Solidarity 412, 27 July 2016

Back to 19th-Century working practices

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 14:16
Author

Theodora Polenta

Many Labour members and supporters are looking forward to working alongside Corbyn to fight the real enemy — the Tories. Under the Tories, long-forgotten 19th-century odious work practices are making a comeback through unscrupulous bosses.

What’s happening is at one level is formal laws covering employees — minimum wage and safety laws. But at another, nasty work practices are creeping back. Under the “sweating system” or “piecework,” 19th-century home workers were paid by, for example, each shirt they stitched. The “pay per-parcel” delivery jobs are just modern “piecework,” a new kind of

Back to 19th-Century working practices

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 14:15
Author

Theodora Polenta

Many Labour members and supporters are looking forward to working alongside Corbyn to fight the real enemy — the Tories. Under the Tories, long-forgotten 19th-century odious work practices are making a comeback through unscrupulous bosses.

What’s happening is at one level is formal laws covering employees — minimum wage and safety laws. But at another, nasty work practices are creeping back. Under the “sweating system” or “piecework,” 19th-century home workers were paid by, for example, each shirt they stitched. The “pay per-parcel” delivery jobs are just modern “piecework,” a new kind of

Don’t let the Tories make us pay!

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 14:08
Author

Gemma Short

In the post-Brexit crisis the Tories will use any opportunity to make workers pay and prove that Britain PLC is a ″good place for business″. Signs are, despite Theresa May′s rhetoric of a ″government not just for the privileged few″, they are looking at a whole raft of anti-worker measures.

The new head of Theresa May′s policy board is George Freeman MP, known for saying that people working in new companies should have no employment rights — including maternity pay, paid leave, and the minimum wage. He has also previously suggested that the biggest companies should pay just 10% corporation

Don’t let the Tories make us pay!

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 14:08
Author

Gemma Short

In the post-Brexit crisis the Tories will use any opportunity to make workers pay and prove that Britain PLC is a ″good place for business″. Signs are, despite Theresa May′s rhetoric of a ″government not just for the privileged few″, they are looking at a whole raft of anti-worker measures.

The new head of Theresa May′s policy board is George Freeman MP, known for saying that people working in new companies should have no employment rights — including maternity pay, paid leave, and the minimum wage. He has also previously suggested that the biggest companies should pay just 10% corporation

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 13:57
Author

Dennis Brian, Luke Hardy and Gemma Short

On Wednesday 20th July, library workers in Lewisham took their third strike day to defend our libraries. In the evening the workers, service users and community activists held a lively lobby of Lewisham council.

The council wants to make £1 million of cuts to the library service. They propose taking staff from four libraries, hoping that local voluntary organisations will take over the running of these libraries.
This would leave only three full libraries open in the borough.

The library workers’ union, Unison and the local community has mounted a vigorous campaign against these cuts.

Changing ideas, changing politics

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 13:14
Author

Michael Elms

On 7-10 July, Workers’ Liberty held our annual Ideas for Freedom event in central London. Over 200 people came to learn about socialist politics, discuss the central theme of the event, — changes in the Labour Party over the last year — and find out more about Workers’ Liberty, after hearing about us in the media, or encountering our activists on demonstrations, at Labour party meetings, on the doorstep, and in workplaces.

Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader, Workers’ Liberty has been fully involved in the burgeoning mass movement around Labour. In this year’s Ideas for Freedom

Trident renewal and the future of the Labour Party

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 13:07

At Workers’ Liberty’s Ideas for Freedom event (7-10 July) Luke Akehurst of Labour First debated Labour left activist Laura Rogers on whether the Labour Party should be in favour of renewing Trident.

Luke Akehurst: I’m in favour of the renewal of the Trident system, of buying a new set of submarines to enable the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

What is the nature of the British deterrent? It’s a minimum, independent, strategic deterrent. The most important concept here is deterrent. The whole point of having this system is not because you want nuclear war.

Anyone who wants that is insane;

Trump and after

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 12:53
Author

Lance Selfa and Alan Maass

The Republicans gathered in Cleveland [earlier this month] to ratify the verdict of primary voters and choose Donald Trump as their presidential nominee for 2016.

A last-minute attempt by the “Never Trump” forces to obstruct his nomination was easily overcome when party officials rushed through a voice vote on convention rules. Still, whatever show of unity they manage for the cameras, many Republicans seem to wish that their party would have chosen someone else.

On the eve of the convention, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 38 percent of Republican voters were satisfied with

Connolly and the Unionists

Published on: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 12:48
Author

Michael Johnson

Part nine of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here.


The prospect of the Third Home Rule Bill sparked a widespread mobilisation of Ulster Unionists in opposition to the measure, backed to the hilt by the Tory establishment who hoped to use Ulster to defeat Home Rule for Ireland as a whole.

Connolly’s perspective after 1910 was that Home Rule was inevitable and that workers needed an independent Irish Labour Party to provide opposition to the Irish Nationalists in a future Home Rule Parliament. As late as 1913 he remained

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