Solidarity 020, 13 December 2002

BT: stop divisive productivity scheme

By Maria Exall

The "Self Motivated Teams" proposals for productivity bonus scheme for 17,000 BT Customer Service Engineers will be recommended by the Telecoms Executive of the CWU to branches at a Special Conference in January. After this there will be a ballot of members affected.

Many Engineering Branches are in principle against productivity pay and have campaigned vigorously against this package. SMT will be the first time that any significant individually-based productivity scheme has operated for BT Engineers.

Frontline poetry: 1st September 1939

The title of WH Auden's not greatly political, but effective poem is the date Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later the whole of Europe was at war. This poem - we print five of the stanzas here - was much quoted in the wake of September 11th. English born, Auden became an American citizen in 1946. Auden was Communist Party sympathiser and some of his political language often seems Stalinoid. Auden's description of the shocking unreality of war remains very powerful.

1st September 1939

Not welcome?

In the last issue of Solidarity (3/19) we reported on how Solidarity supporter, Faz Velmi, was verbally attacked by George Galloway MP, at a meeting organised by the University College London's Stop the War Group. Faz, an invited speaker, along with Galloway, argued that the Kurds, and Israeli Jews, also had the right to self-determination and was accused of 'Zionism'. Lindsey German told the meeting that people "like Faz" who advocated a two states programme for Israel/Palestine were not welcome in the Stop the War Coalition.

Firefighters: Where now for the dispute?

Solidarity is key
Jill Mountford asked three firefighters what they think of the ACAS talks and what they think should be the next step for the dispute
Billy Carruthers, Euston FBU

The union's been busy putting out press releases and strike bulletins within the organisation thanking members for all their consistent support and for going on the march last Saturday.

We want to keep the organisation together. Strikes in the future have not been ruled out, far from it!

The public sector fightback: New NHS pay deal

More for some, the same for most
By Kate Ahrens

The new pay deal offered to NHS staff at the end of last month has been used to bolster the government's argument in the firefighters' pay dispute that only through modernisation can better pay be achieved in the public sector.

The firefighters can win!

Twenty thousand people marched through London on a bitterly cold day on Saturday 7 December to show their support for the firefighters. Many were firefighters. Banners and contingents were there from all areas of the labour movement.

The sea of waving yellow and red flags at the rally in Hyde Park suggested flickering flames that symbolised both the day to day work of the firefighter and the reigniting of real trade unionism in Britain.

Scottish Socialist Party: Just what is sectarianism?

Debate: Peter Burton responds to Matthew Caygill on the SSP and Socialist Worker Platform.
There is a lack of specifity and clarity about what sectarianism actually means in Mathew Caygill's reply to my article on the Militant and SWP platforms (reply Solidarity 18, article Solidarity 16).

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