Solidarity 103, 8 December 2006

Iraq descends into civil war: Solidarity with Iraqi workers!

By Colin Foster

The USA's Iraq Study Group, led by Republican old-stager James Baker, is due to present its ideas on 6 December.

In the run-up, another leading Washington think-tank has put out a report on Options for Iraq (29 November). The New York Times has published two leaked top-level memos: one (29 November) written on 8 November by new US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley on ideas for a "major adjustment" of US Iraq policy; the other (3 December) written by Donald Rumsfeld on 6 November, shortly before he was pushed out as Defense Secretary.

Support sacked JJB steward!

By Amina Saddiq

Workers at the warehouse in Wigan supplying JJB Sports outlets across the UK, whose strike action last month forced their employer to make major concessions on pay and bonuses, are balloting again over the sacking of their GMB rep Chris Riley, who was interviewed in the last issue of Solidarity.

Iraq: should we call for "troops out now"?

Solidarity is opening a discussion on whether or not we should call for the troops to get out of Iraq now. Short contributions to that debate are welcome.

Solidarity with Iraqi workers! Troops out now!
by David Broder

Class struggle in the USA

Kim Moody is a labour historian, teacher and activist in the United States. He is prominent in Labor Notes, a rank-and-file bulletin for working-class militants. He is the author of several books, including Workers in a Lean World. He spoke at the AWL's 2006 Ideas for Freedom event.

There were two events of great importance recently. The first took place in the spring of this year, beginning on 25 April and reaching its culmination on 1 May.

Industrial News

UCU conference slams leaders over pay deal

By Pete Radcliff, Derby University UCU secretary

ON Friday 24 November, the University and College Union's Higher Education sector conference passed verdict on the AUT and NATFHE leadership's handling of their abortive pay dispute earlier this year.

The advisory conference was the result of agitation against the shabby ending of the dispute, when the merged leadership of the new union called off the action for an offer only half a percent better than the employers' original offer.

Iraq Union Solidarity Scotland

ON Thursday 23 November a new group in Scotland was set up to build solidarity with the Iraqi trade union movement. The group will meet in Glasgow. In line with TUC, STUC and Women's TUC conference policies, the comrades involved pledged to support all secular Iraqi trade unions and women's organisations. The group will be called Iraq Union Solidarity Scotland (IUSS) and will work with other IUS groups in England. The group is aiming to have a public meeting in early February.

Mexican state crushes Oaxaca

By David Broder

THE five-month popular occupation of Oaxaca, Mexico, was crushed on the 27-29 October when thousands of federal riot police invaded the city, killing at least three protesters and an American journalist working for Indymedia. Hundreds were reported to be injured. The city had been under the control of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), a coalition of indigenous, trade union and student activists created in response to the state governor Ulises Ruiz's failed attempt to evict striking teachers in June.

Hezbollah flexes its muscles

By Martin Thomas

Just as veteran US foreign-policy "fixer" James Baker is expected to publish proposals to calm Iraq through cooperation between the USA and Iraq's neighbours Iran and Syria, Lebanon has lurched towards a return to civil war - this time between the Lebanese constituencies aligned with Iran and Syria, and those aligned with the USA.

Green Party turns left?

By Martin Ohr

In the same week that Derek Wall was elected principal male speaker of the Green Party, Leeds and four other West Yorkshire city councils announced the privatisation of Leeds Bradford International Airport. Leeds council is run by a Tory-Lib Dem-Green coalition.

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