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Monthly Archives: July 2013

CWU leaders and reps are meeting today and tomorrow at Logan Hall, London for a policy forum to discuss the CWU’s response to the government’s attack on pensions, and the threat to privatise Royal Mail. It is an understatement to say that this is a vitally important meeting. At stake is...
THE Palestinian Israeli ‘peace talks’, officially began on Monday but actually the process began on the Sunday in Ramallah when Palestinian police attacked protesters in Ramallah. Hundreds of protesters affiliated to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rallied in Ramallah on Sunday against the decision...
OUTSIDE the High Court in London yesterday, lawyer Richard Stein said: ‘We, along with the other lawyers acting on behalf of adults with disabilities, will appeal this latest judgement.’ Stein was explaining that the High Court had ruled that the government was acting lawfully in imposing its bedroom tax on...
WHAT the government is doing is depriving ordinary people of their legal rights,’ GMB member Ake Achi told News Line yesterday. He was speaking on a lively demonstration outside the Victory House, the Central London Employment Tribunals building in Kingsway, central London, called against the Coalition’s introduction of upfront £1,200...
FATMA RAMADAN member of the Executive Committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, issued the following statement last Friday on the eve of the Egyptian Army’s bloody crackdown on Mursi supporters. FATMA RAMADAN member of the Executive Committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, issued the...
A HUGE contract for health services, including end-of-life care in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is being put out to tender with privateers such as Virgin Care, Circle and Serco eager to grab the £1.1bn contract. Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, commented: ‘The scale and pace of NHS privatisation is ramping...
THE Coalition’s privately-run flagship ‘NHS 111’ service was thrown into disarray yesterday, when NHS Direct announced it is to pull out. NHS 111 is run by different organisations in each area, including private companies, ambulance trusts and NHS Direct – which ran the old telephone advice line. NHS Direct, which had...
AMERICAN Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) leaders have pledged to ‘continue the fight for Detroit and its workers.’ In Detroit last Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy court judge let stand an earlier state court ruling that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder violated the state constitution by filing for...
HUNDREDS of people are reported to have been killed in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities throughout Egypt, and thousands injured after the army leaders launched attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood, whose arrested leader Mursi, shortly after he was elected President one year ago, appointed Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as...
FOUR THOUSAND workers in Britain’s network of 371 Crown Post Offices are on strike today against the government’s policy of wholesale closures and in defence of jobs and pay. Today is the ninth full-day strike across the Crown Office network against Post Office plans to close and/or franchise 75 Crown...
JAPANESE Nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has just been re-elected and has immediately begun a drive to prepare for war against China and North Korea, arm-in-arm with the major ally of the Japanese capitalists, the United States, with whom it is embarking on a series of major military exercises...
COMMUNICATION Workers Union (CWU) reps from Royal Mail workplaces across the UK will meet next week to decide on actions to protect postal jobs and services, including whether to hold a national strike ballot of all Royal Mail workers. The two-day policy forum takes place at Logan Hall, Institute of...
THE use of depleted uranium in Iraq by the US and UK military has led to a huge increase in Leukemia and birth defects in the cities of Najaf, Fallujah and Basra, according to reports from the Norwegian government and a Dutch report. The city of Najaf saw one of...
PALESTINIAN President Mahmud Abbas has rejected Israeli proposals that Palestine be absorbed into Jordan as a confederacy as ‘out of the question’, while Fatah and Hamas oppose negotiations without the meeting of key conditions. Speaking in an interview with The Jordan Times and Al Rai, Abbas said the Palestinian people...
IN his speech to Unite leaders earlier in the week, the union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, effectively threw in the towel and capitulated to Ed Miliband’s plot to break the Labour Party completely from the trade union movement and turn it into nothing more than an open bourgeois party...
GMB members will hold a protest outside the Central London Employment Tribunals to coincide with the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees on Monday, 29th July. The protest will be held at 10.30am outside the tribunals office, Victory House, 30-34 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EX. Fees apply to all Employment Tribunal applications registered...
By Clare Sambrook WHAT to do with a 100 kg guard who fatally restrains a 40 kg boy? Promote him to health & safety manager, G4S children’s homes. Behind the corporate image at the company responsible for some of Britain’s most vulnerable children. One spring day nine years ago, 15-year-old Gareth...
GROWING demand on A&E departments will make them unsustainable if effective action is not taken quickly, according to MPs on the Health Committee. Launching a report following the Health Committee’s inquiry into emergency services and emergency care, the Tory Committee Chair Stephen Dorrell MP – a former health secretary from...
ADDRESSING a meeting of the Unite Executive Council and Regional Political Committees yesterday, General Secretary Len McCluskey made clear that he intends to surrender the block vote. McCluskey welcomed Labour leader Miliband’s proposals to ‘recast the trade union relationship with the Labour party’. Speaking at the TUC’s conference centre in...
EUROPEAN Union governments agreed on Monday to put the military wing of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah on the EU terror list in a major reversal of policy, driven by alleged concerns over the group’s activities in Europe. This was despite an appeal by the Lebanon presidency on Thursday when it...
THE US chief of staff, General Dempsey, has written an Open Letter to the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Carl Levin, about the five options that the military have drawn up for intervention into Syria. He has written them in a situation where the Assad regime has got the...
THE Labour Party is to hold a Special Conference in London in March next year in which the Miliband leadershipwill seek the abolition of the trade union block vote, breaking the power of the trade unions in the party. He wants to turn the party into another US-style Democratic Party...
LONG-AWAITED amendments to Bangladesh’s Labour Act passed by the parliament last week fail to protect workers’ rights to freedom of association, falling well short of international labour standards, says the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). LONG-AWAITED amendments to Bangladesh’s Labour Act passed by the parliament last week fail to protect...
IN her speech to the annual Tolpuddle Martyr’s rally held last Sunday, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady lambasted the coalition government over the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill being pushed through parliament in the wake of the outrage at the activities of David Cameron’s...
UBS is paying a 700 million Swiss francs ($745 million) fine to settle a case over its mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the US The US Federal Housing Finance Agency brought the case against UBS in 2011, saying the bank made misleading statements and...
A COMPLAINT has been filed with the government against telecoms company BT over its apparent facilitation of illegal, covert drone strikes carried out by the US. Reprieve reports that BT has contracted with the US government to supply key communications infrastructure between a US military base in the UK, and...
US SECRETARY of State John Kerry said on Friday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will meet in Washington within ‘the next week or so’ after an agreement on the basis to resume peace talks. The announcement came after he spent four days consulting the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships – and...
THE eruption of a mass movement in over 100 US cities condemning the clearing of George Zimmerman for the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin has shaken the Obama-led establishment. The brazen use of racist ‘stand your ground’ laws to allow the murder of a young black...
‘THE squeeze is on for nine million households’, says consumer organisation Which? The latest Which? Quarterly Consumer Report reveals that 1.5 million more families are feeling financially squeezed than a year ago. Which? found that ‘a third of families (34%), nine million households, are feeling squeezed, up from 7.5 million households...
OVER 1,500 workers, militants, trade-unionists and youth marched through the Athens city centre to the Vouli (Greek parliament) on Thursday evening against the visit to Athens of German Finance Minister Schaeuble. The march expressed the Greek working class’ anger and determination and it was a head-on challenge to the diktats...
US federal and local government workers union AFSCME President Lee Saunders has slammed Michigan Governor Snyder for ‘suspending democracy’ in Detroit and filing for the city’s bankruptcy. Saunders issued the following statement on Thursday: ‘Governor Snyder’s plan to suspend democracy, drive one of America’s largest cities into bankruptcy and...
DETROIT, once the motor car capital of the USA where hundreds of thousands of workers used to flock looking for good jobs in the Big Three car plants of Ford, GM and Chrysler, has become the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy, with debts of at least...
TORY-LIBDEM plans to ‘rank’ 11-year-olds were denounced as potentially the return of the hated 11-plus by the NASUWT on Wednesday, while they were also condemned by the other teacher and headteacher unions. Pupils aged 11 would be ranked in 10% ability bands and parents told where their children are placed. Announcing...

Greece On The Brink!

THE Greek working class has been pushed right to the brink of revolution this week with the passage of a bill in the Vouli (Greek Parliament) early on Thursday approving the sacking of 15,000 local government workers. By a narrow vote of 153-140, the 300-strong parliament approved these new measures...
SEVERAL thousand firefighters and supporters yesterday lobbied the London Fire Authority meeting in Southwark which was to vote on the London Fire Commissioner’s revised programme of cuts and closures. These include closing ten fire stations, reducing the number of fire engines (pumping appliances) by 14, and reducing the number of...
SOME 50,000 workers took part in two separated marches through the Athens city centre last Tuesday afternoon as part of the one-day general strike called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector workers’ federation) against a government Bill of mass sackings, closures, privatisations and tax hikes. The strike...
UK unemployment fell by 57,000 to 2.51 million in the three months to May, leaving the unemployed rate stuck at 7.8% in the UK, reports the Office for National Statistics. The number of jobless in Scotland, however, rose by 8,000, to 205,000, in the quarter between March and May. Unemployment also...
CROWN Post Office workers, all over the country walked out at 12.30pm sharp yesterday, in an effort to persuade the government to halt plans to close five post offices and franchise out another 71. They were also striking against loss of pay and pensions. Staff at Crown Post Offices have...
LEGAL proceedings have been issued in the High Court against the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) saying that the agency’s involvement in a ‘kill list’ of Afghan targets is unlawful. Proceedings are being brought by law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Habib Rahman who lost two of his...
UNEMPLOYED youngsters want to work, but a survey carried on behalf of the Univercity College Union (UCU) shows a third fear they never will. Nine in 10 ‘NEETs’ (Not in Employment, Education or Training) aspire to be in work, education or training but a third feel they have ‘no chance’...
CHANCELLOR George Osborne, the hammer of the poor, is so determined not to increase the taxes of the rich that he is about to further cut, by £6,000 – from £26,000 to £20,000 – the maximum amount families can claim in benefits in a year, according to Treasury officials. A...
ELEVEN NHS hospitals are being placed under special measures because of major failings, Health Secretary Hunt announced yesterday. Hunt said the trusts, among 14 investigated for allegedly high death rates, had problems so entrenched that tough action was needed. These tough actions include closure! North London Council of...
IRELAND’S largest nursing union, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has warned companies with agency nurses that they have no right to impose the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement on those nurses. In letters to three companies, INMO director of industrial relations Phil Ni Sheaghdha says she wants...
TODAY Tory health minister, Jeremy Hunt, is unveiling his plan to send ‘hit squads’ into ten NHS hospital trusts to carry out a witch-hunt against doctors and nursing staff. Using a report he commissioned from Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS’s medical director, into the alleged ‘failings’ in fourteen trusts, Hunt...
THE Benefits Cap came into force nationally yesterday, setting poor families and the unemployed as its main target, capping the total amount of benefits that couples and lone parents can receive at £500 a week, and imposing a £350 limit on single people. Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance,...