Home 2014 February

Monthly Archives: February 2014

THE full effects of the coalition’s bedroom tax, which was introduced last April, have been highlighted in two reports published on Wednesday and revealed to be as callous and barbaric as predicted. The tax, which affects housing benefit claimants living in social housing, inflicts a hefty financial penalty of, on...
EALING Hospital porters, domestic, catering and help desk workers held their second 12-hour strike yesterday. More than 100 GMB members employed by the privateer Medirest at the west London hospital are demanding a living wage, sick pay, enhanced annual leave and no two-tier wage structure. Strike leader and GMB rep Bhim...
HOMELESS charity Shelter has denounced the ‘staggering’ amount of families who are being forcibly evicted from their homes, the highest since records began. Figures released yesterday from the Ministry of Justice have revealed that some 37,739 tenants have had their homes repossessed by court bailiffs in 2013, forcing entire families...
ALMOST 200 Nepalese men died last year working on construction projects in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says up to 4,000 could die by 2022 if current laws persist. After the international outcry at the appalling way that the workers were treated, organisers of...
BANK of England governor Carney has dumped his forward guidance policy under which interest rates would rise once the UK unemployment rate had been reduced to 7%. Yesterday the governor said the Bank would look at a much wider range of economic indicators, rather than the rate of unemployment, when...
MORE than 100 Ealing Hospital porters, domestic, catering and help desk workers took their first day of strike action from 6am-6pm yesterday and are holding their second day today. The GMB members voted by a massive 98% majority for strike action against the privateer Medirest, in support of their claim...
THE flood-hit South West of England needs a joined up, five year reconstruction and development plan to rebuild the economic, transport and social fabric, Unite, said yesterday. Unite regional secretary for the south-west, Laurence Faircloth, said the resurrection of the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), abolished by...
THE class war has erupted in Bosnia with a vengeance as youth and workers rise up in action, uniting all religions and nationalities in a war against mass unemployment of over 42% and a much higher 63% youth unemployment rate. Workers in Tuzla are fighting against privatisation while angry workers,...
TEACHERS’ unions on Monday rejected Labour leader Ed Miliband’s proposal for parent-run schools. They were commenting on his Hugo Young lecture where Miliband set out Labour’s plans for education. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: ‘While we agree that schools need to be...
BARCLAYS bank yesterday announced plans to sack 12,000 bank workers and in the very same breath announced whopping bonuses for its top bankers. The fresh round of job cuts comes on top of 7,650 jobs which the bank slashed last year. The TUC slammed the ‘scandalous’ situation where the financial...

Tube Strike Suspended

0
THE 48-hour London Underground strike was suspended yesterday afternoon by both unions, the TSSA and RMT. The strike, due to start last night at 9pm, was over plans to close every single ticket office and sack 960 staff. London Underground said it had proposed two months of intensive talks...
GREEK health centre workers and doctors, on indefinite strike for over a month, demonstrated once again last Thursday in Athens against a government Bill that shuts down all health centres. Under the Bill, all 10,000 workers and doctors are to be sacked. Health centres will be replaced by a new...
HUNDREDS of houses have been flooded across the country over these last months, and angry residents are demanding to know why nothing has been done to protect their homes. Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place in Berkshire and Surrey, while two remain in Somerset with more heavy rain forecast....
RETURN to 1950s-style credit controls or face a credit-fuelled global collapse, was the stark warning given by the former stock market regulator, Jonathan Turner yesterday. Turner, giving a lecture in Frankfurt, said that he believed that current reforms are inadequate and that a reliance on ultralow interests rates, quantitative easing...
GARMENT factory workers in Bangladesh who try to start trade unions are being intimidated and threatened with murder to stop their efforts to organise, a human rights watchdog says. Human Rights Watch said conditions remain bleak for many workers in Bangladesh’s 5,000 garment factories, nearly a year after the Rana...
HARD-LINE Tory immigration minister Mark Harper has just resigned after he admitted that he was employing a cleaner who was not legally entitled to be in the UK. He is the political leader responsible for the ‘Hate Vans’ that have been seen on the streets of the UK. These vans carry...
Teachers, parents and pupils are lobbying a full Cabinet meeting of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which starts at 6pm tomorrow at Hammersmith Town Hall, west London. They are fighting the planned closure of Sulivan Primary School in Fulham. Sulivan School deputy chair of governors Peter Craig told News Line: ‘The Special...

Tribunal Fees Challenge

0
UNISON public sector union has pledged to ‘fight on’ in the face of the High Court ruling rejecting Unison’s challenge to the government’s decision to introduce employment tribunal and employment appeal tribunal fees. The High Court appeared to accept all the union’s arguments about the likely impact of the...
PICKETS were out in force at universities across the UK during Thursday’s one-day strike by University and College Union (UCU), Unison, Unite and Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) members, in an increasingly bitter row over pay. Staff were on picket lines from early morning, despite wintry weather in some parts...
A BALLOT of CWU members announced this week showed a vote of 94% in favour of a ‘legally binding contract’ between the leadership of the union and Royal Mail. CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward welcomed the deal as ‘ground-breaking’, claiming the union had ‘achieved extensive and unprecedented legally binding...
THE German Constitutional Court has shaken the European Union with its statement yesterday that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) bond-buying scheme could be ‘incompatible’ with EU law. When he announced the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme, ECB President Mario Draghi said he was saving the euro and would do ‘whatever...

NUT to strike on March 26

0
THE National Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday announced a national strike across England and Wales on Wednesday 26 March. The NUT said the strike is ‘in pursuit of the disputes that (education secretary) Michael Gove has caused with the profession around pay, pensions and conditions. ‘In the run-up to the strike...
PEOPLE of Aleppo on Tuesday marched through the streets of the city to show their support to the Syrian Arab Army which confronts terrorism and defends their homeland. Participants in the march raised national flags and photos of President Bashar al-Assad, chanting national slogans in appreciation of the heroism of...
FINANCIAL pressures could get in the way of the drive to improve care following the Stafford Hospital scandal, experts said yesterday, confirming the obvious, that the £20bn cuts in the NHS currently taking place have had a massive impact on both staff and patients, hitting both hard. Figures released last...
THE University and College Union (UCU) yesterday morning reported strong support by staff from four unions for the one-day strike action in universities across the UK. UCU members took action along with their colleagues in Unison, Unite and the EIS in an increasingly bitter row over pay. Staff were on picket...
A former British Army officer has denied that he or his troops were ‘deliberately uncooperative’ with the Al-Sweady investigation into allegations of systematic torture and murder by British troops in Iraq. Appearing before the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry on Monday, Matthew Maer claimed that he did not order the destruction of...
THE RMT began the first of its two 48-hour strikes on Tuesday night against the plan of London Mayor Boris Johnson to close all London underground ticket offices and slash hundreds of jobs. Its powerful action stopped London and showed once again the enormous power that the organised working class...
‘ROCK SOLID,’ said RMT leader Bob Crow about yesterday’s and today’s 48-hour strike by London Underground RMT and TSSA members. Thousands of Tube drivers and station staff are on strike against the cutting of the jobs of 1,000 station staff and the closure of all of the network’s ticket offices. RMT...

Uni staff all out today

0
STAFF in UK universities are out on strike today for a full day in opposition to an ‘insulting’ 1% pay rise offer. The UCU, Unison, Unite and Scottish teachers union EIS will be taking part in the joint action. Sally Hunt UCU General Secretary speaking ahead of the strike said: ‘Last...
THE super-rich energy companies were yesterday accused by MPs of all parties of ‘ripping off’ the poorest people in the country who cannot afford to pay their considerable energy bills by direct debit. The scope of the energy robbery scandal is revealed by Government figures that show that...
THE Student Assembly Against Austerity’s National Week of Action to stop the sale of student loans to private companies is well under way. At least 50 campuses are taking part in the national week of action, which will see the biggest wave of opposition to the government’s plans to sell...
STAFF in UK universities are preparing to walk out for their third one-day strike tomorrow as part of a worsening pay dispute. On the eve of the strike, analysis of the most recent international figures on pay, compiled by Deloitte, show that UK lecturers earn significantly less than their counterparts...
A UN human rights committee report on UK social housing conditions has urged the ‘immediate suspension’ of the bedroom tax in the UK. The bedroom tax ‘impacts on the right to adequate housing and general wellbeing of many vulnerable individuals and households’ says the report. The report was drawn up...
SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor has said his union is engaged in a major push for pay increases across the private sector to recover ground temporarily lost during the crisis years. Speaking at the annual Jim Larkin commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, on Sunday, (February 2nd) he added that there...
THE Tory education minister, Michael Gove, has unleashed yet another broadside against state education and the teaching profession in a speech on Monday where he called for state schools to become ‘indistinguishable from their fee-paying counterparts’. Gove’s plans to achieve this includes the imposition of a ten hour working day...

Tube Strike Tonight!

0
TUBE workers are walking out on the first of two 48-hour strikes tonight over plans to close all 278 of the capital’s Underground ticket offices with the loss of almost 1,000 jobs. ‘Tomorrow’s Tube strike is still on’, a spokesman for the TSSA union told News Line yesterday. He confirmed that...
HUNDREDS of Syrians gathered on Friday morning in front of the UN’s Headquarters in Geneva to express their support for their country, Syria, its army and Syria’s official delegation to Geneva 2 conference. They expressed their rejection of the terrorism backed by regional and international countries. The Syrian citizens raised national...
THE kind of party that Labour Party leader Miliband wants will be no different from the US Democratic Party, if he is allowed to have his way. The US party leans on the US trade unions, takes millions of dollars off of them in donations, but leaves them powerless as...
UK NEWSPAPERS have warned that if a government bill authorising police to seize journalists’ notebooks, photos and digital files is passed today, it could seriously endanger press freedom in this country. Currently, requests for reporters’ notebooks and files must be made in open court, and representatives of news organisations are...
TRADE union leaders were silent on proposing any action on Thursday despite a vote taken in the House of Lords on Tuesday being a significant step in the government’s challenge to the democratic rights of UK citizens. The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill is intent...
AFTER all the fake sound and fury of parliamentary question time, with party leaders locked in apparent combat without quarter given or asked for, the real situation emerged on Thursday when Labour twice acted to save the Cameron government from defeat. MPs voted to reject a bid by nearly 100...
ANALYSIS by the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that ‘real median household income in 2013–14 is more than 6% lower than before the economic crisis hit in 2007–08’. The IFS says that government claims that better-off households have seen bigger proportionate real falls in income than poorer households stands good...
THE ‘Delta’ mobile Greek riot police units arrested 47 protesting students last Thursday outside the private office of the Merchant Marine Minister M Varvitsiotis in Athens. They were protesting over the Farmakonisi Aegean sea island refugee drownings on the night of 19 January. Later, students staged a picket outside Athens...