National News

‘Charter for exploitation’

THE CONFEDERATION of British Industry last week appealed to the new Con-Dem government for new legal restrictions on the right to strike. The TUC responded by describing the proposals as a charter for exploitation at work.

Commenting on the CBI report on the labour market in Britain published last Monday TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The UK already has some of the toughest legal restrictions on the right to strike in the advanced world.

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Please Sir, may I go?

MANY WORKERS are being short changed by their employers when it comes to the call of nature, according to a report published last week by the Labour Research Department.

The LRD research shows that British workers are suffering because of inadequate toilet facilities and restrictive toilet break rules. This can have significant consequences for people’s health, as well as hygiene, privacy and dignity at work.

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Education Day of Action

MEMBERS of seven unions associated with education, including students, teaching staff, admin and ancillary staff staged a Day of Action in defence of education at over 70 colleges and universities throughout Britain last Monday.

They were calling on ministers not to cut funding but to put education at the heart of Britain’s economic recovery through public investment and reject calls for an increase in tuition fees.

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On your marks?

LONDON Tory Mayor Boris Johnson last week began reducing the time pedestrians are given to cross the road in an effort to speed up traffic in London.

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No to robo trains!

TRANSPORT UNION RMT last week condemned “lethal and unworkable” plans leaked to the BBC from within the Greater London Authority Tory Group to axe all train drivers and operators on London Underground and to move the entire tube system to a driverless operation.

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‘Knitting Nanas’ down needles

MEMBERS of the giant union Unite working at Cereal Partners UK (CPUK), a joint venture by Nestlé and General Mills in Trowbridge, will take part in a series of 48-hour strikes beginning at 6am on Thursday (24 June) in a row over a pay-freeze.

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Con-Dems to scrap NHS targets

THE COALITION government is to scrap or reduce key NHS targets introduced by Labour to reduce patient waiting times for general practitioner appointments, accident and emergency assessment and consultant appointments.

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Don’t cut school meals!

SENIOR doctors, nurses and other health professionals have written to Education Secretary Michael Gove saying they are “deeply concerned” at his decision to abandon plans to give free school meals to more than 500,000 primary school children from low-income families.

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Lethal legacy

RADIOACTIVE waste buried under London’s Olympic Park could threaten plans to develop the site after the 2012 Games, according to independent nuclear analyst John Large.

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Solidarity with the DPR Korea

FRIENDS of the Korean revolution met in London last week to discuss the contribution of Kim Jong Il to the world communist movement and the role of Juche-style Party-building in a seminar to mark the anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s starting work on the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

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International News

A hot summer of protests in Europe

THE WORKING CLASS in Europe is getting increasingly upset about the announced cuts in social programmes to curb the economic crisis, a labour reform that will make it less costly to fire employees; the proposed extension of retirement age, and other neo-liberal measures.

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Gazans’ mixed feelings on easing siege

by Saud Abu Ramadan in Gaza

EYAD al-Ghalayini, a 35-year-old owner of a grocery store in Gaza City centre, sounded satisfied after he heard in the news that the Israeli government decided to ease the tight blockade that had been imposed on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for three years.

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Military bases to guarantee US power

Radio Havana Cuba

IN ORDER for the United States to maintain its economic, political and military hegemony, they have set up military bases around the world. These bases have been used for rapid military incursions or to back a prolonged military occupation wherever US interests are at stake.

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The dark side of Illinois politics

by Lynette Holloway in Chicago

THE ONGOING corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has shone a spotlight on the dark side of the state’s political life. The flamboyant politician is on trial for conspiring to win political points from businesses and gain favours from donors for campaign contributions, including the sale of President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

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The making of a rebel journalist - The Early Life of Wilfred Burchett

by Bob Treasure

“... [HE IS] THE GREATEST journalist Australia has ever produced, and one of the best foreign correspondents the world has ever seen.” So writes Nick Shimmin in the preface to Wilfred Burchett’s autobiography, Rebel Journalist. A big call, and one that inspires widespread controversy. Burchett has been accused of everything from Stalinist stooge, traitor and KGB agent to being, as Bertrand Russell put it “a contemporary historian ... a meticulous journalist”.

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When Israel offered to help Batista

by Reinaldo Taladrid Herrero

IN 1958, to suit its image and in search of an interfering and pro-imperial outcome that would frustrate the real revolution, the US government announced an arms “embargo” on the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. And then, up stepped the Israeli government to offer weapons and military aid to the dictator.

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