Solidarity 456, 6 December 2017

Teachers strike over workload SJW Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:15

Workers at Westways Primary School in Sheffield voted overwhelmingly to strike on 6, 7, 12 and 13 December against reforms which will worsen excessive workload and increase scrutiny of teachers.

Trump’s government for the rich

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:46 Author: Gerry Bates
Grad protest

Donald Trump's tax overhaul was passed early on Saturday 2 December in the US Senate. Although the bill will now need to be reconciled with the House-passed version, it is likely to include tax cuts which will make the rich and US corporations much richer, while also punishing the working class and the poor.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:29 Author: Jim Denham, Gemma Short, Dale Street and Peggy Carter

After twelve weeks of strikes, Unite members have agreed a deal to settle a long-running dispute over changes to waste management services in Birmingham. On balance, this has to be considered a victory for the workers. The Labour council have agreed to withdraw proposed redundancies in exchange for giving the affected workers new job titles and duties.

Selections, factionalism, and Akehurst Matthew Wed, 12/06/2017 - 13:22
Selections, factionalism, and Akehurst

“We may well have reached 'peak Momentum'. These are the most favourable political circumstances Labour’s hard left could envisage.

“They feel politically vindicated by the general election result, have a well-funded, well-staffed organisation holding a vast amount of data on Labour members and have reshaped Labour’s membership through successive rounds of mass recruitment.”

The reality surrounding Florida’s fantasy

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:12 Author: Luke Hardy

When Walt Disney planned “the Florida Project” (the plan that would become Walt Disney World Resort) he deliberately located it in a state with cheap land and compliant politicians who would allow him to own land beyond the park.

Disney wanted more than his fantasy kingdom with themed hotels, he also wanted a corporate-controlled futuristic city where anyone who would not fit in with the magic kingdom's fantasy ould be kept out.

Our duties in the Corbyn surge

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:05 Author: Simon Nelson

Opening the AWL’s annual conference on 25-26 November, and moving the document “Nine years on: the new left, neoliberalism, and the new right”, Martin Thomas outlined the situation the political left finds itself in: “The global credit crash of 2008 and the ensuing travails have produced delayed political effects. A shift to more right-wing, nationalist, and ’identity’ politics may move neoliberalism sharply to the right, or even explode it from within. The economic turmoil has also produced new life on the left, as yet on a low wattage.”

Reverse the inequality spiral!

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 12:57 Author: Colin Foster
Reverse the inequality spiral

The share prices of big companies (the FTSE 100) continue to rise. Top bosses' pay dropped a bit between 2015 and 2016, but is on a long-term trend to rise faster than workers' wages, and stood at £3.45 million in 2016 (median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs). The average profit rate of UK firms (outside finance and outside the North Sea oilfields) recovered entirely a long time ago from its dip in 2008-9, and is now around 13%, compared to 8% in 2001.

The housing crisis and fighting back Matthew Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:44
Housing crisis

Britain has a housing crisis. According to Shelter more than 300,000 people — the equivalent to one in every 200 — are homeless or living in inadequate homes. According to official figures 1.3 million people are on a local authority waiting list for housing. By 2020, 25% of people will be renters, rather than home owners. Londoners now spend 40% of their income on rent, and increasing.