Solidarity 294, 28 August 2013

Hovis workers strike against zero hours contracts

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 13:08

Workers at Hovis (Premier Foods) bakery in Wigan have voted to strike against the replacement of permanent workers with lower paid agency workers on zero-hours contracts.

Workers will strike from 28 August to 4 September and further strikes are scheduled for 11-18 September and 25 September to 2 October.

Workers who are organised by the BFAWU has already taken cuts in pay and working hours to avoid further redundancies. They voted 75% for strikes following abortive talks.

The union says pay rates for some workers have fallen from around £13 per hour to £8.60 an hour.

The Office of National

An end to species war?

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 12:51

The City of Bones is based on the first of The Mortal Instruments series of books by Cassandra Clare, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the film adaptation. I was especially impressed by Lily Collins, who played Clary, the young female protagonist.

Clary always thought she was just like everybody else until she started drawing a mysterious symbol. From there, everything she thought she knew is changed.

She goes from being a “mundane” (a human) towards becoming something else entirely. She is joined by her best friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan), who appears a fairly run-of-the-mill

Dublin 1913: the “proletarian army” is born

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 12:00

A hundred years ago (on 26 August 2013) tram workers in Dublin struck after their employer had tried to stop them being members of the Irish Transport and General Workers' union. The strike spread, eventually involving 20,000 workers, and lasted eight months.

It was a bitter dispute — bosses locked out the workers [shut up workplaces as a means of resisting workers’ demands] — but socialists at the time admired the militancy and organisation of the Irish workers. Vladimir Lenin praised the “unparalleled animation” of the Dublin labour movement, and marvelled at how a region that had been

A victory for workers' rights

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 11:53

On Friday 16 August, contempt of court charges against Bob Carnegie, the Workers’ Liberty Australia member and union activist prosecuted for assisting a construction strike in Brisbane in August-October 2012, were dismissed.

All the big construction sites in the centres of Brisbane had been shut by strikes, as they were on 11-13 February, when the case came to trial.

2,000 construction and other workers came to a solidarity demonstration at the Federal Court in Brisbane. Around 100 crammed into the courtroom and cheered when the judge announced the verdict.

He ruled that the terms of the

Sacco and Vanzetti: “The last moment belongs to us”

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 11:42

On 23 August 1927, two Italian-born anarchists were strapped into the electric chair in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and electrocuted by order of the Mass. Supreme Court. They were Nicolo Sacco, a shoemaker, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a fish-pedlar.

During the seven years they were in jail before their execution, the names of Sacco and Vanzetti became a byword in the US and international labour movement for ruling-class justice and the use of the courts to frame up and lynch rebel workers.

Sacco and Vanzetti themselves believed they were victimised because they were foreign-born radicals. They

Defend press freedom!

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 11:25

On Sunday 18 August, David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained for nine hours at Heathrow airport and questioned by police.

His phone, computer and other electronic equipment was confiscated. He was not allowed access to a lawyer until the last hour of the questioning. The police told him he would be locked up if they thought he was “not co-operating”.

He was detained under Schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorism Act, and the police questioned him as if they suspected he was a terrorist. They asked Miranda, a Brazillian citizen, for his political opinions about

Solidarity with Chelsea Manning!

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 11:15

Content note/ trigger warning for transphobia and sexual violence

Though many people in the media and online expressed surprise at Chelsea Manning’s announcement this week, a lot of us in the LGBT+ community have been aware that she is probably a trans woman for quite some time. Rumour was that she went by the name “Breanna”. Actually, Wired published speculation about Manning’s gender way back in 2010.

There has been some confusion over how to refer to Manning in conversation and articles, with many news outlets repeatedly using the wrong pronouns. Although before there was some confusion

The right and wrong kinds of journalism

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 11:02

The detention and interrogation of David Miranda at Heathrow airport on 18 August has proven quite a test for the British press.

The basic facts of these events might lead you to expect a show of unity across journalism in defence of their own. Miranda is the partner of an investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, who has found himself at the heart of one of the great news scoops of the century — the revelation that US and UK state agencies are spying on all of us. It’s the 21st century Watergate, the sort of story that draws ambitious young people into journalism in the first place.


Greek teachers plan strike

Published on: Wed, 28/08/2013 - 10:49

Nicos Anastasiadis, a teacher in northern Greece and a member of the socialist group DEA, talked to Solidarity.

The federation of secondary school teachers’ unions has decided to strike at the beginning of September. We believe that we can create a spark to persuade all other unions to strike too. We will strike together with students and their parents. We need each others’ support and we must all fight together.

The government is dissolving technical education in favour of private schools. They’ve sacked 2,656 teachers from technical schools, from 110 specialties. About 20,000 students are

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