Women's Fightback no.4, October 2007

What is Women’s Fightback?

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:39

Women’s Fightback is a paper produced by women in the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. We hope it stimulates debate, but whether you agree or disagree please get in touch, and contribute articles, reviews and letters to this paper. Here is a brief explanation of who we are and what we stand for.

Who we are

We need to revive the women’s movement in the UK, Europe and world wide. That movement needs to be able to inspire the many young people who want to fight sexism, but who may not call themselves “feminist”.

The Price of Inequality

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:36 Author: Maria Exall

It is estimated that the potential cost of equal pay claims in the public sector is in the billions. This is money that the Government insists must be found from existing NHS, Local Authorities and other public sector bodies’ budgets. The Unions involved have asked the Government for funding directly to sort out the inequality.

Solidarity with Fremantle workers

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:34

When the borough of Barnet’s care homes were sold off to the Fremantle Trust, they guaranteed that pay, terms and conditions of workers were protected. Five years later, the Fremantle Trust has cut holidays, frozen pay until 2010 and removed all unsocial hours remuneration. Even pensions to which contributions have been made over long periods of work have been slashed. The workers were told “accept these terms, or be sacked”.

Fremantle threaten free speech

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:33

So, Fremantle, not a big fan of workers then? Well, no indeed, but it would seem that they are not big fans of freedom of speech either.

The labour movement website LabourStart.org took up the campaign and within a few days over 8000 messages of solidarity were sent to the Fremantle HQ. Fremantle did what all good “not for profit” employers do and threatened to sue LabourStart; LabourStart saw this as a challenge, and stepped up the campaign.

Cuts mean substandard care

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:32

When we watch a TV documentary exposing abuse of older people by visiting care staff, we shake our heads with incredulity that someone could do that to another vulnerable human being.

But it can easily happen and it is easily explained. For example, an agency worker turns up at a care home for her first day. She has to help three residents to wash and change and have breakfast. All the residents are highly dependent.

Women workers get wage cut

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:26

As of 1 October 2007, the national minimum wage for over 21 year olds will go up 17p, to £5.52 an hour. Working an average of 35 hours a week, this would leave you with £9,063.77 take home pay a year. This 3% rise is less than inflation, meaning the minimum wage change is actually a decrease in real terms.

Briefing: Islamic Feminism

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:23 Author: Sarah Ley

This article will attempt to explain and define Islamic feminism, positioning the emergence of Islamic feminism within a wider political context and finally raising some questions which might help us to consider how we, as socialist feminists, might think about/ relate to Islamic feminism.

Alexandra Kollontai: Socialist Feminist

Submitted by Anon on 12 October, 2007 - 10:18 Author: ROSALIND ROBSON

The Russian revolutionary, Alexandra Kollontai, is best known for her organisational work among Russian working class women prior to, and immediately after, the 1917 revolution and her writings on sexual morality and the family. She has become better known largely as the result of feminist interest in her life and career.

At the end of her life Kollontai made this comment: “Women and their fate occupied me all of my life, and concern for their lot brought me to socialism.”

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