North East London AWL

Hackney refuse dispute: support needed

In the Hackney refuse dispute a mass meeting of refuse workers has voted to suspend the two days of strike action called for Friday 6 and Monday 9 February. But the dispute is still very much alive and very much in need of solidarity.

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Hackney workers resist "single status" cuts

By Janine Booth

Hackney's waste workers are stepping up their fight against wage cuts and attacks on working conditions, declaring a four-day strike on 22-27 January.

Refuse collectors, estate cleaners and street sweepers are all in dispute with Hackney Council over its attempt to impose new contracts. The contracts will see some workers lose £3,000 per year. They will also toughen up working times and targets, cut bonuses, and do away with "washing up time".

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Defend Monica Ali!

Defend Monica Ali!

By Dan Katz

Following a small — 60-strong — march in Brick Lane, East London, the companies involved in making a film of Monica Ali’s novel, Brick Lane have unfortunately caved in to the protestors’ demand that they stop filming in the area.

This protest is the latest in a number of reactionary, communialist/religious mobilisations aimed at preventing critical voices discussing religious stupidities or backward practices inside minority communities.

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Stop East London Line privatisation

Around 50 people packed a meeting organised by Hackney TUC to launch a local campaign against the privatisation of the East London Line. The Line - which currently does not serve Hackney - is due to be extended in time for the 2012 Olympics, but will be sold off to private contractors. Stagecoach and National Express are amongst the list of "preferred bidders".

Stop East London Line privatisation

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It’s a class issue

On Thursday 23 February, Camden (north London) branch of the National Union of Teachers drew over 100 people to a public meeting against the Education White Paper. A branch of CASE, the Campaign for the Advancement of State Education, was set up from the meeting as a vehicle for a united campaign by teachers and parents against the Government’s plans.

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From Bethnal Green. . .

Two prominent Respect candidates for the local elections in Tower Hamlets have defected to the Lib Dems — former vice-chair Dr Shamsuddin Ahmed and Ahmed Mustaque.

In resigning they publicly condemned George Galloway as a “clown” and “two faced” and also the SWP. Mr Mustaque wrote: “Many people like me are disillusioned by Respect and people in it.”

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Defend Eileen Short

UNISON and NUJ members in the Press and Publicity department of Tower Hamlets Council took strike action on Monday 28 November in defence of Eileen Short, who has been threatened with losing her job as a result of restructuring. She has worked for the council for 14 years.

The department has been “restructured” five times in the last five years. The latest restructuring is just an excuse for the council to get rid of a thorn in their side. Eileen has been an ardent campaigner against the selling-off of council homes in the borough as well as being a UNISON steward.

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Hackney College strike

Lecturers at Hackney Community College have taken strike action over planned redundancies.

The college has a £1.6 million deficit, and has been threatening job cuts for some time - they had said, through voluntary severance. Now compulsory redundancies have been announced.

The job cuts affect many college departments, including teacher training, special needs, adult literacy, ceramics and pottery, and sign language courses. Some courses - such as art, dance and drama -will be made full-fee, making them unaffordable to many in the local community.

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Hackney refuse: deal in the offing

John Perry, TGWU Regional Industrial Organiser, told Solidarity that talks have resulted in payments being offered which could bridge the gap over pay. The union is still demanding that there are no job losses, that no agency workers will be used, and that no action will be taken against the 25 workers who have faced disciplinary interviews.

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Ugly contest in East London

By John Bloxam

The Respect coalition’s electoral prospects on 5 May are increasingly focussed on George Galloway, who is standing in Bethnal Green and Bow, east London. The electoral “breakthrough” that the Galloway-SWP alliance have been predicting for their “radical fourth party” has now narrowed to getting Galloway, a sitting MP with a high public profile, elected in a seat with a 50% Muslim vote. “Imagine the impact if Respect wins a seat…” (Socialist Worker, 9 April, emphasis added). Respect’s footsoldiers, the SWP have made this seat their priority.

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