Solidarity 456, 6 December 2017

Teachers strike over workload

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 16:15

An NEU Member

Workers at Westways Primary School in Sheffield voted overwhelmingly to strike on 6, 7, 12 and 13 December against reforms which will worsen excessive workload and increase scrutiny of teachers.

Sam Fearnehough, the school’s executive head (read: off-site manager), claimed that her reforms ″are already having a positive impact″ and that ″a majority of staff are very happy with the support and training they have received to implement new ways of teaching″. So happy indeed that they have voted overwhelmingly for strikes and issued a statement through Sheffield National Education Union (NEU)

Trump’s government for the rich

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 13:46

Gerry Bates

Donald Trump's tax overhaul was passed early on Saturday 2 December in the US Senate. Although the bill will now need to be reconciled with the House-passed version, it is likely to include tax cuts which will make the rich and US corporations much richer, while also punishing the working class and the poor.

The legislation proposes to cut taxes collected by the federal treasury by around $6 trillion over 10 years. A $1.4 trillion addition to the federal debt is forecast. To get to that figure, the Republicans have also implemented $4.5 trillion in tax increases over the same period.


Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 13:29

Jim Denham, Gemma Short, Dale Street and Peggy Carter

After twelve weeks of strikes, Unite members have agreed a deal to settle a long-running dispute over changes to waste management services in Birmingham. On balance, this has to be considered a victory for the workers. The Labour council have agreed to withdraw proposed redundancies in exchange for giving the affected workers new job titles and duties.

Grade 3 workers will now be promoting recycling among residents but still be working on bin lorries and maintaining their current grade, pay and conditions. In addition a victimised shop steward will be reinstated, unions will be included in a

Selections, factionalism, and Akehurst

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 13:22

Will Sefton

“We may well have reached 'peak Momentum'. These are the most favourable political circumstances Labour’s hard left could envisage.

“They feel politically vindicated by the general election result, have a well-funded, well-staffed organisation holding a vast amount of data on Labour members and have reshaped Labour’s membership through successive rounds of mass recruitment.”

So says Luke Akehurst, secretary of Labour First, writing a sober article about Momentum and local council selections in a week of right-wing hysteria from the tabloid press, and with Roy Hattersley and Angela Rayner

The reality surrounding Florida’s fantasy

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 13:12

Luke Hardy

When Walt Disney planned “the Florida Project” (the plan that would become Walt Disney World Resort) he deliberately located it in a state with cheap land and compliant politicians who would allow him to own land beyond the park.

Disney wanted more than his fantasy kingdom with themed hotels, he also wanted a corporate-controlled futuristic city where anyone who would not fit in with the magic kingdom's fantasy could be kept out.

The characters in The Florida Project definitely do not fit in with Disney's fantasy world. Their world, just outside the bounds of Disney's domain, near to the

Our duties in the Corbyn surge

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 13:05

Simon Nelson

Opening the AWL’s annual conference on 25-26 November, and moving the document “Nine years on: the new left, neoliberalism, and the new right”, Martin Thomas outlined the situation the political left finds itself in: “The global credit crash of 2008 and the ensuing travails have produced delayed political effects. A shift to more right-wing, nationalist, and ’identity’ politics may move neoliberalism sharply to the right, or even explode it from within. The economic turmoil has also produced new life on the left, as yet on a low wattage.”

In Britain that “new life on the left” has come

Reverse the inequality spiral!

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 12:57

Colin Foster

The share prices of big companies (the FTSE 100) continue to rise. Top bosses' pay dropped a bit between 2015 and 2016, but is on a long-term trend to rise faster than workers' wages, and stood at £3.45 million in 2016 (median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs). The average profit rate of UK firms (outside finance and outside the North Sea oilfields) recovered entirely a long time ago from its dip in 2008-9, and is now around 13%, compared to 8% in 2001.

While the rich rejoice, the big majority are pushed back. Average earnings are no higher in real terms than they were in February 2006, despite overall

The housing crisis and fighting back

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 12:44

Rosalind Robson and Gemma Short

Britain has a housing crisis. According to Shelter more than 300,000 people — the equivalent to one in every 200 — are homeless or living in inadequate homes. According to official figures 1.3 million people are on a local authority waiting list for housing. By 2020, 25% of people will be renters, rather than home owners. Londoners now spend 40% of their income on rent, and increasing.

In 2016, 100 people a day were evicted from their rented homes, partly as a consequence of private-rented tenancies being made less secure. According to the government 28% of these rented homes can be

Labour: Come out against Brexit!

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 12:35

Editorial from Solidarity 456

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott declared last month: "I will argue for the right of the electorate to vote on any deal that is finally agreed" (on Brexit). On 2 December, Jeremy Corbyn added: "We’ve not made any decision on a second referendum". An opinion poll on 1 December showed that a 68%-19% majority of Labour voters want a referendum on whatever Brexit deal the Tories produce. A 50%-34% majority of the whole electorate also wants a referendum before a deal can go ahead.

As we go to press on 5 December, we cannot tell whether the Tories can bodge together

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.