Solidarity 415, 7 September 2016

Organise to stop the purge!


Sacha Ismail

The Labour Party’s full-time office machine, much of it inherited from the Blair-Brown era, is running its own campaign to neutralise, indeed if possible to change, the Labour leadership contest.

Industrial news in brief


Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Campaigners have targeted Sports Direct ahead of the Annual General Meeting of the company due to be held on 7 September.

The company AGM will consider a trade union sponsored resolution which calls for an independent investigation into the use of zero-hours contracts in Sports Direct. Campaigners protested at Sports Direct stores in Grimsby, Manchester, Liverpool, Eastbourne and south London on Saturday 3 September holding banners reading #SportsDirectShame and ″stand with migrant workers″.

Doctors' strikes resume


Gerry Bates

Junior doctors are to strike on 5-7 October, 10-11 October, 14-18 November, and 5-9 December to stop the government imposing its new contract. The contract, says junior doctors’ committee chair Ellen McCourt, “discriminates against carers, parents, doctors with disabilities and women”; it “devalues our time” and undercuts the specialties with most difficulties. It is linked to the government’s drive for a so-called “seven-day NHS”, i.e. with routine as well as emergency activities at weekends.

For a national rail strike


Ollie Moore

Recent and ongoing disputes across several train companies represent the most significant levels of workers’ struggle in the railway industry for some time.


As Solidarity goes to press, guards in the RMT are preparing to strike again, on 7-8 September, to defend the safety-critical nature of their role, in a long-running dispute that has already seen several strikes.

Connolly and the Easter Rising


Michael Johnson

The final part of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.

Bring back industrial correspondents


Daniel Randall

“It is that time again — when bickering between Tube bosses and union kingpins bring the London Underground to a juddering halt, and the streets of the city resemble a termite mound that has been poked with a big stick.”

So began a BBC online article, by Ed Davey, which promised readers the “facts to know” about strikes on London Underground in the summer of 2015. These facts included such things as: “New York’s subway has run all night since it opened... in 1904”, and “Tube drivers are happy and wealthy, statistics suggest”.

Ernst Nolte and right-wing anti-Zionism


Micheál MacEoin

Right-wing German historian Ernst Nolte died on 18 August at the age of 93.

Nolte was born to a Catholic family in Witten, in western Germany, in 1923. He studied with phenomenologist philosopher and Nazi sympathiser Martin Heidegger, who would be a major influence. Nolte first came to prominence with his 1963 study Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche (Fascism in Its Epoch, which was translated into English two years later as The Three Faces of Fascism).

Changing attitudes, changing the world


Peter Tatchell

The 1967 Sexual Offences Act (which partially decriminalised sex between men in private) was a very partial limited reform but nevertheless progress all the same. However, many Labour MPs opposed that legislation and as far as I know no trade unions supported it.

Tax the billionaires!



The EU, after a long investigation, found on 30 August that Apple has evaded $13 billion (£10 billion) in taxes. That’s just Apple. The EU has also ordered Starbucks to pay €30 million to the Netherlands, and is likely to order Amazon to pay €400 million to Luxemburg.

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