Solidarity 202, 4 May 2011

Teachers, lecturers, civil servants to strike together

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 14:11

Unions representing over 800,000 teachers, lecturers and civil servants are set to take national strike action on 30 June against Government plans to radically attack their pensions.

The government has already switched the measure for annual increases for public sector pensions from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the generally lower rate, the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A pension currently worth £10,000 a year will, by 2016, be worth £800 less than it would be on RPI.

The government also looks set to increase the level of contributions and raising the retirement eligibility age. For teachers

RMT will strike to defend Tube reps

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 14:07

RMT London Underground drivers will strike for two days over a period of a week in the week beginning Monday 16 May, and again in the week beginning Monday 13 June.

We demand the reinstatement of Bakerloo line drivers’ health and safety representative Eamonn Lynch and long-standing RMT activist and Northern Line driver Arwyn Thomas.

We have named both sets of action at once, letting management know they won’t be able to just ride out the first strike and have drivers back at work. The strategy was formulated in exhaustive meetings by a rank-and-file strike committee.

LU sacked Eamonn for

PCS: don't leave jobs as a makeweight issue

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 14:03

The national executive of the civil service union PCS will put an emergency motion to its conference on 18-20 May, seeking permission to ballot members over pensions, jobs and pay.

Delegates to the PCS conference are used to the Executive using the device of an emergency motion (on non-emergency matters) to dominate conference proceedings and to bypass and ignore normal branch motions put up in the normal manner.

That said, it is correct that members should be balloted on pensions, jobs and pay, particularly when we can co-ordinate such action with other unions.

However, taking industrial

Tindle strike

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 13:58

Tindle Newspapers journalists are back at work after six days’ successful strike. They hope the unity and determination they showed will force their employer to concede an additional member of staff.

The workforce has halved in the past few years, and the reporters, subs and photographers are struggling to keep up with their workload.

The nine members of the Herts and North London NUJ chapel decided to strike after a year of negotiation had produced no shift by their boss. Ray Tindle owns more than 220 titles and his company made £3 million profit last year.

The North London and Herts titles

Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising and the Gombeen-men in power

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 13:51

Sean Matgamna commented on the 75th anniversaty of the Easter Rising in Socialist Organiser (a forerunner of Solidarity), no. 482, 11 April 1991.

By their heroes shall ye know them

This year’s markedly muted celebrations in Dublin to mark the 75th anniversary of the Easter Rising, and of the martyrdom before the British firing squads in Dublin and on the gallows in Pentonville Jail of the founders of the Catholic Irish state, reminded me how starkly people, classes and nations may change their heroes.

From Lenin to Yeltsin is a long way down... The descent from Wolfe Tone to Ian Paisley is

George Galloway: a fighter for Celtic fans?

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 13:12

In his first electoral outing after being expelled from the Labour Party (Respect, 2004) George Galloway promoted himself as “a fighter for Muslims”.

Trying again in Scotland on 5 May, he now pitches himself as the champion of... Celtic fans. Shamefully, some of the Scottish left are backing him.

Remembering Grunwick

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 13:07

Having seen a link on Facebook, and knowing nothing about either the Grunwick dispute or Jayaben Desai, I went to the Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn last Sunday to learn all about them. The Brent TUC produced ‘The Great Grunwick Strike 1976-1978: A History’ and held a special screening of it, in tribute to the late Jayaben Desai, leader of the strike.

The film is really well made and a really good resource for understanding class struggle. It’s holistic in its representation and uses interviews and original footage to describe the events, personalities, decisions and betrayals that all contributed

The isolation of Dublin

Published on: Wed, 04/05/2011 - 12:48

We continue our series of articles by James Connolly about the 1913-14 Labour War in Dublin, and the power of the solidarity strike.

On 9 December 1913, a special TUC conference considered a militant motion in favour of solidarity action with Dublin; union leaders opposed it, and won. As Connolly wrote afterwards, Dublin was isolated.

It is not necessary, I presume, to remind our readers of the beginnings of the Dublin struggle. Let us, just for convenience sake, take up the fight at the moment it became a subject of national action on the part of the British labour movement.

A public meeting

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