress (TUC) and civil society groups yesterday shut down the entire country at the beginning of an indefinite general strike. There was massive support for the strike, called following the failure of the Federal Government to restore the fuel subsidy and...

Chase Farm Daily Picket

MONDAY’S launch of the daily picket of Chase Farm Hospital, in preparation to occupy the departments threatened with closure, was a roaring success. The mass picket was called by the North East London Council of Action and joined by student nurses, hospital staff, local residents and school youth all...
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday called on workers and the rural poor to be ‘prepared for a fight to the finish’. This came as the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) intensified their preparations for today’s mass rally to launch an indefinite general strike against the removal of...
CHINA’S state media have responded to Barak Obama’s Pentagon announcement that the US is turning its back on the North Atlantic, and therefore the NATO strategy of the previous 60 years, in order to concentrate its ‘focus’ on the Asia-Pacific region. This turn is to specifically confront China and...
Last Friday over five hundred Nigerian students and workers picketed their London embassy, furious at the Nigerian government’s removal of a fuel subsidy. The fuel subsidy, which allowed Nigerian people to buy cheap fuel, is considered the only benefit that the people get from the oil-rich nation. They absolutely rely on...
An ICEM global union federation report has found that the rights of workers in the cement industries of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and India are being routinely violated through the use of precarious forms of employment. In many of the plants covered by the research, contract and agency labour...
The National Executive of the teacher’s union NASUWT, yesterday refused to sign up to the government’s ‘Heads of Agreement’ pensions plan. The NEC had met to consider the DfE ‘final offer’ for the reform of the teachers’ pension scheme which was presented to teacher unions on 20 December 2011. The National...
THE Tory Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, declared the UK’s readiness to go to war with Iran last Thursday when he threatened that UK and US forces would take military action to stop the Iranians closing the Strait of Hormuz to shipping. The Strait is a narrow four-mile stretch of water...
NIGERIA’S bourgeois government has pledged to the IMF and World Bank that it will push ahead and end oil fuel subsidies regardless of the opposition. Nigeria is to remain a paradise for the capitalist world’s oil giants and the Nigerian bourgeois leadership that serves as their servants. They enjoy the super...
FATAH and Hamas are close to resolving the issues of political detainees and passports for Gaza residents, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath said Wednesday. Shaath met with Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar in Gaza City on Tuesday to discuss implementation of a reconciliation deal signed in May to end years of...
The Greek Prime Minister Lukas Papademos told the trade union leaders of the GSEE (Greek TUC) last Wednesday that wages and all national or sectional labour agreements are ‘on the line’ as Greece faces a ‘disorderly default in March’. Papademos demanded that the minimum wage must be scrapped and that...
Nigeria’s main trade unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trades Union Congress (TUC), have declared mass backing for an indefinite general strike and mass demonstrations from Monday unless the removal of a fuel subsidy is reversed. Last Sunday’s withdrawal led to petrol prices more than doubling overnight. There has already...
IRAN threatened on Tuesday to take action if the US Navy moves an aircraft carrier back into the Gulf. This is Tehran’s most aggressive statement yet, as new US and EU financial sanctions begin to take a toll on its economy. The prospect of sanctions targeting the oil sector in...
GREECE will either lower its standard of living, or it will exit the euro and turn decades back.’ This was the message from the chairman of the Association of Greek Banks and president of the National Bank of Greece Vassilis Rapanos in his New Year address to the Athens...
THE Tory-led coalition has got working class and middle class families with young children in its sights for savage cuts as it seeks to slash the massive state deficit in 2012 in order to save capitalism, and its bankrupt bankers and bosses. Families with children will be...
The ‘close relationship’ between the Metropolitan Police and the media has caused ‘serious harm’, says a report by Dame Elizabeth Filkin. A former Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Filkin, was named last year as head of an inquiry to advise on cleaning up the relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the...
Anti-capitalist occupiers camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday made it crystal clear that not only are they determined to stay indefinitely but will also come down to participate in the occupation of Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield to stop its closure. On the January 9th the North East London Council...
LABOUR'S Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne yesterday attacked the Welfare State and those claiming benefits. Byrne’s piece, printed in the Guardian newspaper, attacks the Welfare system as a whole, saying that it has betrayed its founding principles and that the system has ‘skewed social behaviour’. In what...
THE Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne, yesterday joined hands with Cameron and Osborne with his declaration in the Guardian newspaper that Beveridge, who envisaged the Welfare State, ‘would have been appalled at the spiralling cost of benefits’ and that the reformer considered that ‘ “idleness” was an...
THE Tory/LibDem coalition cuts to housing benefit come into effect today with devastating consequences for all unemployed or low paid workers who rely on benefits to keep a roof over their heads and the heads of their families. The changes to the housing benefit scheme involve capping the amount payable...
IN 2011 medical shortages in the Gaza Strip reached their highest levels, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry said on Saturday. Ashraf al-Qidra said that medics in the besieged coastal enclave had to cope with shortages of medicine and medical equipment on a daily basis, affecting over one-third...
THE Nigerian trade unions have called for a mass mobilisation of ‘strikes, street demonstrations and mass protests across the country’ in response to the Nigerian government’s withdrawal of a fuel price subsidy. The president of the union has said that the removal of the subsidy amounts to a...
THE British Retail Consortium warned yesterday that after zero growth in 2011 and a disappointing Christmas, the new year is seeing a spate of retailers going into administration, forcing a lot of people, particularly under 24-year-olds, into unemployment. Sarah Cordey, a spokesperson from the British Retail Consortium, told News Line:...