Solidarity 290, 21 June 2013

Rail union conference to discuss strike against McNulty

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 12:38

The Annual General Meeting of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT), which takes place from 23-28 June in Brighton, will discuss a variety of motions on the union’s political and industrial strategy.
In a welcome move, the union’s national executive recently agreed to organise eight meetings in cities around Britain for rank-and-file members to discuss the union’s industrial strategy and put forward their ideas for responses to the attacks on railworkers following the 2011 McNulty Report.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 12:33

Refuse workers at Brighton Council have announced more strikes in their fight against pay cuts.

Drivers will strike for five days from Monday 24. A five-day strike of all workers employed by the CityClean service came to an end on Thursday 20 June. A work-to-rule, which has been in effect since the end of a sit-down strike on Friday 10 May, will remain in place for all workers.

Teachers gear up for strikes

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 12:25

On 27 June, teachers in the North West of England will strike against government attacks on teachers’ pay.

Greg Foster, secretary of Chester and Cheshire West NUT, said: “This government has singled out teachers as we are the best-organised, most unionised workforce in the country. The fight back begins in the North West. We can and will win”.

A balance sheet on Hugo Chávez Matthew Thu, 06/27/2013 - 12:15

The death of Hugo Chávez earlier this year provides the opportunity for a balance sheet on his rule and what it signified for socialists. Workers’ Liberty contends that Chávez was a “Bonapartist” politician who remained to his death within the bounds of capitalism, whatever his rhetoric about socialism and “Bolivarian revolution”. Pablo Velasco contributes the first of a serious of four articles.

Clément Méric — ni oubli, ni pardon!

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 11:52

On Wednesday 5 June, a young student militant in Paris, Clément Méric, was shopping with his friends. They had an exchange with some individuals who were members of far right organisations who later on confronted Clément and his friends. They severely beat Clément, using a knuckle duster. He was knocked unconscious, and after being hospitalised, was pronounced brain dead.

This is a tragedy, and heartbreaking. Our condolences go to Clément’s family and his friends.

The internet revolution

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 11:39

Cyberpunk as a genre is usually pretty pessimistic about the possibilities of overthrowing the rule of capital. Grim apocalyptic scenarios abound of rampant capitalism, weak states, and power struggles between groups of reactionary organised criminals — huge corporations and gangsters. Heroic individuals fight for something they believe in and meet varying degrees of local success.

Turkey defies Erdogan

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 11:23

The movement against the authoritarian neo-liberal Erdogan government in Turkey continues in multiple forms despite heavy repression and heavier threats.

It started with a small environmentalist protest against the plans to bulldoze Gezi Park, next to Taksim Square in central Istanbul, and build a shopping mall on the site. It spread after 28 May when the first small protest was attacked with tear gas and water cannon.

TV workers’ battle reopens Greek political crisis

Submitted by Matthew on 27 June, 2013 - 11:18

On Tuesday 11 June, after Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras announced that he would shut down ERT (the Greek equivalent of the BBC), and sack all its workers.

He would set up a new public broadcaster, with fewer staff and lower wages, in due course.

In a sudden operation on the stroke of midnight, police cut off electricity to the antennas and threatened the workers with arrest if they did not leave the building. The ERT workers responded by occupying the station’s main building in Athens and broadcasting a protest program via satellite and internet.