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Monthly Archives: January 2013

THE ITUC has condemned the Greek government’s use of wartime emergency powers to break a week-long strike by metro transit workers in the capital city of Athens. On 25 January, riot police moved in and forced workers back to work under the threat of arrest. This is the latest of a...
THE Care Quality Commission has put a cap on the number of people who can be admitted to the ‘Majors’ section of the A&E department at Queens Hospital Romford, in Essex. The coalition cuts have slashed the numbers of doctors and now the follow up is slashing the number of...
WITH petrol poised to rise to £7.40 a gallon, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has intervened to rub salt into the gaping wounds of motorists and millions of working class and middle class shoppers, the victims of ever-rising prices, and announced that the UK petrol market is working...
Scores of Iraqis were at the High Court in London yesterday demanding an Independent Public Inquiry into allegations that British interrogators abused, killed and tortured civilians in Iraq. Lawyers representing 192 Iraqis told the court that British troops carried out ‘terrifying acts of brutality’. As well as unlawful killings, there are...
BRITAIN is to send 350 troops to Mali to be deployed as ‘advisers’ and ‘trainers’, Defence Secretary Hammond told an anxious House of Commons in an Emergency Statement yesterday. Tory MP John Barron, who raised the ‘Urgent Question’, said that he opposed intervention and warned of ‘a host of grey...
GENERAL Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s army chief, whose force is paid for by the United States, has warned that the current political crisis ‘could lead to a collapse of the state’. His statement followed a huge military deployment in three cities along the Suez Canal where a state...
DAMASCUS, A blood donation campaign titled ‘A Drop of Blood from Damascus to Aleppo’ was organized in Damascus in appreciation of the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army reports the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). The participants in the campaign, comprising youths from the Palestinian Youth of Return Movement,...

Wild optimism at Davos

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, ended last Saturday. The four days of the forum had been characterised by a desperate optimism from the bankers and politicians who lined up to proclaim that the world crisis of capitalism was over. They...
‘AS I HAVE said from the beginning, the best way for this strike to end is with Local 1181, Mayor Bloomberg and the city’s bus companies in one room, talking candidly and in good faith,’ Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) president Michael Cordiello said in a statement on Friday. He added:...
five-hundred clerical and administration workers at three hospitals in West Yorkshire came out on strike on Sunday. They are striking for five-days against threats of pay cuts and the sack. The Unison members at Dewsbury Hospital, Pinderfields and Pontefract General Infirmary are fighting a management plan to sack 70 workers and...
MORE than 25,000 angry workers, trade unionists, youth and local residents marched through Lewisham in south-east London on Saturday, determined to stop the closure of the much-needed Lewisham Hospital. At the rally in Mountsfield Park at the end of the march there were huge cheers in response to calls...
THE Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has just warned that we are rapidly heading for a petrol price of £7.40 a gallon, a catastrophe that will see food prices rocket, as will the price of every commodity that is transported by road, along with putting thousands of small businesses over...
ONTARIO trade unionists and their families rallied in Toronto on Saturday to demand good jobs, public services, workers’ rights and the recall of the legislature. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) urged members and supporters to send an email to Ontario’s political parties demanding equality and democratic rights for everyone. The...
TEACHERS’ unions on Thursday slammed the latest publication of school league tables as part of a continuing attack on schools and teachers. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT union said: ‘Predictably, the publication of the tables has provided yet another opportunity for another round of denigration of schools and...
THE response of the Tory-LibDem government to the greatest ever crisis of the capitalist system has been to try to force the working class, the middle class and the youth to pay for this crisis. The government plans to save the bosses’ and bankers’ system by destroying the NHS...
THE London Fire Brigades Union banner will be on today’s mass march to stop the closure of Lewisham Hospital. Yesterday it was outside Ealing Hospital on the West London Council of Action’s picket, where it attracted huge support for the fight against the coalition government’s policy of hospital and...
AT lunchtime yesterday the Greek Development Minister K Khatzidakis announced that the three-party coalition government has decided to place the striking Athens Metro workers under the dictatorial ‘emergency powers’ legislation. This instructs workers back to work through court orders. The immediate reaction of the president of the SELMA Metro workers’ trade...
THE UK Foreign Office yesterday urged British nationals to leave Benghazi at once in response to ‘a specific and imminent threat’ to Westerners from Al Qaeda and its supporters. A notice on the Foreign Office website said: ‘Since September 2012, the Foreign Office has clearly advised against all travel to...
A STARK reminder of what the real face of privatisation means for the public services has been provided this week with the revelation that the private company which is paid vast sums to run the out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall, Serco, has instructed its staff to delay calling ambulances...
MPs and trade union leaders addressed a press conference at parliament on Wednesday organised by the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign. They demanded the release of documents that show the collusion of Tory cabinet ministers and the judiciary over the arrests and sentencing of leading strikers under conspiracy laws after the 1972...
AN attempt to stop a strike by lecturers in public universities continuing in Kenya failed on Monday, after a university employers organisation failed to turn up for an arbitration meeting. The Kenyan Labour ministry had called the meeting to try and break an impasse over payment of the first...
BANK of England Governor King is going into retirement a worried man – that his successor, the Canadian banker Carney in alliance with a badly rattled Osborne and Cameron, are going to opt for inflation and crashing the pound as a way to increase exports and further slash wages,...
DUBLIN – Niall Shanahan, Communications Officer of the Impact trade union, has blogged Irish workers that the repayment of Ireland’s bank debt ‘has already cost you 9,000 euros personally’. ‘It has cost all other EU citizens an average of 192 euros each,’ he continued. ‘Regardless of your level of interest in...
FILM-MAKER Ken Loach yesterday called on the trade unions to take strike action to force the release of government documents concerning the 1972-73 trial and jailing of the Shrewsbury pickets. Campaigners insist that there was a conspiracy between Tory cabinet ministers and the judiciary to jail the building workers...
‘OCCUPYING fire stations to stop their closure is a tactic that should be considered,’ David Williams West Yorkshire Brigade Secretary told News Line at the 500-strong lobby outside the Fire Brigades Headquarters in Union Street in Southwark, central London on Monday. Firefighters came from all over the country to join...
OBAMA began his second term on Monday, after four years of office which saw GM and other motor car giants go bust, Lehman Brothers collapse, and the US debt head for $17 trillion. His policy at home was to bail out US capitalism, rescuing the bankers and the bosses,...
ANY ‘Mayoral Directive’ issued by London mayor Johnson to force through savage cuts and closures in the London fire service will be fought ‘vigorously’, the FBU insisted yesterday. Johnson condemned Monday’s vote by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority not to agree to a consultation on fire station closures,...
‘THESE fire stations belong to the people of London and it’s the people of London who say that these buildings are ours and we are taking them over and not allowing them to close.’ This was the message delivered by Fire Brigades Union General Secretary Matt Wrack to over 500...
TORY prime minister David Cameron has promised that British imperialism is prepared to wage a war lasting decades throughout Africa and the Middle East – regardless of the cost in money or human life. Speaking on Sunday about the seizure of the Algerian gas plant by Islamist militants connected to...
THE latest State of Maternity Services report from the Royal College of Midwives shows the baby boom in UK continuing and maternity services at a ‘tipping point’, warning there is ‘No time for backsliding.’ Births in England are continuing to boom, with the proportion of births to the oldest women...
CHINA has condemned the latest comments made by the United States over the disputed Diaoyu Islands in which Hillary Clinton said that Japan is under US protection. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang rebuked Clinton saying: ‘We urge the US side to adopt a responsible attitude to the issue of...
A WAVE of protests against poor living and working conditions swept through the nation’s governorates last Monday. Residents of the villages around Kafr al-Sheikh blocked the highway to protest against continuous power outages. They left only after the mayor promised to resolve the problem. In Sharqiya, hundreds of workers of the...
‘WE will be telling the management and the Mayor of London tomorrow that the cuts are totally unacceptable,’ London Fire Brigades Union (FBU) South West Region Organiser Paul Neale told News Line yesterday. Speaking on the eve of today’s mass lobby of the London Fire Brigade HQ, Neale continued: ‘We...
THE government of Israel under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has advanced a ‘record’ number of settlements during its nearly four years in office, a report by the Peace Now watchdog said on Wednesday. The government’s actions ‘disclose a clear intention to use settlements to systematically undermine and render impossible a...
THE White House on Thursday issued a ‘Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom’. The record of the phone call read: ‘President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron spoke today as part of their regular consultations on global issues, including the ongoing hostage situation in...

Stop A&E Closures!

THE British Medical Association yesterday warned against mass A&E closures implicit in a review of emergency services being carried out Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS in England. A BMA spokesperson said: ‘The BMA is very clear that service changes should be evidence-based, clinically led in partnership...
UNITE has condemned the government’s plan to cap compensation for unfair dismissal. In a ministerial statement the government has announced plans to introduce a 12-month pay cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal. It has already increased the qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal from one to...
THE South African government must nationalise mines that Anglo American Platinum Ltd (Amplats) is laying idle, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has demanded. Workers at three of Amplats’ South African mines returned to work yesterday after walking out on strike on Wednesday after it announced it would...
WEDNESDAY’S announcement by the German central bank (Bundesbank) that it was going to physically repatriate its vast gold holdings from New York and Paris is nothing more than a clear statement that paper money is worthless and the capitalist world is in a currency crisis of historical proportions. The physical...

Class War In The NHS

2013 OPENS with Michael Farrar, the NHS confederation chairman, appealing for fewer hospitals and beds, and more care for elderly people in their own homes and the ‘community’, to make the health service financially ‘sustainable’. While hundreds of beds have been closed, thousands of nurses’ posts lost, and the...
ON Monday, President Obama addressed the prospect of the USA going bust saying: ‘So to even entertain the idea of this happening – of the United States of America not paying its bills – is irresponsible. It’s absurd. As the Speaker said two years ago, it would be –...
GARMENT workers on Monday (January 14) marched in Dhaka city demanding assurances for a safe workplace and trade union rights in the garment industry in Bangladesh. Over 100 garment workers, mostly women, took part in the march organised by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF). The workers,...
Two people were killed and 13 injured when a helicopter crashed into a crane on top of a tall building under construction in Vauxhall, central London at 8am yesterday morning. The pilot, named as Pete Barnes, was one of those who died. The other fatality was on the ground. Firefighters were...
Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation remained at 2.7% in December, according to figures released yesterday, despite electricity, gas and food prices soaring, and wages falling. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) claimed the CPI figure was ‘static’ at 2.7%, but admitted that the increase in the cost of basic needs...
BOTH US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Obama issued warnings to the Republican Party on Monday that, so dire is the world crisis, their refusal to play ball on extending the US state deficit will crash the US and world economy. Hours after Obama had pleaded with the Congress...