Solidarity 331, 16 July 2014

Defend our unions!

The bleating from the bourgeois press about disruption on 10 July strike day has given Cameron an excuse to restate the Tories’ intention to almost ban strikes in the public sector through changes to balloting laws.

Lambeth College: preparing for round two!

Union negotiators for lecturers at Lambeth College have failed to reach an agreement.

Management have failed to show any movement on proposed new contracts which would see increases in hours, cuts in pay, reduced holidays and cuts in sickness entitlement.

However workers ended their strike on Wednesday 9 July, committed to working during enrolment, and have agreed to re-ballot for further industrial action in the autumn.

Lambeth College Strike

RMT election: vote John Leach!

The individual members’ ballot in the election for the new General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers’ union (RMT) begins on Monday 21 July, after a period of branch nominations.

RMT members face serious industrial and political challenges. Significant staffing cuts are threatened in the railway industry, the union’s largest industrial sector, as bosses implement the recommendations of the McNulty Report, commissioned by Labour and completed by the Tories.

Two nations, two states!

Since the latest round of Israeli air bombardments of Gaza began on 8 July, around 200 Palestinians have died.

77% of have been civilians according to UN estimates. Many have been children

Day out for the unions

Over 100,000 people came out for the glorious sunshine, music, banners, politics, history and beer at the Durham Miners’ Gala on 12 July.

For over a hundred years the miners used to march with their banners and brass bands through Durham. This tradition nearly died after the closure of the pits, but the event has been reinvented. The ex-pit communities now walk with the banners, and other unions turn out with their banners and bands. The speakers are from a broad range of unions.

Justice for victims of child abuse!

On Monday 14 July, Lady Butler-Sloss resigned as the chair of an inquiry into the sexual abuse of children by MPs and other high-profile, powerful people in the 1980s.

It was less than a week since she had been appointed.

It is almost unbelievable that she had been appointed in the first place. Her brother, Sir Michael Havers, was attorney general in the same period that is under question.

Sweeping spy powers rushed through

David Cameron has unveiled new “emergency” legislation on data surveillance that would compel internet service providers and mobile operators to store information on their customers for up to twelve months so that the police can use it for criminal cases.

After 10 July, extend the action

10 July saw the biggest strike in Britain since the 30 November 2011 pensions strike.

The strike, which involved hundreds of thousands of teachers, council workers, civil servants, fire fighters, and other public sector staff, shut down schools and local government services across the country. Workers’ Liberty members participating in the strike sent reports to Solidarity.

In Leeds, activists say the number of pickets matched the levels of the 2011 strike. Around 4,000 attended a city centre rally.

Support Calais migrants

Authorities in Calais have created a by-law prohibiting groups of people occupying or setting up camps across the town.

Whilst the text of the decree does not specifically mention migrants, after the recent mass evictions on 28 May and again on 2 July, where riot police violently removed over 600 people from makeshift camps in the area, it is clear that they were in mind when the law was made.

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