Anti-cuts, public services

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Questions and answers on the cuts

Stop the cuts

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Q. The Lib/Tory coalition says that the government just has to make social cuts, in the same way as anyone who has "maxed out" their credit cards needs to cut back. Is that true?

A. No. In the first place, there is nothing impossible about the government continuing with a large budget deficit for a while. Governments can't "run out of money" in the same way that households or businesses can.

The "case" for the cuts is built on lies!

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Industrial news in brief

Swedish dockers defend union rights; Durham TAs strike; support Picturehouse workers; Southern guards fight on; Barnet librarians strike.

On 8 November, the Dockworkers’ Union started industrial action, including a ban on overtime, at the Gothenburg terminal which handles 60% of Sweden’s container trade. It has also called for a blockade on traffic redirected from Gothenburg.

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Southern: This Is War

In the history of workers' struggles in the early 20th century, and occasionally since, the term "labour war" has been used to describe an industrial dispute that reaches an almost military pitch. Such disputes saw workers mount armed pickets, to defend their strikes against the police, right-wing paramilitaries, or armed strike-breakers hired by management.

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Lots of “old” cuts still to come

Author: 

Colin Foster

Theresa May’s Tory government has said that it will decide no new welfare cuts. What makes this a half-truth, or even an outright untruth, is that big cuts, maybe even bigger cuts than the government can realistically manage, have already been programmed by previous Tory decisions.

Theresa May’s government has said there will be no new welfare cuts, but big cuts have already been programmed by previous Tory decisions.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Luke Hardy, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have suspended their strikes after negotiations meant bosses agreed not to implement changes to their contracts. Negotiations also got bosses to agree to all employees receiving a lump sum for their 2015 pay rise. Negotiations will continue on the contract and further strikes are not ruled out. The contract changes at Pennine Foods were in order for bosses to try to recoup some of the money from implementing the government′s new ″living wage″.

Bosses dodge “living wage”; Camden teachers striking to stop job cuts; bosses make £11m profit, workers get 16p; cleaners fight back against sackings; ScotRail guards vote for strikes; Durham County Council sacks all teaching assistants; Capita workers strike over pay cuts.

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Two cheers for neo-liberalism?

Author: 

Martin Thomas
IMF economists have criticised extreme neo-liberalism, but in the name of moderate neo-liberalism.

Jonathan Ostry, an IMF economist with a long record of arguing that extreme income inequality harms capitalist growth, has published a new article on the theme with two IMF colleagues, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri.

Capitalist crises generally come through sudden shutdowns of investment and luxury spending by the rich which then snowball through the economy. The poor are less apt to go in for sudden bouts of holding on to our cash. The greater the proportion of spending controlled by the rich, the more unstable.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Ruth Cashman, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

UCU at the University of Nottingham is balloting for industrial action against threatened compulsory redundancies in the Faculty of Arts.

The University that claims to be Britain's global university wants to reduce its offer in archaeology, and theology and religious studies, and close language courses including Dutch. 11.5 FTE posts are at risk. The student body is up in arms over the threat. They have organised several protests, a petition and a Facebook group: Resist Restructuring Nottingham.

Anger at Nottingham University; victory at the John Roan School; Lambeth libraries; lecturers to strike over pay; stop victimisation at London Met; Hands off our weekends!; cabin crew fight for breaks

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Pushing Labour on council cuts

Author: 

Jill Mountford

Momentum has been operating on the basis of regional delegate meetings (or, in at least one case, a mass members’ meetings) which send policy and elect representatives to the National Committee (NC).

On 30 April, London groups sent delegates to the second London region gathering. It was, overall, a positive and productive meeting. Summary of what was agreed (all good things):

• Election of a nine-person provisional London steering committee

• A London Momentum conference, open to all members, in August

On 30 April, Momentum groups sent delegates to the second London region gathering. It was, overall, a positive and productive meeting.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Dale Street, Ollie Moore, Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and David Ball

CCTV workers employed by Glasgow Community Safety – a Glasgow City Council Arms Length External Organisation (ALEO) – are back at work having won a 24% pay rise after twelve strike days over six weeks. The 19 workers, all Unison members, struck to achieve equal pay, i.e. parity of shift allowance payments, with other employees who work the same pattern of 12 hour shifts in a round-the-clock service.

Strikes hit Glasgow council; Southern Rail guards strike to keep trains safely staffed; GTR bosses use courts to scupper strike; John Roan teachers strike; Government backs down on “check-off”; Parents Defending Education campaign launched.

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