Solidarity 468, 2 May 2018

Debating Ireland

Published on: Wed, 14/11/2018 - 07:53


On 9 and 10 November Workers' Liberty in London hosted two meetings with Rayner Lysaght, who has written a number of books of history and been active on the Irish left for over 50 years.

On 9 November Lysaght argued his case for a strategic scheme of "permanent revolution" in Ireland against Sean Matgamna of Workers' Liberty, who presented our long-held view that Ireland is a fully-developed bourgeois capitalist society - with anomalies, of course.

For the event we reprinted the text of Workers' Liberty 5 (1986) on Provos, Protestants, and permanent revolution, which includes the record of a

May day strikes in France

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:29

Michael Elms

On Tuesday 1 May, French workers struck to hold over 240 demonstrations across France, as part of their battle against President Macron’s attacks on transport, education and the public sector.

In Paris, in spite of heavy police presence, a monster march of striking workers and their supporters shut down the east of the city. From across France, reports are coming in of outrageous police provocations, with gas and baton charges being used against workers and students.

In the days leading up to the 1 May strike, general assemblies were held in workplaces, where strike votes were taken by show

No two-tier fire service

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:27

Peggy Carter

Firefighters and emergency control operators in the West Midlands will ballot for strikes over the imposition of new contracts.
West Midlands Fire Authority has introduced new contracts which mean new firefighters entering the service will have to take on work outside the currently agreed role of a firefighter, as well as giving employers the right to unilaterally change the work of firefighters at any time.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members are also concerned about the increasing imposition of non-fire service work, dictatorial management practices and interference with trade union activities

RMT disabled members plan fightback

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:23

a delegate

Disabled transport workers discussed issues from workplace representation to the role of charities at their two-day RMT conference in Southend on 26-27 April.

This was only the second annual RMT Disabled Members’ Conference, after the union’s rank-and-file delegates overturned the Executive’s persistent refusal to establish the event. The conference proved its worth, bringing together twenty delegates (twice as many as last year) from different transport sectors and areas of the country.

Paula Peters from Disabled People Against Cuts told delegates about the ongoing fight against Universal

End outsourcing at UoL!

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:21

Gemma Short

Cleaners, porters, security officers, receptionists, gardeners, post room and audio-visual staff at the University of London struck on 25-26 April.

The workers, members of the IWGB union, held day-long pickets at the University of London’s Senate House, and organised demonstrations through the universities area of Bloomsbury on both days.

The workers, organised by the IWGB union, are employed by a range of outsourcing companies that have contracts with the university. They are fighting to be directly employed by the university and for parity of terms and conditions with currently directly

Hull College strike over job cuts

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:19

Charlotte Zalens

UCU members at colleges in Hull, Harrogate, and Goole employed by Hull Colleges Group will strike on Wednesday 9, Thursday 17, and Friday 18 May.

The Hull Colleges Group plans to cut 231 full-time equivalent posts across the three campuses. On 19 April UCU members passed a vote of no confidence in the colleges′ chief executive officer.

Management have also attempted to bully and then bribe staff to not attend a protest against the running of the college. Staff were sent an email the day before telling them that those who joined a lunchtime protest against the job cuts ″risked doing so

Glasgow arena workers’ lifting strike

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:17

Ann Field

Members of Unite the Union working in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena were on strike again last Saturday and Sunday (28-29 April) as part of a long-running dispute over additional payments for “heavy lifting duties”.

The Unite members are employed by Glasgow Life, one of multiple “arms-length companies” set up by Glasgow City Council when it was controlled by Labour. The extra payments are for setting up and de-rigging equipment before major sporting events at the Emirates.

Unite imposed an overtime ban last November, followed by a four-day strike in December.

Glasgow Life’s ongoing refusal to make

McDonald’s workers strike again

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:13

Charlotte Zalens

Workers at five McDonald′s restaurants (Crayford, Cambridge, Manchester, and two restaurants in Watford) struck on Tuesday 1 May as Solidarity went to press.

Workers are on strike for £10 an hour, an end to the youth rates, an end to zero hour contracts, for a choice of fixed hour contracts, for union recognition, and an end to bullying in the workplace.

Workers at the McDonald′s in Manchester walked out at midnight and were greeted by a crowd of supporters. They also picketed for an hour between 7-8am to make before work customers aware of the strike.

Workers in Crayford and Cambridge

Councils cut to boost reserves

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:11

Colin Foster

Since 2010 local councils have had the tax money recycled to them by central government cut drastically, and their scope to raise more by council tax tightly restricted. Yet they have increased the financial reserves they hold.

According to government figures, the total of councils’ reserves is £8 billion higher than they were in 2010. Some councils — many of them Tory — dipped into reserves between 2015 and 2017, but even then 52% of councils increased reserves or kept them steady.

The Office for Budget Responsibility reckons that total reserves for councils in England peaked at £24.8

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