Solidarity 563, 16 September 2020

Tim Hales: a tribute

On Sunday 6 September my good friend and comrade Tim Hales passed away several months after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Tim will be known to many readers of Solidarity for the colourful and vibrant cartoons he produced regularly for the paper over recent years. He had been an art teacher since the 1980s, first in Barnsley and then Leeds, and was able to devote more time to his own artwork after retirement. He took the responsibility for producing cartoons very seriously and was always proud to see his work published in the paper. I first met Tim as an activist in the Leeds division...

Diary of a Tube worker: "If no one else bothers"

Mask enforcement has faded on the Tube since July. Now the company want to do something about it. TSEO (Transport Support and Enforcement Officers), who mostly work as revenue inspectors on the buses, are now being deployed across stations. They stand around, looking a bit meaner than the rest of us. They remind people to wear masks. Some listen, others just breeze past them. Unless people kick them out of the station they’ll still come through no matter what. We get reminded everyday to use the apps on our Ipads that allow us to record people travelling without a mask. It is probably easier...

Drivers hit Wagamama

On Thursday 10 September Deliveroo drivers in Sheffield took action against Deliveroo, by hitting one of their biggest clients, Wagamama, with an all-night boycott, wiping out that evening’s sales. They were striking over falling pay and unfair sackings. The drivers of Sheffield, despite the hardship many face as wages fall, and despite a recent influx of new drivers to the app, threw themselves into the strike in a show of wonderful solidarity. Picket line conversations were conducted in many different languages, as drivers made a point of rejecting orders from the targeted restaurant on the...

The conflict in RMT

  • RMT must address mental health issues and bullying allegations
  • External investigation needed, but union must change itself
  • Genuine debate, criticism, and accountability is essential, and is not bullying
  • For a union led by members, through our lay representatives, not by officers
  • The National...
  • Spread this open letter!

    A new open letter, with its initial signatories including several Labour MPs and leading trade unionists, commits to “fighting for repeal of all the anti-union laws and their replacement with strong legal rights for workers and unions, including strong rights to strike and picket. “We welcome the policy to this effect passed at TUC Congress last year and at multiple Labour Party conferences, and will campaign actively to achieve it." Both the Black Lives Matter struggle and the ongoing climate crisis, it says, highlight “the need for a right to take action over wider issues than only wages...

    Trump's rigged election bid

    On 13 September, one of Donald Trump’s political dirty tricksters, Roger Stone, signposted a Trumpian future. Though convicted, Stone has avoided prison thanks to a presidential pardon. To pay back the favour, he has suggested that should Trump lose the 3 November election, he should declare martial law and arrest political opponents such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump has made over 20,000 false or misleading claims during his presidency. The serial liar did however let the truth slip when he admitted that the Republican Party...

    Breaking international law

    Under the standard legal doctrine of “pacta sunt servanda”, international treaties like the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union are binding until and unless a formal process of withdrawal is completed.

    Rank and file newsletter for Queensland MUA

    'Special edition' newsletter on the Queensland MUA: This newsletter is written and published by concerned MUA R&F members 'Human Beings are many, but MEN are few' The above is a quote from the great Greek historian Herodotus referring to the heroic stand of the Spartan 300 at Thermopylae in 480 BC: Where despite being technically defeated the Greeks through their bravery and tenacity put in place the moral and military foundations to, in the end, defeat and drive from their homeland a far larger and stronger army in the Persians. Occasionally over the last few months I have interjected in the...

    Virus: indict the Tories!

    Of people who test positive for the virus and should self-isolate, only 20% or fewer are doing so fully. That’s an official estimate. No one knows what percentage of people who are identified as contacts of the infected — and may be infectious themselves, without having symptoms — are self-isolating. Most people asked to self-isolate get no or minimal isolation pay, so isolated properly is economically difficult or impossible. Of those who do self-isolate, many can do so only in overcrowded housing. However careful they are, they’re likely to infect others there. In New Zealand, the government...

    Donate to our fund appeal! £10k by 22 November

    Donate to help Workers' Liberty argue, organise and fight in this crisis and beyond. We are aiming to raise £10,000 by 22 November. See this article for an update progress towards that target, and how to donate.

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