Fight the epidemic - yes. Back the Tories - no

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:38

Mohan Sen

The Labour Party has made some important demands for the Covid-19 crisis, including improving the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which underwrites part of wages and extending it to the self-employed; insisting employers guarantee to keep people in work; and increasing a range of benefits.

The problem is that the party shows no sign of campaigning around these demands. Its leadership acts as if that the epidemic obliges it to express positive support for the Tory government.

Big demonstrations and crowded public meetings are obviously out at the moment. But Labour wasn’t going in for those

How unions should tackle sexism

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:26

Katy Dollar

It’s HeartUnions from 10 to 16 February 2020. I was reminded of the week of activity, highlighting the work of unions, by a parcel from the TUC arriving at my union office announcing the focus this year is on sexual harassment.

It was accompanied by a letter from our co-ordinated industrial leadership, bringing together 48 unions and 5.5 million members, and declaring “a radical yet practical plan” to end sexual harassment.

Over 1/2 women and nearly 7/10 LGBT workers are sexually harassed in the workplace. Subjecting women to fear, shame, and discomfort in a workplace, street or union meeting

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:45

Sacha Ismail and Ollie Moore

Tube union RMT suspended strikes planned by drivers on London Underground’s Central and Victoria Lines on 3-4 September, after bosses made a number of concessions.

The issues at the heart of the dispute include authoritarian management culture on both lines, and driver numbers on the Central Line particularly.

The union remains in dispute and activists say strikes should be reinstated if management renege on agreements.

Plans for TUC congress

At the time of writing discussions are taking place among labour movement anti-coup people about activities at the 2019 TUC Congress (8-11 September, in

TUC congress: one step forward, two steps back

Published on: Fri, 14/09/2018 - 09:38

Walter Feather

TUC Congress 2018 closed with its accustomed dearth of fanfare, with little to suggest it will be a major political factor in British politics over the coming period.

The one glint of hope was the discussion on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), where speaker after speaker stood up to make the case for self-determination on trans rights. Behind the scenes several union leaderships, including some regarded as left, have joined the chorus of opposition to changing the GRA on the grounds of women’s self-organisation.

But the Congress discussion was dominated by contributions from a range of

TUC votes for gender self-ID

Published on: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 21:51

Rosalind Robson

TUC Conference has unanimously backed a motion from the TUC LGBT+ committee which supports “the introduction of a social rather than medical model of gender recognition that will help challenge repressive gender stereotypes in the workplace and in society.”

The motion was a response to the government's current consultation on changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which will run until the start of October.

The unanimous decision is especially welcome given the scaremongering surrounding the issue of gender self-declaration that has taken place in the trade union movement, although

Corbyn pledges more public ownership: Nationalise utilities and banks!

Published on: Wed, 14/02/2018 - 12:23

Editorial from Solidarity 462

Speaking at a Labour Party event on 10 February, Jeremy Corbyn reaffirmed Labour’s 2017 manifesto pledge “to bring energy, rail, water, and mail into public ownership and to put democratic management at the heart of how those industries are run”.

“By taking our public services back into public hands”, he said, “we will not only put a stop to rip-off monopoly pricing, we will put our shared values and collective goals at the heart of how those public services are run”. He promised “a society which puts its most valuable resources, the creations of our collective

Iranian workers push for regime change

Published on: Wed, 10/01/2018 - 11:33

Editorial from Solidarity 458

Beginning on Thursday 28 December around 80 Iranian cities and towns saw a wave of demonstrations, amounting to the biggest protest against Iran’s authoritarian Islamist political system since the 2009 "Green" reform movement.

This has been a tremendous revolt with the issue of working-class livelihood at the centre. A revolt against years of super-exploitation and a vicious regime which exists to enrich itself and boost its own power.

According to official figures, at least 1,000 people have been arrested and 25 people have been killed (including, three

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:50

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Workers at Picturehouse Cinema’s flagship “Picturehouse Central” location, near London’s Piccadilly Circus, will shortly begin balloting for new strikes, as part of a growing dispute which also involves workers at Picturehouse’s Brixton, Hackney, and Crouch End sites. The ballot, the timetable for which has yet to be announced, is for further strikes to demand the London Living Wage, decent sick pay, and other improvements to workers’ terms and conditions.

Workers at Picturehouse Central, Brixton, and Hackney recently concluded a ballot for joint strikes, which returned huge majorities on a

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 19/10/2016 - 12:56

Ollie Moore, Gemma Short, Peggy Carter and Charlotte Zalens

Southern rail workers began a further three-day strike from 18 October in their battle to defend the role of the guard. Southern bosses recently re-offered a £2,000 payment to all workers in exchange for accepting new, non-safety-critical roles as "On-Board Supervisors".

The workers' union, RMT, denounced the offer as a bribe. A union statement said: “The company have been told repeatedly that money is not the issue and that the safety of passengers and staff is not for sale. RMT disputes the bogus figures on the number of staff working. Our reps at all locations report that morale is high

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