Solidarity 447, 6 September 2017

Industrial news in brief: train cleaners; Sports Direct; Tube; Riverboats; Argos

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 12:19 Author: Solidarity
Sports Direct hits headlines

Train cleaners ballot

Cleaners working for Southern and Southeastern railways will be balloted by the RMT in two separate disputes over pay and working conditions.
The cleaners are employed by two different cleaning contractors — Wettons on Southeastern and Churchill on Southern.
The ballot closes on 21 September.

Sports Direct

Derby TAs may strike again

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 12:12 Author: Ralph Peters

Teaching Assistants, who are members of Unison, in Derby may be forced into a dispute with the council again following 75 days of industrial action in the last year.

The dispute, that saw up to 600 teaching assistants strike, seemed to result in a partial victory 4 months ago when the council unilaterally implemented a new contract that saved some from wage cuts but still led to wage losses of up to 25% for many.

Council reneges on bins deal

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 12:08 Author: Jim Denham

Birmingham refuse workers have returned to the picket lines after the Labour city council reneged on a deal and sent out redundancy notices.

Mountains of rubbish bags piled up on street corners before the last seven-week strike was suspended on 16 August after Unite and the council struck a deal at ACAS.

1917 and problems of democracy

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 11:45 Author: Andrew Coates

Review of The Russian Revolution: When the workers took power by Paul Vernadsky

The historian of the French Revolution, François Furet, wrote in 1995 wrote that that after the fall of the USSR, the October Revolution had ended its journey. Unlike the first French Republic, Soviet power, and Lenin, “left no heritage”.

The changing economy and politics of Mauritius

Submitted by SJW on 21 September, 2017 - 11:21 Author: Lalit

Twenty years ago, the economy of Mauritius was still based on the sugar industry, mainly exporting to Britain under the terms of the Lomé convention.

There was also a significant textile industry, with exports to the EU and the USA, and a tourism industry.

Then the sugar oligarchy shifted its focus to finance. From 21 sugar factories, Mauritius is down to four (more mechanised) factories. The sugar cane is still there, but the sugar capitalists have shifted to Africa.

Climate change is the problem

Submitted by SJW on 21 September, 2017 - 11:07 Author: Editorial
Hurricaine Harvey rescue operation

Hurricane Harvey, which began on Friday 25 August and lasted until the middle of the following week hit Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky and especially the coastal areas of Texas.
Houston, the US’s fourth biggest city, spread out over 1700 square miles, was the worst affected. The hurricane displaced one million people, caused 44 deaths and damaged 185,000 homes.

Labour’s soft Brexit not good enough

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 8:23 Author: Editorial
Boris Johnson cartoon

It is very unusual for a Tory MP to say he is “ashamed to be British in many ways”. But those were the recent words of Charles Tannock, complaining about his party’s stance on Brexit.

He even went on to say the Tories were “mired in arrogance and hubris… the petty nationalisms, the triumphalism.”

Tannock joined criticisms from senior Tories, including the former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine. These Tories have denounced Theresa May, and openly talked about ditching her in order to prepare for the next election.