Solidarity 028, 17 April 2003

After the war: Issues for the movement

It is good that Saddam's totalitarian regime has been broken. It is bad that it was done by the US/UK invaders, in their own way, pursuing their own interests.

Out of the anti-war movement we should now build a movement in solidarity with the working people of Iraq, upholding the democratic rights of the peoples of Iraq and, especially, the struggles and the rights to organise of the workers of Iraq.

To do that, we must first recognise that most of the ideologues in our anti-war movement got the war wrong.*

Shopping For Votes

by Greg Palast

Greg Palast has a witty, sharp writing style. He writes as only an American can. However, if his journalistic style is very typically American, his subject matter is most definitely not.

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is a collection of his writings, many first published in the Guardian and the Observer. He is also known over here for his reporting for Newsnight. His subject matter is corporate power and political corruption.

From fighting fires to fighting cuts

Paul Woolstenholmes is the leader of the newly formed Firefighters Against Cuts Party which is standing in eight council seats on 1 May. These are five Strathclyde Fire Board members' seats - Troon West; Annbank, Mossblown and St Quivox; Ayr Newton; Irvine Landward; Busby Ward, East Renfrewshire - plus North Ward Felixstowe (two seats) and Harvey Central, Folkestone. Paul spoke about their campaign to Vicki Morris. [from current issue of Solidarity]

Priorities, priorities

The US troops in Baghdad could not protect many places threatened with looting. The hospitals? No. Thirty-three out of Baghdad's 35 hospitals were put out of action by looters, with the US troops doing nothing about it. The museums? No. The ministries of education, industry, trade? No.
They kept just two ministries intact. The Ministry of the Interior. And, of course, the Ministry of Oil.

Vote no in May ballot

By Kate Ahrens, UNISON activist

UNISON's Health Conference has accepted the proposals from the union leadership to recommend voting for the Agenda for Change pay system in a membership ballot to be held in May.

A day of the three-day long Conference was given over to debating the issue, which would see the biggest shake up in NHS pay since its foundation over 50 years ago.
A wide range of speakers from across the union spoke in opposition to the leadership recommendation and raised a host of problems with the new pay structure.

Law blocks BT strike

By a BT engineer

The strike by engineers in BT's Customer Service division (approximately 15,000 external and control staff) due to start on Monday 14 April was called off after the employers won an injunction under the anti-union laws.

Establishment candidate wins GMB Election

By a GMB member

In a stark reversal of the recent trend in union elections, the leadership's man Kevin Curran beat London Region's Paul Kenny by a surprisingly comfortable margin for GMB General Secretary.

Bradford Newquest strike escalates

By Vicki Morris

Newsquest Bradford managers are becoming increasingly isolated in their stand-off with their workers. Managing director David Coates and his group editor Perry Austin-Clarke have been told by government minster Chris Leslie they should pay their journalists more. Elsewhere in the Newsquest empire, NUJ members are being offered deals considerably better than the miserly two percent on the table at Bradford.

Unison left runs united slate

By Adie Kemp

UNISON's National Executive Committee comes up for re-election over the next two months. The whole committee is facing re-election, and the left inside the union has fielded the largest united slate of candidates since the union's foundation.
Thirty four candidates across regional and national seats are standing on a UNISON United Left ticket, and all expectations are that the left will increase its representation on the new committee.

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