Solidarity 024, 20 February 2003

Sky "we'll leave" threats scupper union vote

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2003 - 00:02

By a BECTU member

Outrageous management bullying at Rupert Murdoch's Sky television company has culminated in a vote against union recognition at the firm's Livingston call centre.

Last year, more than 50% of the 466 staff in the Livingston sales centre signed a petition supporting union recognition. By the time a ballot was held more than 100 workers had joined the BECTU union. But, after weeks of intimidation from management, only 47 voted in favour of recognising BECTU, and 277 against.

BECTU had been working to unionise Sky's workforce, including call centre staff at Livingston and

Southampton Unison strike against council redundancies

Published on: Tue, 25/02/2003 - 00:02

Southampton District Unison branch held a one-day strike on Wednesday 19 February. Additionally, council workers have withdrawn the use of their cars for council business and are refusing to drive hire cars or council cars-visits to clients' and tenants' homes are by taxi or public transport. They are not covering unfilled posts.

The action is against proposed council budget cuts that could lead to 70 redundancies, an additional 50 posts scrapped, and a reduction in working conditions.

Mick Tucker, Unison branch secretary, said: "The overwhelming vote to throw out the council's budget cuts,

Postal workers gear up for London Weighting fight

Published on: Mon, 24/02/2003 - 15:07

By a north London postal worker

Postal workers in London are gearing up for a fight with Royal Mail over the pitifully low level of their London Weighting allowance.
The campaign was launched formally months ago, when local government workers and teachers took strike action to support their £4k London Weighting claim.
The leadership of the postal workers' union, the Communication Workers Union, say they are in favour of getting an increase in Weighting, but they won't authorise a ballot. So what should we do? Ask management nicely?

The only way to get £4k or anything like it is through

BT engineers reject performance related pay

Published on: Sun, 23/02/2003 - 22:03

By Maria Exall, CWU executive, personal capacity

Engineers working for BT's Customer Service division have voted 9 to 1 against a contractual, performance related bonus scheme. The consultative ballot had a 72% turnout, and echoed the vote of Communication Workers Union delegates at January's special conference which rejected BT's "Self Motivated Teams" scheme.
The consultation procedure is the final stage in a process of negotiations that has taken more than two years. All members affected have had the opportunity to participate in a trial. After experiencing the way the scheme operates,

no to war! no to saddam!

Published on: Sun, 23/02/2003 - 12:07

Sign the international appeal!

A powerful international labour-based movement for democracy and international solidarity can defeat both George W Bush’s war for oil and Saddam Hussein’s bloody dictatorship. In the immediate term, we want to consolidate a democratic, secular and internationalist pole in the British anti-war movement.
We want to build a visible alternative to the orientations in the movement that are expressed in the Cairo Declaration—which through its slogans, such as “solidarity with Iraq”, conflates the peoples of Iraq and its vile government—and in link-ups with the Muslim

More about Iraq

Published on: Sun, 23/02/2003 - 10:01


Edward Ellis recommends some reading on Iraq

Saddam Hussein: an American obsession by Patrick and Andrew Cockburn

If you read just one book, it should be this one. A very readable and thorough account of Iraq under Saddam, and the twists and turns of American/CIA policy towards him and the Iraqi and Kurdish opposition. Best account I’ve read of the 1991 uprising, and of the failed anti-Saddam coups in the mid 90s. Very well informed: they seem to have personally interviewed everybody involved.

Iraq Since 1958 by Peter and Marion Farouk-Sluglett

Historical account by the two leading

America (Verse)

Published on: Sun, 23/02/2003 - 08:05

Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!

Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

Brazil: Where the Workers' Party came from

Published on: Sat, 22/02/2003 - 16:03

Paul Hampton looks at the history of the Workers' Party and the prospects for the future in the light of Sue Branford and Bernardo Kucinski's new book, Politics Transformed: Lula and the Workers' Party in Brazil

The election of Lula da Silva as president of Brazil is an event of great significance. This book provides the background to this historic victory.
Lula is the first president of Brazil from a working class background. The authors argue Lula was elected on "a platform of far-reaching social change" and that he offers "a real alternative to neo-liberalism".

Lula leads the Workers'

War war

Published on: Sat, 22/02/2003 - 09:03
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Tony Ceaucescu?
  • Burnley council's BNP shame
  • In the service of the IMF
  • Blowing in the wind

Weapons of mass destruction

"The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including 'mini-nukes', 'bunker-busters' and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.

"The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear

Democracy and war

Published on: Sat, 22/02/2003 - 09:03

Not in our name

The anti-war demonstrators on 15 February were marching against Bush's and Blair's war plans, but also against the shutting-down of democracy by deception and manipulation, the transformation of politics into a business transacted between think-tanks, advisers, bureaucrats, spin-doctors and the billionaire media.

Tony Blair has refused a parliamentary vote on the war. Last year one Labour MP, Graham Allen, was driven to talk of hiring a hall in Westminster so that MPs could at least meet unofficially to discuss the war.

In the run-up to the Afghanistan war, the British

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.