Solidarity 116, 9 August 2007

Challenge the BNP everywhere

By Pete Radcliff

The BNP finished its Red, White and Blue Festival in Codnor, Derbyshire on 5 August. Once again they were able to organise this mass fascist rally without facing national mobilisation from either of the two anti-fascist groupings, Searchlight or Unite against Fascism (UAF). Nor did they face any obstruction from local Labour councils or the police or fire services they are in charge of.

Mick Cashman, 1959-2007

By John Bloxam

On 18 July Mick Cashman died, aged just 48.

For over a decade until the early 1990s, he was a member of the AWL’s predecessor organisations and supporter of Workers’ Action and Socialist Organiser.

Public sector unions: strike together!

One for all and all for one

Will other public sector unions pull forward their disputes over Gordon Brown’s two per cent pay limit so that they hit the Government together with the postal workers?

With current inflation, the two per cent limit means a real wage cut of three per cent this year, and perhaps a similar cut next year. Striking at that limit with a clenched fist — all the major unions acting simultaneously — will be a thousand times more effective than flicking at it with one finger after another.

Student leaders attack democracy

By Sofie Buckland, NUS National Executive member

At the behest of right-wing student union officers and NEC, NUS is undertaking a wide-ranging “governance review“, aimed at overhauling democratic structures, staffing, funding, and just about anything else they don’t like.

The drugs do work?

With so many Government ministers making admissions of youthful dope smoking and Gordon Brown’s announcement that he’s getting “tough on the puff”, isn’t it time that socialists should once again unfurl their “Free the Weed” banners and raise them high? At least I think so.

Peace in Darfur?

By Rosalind Robson

More than four years since the war in Darfur began and not much less time since a massive international campaign called for them, the UN has agreed to send “peacekeeping” troops to Sudan. The deployment coincides with an agreement between all but one of Darfur’s opposition groups, to jointly seek peace talks with the Sudanese government.

Reject this health pay offer!

Mike Fenwick, Airedale UNISON Health Branch (PC)

Five months of negotiation since the initial offer of a staged 2.5% have produced no real results. Staging the deal meant that it would be worth only 1.9%. So health service staff were being offered less than the governments own suggested raise. It meant Alan Johnston and the treasury would save millions. And allowed a little wiggle room from which a few extra enticements could be found.

International workers’ news round up: Iran, China, Palestine


Free Salehi and Ossanlou Now!

A demonstration to secure the freedom of imprisoned worker activists and support the independent labour movement in Iran was about to take place as we went to press.

The protest was due to take place on 9 August outside the Iranian embassy in London and at other embassies around the world. It is part of a week of solidarity with workers in Iran, called by exiled Iranian workers’ organisations and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

Worker run hotel under threat

By Jack Staunton

The Hotel BAUEN in Buenos Aires, Argentina, occupied by its workers since early 2003, is under threat of eviction by the local government in an effort to return the hotel to its original owners. They charge that since the workers’ seizure of control over the hotel was illegal, it must now be returned. Dozens of other worker-managed workplaces and co-operatives in Argentina fear similar attacks, as BAUEN is a key symbol for the labour movement.

The strikes have hurt

Solidarity spoke to Pete Keenlyside, CWU Executive (speaking in a personal capacity).

What impact has the action had so far?
On the industrial front the action of rolling strikes is having a significant effect. Management have had to admit in their own staff briefings that the action is hurting them and are pleading “these strikes can't continue”.

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