Solidarity 449, 4 October 2017

Royal Mail workers to strike

Submitted by Gemma_S on 10 October, 2017 - 11:33 Author: Gemma Short

Workers at Royal Mail have voted by 89.1% for strikes.

The dispute has four main demands: an end to the two-tier pension system, and for a decent pension for all; a shorter full-time working week of 35 hours with no loss of pay to mitigate the effects of automation on work; union agreements extended past 2018; no two-tiered workforce in order to achieve Royal Mail′s plan to have 9-5 delivery; a decent pay rise and no introduction of future pay awards linked to the company′s success and efficiency savings that year.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 12:28 Author: Gemma Short, Mark Kent and Ollie Moore

On Saturday 30 September, workers and supporters protested outside the HR Owen car showrooms in London.

HR Owen sells a number of luxury sports cars, including Maserati and Ferrari, some of which sell for over £250,000 each. Last year it made a profit of £400m. Yet it only pays the minimum wage (through an outsourcing company) to its cleaners for the last five years. The inequality between rich and poor could not be clearer.

A slice of Palestinian life

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 11:56

Cathy Nugent reviews “In Between”


Maysaloun Hamoud’s film portrayal of three Palestinian women who share a flat in Tel Aviv shows the difficulties of finding personal freedom and breaking from a patriarchal background.

Hamoud does not foreground Israeli society yet it is always present. While the modernity of Tel Aviv nurtures the women and helps them find their way, the anti-Arab racism of the wider society impinges on the choices they can ultimately make.

1917 was a revolution, not a coup

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 11:43 Author: Paul Hampton

The British Trotskyist group Socialist Resistance has published a book, October 1917 — Workers in Power (Merlin 2016), which defends the key decisions of the Bolsheviks, while making some reasonable criticisms of the regime created after the civil war. The collection of essays is useful in many respects, but feels somewhat stale and has a number of notable gaps.

Planning Labour’s “war games”

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 11:14

Richard Barbrook, named as John McDonnell’s adviser on “war-gaming” for a future Labour government, spoke to Solidarity


I’m in the process of doing the bureaucracy to go part-time in my university job and work part-time in the Labour leader’s office on role-plays for likely problems were we get into government.

The media have picked up on the phrase “war games” because it sounds more sexy, but really it’s role-plays.