Solidarity 175, 10 June 2010

Who's the poshest of them all? Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 15:31

Laura Wade’s ‘Posh’ caused this reviewer more than a little discomfort and unease. I watched it from within the environs of the Royal Court in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea — notable for being the launch-pad for social realism and gritty, working-class “kitchen-sink” dramas such John Osborne’s 1956 'Look back in Anger'.

Folk music and the far right Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 15:25

One strength of the far right in Britain today is in their ability to capitalise on the concerns of working-class and poor people and exploit and twist those interests for their own racist aims.

In the last couple of years, the BNP leadership has recommended to its activists that they start to spread their influence and try to insinuate themselves into the folk and traditional customs of Britain, in an attempt to retain what they call the “pure” culture of the white working classes.

Hurricane Katrina: jailed for helping people in New Orleans

Submitted by Matthew on 10 June, 2010 - 3:21 Author: Tom Unterrainer

As the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed New Orleans in late August 2005, Abdulrahman Zeitoun remained tucked in the relative safety of his daughters’ second floor bedroom. Around him were gathered the books, photographs, mementos and other less valuable but expensive-to-replace items from around the house.

Iraqi workers: "We are still fighting" Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 15:16

Following a recent strike at the Iraqi Harbour Corp. demanding higher wages, the administration have issued orders to transfer dockworker activists from their workplaces in Basra to Mosul, which is 1000km away. We’re building a campaign of protests against the transfer; we’ll back the workers if they refuse to comply with the orders.

On the issue of a labour law, the GFIW is doing some work and has met the Minister of Labour, but their demands only include the “official” unions, meaning themselves.

China: exploitation and resistance in the "world's sweatshop"

Submitted by Matthew on 10 June, 2010 - 3:11 Author: Ira Berkovic

When the arch-Tory newspaper the Daily Telegraph runs exposés of working conditions in your factory, you should know something is up. Terry Gou, the 59-year old Chinese billionaire who owns Foxconn, must be a little shaken-up.

Organising in the North Sea Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 14:36

The explosion at BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which led to the deaths of eleven workers, has put a global spotlight on safety practices and workers’ rights in the offshore industry. On Deepwater Horizon there was no union. The offshore industry in the US is rife with union-busting and other abuses. Only a strong workers’ movement can create a truly safe offshore industry.

US government regulators work for the oil companies Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 14:23

The Mineral Management Service (MMS) is a US government agency that combines two tasks — collecting revenue from oil and gas for the US government; and regulating health and safety.

Gulf of Mexico disaster: fight for workers' control of energy! Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 14:03

On the 20 April the Deepwater Horizon oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers and rupturing a high-pressure extraction pipe in two places. The full extent of the disaster is not yet fully clear.

Oil workers strike and occupy in Colombia Matthew Thu, 06/10/2010 - 13:53

On 21 May workers involved in construction operations in BP’s Tauramena installation entered into occupation demanding:
• a wage increase; the establishment a wage scale;
• due process in disciplinary decisions;
• labour guarantees for the workers.

On 2 June army forces entered the plant. At time of writing they are harassing the workers, who stay overnight chaining themselves to plant equipment so that they cannot be dislodged.