Stop cuts! Tax the rich!

Submitted by Janine on 20 December, 1997 - 9:45

Unbudged by the rebellion of 61 Labour MPs against the government's cuts in one-parent benefits, New Labour ministers are now refusing to deny reports that they will make "substantial savings" in benefits for the disabled. And their plans for NHS spending indicate a 1.5% real cut in Health Service resources next year.

Fight for union rights

Submitted by Janine on 11 December, 1997 - 9:31

The welcome show of spirit by Labour MPs against the government's mean proposal to cut one-parent benefits has put down a marker. Let's see the union leaders do at least as much - on the one-parent benefits issue, and also on the most basic, bottom-line question for all trade unionists, the right for unions to organise, to negotiate, and to take effective action.

Germany: students fight fees

Submitted by Janine on 27 November, 1997 - 10:10

In Germany, students are on strike at 25 universities - with 15 others due to join the movement as we write - with a list of demands including opposition to all tuition fees. In London on 26 November, 10,000 students marched with the Campaign for Free Education, despite the pro-Blair leadership of the National Union of Students opposing the protest.

OILC: the new union picks up momentum Janine Fri, 11/08/1991 - 17:37

Recruitment to the new offshore workers' union is going very well and steadily.

Regular weekly meetings will be started in Dundee in addition to Aberdeen, Glasgow and Newcastle, and offshore workers in Liverpool have asked for meetings to be set up.

The priority for the next six months or so will be setting up recruitment meetings, and getting solidarity motions through other unions' meetings, pressing for TUC recognition.

Offshore workers form new union Janine Fri, 10/18/1991 - 18:42

"We've only been recruiting since last Friday and so far the response has been very positive indeed. The people offshore know us, I'm very optimistic."

That's how Ronnie MacDonald, Chair of the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) summed up the tasks facing the committee just four days after they had made the momentous decision to form themselves into a new union for offshore workers.

Support the 'splitters'! Janine Fri, 10/18/1991 - 17:49

The decision of the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) to form itself into a new union has brought forth predictable cries of condemnation from predictable sources.

Frank Doran, the Labour Party's 'spokesman on Oil and Gas', called the decision "damaging to the cause of workers offshore"; Jimmy Airlie of the AEU called it "foolish and tragic"; while Alex Ferry, General Secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) called upon offshore workers to put their faith in the "existing unions".

OILC poll results Janine Fri, 10/18/1991 - 12:34

Percentage of employees who believe that the workers would be more effectively represented by a single industrial union:
TU Members: 85%
Non Unionists: 81%
Total: 83%

Percentage of employees who would consider joining an industrial trade union which represented all offshore workers regardless of occupation:
TU Members: 82%
Non Unionists: 62%
Total: 71%

Percentage of employees who are trade unionists who feel their trade union adequately represents its members offshore:

"The future is ours" Janine Fri, 10/18/1991 - 11:29

The Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC), which organised the unofficial strikes and rig occupations in the North Sea in 1989 and '90, has decided to form itself into a trade union for offshore workers. Here, the OILC Standing Committee explain their actions.


Anyone expecting euphoria at the formal announcement of the formation of an Offshore Workers' Union at the Queens Hotel in Brighton in 3 October was to be sadly disappointed.

"To do nothing is just not an option" Janine Fri, 10/18/1991 - 08:25

Ronnie MacDonald explains how the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee plans to the the newly formed Offshore Workers' Union by focusing on health and safety iisues and the need for workers' unity on the rigs.


Among the many regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act never extended offshore was the 1977 regulation on Safety Committees.