Sunday, May 20, 2007

On The Frontline - Resistance's regular workplace column

The enemy might just have appointed a new commander-in-chief in Gordon Brown, but as he measures up curtains in his war room, he's bound to notice a pile of worrying reports from the frontline.

Teachers and nurses are considering action over Brown's offer of a 2-2.5% pay rise, which is effectively a cut when you consider prices have gone up by about 3% over the last year, according to the government's own figures. And on May 1st - international workers' day - around 200,000 civil servants went on strike over job cuts, privatisation, and crap wages. Clearly, all public sector workers are being attacked by New Labour and need respond with united action.

But of course it's not just state employees who are feeling the squeeze. Tesco may have made £2.5 billion profits last year, but the capitalist beast can never be full, so their new contract for Scottish distribution truckers derecognises their union (UNITE), and would mean a pay cut of £3,000 per year for some drivers. Tesco offered Eddie Stobart drivers £500 on top of their normal wages, plus food, drink and accommodation in a top hotel, but they refused to scab on their Tesco counterparts. A nationwide strike now looks on the cards.

Probably the biggest news is that postal workers are taking nationwide strike action for the first time in eleven years. The bosses want to 'modernise' the service, which is a nice way of saying they plan to make 40,000 redundancies, attack pensions, and slash paypackets by up to 30%!

Meanwhile, one Iraq story you won't see on TV is that oil workers are striking over a new law which would allow Shell and BP amongst others to make huge profits from the world’s second largest proven oil reserves. US Republicans and Democrats are very keen to see the law passed, and have demanded that the puppet Iraqi cabinet force it through. But working class solidarity has the potential to defeat both the occupying armies and the terrorist leaders out for a big cut of the loot! Visit Hands Off Iraqi Oil for updates.

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