Solidarity 271, 23 January 2013

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 18:18

Industrial action by Tube workers' unions RMT and ASLEF on the Bakerloo Line is having a huge impact, with passengers reporting delays of up to 27 minutes.

Tube drivers are refusing to take trains into sidings or depots before personally performing safety checks to make sure they are clear of passengers. Last year there were over 3,000 passenger overcarries into the sidings at Queens Park station alone - far more than on any other line. These nearly resulted in the death of a 12-year old boy.

Safety checks prior to detrainment had previously been carried out by station staff, but job cuts have

HMV workers occupy as retailers massacre jobs

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 18:11

15,000 retail workers could lose their jobs, as a string of high-street chains enter administration and look set to close down.

HMV, Jessops, Blockbuster, and Comet have all collapsed in the space of only two months. Since the start of the financial crisis in 2007, other major high-street retailers, including Woolworths and JJB Sports, have gone under.

Blockbuster, the most recent chain to enter administration, is trying to find a buyer for all or part of its business. Lee Manning, from administrator Deloitte, said they were hopeful of keeping more than 50% of stores open, but accepted than

Three giants of the socialist revolution

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 18:05

January marks the anniversaries of the deaths of three giants of revolutionary socialism — Liebknecht, Luxemburg, and Lenin.

Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were theorists and organisers of the German working-class revolution of 1918–9. They were executed by the German state, aided by the reformist labour leaders, in January 1919. The articles printed here — Liebknecht’s “In spite of all!” and Luxemburg’s “Order is established in Berlin” — were their last. The “Spartacus” they refer to is the Spartacus League, the Marxist group around Liebknecht, Luxemburg, and Clara Zetkin which founded

Spanish health workers say: Basta ya de recortes! Enough of the cuts!

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 17:58

The Spanish government has been using the economic crisis as an excuse to make healthcare profitable. Against the cuts and privatisation, healthcare workers and communities have been fighting back.

In December a two day strike in Madrid against the privatisation of healthcare saw most hospital services in the capital city closed. 3,000 protestors held hands and surrounded one of the main hospitals, La Princesa, opposing the proposals to turn 6 public hospitals, 27 public healthcare centres and 269 public health assistance centres into business companies.

There have also been a four-day strike

Greek workers fight for healthcare

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 17:54

With 1.5 million unemployed and 30% of the population uninsured, with slashed wages and pensions not being enough to cover basic needs like food and heating, the need for healthcare in Greece has grown.

Published data for the last two years is shocking: the use of drugs associated with cardiovascular problems has risen by 36%. One in six people have psychiatric problems; anti-depressant use increased by 40%, anti-psychotics by 32%.

The government is doing nothing to meet this increased need — quite the opposite.

Five austerity programmes within the space of two and a half years have reduced

Help us raise £15,000

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 17:48

It’s looking like it’ll be a challenge for us to meet our £15,000 target by May Day. Donations have slowed recently — in the last two weeks we’ve raised just £210.

Asking our members and supporters – predominantly working-class people without much spare cash – for extra donations is always tough, particularly in the current climate.

But, as distant as it may seem, its only by organisations and newspapers like ours growing that “the current climate” can be meaningfully changed. That spare fiver donated to a class-struggle socialist organisation contributes to a fight for a world where none of

Cameron, Europe and referendums

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 17:45

On 23 January, a few hours after this issue of Solidarity is printed, David Cameron will deliver his much-trailed speech on Europe.

Cameron will call for renegotiation of Britain’s terms of membership of the EU; but we don’t know how aggressively.

He will promise a referendum on the EU if the Tories hold office after 2015; but we don’t know the terms of the referendum. Will it be in/out? Or yes/no to approve Cameron’s renegotiation?

He will say that in general he favours Britain being in the EU; but he will not say where he will stand if the EU refuses to renegotiate as he wishes, which it may

Pity the poor Christian

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 17:41

The American writer Ralph Emerson once said of an acquaintance that “the louder he talked of his honesty, the faster we counted our spoons”. I have the same instinct when I hear conservative commentators pontificate on human rights.

Writing on the Huffington Post site on 16 January, Mike Judge (Head of Communications at the Christian Institute), claimed that while Christians are “free to wear a cross at work, they are not necessarily free to believe in marriage”.

He was commenting on the cases taken by four British Christians to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) claiming that they had

Venezuela without Chávez

Published on: Wed, 23/01/2013 - 17:35

While reports of Hugo Chávez’s death may be exaggerated, there is little doubt that his prolonged treatment in Cuba is giving rise to a crisis, in which the Venezuelan workers are likely to lose out.

Chávez went to Cuba for cancer treatment on 11 December, the fourth time he has been for treatment in less than two years. He has not been seen in public since and missed his swearing in as president on 10 January.

Before his latest surgery, Chávez anointed vice president Nicolás Maduro his successor if circumstances required him to step down. Maduro has so far only taken the reigns temporarily,

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.