Alarming news on Underground fire safety Tubeworker Fri, 03/24/2006 - 12:42

RMT press release ...

LONDON UNDERGROUND has downgraded its own fire-safety regime, despite fierce opposition from its own principal fire engineer and union safety reps, the Tube's biggest union reveals today.

Changes imposed by LUL have relegated fire-safety to become an adjunct of general health and safety policy, done away with the existing fire inspection programme and even abolished the post of specialist fire-safety advisor, RMT says.

Iraqi Exile Speaks Out Against the Targeting of Gay Iraqis by Shia Death Squads

Submitted by AWL on 23 March, 2006 - 10:56

Taken from an interview on US TV.

As violence continues on a daily basis on Iraq, President Bush is continuing his media offensive this week. A town-style meeting in West Virginia Wednesday was his latest in five straight days of appearances. The president has repeatedly lauded what he calls the birth of freedom and democracy in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime.

But yet another story out of the country paints a very different picture.

Ossanlou and Bahrami still in jail

Submitted by AWL on 22 March, 2006 - 6:12

Five imprisoned bus drivers, all members of the executive board of Tehran's bus workers' union, and Sattar Amini, a metal worker, were released on bail on Saturday and Sunday. However, the head of the union, Mansoor Ossanlou, and Afshin Bahrami, an auto worker from Iran Khodro car plant, remain in prison.

Iraq: why are the demonstrations dwindling?

Submitted by AWL on 22 March, 2006 - 1:05

By Martin Thomas

About 20,000 marched in London on 18 March against US/ UK troops in Iraq, and against war on Iran. Workers’ Liberty activists and others distributed leaflets for the Iraq Union Solidarity campaign, and did a bucket collection for the Iraqi unions which raised £289, about the same as on the bigger demonstration of March 2005 and much more than on the last “Stop The War” demonstration, September 2005.

Women’s Pay: Mind the Gap

Submitted by Janine on Fri, 03/17/2006 - 13:44

The hot topic of TUC Women's Conference was the gender pay gap – the fact that, three decades on from legislation supposedly guaranteeing ‘equal pay for work of equal value’, women still earn significantly less than men. Just a few days previously, the government’s ‘Women And Work Commission’ had published its report, containing a long list of recommendations, nearly all of them little fiddles with the system, and as a whole, letting employers right off the hook.

Labour and the fat cats

Submitted by AWL on 16 March, 2006 - 10:04

Trade union and Labour activists should demand a full-scale inquiry, with rank-and-file activists on the inquiry panel, and reporting in full, about the New Labour leadership's financial dealings.

Only a short time after the scandal about New Labour minister Tessa Jowell's husband allegedly receiving large sums from right-wing Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, information has come out about New Labour receiving large loans from several wealthy people.

NZ union takes on McDonalds AWL Thu, 03/16/2006 - 21:55

From Labourstart:

A few weeks ago the New Zealand union Unite launched the first-ever strike at Starbucks. Now they've taken on McDonald's, and they are serious about challenging one of the most ruthlessly anti-union corporations on the planet.

They're signing up workers, taking the company to court, and launching a global campaign to flood McDonald's in New Zealand with thousands of email protest messages.

Local government workers to strike on 28 March

Submitted by AWL on 16 March, 2006 - 9:36

One million workers in local government, members of Unison and other unions, are set to strike on 28 March against the Government's plans to cut their pension provision.

Some time back the Government declared its intention to raise the age at which public sector workers can claim their pensions, usually from 60 to 65. Most public sector unions agreed a deal with the Government in October 2005 whereby the pension age will be raised for all new entrants, but existing workers will be protected.

No deportations to Iraq!

Submitted by AWL on 16 March, 2006 - 9:33

The British government still intends to deport Iraqi and Kurdish nationals to whom it has refused protection. Fifteen people were forcibly removed on 20 November 2005.

One person has been allowed back into Britain as the Home Office admit he should not have been on the flight. All were known to be frightened about their future when they returned, but it has not been possible to monitor their fate systematically.