Solidarity 173, 13 May 2010

BA strikes banned again - defend the right to strike! Pass this motion!

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:34


British Airways bosses have once again successfully mobilised the courts against strikers, winning an injunction that bans the action on the basis of a technicality with the balloting process. The judge said that the "balance of convenience" compelled him to ban the strike. More on the BBC website here. Perhaps more shockingly, this ruling now places retrospective illegality on the March strikes meaning that - in theory - Unite could be liable for any costs (which ran into tens, if not hundreds, of millions) and any worker who participated in the strike could - in theory - be dismissed.

Greece: "We need united working-class action across the continent"

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:30

Stavros (OKDE)

An interview with Stavros, a militant in the Trotskyist Organisation of Communist Internationalists of Greece (OKDE).

The general strike on 5 May was a huge success. It showed very clearly that there are many tens of thousands of people who are thinking seriously about politics and prepared to take militant action.

The strike on the ground actually went beyond trade union and economic demands; it looked more like a political strike. If it had continued, the government would have fallen. The trade union bureaucracy undermined this and has held back from calling further strikes. So far it's

My life at work: social work - overspent or underfunded?

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:25

Amanda McKenzie

Amanda McKenzie works as a social worker in London.

Tell us a little bit about the work you do.

I’m a social worker for an inner-city London borough. I currently work in a team working with adults with learning disabilities. My specific job involves working with people with learning disabilities who also have mental health problems, and I also work with learning-disabled parents. A lot of the services related to this type of work, such as care home provision, have been privatised but my work is still directly run by the local council.

Do you and your workmates get the pay and conditions you

Stop these executions!

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:18

Rosalind Robson

On Sunday May 9, Farzad Kamangar, a teacher trade union activist from the Kurdish region of Iran, who has been the subject of an international solidarity campaign, was executed.

Four other political prisoners were executed at the same time. The executions took place without families and lawyers being informed. By such an outrageous “out of the blue” state killing of a high profile political prisoner, the clerical-fascist regime attempted to terrorise the labour and opposition movements in Iran.

Farzad Kamangar was sentenced to death in February 2008. He was a member of the Kurdistan Teachers

On human fear

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:11

Cathy Nugent

Christian belief in Jesus relies on the idea that Jesus existed and he was a very special man. That he worked miracles — e.g. whether he cured the sick. That he was the son of God, born to a virgin. If Jesus was not as unique as Christianity tells us he was, then Christianity loses its reason-to-be.

Philip Pullman’s retelling of the Jesus story shows, hypothetically, how the all-important miracles in the Bible could have been invented. Pullman creates situations to “explain” how the events in Jesus’s life could have happened.

Pullman, like many other people before him, has also done a lot of

If Virginia Woolf wrote movies...

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:07

Jordan Savage

Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love defies expectations. British ice-queen Tilda Swinton shows unprecedented emotional range as Emma Recchi, a working-class Russian woman, married to an Italian entrepreneur.

Perhaps it is a game of stereotypes: there is a strong expectation that the orthodox, Catholic Italian family would be unable to accept their daughter’s homosexuality (the daughter, played by Alba Rohrwacher is herself a stereotype: an Electrelane-listening short-haired art student) but the oppressed, passionate Russian is able to break this model, and loves her daughter unconditionally.


Phyllis Jacobson: a defector from the consensus

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 18:03

Barry Finger

Barry Finger, a member of the editorial board of the US socialist magazine New Politics, looks at the political life of Phyllis Jacobson, who co-founded and for a long period edited the magazine.

Phyllis Jacobson, who died after a protracted illness on 2 March, just shy of her 88th birthday, was the dynamic force behind a remarkable political and intellectual partnership of shared passion that left an indelible imprint on three generations of twentieth century American radicalism.

Phyllis, much like her future husband Julie, came to revolutionary socialism in her early teens, through the

London Underground workers resist jobs massacre

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 15:26

In February, London Underground announced 800 front-line stations staff job cuts: 450 ticket sellers, around 200 station assistants, and a handful of managers. Facing a slick campaign from London Underground, RMT activists are campaigning hard, and are now waiting for a fighting response from the top of the union.

Latest figures show that every station will lose a significant number of staff, when we have too few already! Even current numbers leave some stations regularly unstaffed. There are never enough to deal with incidents. When a short delay leads to overcrowding on platforms, staff

Greece into the darkness?

Published on: Fri, 14/05/2010 - 14:57

Yannis Almpanis (Network for Political and Social Rights)

On May 5 the biggest workers' demonstration since 1976 took place in Athens. All the avenues of the city center were flooded by hundreds of thousands of workers who were protesting against the IMF-EU-Greek government austerity plan.

It is impossible to make an accurate calculation of the crowd's number. There are estimations which start from 150,000 and end up to 500,000 people. No matter the exact number of the protesters, there is no doubt that this was an unbelievable show of of the working people's force.

At the same time, in cities all around Greece we had extremely massive

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