Solidarity 370, 3 July 2015

RMT AGM pledges to fight attacks

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 17:05

Janine Booth, delegate from Central Line East branch

The Annual General Meeting of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union voted to back Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for Labour leader, fight the Tories’ attacks on trade union rights, and step up its work on equalities.

As well as committing to militant industrial struggles, delegates also voted unanimously for several emergency resolutions from branches opposing the tightening of anti-union laws promised in the Queen’s Speech. These included support for a national demonstration and rank-and-file conference this year.

Delegates voted unanimously for the union to defend migrant workers from increasing

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 16:53

Ollie Moore and Anne Field

Members of all four Tube unions will strike on 8-9 July, in disputes over pay, the implementation of 24-hour running (“Night Tube”), and job cuts.

Drivers’ union ASLEF returned a 98% majority for strikes, on a turnout of over 80%. Members of RMT, the largest union on the Tube, voted by over 90% for strikes in two ballots (one of all grades, over pay and Night Tube, and one of station workers over job cuts), on turnouts of around 53%. TSSA and Unite members also voted for strikes by over 70%.

Action will begin on the evening of 8 July, and conclude on the evening of the 9th. Combined strike

Arguments for Corbyn

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 16:44

Michael Johnson

Questions and answers on supporting Jeremy Corbyn in the ballot for Labour Leader.

The 2015 election shows that the Labour Party is dead. The Corbyn campaign is just one last twitch from the corpse.

Rumours of the death of Labour have been greatly exaggerated. Labour got over 9 million votes in the last election and retains the affiliation of 14 trade unions, representing around three million workers.

The Labour Party still occupies a central position in labour movement politics, which socialists simply cannot ignore.

Though the link between the unions and Labour is under threat, the unions

How the left became “Little Englanders”

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 16:23

Sean Matgamna

In a 1975 referendum on UK’s membership of the European Economic Community (Common Market), forerunner of the European Union, most of the left argued for UK withdrawal. That was the culmination of a step-by-step opportunist collapse into left-nationalism since the 1960s, when all the would-be Trotskyist groups said the answer to limited European capitalist integration was European workers’ unity, not national withdrawal. This article, taken from Permanent Revolution No. 3*, describes the evolution.

“We must never play with slogans that are not revolutionary by their own content but that can

Greek left mobilises for “no” on 5 July

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 16:09

Theodora Polenta

Up to Friday 26 June the Greek government of Syriza-ANEL was very close to reaching an agreement with the eurozone leaders. It looked set to abandon its last “red lines” and accept 90-95% of the conditions for a new bailout, including direct wage and pension reductions and explicitly maintaining the framework of the last five years of Memorandum.

The Greek government had accepted the logic that increased tax revenues would be based on VAT increases and the preservation of the regressive property tax; the principle of zero deficit for the financing of the pension system; the gradual withdrawal

How to fight Daesh

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 15:56


The killing of at least 39 people by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, along with the destruction of a Shia mosque in Kuwait, on Friday 26 June, may signal a shift in strategy for Daesh (ISIS).

Until now, their declared aim was the establishment of a caliphate in Iraq-Syria. This latest development could be the start of a new global jihad. The targeting of tourists is a move away from the targeting of religious minorities and non Sunni Muslims.

The flow of foreign fighters to Daesh’s capital in Raqqa, Syria, is another alarming trend. Tunisian nationals now make up the largest proportion of

A workerful world

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 15:44

Martin Thomas

Eighty-four years ago, John Maynard Keynes wrote: “The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption”, and predicted that that generation’s grandchildren (that is, the “baby boom” generation now in their sixties) would work only three hours a day.

Twenty years ago Jeremy Rifkin published a book entitled “The End of Work”, and predicting “a near-workerless world”.

Keynes and Rifkin were not wrong about technical progress. The 1930s, despite the slump, saw the start of the modern chemical industry, and modern plastics.

For Corbyn, and for better politics

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 15:39

Colin Foster

“It is the duty of the activists within the Labour Party and Socialist Campaign for Labour Victory to fight alongside the public sector workers”, wrote Jeremy Corbyn during the “Winter of Discontent”, the great wave of public sector workers’ strikes towards the end of the 1974-9 Labour government.

Corbyn is now the left candidate for leader of the Labour Party. Back in 1979 he was a young union official and a left-wing Labour councillor in Haringey, north London.

He was writing in the first regular monthly issue of Socialist Organiser. The core people in the production and promotion of

New centres of capital

Published on: Fri, 03/07/2015 - 15:30

Rhodri Evans

As of 2014, “developing Asia” — China, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and other countries — became a bigger exporter of foreign direct investment than North America (the US and Canada) or the whole of Europe.

The United Nations agency which monitors such things, UNCTAD, reports that “developing economies” produced 36% of all foreign direct investment in 2014, up from less than 10% as recently as 2003 (UNCTAD World Investment Report 2015).

The shift is not a blip, or a sudden and temporary development due to economic difficulties in the USA and Europe. It is the latest step in a

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