National News

No to blood money

THE GIANT union Unite last week attacked plans to privatise the National Blood Service (NBS), warning that it would undermine the whole ethos of blood donation — which donors give freely for the benefit of others — if a private company was then making a profit from it.

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RMT’s right-to-strike court win

TRANSPORT UNION RMT last Friday won a major victory in the Court of Appeal over British strike laws that will pave the way for millions to take action over cuts to jobs and services in the months ahead.

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Blacklisting protest at Olympic site

TRADE unionists were out in force last week at the site of the London Olympic Park to blockade deliveries to the site in protest at the sacking of a member of the RMT transport union.

Frank Morris, an electrician based in Enfield, was moved from his job at the prestigious media centre after he blew the whistle on the use of an illegal blacklist on the construction site.

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Black workers defend multiculturalism

THE NEED for real action to get black and ethnic minority (BEM) representation at the top table of the Communication Workers’ Union and the continued fight against attempts by the Prime Minister to scapegoat Muslims dominated the union’s Black Workers’ Conference last week.

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Job centre workers begin strike ballot

AROUND 7,000 Jobcentre Plus employees last Monday began voting in a strike ballot organised by the PCS civil service union over increasingly intolerable working conditions.

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Crisis loan cuts

THE TUC last week described cuts by the Department of Work and Pensions to crisis loans as an attack on people in desperate need of help.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “This is a mean-spirited attack on people in desperate need of help. Reducing crisis loans could mean cuts in support for people whose homes who have been wrecked by floods or fire, or who are destitute thanks to their benefits being delayed.

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Safety inspections must stay

THE CIVIL service union PCS last week called on the Government to guarantee that health and safety inspectors will not stop making unannounced visits to building sites, farms, waste disposal plants, quarries, or factories using dangerous machinery.

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EDL clashes in Rochdale

THIRTY-FOUR people were arrested during rival demonstrations the English Defence League and anti-fascist opponents in Rochdale. No serious offences were reported with the arrests made for public order offences, affray and being drunk and disorderly. Police confirmed the majority of those arrested were EDL protesters.

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International News

Is Nato already in Libya?

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

AFTER NATO’s acts of terrorism in recent years, after the blatant disregard for human rights and human life when depleted uranium rendered swathes of Yugoslavia uninhabitable and destroyed the futures of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, would it surprise anyone to learn that Libya is a Nato campaign?

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Food prices rise dramatically

PRICES of basic foods, mainly dairy, wheat and other grains, increased dramatically during February and intensified the threat of starvation for millions of people living in poverty.

The latest United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report indicates that food prices have maintained a steady rise throughout the last eight months and said the problem could be exacerbated due to an unexpected increase in current oil prices in international markets.

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A spectre over Europe

POPULAR protests in the Middle East and North Africa, lately concentrated in Libya where they have been transformed into a civil war, have caused unrest in the European Union, taken by surprise in the most decisive moments of its unstable economic recovery.

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Features

100 years of International Women’s Day

Hand in hand in the class struggle

Guardian -Australian Communist weekly

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day (IWD) is a traditional time for summing up achievements and planning ahead. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first IWD march.

It was Clara Zetkin, a leading socialist of her time (prior to WW1) who introduced a proposal which called for an annual international socialist women’s day.

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Class struggle: a Wisconsin tradition

by Stephen Millies

Wisconsin workers are continuing their mass protests in the struggle to stop new state legislation that would end collective bargaining and trade unionism in the public sector.

PEOPLES around the world, from California to Cairo, are supporting Wisconsin’s workers, who’ve seized their state Capitol, the legislative building, to fight union busting. But this wasn’t the first time people seized the Capitol in Madison.

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Fear, paranoia and Petraeus

by Rob Gowland

CAPITALISM is a system based on inequality and lies, a system that raises the hopes and aspirations of virtually all its citizens but denies most of them the chance to fulfil those hopes and dreams. It rewards the cynical and the grasping, and treads on the faces of the meek and the mild.

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