Solidarity 018, 28 November 2002

Build for Industrial Solidarity with the Firefighters

An open letter to John Monks from Billy Carruthers, Station Commander and FBU member, Euston fire station, London


I welcome your recent statement where you said, and rightly so, that this is a "seminal" dispute. You, like most trade unionists, are absolutely appalled by the Government's attitude.

a public sector pay fightback

Many other groups of public sector workers are in a similar position to the fire fighters. They have suffered years of very low pay increases. Their unions are beginning to fight for pay increases and pay deals which will enable them to "catch up". Solidarity will look at different areas of the public sector in each issue to analyse the potential contours of a public sector fight back on pay. Bringing forward the disputes on pay will help maximise solidarity with the fire fighters. This issue: the health service.

  • Unequal pay in the NHS
  • Action in the ambulance service
  • Glasgow hospital workers still defiant

London weighting strike

Thousands of teachers were joined by council workers who are members of Unison - both fighting for a flat rate of £4,000 for London Weighting - on a march in central London. Fire fighters also joined the demo. While police officers get over £6,000 in London Weighting, teachers get only £3,105 in inner London and £2,043 in the outer boroughs.

Scientists join the pay revolt

Hundreds of Government scientists are to stage a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay parity with other workers. Staff at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science will walk out next Wednesday. They believe their pay has fallen behind other staff at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by 10% since the department was established last year.

After the Bradford riots, injustice persists

On the night of 7 July 2001 the Manningham area of Bradford experienced what has been described as the worst rioting in the city for 20 years. The riots were stoked up by the activities of the National Front and the BNP - an organisation which continues to win large votes in council elections, and recently won a council by-election in Blackburn. Tim Hales looks at the aftermath of the Bradford riot and argues that very little has been learnt

Lessons from history: Larkin's labour war 1913-14

When the TUC betrayed Dublin workers

In last week's issue of Solidarity, we printed articles by the Irish socialist James Connolly about the struggle of workers in Dublin to unionise and fight for better pay in the years before the First World War. Led by Jim Larkin, they built the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, using the solidarity strike as their weapon.