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Monthly Archives: January 2018

DISABLED people were thrown off benefits in their hundreds of thousands by private assessors Atos and then Capita, and left penniless to face eviction and starvation. Now, after the government was defeated in the High Court, some 220,000 disabled people will be compensated for their loss with two years’ worth...
THERE was a lively and colourful picket of The Village School in Kingsbury North West London yesterday morning, where 150 National Education Union (NEU) members are fighting academisation. The three-day strike continues today and tomorrow, with strikers picketing the special needs school from 7.30-9am each morning. Virtually every passing car...
THE EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, in a two minute report, has ordered the British ruling class to accept ‘all decisions’ of the EU during a two-year transitional period to begin on March 29 2019 and end on December 31,2020. He ordered that during this period the UK must continue...
IN THE same week that the Glencore Lockout reached its 200th day last Friday, the nearly 200 locked out workers defiantly rejected an attempt by the corporate management to ‘bully’ them into submission. Glencore has locked workers out of the Oaky North mine in Queensland, Australia for 200 days in...
PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas told the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on Sunday that resuming the peace efforts requires a multi-lateral mechanism under the umbrella of the United Nations. ‘We call on the African Union and its member states to have representatives in this mechanism...
EVERY school in the country must be immediately assessed for fire risk, the EIS teachers union urged, after an investigation found that Cairneyhill Primary School in Scotland, a large section of which burned to the ground last month, did not even have smoke alarms! After the horror of the...
THE collapse of the construction company Carillion has again thrown a spotlight on the systematic theft and looting of billions of pounds from workers’ pensions by the bosses. Two weeks ago, Carillion was forced into compulsory liquidation with debts of over £1.3 billion and a pension deficit of nearly £1...
THE EU crisis of the Tory party has really reached the point of no return when the US President, Donald Trump, is able to intervene and say that he would have handled things differently from PM May and would have been much tougher with the EU –...
HACKNEY school cleaners have hailed victory in a dispute over the failure to pay proper holiday rates. The settlement of the dispute at the six schools in the borough came after negotiations between Unite, the country’s largest union, and the cleaners’ employer OCS Group Ltd and their new employer, Kier,...
GREEK hospital workers and dockers went on a 24-hour national strike last Thursday against the government’s plans of wage cuts, ‘flexible’ labour contracts and the privatisation of the port of Thessaloniki in northern Greece. Public hospitals’ doctors are to go on a one-day national strike this Wednesday against the mass...
THERE is a desperate lack of nurses in the NHS. Currently, overloaded nurses are doing the job of three people, working 12-hour shifts in dreadful conditions where they cannot possibly provide patients with the care that they need. These are the main findings of the House of Commons’ Health...

PCS demands 5% pay rise

CIVIL servants’ union PCS has called for urgent talks with the Cabinet Office over its 2018 pay claim which calls for a fully-funded 5% pay rise, a Living Wage of £10 an hour, pay equality across the civil service and a common pay and grading structure. A decisive yes vote...
KURDISH authorities in Syria’s Afrin district have called on President Assad and the Syrian government to send troops to help defend them from a Turkish invasion that is attacking the country’s sovereignty. ‘We call on the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign obligations towards Afrin and protect its borders...
HOSPITALS are ‘running out of vital equipment’ while at the same time GP surgeries are running out of flu vaccines, it emerged yesterday as the NHS winter crisis escalates. Ventilators, pumps to administer drugs, oxygen cylinders, pressure-relieving mattresses and pillows are running low and of course there is a...
THE BIG lie of this minority Tory government is that British capitalism is thriving, its economy is in vigorous good health and that workers and young people have never had it so good. The NHS, public education and the entire welfare system may be collapsing but the one thing the...
24 NATIONS have agreed to push for sanctions against perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria with US Secretary of State Tillerson saying that Russia ultimately bears responsibility for such strikes. The twenty-four nations approved a new ‘partnership against impunity’ for the use of chemical weapons, just a day after reports...
PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas met on Tuesday with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and discussed with him the latest Palestinian and regional developments. Abbas, on an official visit to Brussels where he met European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and its foreign ministers on Monday, thanked Belgium for its support...
STUDENTS at University of Arts London (UAL) are in indefinite occupation of London College of Communications (LCC) in Southwark to oppose Elephant & Castle (E&C) ‘gentrification’. The occupation started on Tuesday night to protest against UAL’s partnership with the company the occupiers call ‘tax-avoiding offshore developer Delancey’ in a plan...
ON Monday, the Chief of the UK General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, said in his speech at the Royal United Services Institute, a speech that was approved by Tory Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, that hostilities could begin with Russia a lot sooner than the UK expects. In other words,...
WEST Midlands Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has written to Labour councillors and MPs ‘to raise our serious concerns over the treatment of firefighters within West Midlands Fire Service and to give voice to the firefighters concerned; sadly those voices are not currently being heard.’ The FBU’s letter continued: ‘The FBU...
ONLY three out of 160 social housing towers have been reclad since the Grenfell fire, over seven months ago, leaving tens of thousands of families in fear that when they sleep at night they may not wake up in the morning. 312 tower blocks were identified as fire traps,...
WILLIAM WHITE, the head of the OECD’s review body, warned before the Davos Summit on Monday that: ‘All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis.’ White’s message is that central bankers are holding a particularly ferocious tiger by the tail, with...
THE US ‘will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year’, US Vice-President Mike Pence said addressing the Israeli parliament (Knesset) yesterday. His announcement caused immediate uproar from Arab politicians. Some held up signs saying ‘Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.’ The Knesset guards then descended on the...
THIS week sees the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in the Swiss town of Davos, perched high in the Alps, ideally situated for a gathering of the world’s leading bosses, bankers, hedge fund owners, economists and politicians. As one journalist succinctly put it: ‘Davos is like a giant gated...
TEAMSTERS union leaders participated in the annual Martin Luther King Day march in Memphis last Monday. The Teamsters have a long history with Memphis sanitation workers, going back to the final days in the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who turned out in April 1968 to march...
SYRIA has ‘strongly condemned’ the ‘flagrant Turkish aggression’ on the city of Afrin, calling on the international community to take steps to stop it immediately. An official at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Saturday that the Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns the flagrant Turkish aggression on the city...
THE Syrian government has condemned the invasion of northern Syria by Turkish ground forces, cynically called ‘Operation Olive Branch’, an invasion that was preceded by an artillery and air bombardment of the area of Afrin that is still continuing. The Turkish troops are supporting thousands of Free Syrian Army fighters,...
HUNDREDS of thousands members of IG Metall union, Germany’s largest trade union, are engaged in short-term ‘warning strikes’ against 80 companies, for the right to take up to two years’ worth of 28-hour working weeks. This is a kind of ‘work-life-balance’ leave that has evolved out of the country’s existing...
YESTERDAY, PM Theresa May met with French President Macron in a UK-France Summit that was, however, no ordinary summit. Firstly, it took place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, an unusual place to hold a summit. Secondly, as the ‘2018 United Kingdom-France Summit Communique’, published by Downing Street confirms, ‘In...
THE UK government ‘needs to pay much more attention to establishing safe and regular routes for people to reach safety and their loved ones in the UK,’ said the Refugee Council. Commenting on May government plans to spend an extra £44.5m beefing up Channel border security, Dr Lisa Doyle, Director...

Tuc Joins Tory Taskforce!

THE TUC has joined the Tory government’s new National Taskforce on Carillion. In fact it had launched the call for May to form the taskforce. The TUC said on Thursday said it was ‘pleased that government has agreed to union calls for a national taskforce’. Millions of TUC trade union members...
PALESTINIAN President Mahmoud Abbas says the holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds can be the gate to either peace or war, and that it is up to the United States to decide which path to choose. Addressing al-Azhar International Conference on Jerusalem al-Quds in Cairo on Wednesday, Abbas denounced as...
THE HOUSE of Commons education committee has written to the Tory academies minister, Lord Agnew, expressing MPs’ concern about a ‘lack of transparency and accountability’ surrounding multi-academy trusts (MATs). What has stirred up even the Tory MP Robert Halfon who chairs this committee is the fact that schools who are...
‘THE game is up for PFI, it is a catastrophic waste of taxpayers’ money,’ the GMB union said yesterday responding to the National Audit Office (NAO) which showed that Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects will cost the public as much as £200 billion by the year 2045. The collapse of...
‘THE Ontario government must step in to protect hospital staff and the public in the Carillion bankruptcy,’ Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, demanded on Tuesday. ‘Seize the moment and protect patients and hospital staff by ending privatisation of contracted out hospital services following the complete collapse of private contractor...
‘IT’S A BROKEN system. As the ruins of Carillion lie around us, will the prime minister act to end the costly racket of the relationship between government and some of these companies?’ Labour leader Corbyn asked Prime Minister May in the House of Commons yesterday. May ignored the question responding:...
EXECUTIVE Committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Zakaria al-Agha, said on Wednesday that the United States freeze of $65 million in its ‘aid’ to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) aims at liquidating the Palestinian cause. Agha, who heads...
SEVEN Palestinian firefighters have come over from Hebron in the occupied West Bank to train with the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) of Scotland to enhance their skills and provide hands on experience in the latest firefighting techniques. The project is led by FBU Palestinian Support Unit Coordinator, Jim Malone. ‘The...
BRITAIN’S trade unions are calling on the Tories to set up a ‘national task force’ to protect UK firms and workers from the collapse of Carillion and the crisis of capitalism. The TUC is calling on the Tory government to take urgent action to protect workers at Carillion, and across...
THE LIQUIDATION of Carillion has created such a crisis in the NHS that 14 hospital Trusts have had to trigger their emergency ‘contingency plans’ and rush in extra staff in a desperate attempt to ensure vital cleaning, maintenance and catering services keep operating. Additional staff have been sent to six...
THE BOMBSHELL announcement yesterday morning that Carillion had gone into liquidation had immediate and devastating consequences for the 20,000 workers employed by the private company and the vast array of public services they provided. The 20,000 Carillion employees were urged by the government to ‘go in to work’ with...
20,000 jobs in the UK and a similar number of jobs abroad are under threat with the collapse of the giant construction company Carillion into compulsory liquidation with debts of over £1.5 billion. One analyst described this bankruptcy as a ‘Lehman Brothers’ event not only for the British construction industry...
IRAN’S President Hassan Rouhani says the administration of US President Donald Trump has failed in its attempts to kill the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, describing this as a ‘victory’ for the Iranian nation and the rule of law. Trump has left no stone unturned over the past year...
FORMER US officials say Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked the administration of former US President Barack Obama in late 2014 to consider a plan to offer Palestinian lands in the northern parts of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in exchange for annexing large swathes of the occupied West Bank. Speaking on...
THE GMB has claimed ‘another groundbreaking victory for members who have bogus self-employment claims in driving and logistics sectors’ against national logistics company UK Express for workers who deliver for Amazon. GMB brought claims asserting that like Uber, Hermes and other drivers, UK Express drivers (UKXD) are wrongly defined as...