Solidarity 044, 22 January 2004

West Midlands Land Rover dispute

Submitted by Anon on 5 February, 2004 - 4:21

Trade union Amicus has written to Land Rover, asking them to resume talks to resolve the pay dispute at the Solihull and Gaydon plants in the West Midlands.
TGWU and Amicus members at Land Rover are due to hold another 24-hour stoppage on Monday 9 February after holding a successful strike on Monday 26 January.

The workers are angry that the company's six-and-a-half percent pay offer will not give them parity with colleagues in Ford-owned Jaguar. They voted overwhelmingly to reject the company offer by 82% in a ballot in October.

After the Hutton Report: free Katharine Gun!

Submitted by martin on 31 January, 2004 - 6:02

Going to press on 21 January, we do not know what the Hutton Report will say about whether the Blair government culpably exposed government scientist David Kelly to the pressures which led him to suicide.
We know about Katharine Gun, though. And Baha Mousa, Kifa Taha, and Abd al-Jabbar Mossa.
Katharine Gun, a translator at the government spy centre GCHQ, leaked information to the press about moves by the USA to manipulate governments represented on the UN Security Council into voting for the Iraq war.

Obituary: Cecilia Prosper

Submitted by Janine on 25 January, 2004 - 9:53

Cecilia Prosper, former Islington UNISON steward, Socialist Alliance candidate in North-East London in the GLA 2000 elections, and a member of the Socialist Workers Party, has died of cancer at the age of 44. Cecilia was victimised from her job at Islington council after a strike in the late 1990s, but led the appeal which indicted the council. Our sympathy and condolences to her family and many friends. A memorial event will be announced shortly.

Details: Socialist Worker website

Obituary: Hugh McGrillen

Submitted by Janine on 25 January, 2004 - 9:51

Hugh McGrillen, a long-time MSF left activist and for many years London regional secretary of the MSF, has died of cancer. Hugh, a qualified chemist, worked as an advice worker at the London Hazards Centre. He was also a member of the Irish national chess team.
In 1999 the London Region of the MSF was excluded from voting in the Labour Party mayoral ballot on the utterly spurious grounds of late payment of affiliation. Hugh and his comrades fought the exclusion.

Kick out Blair, not the railworkers!

Submitted by Anon on 22 January, 2004 - 5:13

By a Tubeworker

The Labour Party has written to the rail union RMT warning the union that unless the Executive revokes its decision to allow Scottish RMT branches to affiliate to the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), we will be outside the rules of the Labour Party. That essentially means our union's expulsion.

This clash arises from our Annual General Meeting (AGM) decision in 2003 to allow branches to affiliate to organisations outside the Labour Party. A Special General Meeting (SGM) has been called for 6 February to decide what we do about it.

Referendum rubbish

Submitted by Anon on 22 January, 2004 - 5:11

George Galloway and his "Respect" coalition are saying that the June Euro and local government elections should be made a referendum on Tony Blair.

So after June we should add up the Tory, Lib Dem, Scottish National Party, and other non-Labour votes, and crack open the champagne if the total is large enough?

The left should oust Blair. Not by hoping that the Tories' votes plus our little extra come to enough to dishearten him, but by mobilising the unions to reject both Blair and Brown and re-establish accountable working-class political representation.