National News

Two Sisters strike success leaves a good taste

STRIKE action taken by 1,400 members of the giant union Unite, who are employed by the West Midlands food processing company Two Sisters by 1,400 Unite has won an inflationary busting wage rise, paid time off for workers injured at work and major concessions on holidays and car parking charges.

Unite officer Mark Metcalfe described it as: “A remarkable achievement that shows the benefits of workers sticking together within Britain’s biggest union. Now the struggle is on to ensure workers are properly represented at one of the UK’s largest food suppliers.”

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Police restrain disabled child

THE SUSSEX police force is under investigation over its treatment of an 11-year-old girl, who has Smith-Magenis Syndrome, who was arrested four times and twice held overnight in police stations.

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London fire authority defies Boris cuts

THE LONDON Fire authority last Monday voted for a second time to reject plans put forward by London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson and backed by an order from London Mayor Boris Johnson for swingeing cuts in the capital’s fire service.

The cuts would axe 12 fire stations, reduced the number of fire engines by 18 and cost 520 jobs with the aim of saving £45 million from the budget.

The Fire Brigades Union has lobbied and demonstrated vigorously, warning that such cuts would cost lives.

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Ambulance workers fight derecognition

MANAGEMENT at the Yorkshire Ambulance NHS Trust last week declared the Unite union de-recognised after the union raised concerns about patients’ safety.

The union is taking legal advice after, it says, managers ignored the recommendations of the Francis Report by gagging whistleblowers.

Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “At a time when the Francis Report recommends a culture of candour focused on patient care and underpinned by law, it beggars belief that bosses at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust have taken this action.

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Scrap ‘fitness tests’ targeting sick and disabled people!

CONTROVERSIAL assessments run by Atos on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions should be scrapped and the work brought back inhouse, the civil service union PCS said last week.

The union, which represents almost 80,000 of the DWP’s 100,000 staff, was commenting after MPs on the public accounts committee criticised the Government for its treatment of sick and disabled people forced to undertake a work capability assessment.

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RMT picture exposes six-inch track gap

RAIL UNION RMT last week released a shocking new picture which shows six inches of rail head crumbled away to nothing leaving a potentially lethal gap in the track on the InterCity East Coast Mainline at Hambleton South Junction near Selby where normal running speeds are 125mph.

The picture, taken on 1st February, follows the publication by RMT of a similar damning photo taken at Colton Junction on the ECML just a few miles away back in December last year.

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Win for Mary Seacole

EDUCATION secretary Michael Gove has been forced into another U-turn; his efforts to remove the Jamaican nurse heroine of the Crimean War from school history books have backfired.

Public outrage and an online petition signed by 36,000 people pushed the Department for Education to confirm that Mary will continue to be an important part of history lessons in our schools.

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UKBA beat up asylum seeker

MARIUS Betondi, an asylum seeker, claims that police, private security guards and officers of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) used excessive force when escorting him.

He says he was punched repeatedly by private security guards until he passed out and was then forced into a potentially lethal position during a failed deportation.

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Sacked Howden drivers to fight on

SACKED Unite members from DHL Howdens came to London for targeted demonstrations to keep up the fight for justice last Thursday 7th February.

Fifty-three drivers formally employed by DHL in Widnes, who delivered kitchens for Howdens, were dismissed on Tuesday 5th February.

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Barnet council workers win

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last week won a legal landmark decision on behalf of Barnet council workers. More than 150 Barnet Council workers are set to receive compensation worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, after a decision of the Employment Tribunal announced on 5th February.

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Remembering Kim Jong Il

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON comrades and friends gathered last Saturday to mark the “Day of the Shining Star”, the anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong Il, and to celebrate the continued advances of the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and their contribution to international peace and progress.

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International News

Egyptians struggle two years after Mubarak’s fall

by Ed Newman

CLASHES erupted in Egypt on Monday on the second anniversary of the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

Two years after Mubarak’s fall, demonstrators are now pressing for the departure of new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

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French revisionists dump hammer and sickle

Statement from Rizospastis, daily paper of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE)


The French Communist Party (PCF) at its 36th Congress, which concluded on Sunday in Paris, has renounced the hammer and sickle.

The abandonment of the hammer and sickle by the PCF did not take place at a random moment, but at a time when the authorities in many EU countries are banning communist symbols, when the EU is attempting in an anti- historical way to equate communism with fascism.

This is the moment which the “president” party of the European Left Party (ELP) chooses to willingly renounce the hammer and sickle,:

The PCF long ago abandoned Marxism- Leninism and the revolutionary principles of the Communist Parties, while from its position as head of the ELP it plays the leading role in the propagation of opportunism, with aim of mutating the Communist Parties in Europe.

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Facts about Democratic Korea

Workers World (US)

THERE ARE facts, and then there is fiction. Let’s deal with the fiction first. In the fictional world reflected in Hollywood movies like the remake of Red Dawn, the socialist north of Korea launches a war against the United States, invading and killing many people. It would hardly be necessary to answer such a ridiculous fiction were it not for the fact that the corporate media are constantly coming up with alarming stories about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, picturing it as irrational, aggressive and ready to attack.

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Guatemala: the everyday violence

Radio Havana Cuba

VIOLENCE is a serious problem in Guatemala, where only in the past month 550 homicides were reported, 43 more than the same period last year.

Most troubling is that February also began with bloodshed, which portends that the trend will remain the same, so the government mobilised the army and police to strengthen monitoring throughout Guatemala, mainly in areas that are more violent.

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Want to be a US diplomat? Got a million dollars? Call Obama!

by John Robles

IF IT HAPPENED in Russia or any other country the US Government and the western mass media would be screaming corruption, foul, nepotism, cronyism, bribes, and lack of transparency! What I am talking about is the “selling” of top diplomatic posts by none other than the US president. Although the US does not “sell” such postings openly, “wink-wink,” two respected researches at the University of Pennsylvania have very carefully compiled a “price list” for diplomatic postings.

In their report What Price the Court of St. James’s? Political Influences on Ambassadorial Postings of the United States of America” the authors of the study, Johannes W Fedderke and Dennis C Jett, looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of career diplomats as opposed to political appointees to ambassadorial positions worldwide.

Their conclusion is that the price for obtaining the juiciest postings, such as London’s “Court of St James” in terms of political “campaign” contributions is between a whopping $650,000 and a staggering $2.3 million.

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Remembering a titanic struggle

by Rob Gowland

ASK ANY American to name the turning point in World War Two and he will probably say the D-Day landings in Normandy. That is partly because Americans are taught to think of the USA’s contribution to the virtual exclusion of everybody else. In fact, I suspect most Americans would be hard pressed to name any of the other main combatants.

And since Australia these days takes its lead in all things from the powerful and mighty USA, if you asked Australian kids who fought whom in the Second World War, I suspect the answer would be as ill-informed as those from any group of Yanks.

It was not always thus, of course. During the Second World War, everybody knew that the really big show was happening in Russia. Even American documentaries acknowledged this with awe. In Garson Kanin’s excellent feature-length documentary, The True Glory, which follows the war on the Western Front from D-Day to the Elbe, and was made just as the War ended, US soldiers are shown meeting the Soviet army on the banks of the Elbe and being gobsmacked as the Russians unfold a huge banner “Greetings to the Heroes’ Army of the USA”. As one US soldier says: “I mean, we did pretty well, but I hate to think where we’d have been without them!”

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Young Greeks struggle with unemployment

by Alexia Vlachou and Maria Spiliopoulou

FACED with unemployment and deep recession, several young Greeks to day a re forced to forget about their independence and prolong their stay at their parents’ house to get through the crisis.

Greece is ranked fourth across the European Union on the percentage of youth aged 25 to 34 living with their parents, according to the latest data released by Eurostat.

In 2012 about 50.7 per cent of young adult Greeks lived under the family’s roof, because they could not afford to pay for their own accommodation.

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Africa: France, US step up imperialist intervention

by Abayomi Azikiwe

FRENCH President, on 2nd February, visited Mali, claiming victory over insurgent groups that had taken control of the central and northern regions of this vast West African state. He visited the capital of Bamako and the cities of Sevare and Timbuktu.

Hollande wanted to appear as the saviour of the Malian nation from religious extremists, who were accused of imposing a severe form of Islamic rule on the areas they controlled. At least 90 per cent of the people of Mali are Muslims, but most reportedly do not subscribe to the social agenda of the rebels.

However, if anything should have been learned from the seemingly endless interventions and wars in the Middle East and North Africa launched in recent decades by the ruling circles of Europe and the US, it is that imperialist intervention, no matter how high-sounding the reasons given, brings nothing but destruction and suffering to the people.

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