fire brigade: will london burn?

4 10 2010

The inside story of what is really happening in the London Fire Brigade, as told to The Commune.

16th September 2010 and the London left descend on the London Fire Brigade Headquarters to join the mass lobby of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) monthly meeting called by Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and Unison LFEPA Branch.

the FBU are perceived as militant, but we need to break down the division between 'frontline' and 'support' staff

The headlines of the ’left’ press only tell part of the story: ‘FBU up the ante in contract dispute’ (Morning Star 17th September), ‘London Firefighters ready to strike against dismissal threat’ (Newsline 18th September), ‘Brutal bosses? Time to fight back!’ (The Socialist 23rd-29th September) and ‘The ballot is on to save fire jobs’ (Socialist Worker 25th September). Read the rest of this entry »





public sector unions face turbulent times

21 02 2010

by David Huckerby

According to research by the Independent newspaper, 20,000 council workers throughout England, Scotland and Wales face redundancy as forward planning for drastic government cuts take effect. Whatever the outcome of the general election the public sector will face austerity job cuts, cuts in services and attacks on terms and conditions.

Sheffield Council is one of local authorities identified where jobs are threatened. The director of Sheffield Homes, the council’s housing service has raised the spectre of at least forty job cuts in the financial year 2010/11 with more to follow. Over two hundred jobs have been lost in housing in the last few years. A recruitment freeze has been in place for some time. The council is the largest employer in the city so local unemployment is rising. Read the rest of this entry »





two ‘stars’ of british nationalism

3 02 2010

by David Broder

“British workers target Gordon Brown”, screamed the Daily Star on January 19th. One year after Unite leader Derek Simpson posed with two Daily Star ‘glamour models’ holding ‘British jobs for British workers’ placards, the rag promised that thousands of angry construction workers would today “march on London claiming Gordon Brown has failed to honour his “British jobs for British workers” pledge”.

Meanwhile over at the Morning Star, the comrades were fuelling the flames of ‘working-class nationalism’ with a piece on yesterday’s demo over the Kraft-Cadbury deal. In true Communist Party of Britain tradition they almost seemed more concerned about standing up for the “historic British chocolate manufacturer” and “the national interest” than how to effectively resist redundancies.

However, at the construction workers’ demo today, all was not quite as we might have been led to believe… Read the rest of this entry »





how we fought to defend education in tamworth

11 10 2009

by Rob Marsden

Starting out

It is 16 months since Staffordshire County Council announced its plans to restructure education in Tamworth and 14 months since we launched an active and vibrant campaign in opposition to this.

tamworthsos

Hands Off Tamworth Schools was born after a wave of outrage swept the town at plans to turn one of our five High Schools into an Academy, close one school completely and remove all Sixth Form provision from the remaining four schools and concentrate it on a single site, entirely in the hands of the Academy. Read the rest of this entry »





the commune issue 6 out now!

2 07 2009

The sixth issue of The Commune (July 2009) is now available

The paper is published online, but you can order a printed copy or multiple papers to sell (£1 + postage for one copy, or £4 per 5 issues) by emailing uncaptiveminds@gmail.com

Click the image to see PDF, or see articles as they are posted online below.

thecommune6

editorial – migrants are at the heart of our fightback

Adam Ford reports on the Linamar fight and the state of the car industry

Joe Thorne looks at resistance to primary school cuts in London and Glasgow

Dave Spencer argues that the left has much to learn from the local work of the Northampton Save Our Services campaign

Jack Staunton writes on call centre workers’ organising initiatives

Chris Kane counters the argument that we ought to go back to the Labour Party, and stresses that communists need to organise

Kofi Kyerewaa explains the flaws of calling for the banning of the BNP

Activists participating in the occupation to protest the SOAS immigration raid draw a balance-sheet of the struggle

The story of the victimisation and planned deportation of a Chilean woman who dared to stand up to her employer Fitness First

Alice Robson reports on the campaign against cuts in English classes in Tower Hamlets

Kieran Hunter examines the hostile media and public response to June’s strike on the London Underground

David Broder looks at reactions to the mass movement in Iran against the re-election of Ahmedinejad

Alberto Durango explains how Unite have abandoned cleaner organising

Gregor Gall looks at the victory of the Lindsey oil refinery strikers and its implications for the industry

Joe Thorne looks at resistance to primary
school cuts in London and Glasgow
Dave Spencer argues that the left has much
to learn from the local work of the Northampton
Save Our Services campaign
Jack Staunton writes on call centre workers’
organising initiatives
page 3
Chris Kane counters the argument that we
ought to go back to the Labour Party, and
stresses that communists need to organise
Kofi Kyerewaa explains the flaws of calling
for the banning of the BNP
page 4
Activists participating in the occupation to
protest the SOAS immigration raid draw a
balance-sheet of the struggle
page 5
The story of the victimisation and planned
deportation of a Chilean woman who dared
to stand up to her employer Fitness First
Alice Robson reports on the campaign
against cuts in English classes in Tower
Hamlets
page 6
Kieran Hunter examines the hostile media
and public response to June’s strike on the
London Underground
page 7
Alberto Durango explains how Unite have
abandoned cleaner organising
page 8
Gregor Gall looks at the victory of the
Lindsey oil refinery strikers and its implications
for the industry




engineering construction strikes: days of defiance

28 06 2009

by Gregor Gall, professor of industrial relations, University of Hertfordshire

It’s the dispute that just won’t go away. For the third time this year, thousands of engineering construction workers have gone on unofficial strike, fighting for the right to work. This time round the dispute escalated dramatically unlike before, with the mass sacking of some 647 strike workers by the two of contractors working for Total, the Lindsey refinery operator.

On June 11, some 1200 contractors at Lindsey walked out unofficially after a contractor gave notice of redundancies to 51 workers while another contractor on the same site was looking for 60 workers to fill vacancies. This broke the agreement that settled their earlier strike in February this year which compelled vacant work to be made available to those under threat from redundancy. The contractors and Total stated this was not the case. Read the rest of this entry »





can the oil refinery strikers beat the industry?

25 06 2009

An article by Gregor Gall on The Guardian site.

Click here to read Gregor’s analysis of January’s strike wave, which appeared in issue 3 of The Commune, and here to read his recent debate with Chris Kane on the current state of industrial struggle.

refineryworkers

These are days of defiance in the engineering construction industry. The employers won’t give in and neither will the striking workers, even though the ante has been continually upped in the last week.

Total, on behalf of its contractors, refused to engage in any talks to settle the dispute while the unofficial strike at the Lindsey oil refinery continues. Last Friday, it spurned the use of the state conciliation service, Acas. It has also robustly supported its two contractors, IREM and Jacobs, who sacked their strikers (647 in all of them) and has made no play of its other seven on-site contractors who have not sacked their 500-odd strikers. For Total, this is a game of hard hardball. Read the rest of this entry »








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