Solidarity 464, 14 March 2018

Turkey out of Afrin!

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 14:09

Simon Nelson

Lively and disruptive protests took place on Sunday 11 March at Kings Cross and Manchester Piccadilly rail stations, blocking the track in Manchester and closing King’s Cross.

They have pushed the Turkish military assault on Kurdish-held Afrin in Syria back into the headlines.
While a siege on the enclave of Eastern Ghouta has dominated much press coverage, what has happened in Afrin has been just as brutal.

Turkey, a NATO member, is also conducting a siege, surrounding Afrin, “neutralising” almost 4,000 combatants, and shelling positions of the Kurdish militia, the YPG. 35,000 people lived

More DOO strikes

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 14:07

Charlotte Zalens

Guards on Southern Rail struck again on Monday 12 March in the ongoing dispute about Driver Only Operation (DOO).
This strike was the 40th day of strikes for guards on Southern.

Guards on Northern and Merseyrail also struck on 3 March. 13 March marks the year anniversary of the Merseyrail strike. On the anniversary of the strike guards′ union, RMT, is lobbying the Merseyside Labour Metro Mayor. Due to the contract that Merseyrail has with the City Council the council has been repaying Merseyrail any losses incurred from the strike.

The RMT said in a press release: “RMT has learned that the

Same job? same pay!

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 14:05

Peggy Carter

Unison members in the non-emergency patient transport service in Greater Manchester have voted to strike over low pay and disparity of terms and conditions between workers doing the same job.

Workers voted unanimously for strikes, on an 86% turn out. The workers are employed by the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, but the service was outsourced to Arriva between 2013 and 2016. Arriva employed workers on inferior terms and conditions, and these have remained in place after the service was transferred to back to the NHS. This resulted in some workers being on inferior terms and conditions

Strikes over pay and academisation

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 14:03

Gemma Short

Workers at Connaught school in Walthamstow, London, and Avenue school in Newham, London, were both on strike on Tuesday 13 March.

School workers at Avenue school have been fighting the proposed conversion of their school to an academy. Avenue strikers have been had support from parents and the local labour movement. This has included lobbies of the Labour council, including by Labour members, over the council′s support for academies.

Workers at Connaught school are striking after their demands for a pay increase were rejected. The school is in the outer London pay band and teachers demanded an

Victory for Southwark teachers over box-ticking culture

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:39

A Southwark teacher

Teachers at the City of London Academy Southwark have won significant improvements after three days of strikes by the National Education Union, 1 March and 7-8 March.

A union group meeting on Monday 12 March voted to suspend further strikes, scheduled for 13-15 March while management carries through its promises to redraft appraisal and support-plan policies in consultation with the union.

The strikes drew over 40 teachers to the picket lines on each day, despite snow and winds on the first day.
Management kept the school open for Years 10-11, and for Years 12-13 to do mock exams, but support

International Women's Day strike

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:35

Gemma Short

Workers at four Picturehouse cinemas in London struck on International Women′s Day, Thursday 8 March.

Workers and supporters picketed Picturehouse Central in Soho, and the picket line was addressed by TUC General Secretary Frances O′Grady. The picket line was later joined by about 500 people from the Women′s March event, which for a period of time created such an effective picket line that no customers were able to get through the crowd to go into the cinema.

Writing for The Clarion magazine in advance of the strike, sacked Ritzy Cinema rep Kelly Rogers said:

″In the context of the abusive

Trans women" the scaremongering must stop

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:30

Gemma Short

According to reports on social media over 200 women are planning a ″mass resignation″ from the Labour Party over the party′s stance on including trans women on all-women shortlists.

A group calling itself ″Mayday4Women″ says they ″have over 200 women (100-plus happy to be named, 100-plus anonymous) who intend to collectively resign should the next National Executive Committee meeting pass self-identification for All-Women shortlists″.

On their Facebook page the group repeatedly refer to the issue as being one of ″men self-identifying onto All-Women Shortlists″.

The mass resignation was

General Secretary: debate the issues!

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:26

Keith Road

The withdrawal of Jon Lansman from the contest to replace Iain McNicol as the next Labour Party General Secretary makes almost certain that Jennie Formby will get the job.

The contest should have been an opportunity to talk about what a left-led Labour Party should be like in its culture and structures. It became an opaque fight where any differences between candidates were unclear and impossible for ordinary Labour members to decode.

For that reason it was absolutely right — if you take his stated reasons for standing on face value — for Jon Lansman to stand.
He was right against the

When Labour councils resisted Tory housing policy

Published on: Wed, 14/03/2018 - 13:19

Rosalind Robson

Rosalind Robson continues with the story of the 1972 resistance to the Housing Finance Act by Clay Cross council in Derbyshire. Read Part One here

That the Labour council of the small Derbyshire town of Clay Cross fought a Tory government over its policy of raising rents by an act of Parliament — the 1972 Housing Finance Act — is well known.

What is less well known is that Clay Cross was not the only council or set of councillors to initially opposed the Act. In fact hundreds of Labour councillors initially refused to implement the Act. Eventually all but a few, including eleven Clay Cross

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