Solidarity 286, 15 May 2013

Bangladesh: workers oppose the Islamists

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:53

Badrul Alam from the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) spoke to Solidarity.

We’ve read about big demonstrations organised by Islamists demanding stronger religious laws. What effect are they having on the garment workers’ movement?

There have been very big demonstrations but their demands are illegitimate. They are not rational. Mostly their demands are against the rights of women — they are demanding that the government pass a law restricting women’s rights.
Their demands are medieval. They believe in the rule of the Qu’ran, in the rule of Allah; their organisation is called

Stop the Tories closing our A&E's!

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:50

Accident and Emergency departments are at crisis point. One in 10 patients admitted to A&E now have to wait more than four hours to be treated or discharged — double the figure this time last year.

Royal College of Nursing spokesperson Patricia Webb described the situation in the East of England: “Patients are woken up at three in the morning and moved around the hospital — cupboards and catheter laboratories are being used to house patients.”
In Oxford University Hospital there is now a “queue nurse” who looks after patients in the queue waiting to be triaged.
In Wales patients have been

Strikes due across London Underground

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:46

Workers across London Underground in the RMT union could strike in a series of disputes over a variety of issues.

Cleaners working for the contractor ISS returned a 100% vote in favour of strikes to demand the payment of the London Living Wage from day one of employment, and against management abuse of sickness procedures.
Electrical engineers and contractors employed by Mitie voted by a nine to one margin for strikes to stop redundancies and unilateral changes to working conditions.
Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan, and Circle Line drivers also voted to strike in a dispute around issues

Unison branches must fight pay deal

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:43

On 7 May, Unsion representatives on the National Joint Council (NJC, which negotiates local government pay) voted by 14-13 not to recommend rejection of the latest pay offer of 1%.

It was agreed it would be made clear that this is the best that can be achieved by negotiation, but not to make a recommendation either way.
When inflation is running between 3-4% and in the context of previous years’ pay cuts and freezes, this offer is another cut.
Local government bosses initially offered 0.6%, or 1% with some strings. These were both rightly rejected by Unison.
The “strings” were essentially

PCS dispute needs real demands

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:38

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) meets in Brighton from 21 to 23 May for its annual conference.

Individual departments, or Groups, will be meeting over the Monday and Tuesday, with a national conference following. Conference is shorter this year due to combination of facility time cuts (delegates from DWP are having to take annual leave to attend) and financial constraints facing the union.
This comes hot on the heels of the National Executive Committee election results being declared. There were three candidates for President: the incumbent Left Unity candidate, Janice Godrich;

Marxist ideas to turn the tide

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:34

This year’s Ideas for Freedom — the annual weekend of socialist discussion and debate hosted by Workers’ Liberty — will focus on how Marxist ideas can help turn the tide of class struggle.

For five years the ruling class, in Britain and all over the world, has been using the crisis of their system to their advantage — to ride roughshod over our living standards, our rights, and our resistance. Capitalism is widely discredited, but the tide of struggle is running strongly in the capitalists’ favour. We’ll be discussing how to change that.

Transforming the labour movement

To turn the tide, we

“There is a special bond between dockers”

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:28

Steve Biggs, a dock worker and Unite rep at Southampton Container Terminal, spoke to Solidarity about his job.

The main issue facing dockers in all UK container ports is overcapacity.

With the new port at London Gateway opening this year, and no new volumes coming into the UK, the fear is shipping lines leaving Southampton, Felixstowe, Tilbury, and Thamesport are going to there. London Gateway is selling itself as a non-union port and offering lower wages and terms and conditions. Last year was a difficult time for us. There were redundancies at South Coast Port Services, our contractor

Yevgeni Preobrazhensky: ABC and NEP

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:24

Yevgeni Preobrazhensky (1886-1937), was a Bolshevik, economist, and one-time member of the Trotskyist Left Opposition against Stalin.

From 1904, Preobrazhensky sided with the Bolshevik faction in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, becoming a member of its Ural provincial bureau of the Party. During 1917, he was a delegate of the Chita Soviet in south-east Russia, and became a candidate member of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party.

In 1918, Preobrazhensky sided with Bukharin and the Left Communist faction against signing the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty with Germany.

How Stalin destroyed communism

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2013 - 07:18

70 years ago, on 22 May 1943, Stalin announced the formal shutting-down of the Communist International, the association of revolutionary socialist parties across the world set up after the Russian Revolution.

Although Moscow retained close control of the Communist Parties until the 1960s, the shutting-down was a symbolic disavowal of socialist revolution. This is how socialists commented at the time.

He long ago destroyed it as an instrument of socialism!

By Albert Gates (Al Glotzer)

The announcement by the Executive Committee of the Communist International that it was proposing its

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