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Monthly Archives: December 2014

THE News Line editorial board sends its revolutionary greetings, as we enter the new year of 2015, to the working people of the world. We salute especially the heroes of 2014. Among them are the workers of eastern Ukraine, of Donetsk and Lugansk who have been resisting the NATO-backed coupist regime...
THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has issued a response to the South African Communist Party (SACP) November 2014 Augmented Central Committee. The following are extracts from the NUMSA statement: ‘The Augmented Central Committee of the SACP, held on 28-30 November 2014, issued a statement titled “Expose...
THE RMT is demanding action after Better Capital has confirmed that it expects its £20 million investment back while City Link staff and sub-contractors face the sack and ruin. Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said in a statement yesterday: ‘While RMT continues to fight for justice for the City Link...
PATHOLOGY staff struck for 24 hours yesterday, at King’s, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospitals in a determined struggle against venture capitalist encroachment in the NHS. Nicola Ajaj said outside King’s College Hospital, where pathology staff manned a lively picket line: ‘From the 1st of January we have to go over...
COSATU leader Zwelinzima Vavi has written an open letter to the South African Communist Party (SACP) expressing his concerns over the party’s right wing policies. Vavi begins: ‘Dear comrades ‘After reading Comrade Jeremy Cronin’s public response to my address on 21 November 2014 at the ceremony to mark the 40 years...
YESTERDAY''S Greek presidential vote heralds the start of a fresh eurozone crisis that threatens to bring down the Eurozone and with it the whole of European capitalism. This was the third vote in the parliament to approve as president Stavros Dimas – nominated by the right-wing Prime Minister (Antonis Samaras)...
THE Office of Rail Regulation is to launch an investigation into the ‘major disruption to passengers’ caused by ‘overrunning engineering work’ in London over Christmas. In fact the privatised rail system was brought to a standstill by the rail short-cut ‘savings’ imposed by its owners! Kings Cross and Paddington stations...
PALESTINIANS around the world on Saturday commemorated the sixth anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 that left more than 1,400 dead. This year’s commemorations take place in the shadow of another Israeli offensive over summer – the third major assault in six...
THE Tory-led coalition is deliberately using Universal Credit to worsen the plight of poor families. A new report shows that millions of lower income working families will find it harder to keep up with the cost of living because of changes to Universal Credit (UC). Published on Boxing Day by the...

Pathology Staff Strike

PATHOLOGY staff at King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals are today striking against privatisation at all three hospitals between 9am and 5pm. Pathology staff were balloted for strike action over the looming transfer threat to Serco-linked private healthcare firm Viapath. Their union, Unite, warned that the transfer of more...
MASS demonstrations continued in Haiti on Xmas eve demanding the resignation of President Michel Martelly and that elections be held. The Haitian parliament’s mandate runs out on January 12, which will leave Martelly ruling by decree. There has been a nationwide uprising against the regime of Martelly and his Prime Minister...
THE Christmas Day announcement that parcel delivery firm City Link had gone into administration was ‘disgraceful’, the RMT said yesterday. Its general secretary Mick Cash added it was ‘shocking’ to have ‘sprung this announcement once all the Christmas deliveries have been completed’. The Coventry-based firm, which employs 2,727 staff, made...
THE Greek coalition government has once again failed in a parliamentary vote to elect its candidate Stavros Dimas as the new President of the Greek Republic. Just 168 deputies voted for Dimas well short of the required 200. Dimas got the support of the 155 government deputies, plus 11 independent...
RMT general secretary Mick Cash yesterday condemned as ‘disgraceful’ the Christmas Day sackings of 2,727 City Link workers. The announcement said that parcel delivery firm City Link had gone into administration. The Coventry-based firm made the move after ‘substantial losses’ and warned of ‘substantial redundancies’ in the coming days. The RMT...
NINE human rights NGOs (non-governmental organisations), including Reprieve, are urging prime minister Cameron to honour his 2010 promise of an independent, judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in the US torture programme. In a letter sent to Downing Street on 16 December, the organisations argue that ‘last week’s publication of the...
ELDERLY and vulnerable people are receiving just 15 minutes of care during homecare visits because of savage 40% council budget cuts, Unison warned yesterday. Unison warned that this ‘scandalous’ situation is getting worse, putting unfair pressures on homecare workers resulting in dangerously low levels of care. Essential tasks like administering medication,...
SAUDI Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, has said the oil producers’ cartel, Opec, will not cut production even if the price falls to $20 a barrel. His comments reinforce Opec’s recent policy shift away from its long time policy of restricting output to keep prices up. In November, Opec said...

Poor being hit hardest!

BRITAIN’s Tax system ‘hits the poorest families hardest’. They are paying a staggering 47 per cent of their gross income in taxes, the TaxPayers Alliance said yesterday. New analysis by the group suggests that Britain’s tax system is neither progressive nor balanced across different income groups. The TaxPayers’ Alliance analysis shows...
ACCORDING to research published by the TUC on Monday, over 250,000 people will be spending their second successive Christmas on the dole. Even this figure does not tell the whole truth about long-term unemployment as this figure of 250,000 only refers to those claiming job seekers allowance. Using the more accurate...
FRENCH trade unions called on Amazon workers to go on strike on Monday, 22 December, less than four days to go before Christmas. Strike action could seriously impact deliveries of last minute presents. France has seen a surge in orders because of strikes in neighbouring Germany. From Monday, workers at...
FATAH Central Committee Member Muhammad al-Alul has said that the Palestinian leadership is currently working on developing the popular resistance against the Israeli occupation within the framework of a Palestinian national strategy. This strategy, he said, will be in harmony with the creative activities of the popular resistance and will...
DOCTORS’, nurses’, ambulance staff leaders and Labour yesterday slammed plans to more than double target times for ambulances to reach some seriously ill patients. A leaked document drawn up by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and dated 16 December and approved by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, includes plans...
THE PCS TRADE UNION last Saturday issued a statement to its members announcing that it was the victim of a government plot to destroy it, and that its very existence was at stake (see page3). Following many thousands of redundancies it is selling its Clapham Junction head office, sacking full...
THE cuts to local government funding will ‘push councils to breaking point’ according to council leaders. On Thursday the Tory Communities and Local Government minister, Kris Hopkins, announced a package of cuts for 2015-16 which he described as ‘fair’ but which has got even the normally loyal councils in the Tory shires...

NHS New Year’s Strike!

AMBULANCE workers are to strike for 48 hours on January 29th 2015, across the whole of England and northern Ireland as their pay dispute escalates. Health workers will be joining the action for 12 hours from the same date. GMB, the union which represents ambulance workers said: ‘Further stoppages across the...

Justice for Jimmy Mubenga!

A DEMONSTRATION of over two hundred people took place on Thursday evening outside the Home Office to protest against the ‘not-guilty’ verdict for the G4S guards over the trial for Jimmy Mubenga. Three G4S guards were cleared of killing Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him on a plane with...
THE PLO on Wednesday presented a draft UN resolution laying out terms for a final peace deal with Israel but sought to avoid a clash with the United States by saying they were open to negotiations on the text. The draft resolution sets a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations...
US President Obama has not yet signed a bill clearing the way for more economic sanctions against Russia. The US State Department confirmed that Jen Psaki mis-spoke during her latest White House press briefing. The bill was expected to be signed ‘by the end of the week,’ according...
THE Greek coalition government’s presidential candidate right-winger Stavros Dimas received the votes of just 160 parliamentary deputies last Wednesday night in the first round of the elections for the Head of the Greek Republic. To be elected, Dimas needed 200 votes. This was a humiliating defeat for the government of...
TANSY Hoskins, the author of Anti-Capitalist Fashion, addressed the UNI International Union World Congress world Congress in Cape Town on December 7. She said: ‘When we talk about Rana Plaza we talk about the 1,138 people, mostly young women, that were killed. ‘But when you go to...
THE European Court ruled yesterday that Hamas be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, a huge gain for the Palestinian people, after Hamas’ leadership of the battle for Gaza, in which the Israelis were fought to a standstill over the 51 days of their invasion. It’s a shame...
NATIONAL Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has released the declaration from the Preparatory Assembly convened to discuss the forming of a mass South African ‘United Front’. The assembly which took place from the 13-15 of December in Johannesburg was attended by 350 delegates from around the country representing...
LAMBETH College UCU strikers held a lively picket and rally yesterday, on the last strike day of 2014 and stressed their determination to carry on their fight in the New Year. Mandy Brown, UCU Branch Secretary, addressing the rally, said: ‘This is the last day of the last week...

Al Sweedy witchhunt!

DEFENCE Minister Fallon yesterday announced that there would be an investigation into solicitors who represented Iraqi complainants at the Al Sweedy inquiry. He made his threat after the inquiry found that British solders were not guilty of the murder and torture of Iraqis. Public Interest Lawyers responded that the inquiry...
ZERO-HOURS workers earn nearly £300 a week less, on average, than permanent employees, according to a new report published on Monday to mark the beginning of the TUC’s Decent Jobs Week. The Decent Jobs Deficit: The Human Cost of Zero-Hours Working and Casual Labour shows that average weekly earnings for...
THE government’s plans to make firefighters in England work until they are 60 and to increase their pension contributions was backed by MPs, 313 votes to 261, in a vote in parliament early on Monday evening. The controversial policy, which has been met with fierce opposition from both firefighters and...
PROPOSALS for English Laws for an English parliament were set out yesterday by Tory cabinet member William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons. He told Parliament: ‘The Prime Minister said that a new fair settlement to Scotland, must be accompanied by an equivalent settlement for all parts of...

Russia Under Attack!

RUSSIA IS UNDER FULL SCALE ATTACK with oil prices now down to $60 a barrel and the Saudis and the Gulf states saying that they will not act to correct the fall until the oil price reaches $40 a barrel. At the same time US organised sanctions are targeting the...
HOSPITALS and fire services will be run ‘outside the public sector’ Francis Maude, Tory Cabinet Office minister revealed yesterday, speaking to the Daily Telegraph. Firefighters were immediately up in arms at the announcement, which would mean the wholesale privatisation of their service. Maude said that services would be handed over to...
AFTER years of promising that the NHS is ‘safe in our hands’ accompanied by pledges that budgets would be protected with a ring fence from austerity cuts, a very senior Tory cabinet minister has finally let the cat out of the bag. A future Tory government will privatise every hospital,...
US SECRETARY of State John Kerry left early Sunday for a series of meetings in Europe seeking to head off an end-of-year UN showdown over a Palestinian bid for statehood. His first stop was to be Rome where he will meet separately with both Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov...
FOLLOWING Russian-Indian talks on 11 December 2014 in New Delhi, President Putin made the following statement. ‘Mr Prime Minister has mentioned that in 2000 he was part of an Indian delegation to Russia. ‘I would like to note that this was the first time we met, and I am very...
WITHOUT any vote in the House of Commons hundreds of British troops are to be sent to Iraq, which is already being bombed by British jets and where the SAS has been reported to be engaged in armed actions against ISIS forces. This decision comes just after the UK has...
THE House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee is to request that the US hands over any material documenting the UK’s role in the CIA’s torture programme. The MPs are conducting an inquiry into the treatment of detainees by British intelligence agencies in the decade following 9/11. Committee chairmman, Tory MP...
PLANS to shut nearly every Walsall youth centre will leave thousands of the town’s young people with nowhere to go, Unite has warned in a letter to the top chief. Unite, which represents the council’s youth workers, has written to the leader of the council, Sean Coughlan urging him to...