National News

Tax workers strike over job cuts

TENS of thousands of tax workers took strike action last week in a long-running dispute over job cuts

Members of the civil service union PCS employed by HM Revenue and Customs walked out on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week, timed to coincide with the deadline for tax credit renewals and a key date for self-assessment payments.

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Miliband’s weak and belated plea on Gaza

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband last week condemned David Cameron’s “silence” on the genocidal onslaught by Israel on the people of Gaza, which has been continuing now for a month.

Miliband said that Cameron’s “silence” on the issue was “inexplicable” and called on the Prime Minister to publicly oppose the deaths of “hundreds of innocent Palestinians”, which he said was “wrong and unjustifiable”.

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Crisis as domestic violence refuges close

VICTIMS of domestic violence are at increasing risk as refuges are closing throughout Britain in a crisis that is putting support for the most vulnerable women and children back 40 years, according to leading charities.

Specialist safe houses for women and children — which were forged out of the feminist movement in the 1970s — are being forced to shut by some local authorities because they do not take in male victims.

In other areas, refuges are facing closure in favour of preventive work and support in the community or being replaced with accommodation provided by housing associations.

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Drivers protest over Tesco sackings

FORMER drivers, who used to work on the Tesco distribution contract in Doncaster, last Friday staged demonstrations in Doncaster, Goole and Widnes to highlight their unfair dismissals.

The crux of their case is that Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) and Tesco had together agreed to make 184 drivers redundant well before the workers had been consulted. Their case is currently partly heard at an employment tribunal.

The union Unite is supporting the unfair dismissal claim on behalf of the drivers at the ET. The union is also saying that a “protected award” for the drivers should follow for the companies failing to genuinely engage in consultation.

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Capita guilty

CAPITA, one of the companies now contracted to the Government to assess eligibility for disability benefits, is accused of making its own premises inaccessible to a disabled employee and then sacking her when she became ill.

Sharon Dickens is the latest disabled whistleblower to speak to [Disability News Service] (DNS) about the discrimination they have experienced working for Capita.

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Scottish News

from our Scottish Political Correspondent

THE CLOSURE of the Glasgow Commonwealth games means that the referendum campaign can resume in earnest after a brief pause for the commemorations of the events of August 1914.

Alex Salmond has been visiting a psychologist, taking lessons from his Nottingham-based “Happiness Guru” to help him prepare for his first televised debate with Better Together leader Alistair Darling.

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FBU announce eight more strike dates

Firefighters have declared a further period of strike action as the Westminster government have not improved their pension proposals.

The current proposals in England and Wales are still unworkable and mean that firefighters will still face dismissal simply because they cannot maintain the high physical fitness requirements necessary for their role until they are age 60.

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St Pancras Eurostar cleaners “rock solid and determined”

CLEANERS working on the St Pancras station and Eurostar contracts for high-profile facilities company Interserve are “rock solid and determined” on picket lines at the station, organised by the RMT transport union last Friday morning in a fight over jobs and workplace justice.

The cleaner’s downed tools at 5am last Friday morning in 24 hours of high-profile action in the heart of London designed to shame the company, and those who hire them at the top of Eurostar and St Pancras International, into reversing their savage cuts plans.

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No Glory in War

by New Worker correspondent

HUNDREDS of people gathered in Parliament Square, Westminster on Monday evening to make a counter balance to the official ceremonies commemorating the start of the First World War exactly 100 years ago.

Peace campaigners came to express their horror at the glorification of war and to express concerns it could all too easily happen again

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Commemorating the Roma Porajmos

by New Worker correspondent

ROMA people throughout Europe commemorate the Porajmos — the mass killing of Roma people by the Nazis — on 2nd August and in London this memorial event is traditionally is held at Hyde Park’s Holocaust memorial garden, near the Albert Gate.

Last Saturday a large group of Roma people, along with many Jewish supporters, met there to remember the Roma victims of the Nazi death camps — estimates vary from 250,000 to 1,500,000.

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International News

Russia warns of counter sanctions on Ukraine crisis

by our European Affairs correspondent

RUSSIA has called on the United Nations to send an international humanitarian mission to eastern Ukraine where hundreds of thousands of civilians, under fire from puppet regime troops and fascist thugs, lack medical supplies, electricity and lighting.

Fighting has intensified as puppet regime forces pound rebel held towns in the breakaway republics of Novorossiya in renewed attempts to crush the anti- fascist revolt in the east of the country. At least one puppet regime war-plane was shot down this week amid reports of thousands of refugees fleeing to safety in Russia and a mass defection of Ukrainian soldiers who had crossed to Russian border seeking asylum.

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China earthquake: Poverty hinders disaster response

by Yang Yi

RESIDENTS in Ludian county, where the earthquake on Sunday killed over 400 people, knew there would be an earthquake sooner or later.

The county in the south-western province of Yunnan sits at an active earthquake belt. In the same city, an earthquake two years ago left nearly 100 people dead. Most victims of both earthquakes died under collapsed houses.

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New US plot against Cuba exposed

by Juan Leandro

A NEW report by the Associated Press, published on Sunday, exposed a covert programme hatched under the Barack Obama administration to send Latin American youth to Cuba to encourage political subversion.

The anti-Cuba programme came long after the arrest in Havana in December 2009 of USAID contractor Alan Gross, which proves that such subversive programmes did not stop after Gross was detained.

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The 100th Anniversary of the First World War: For Internationalism and Peace!

Joint statement of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (Magyar Munkáspárt) and the Party of Labour of Austria (Partei der Arbeit Österreichs), Budapest-Vienna, July 28, 2014.

1. One hundred years ago on this very day, 28th July 1914, marks the beginning of the First World War that started with Austria- Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia. Supported by Germany and Turkey the Austro-Hungarian army began an imperialist war of aggression trying to secure its dominion and expand its territory. Furthermore, Austria-Hungary aimed at weakening Russia, Britain, France and Italy — the main imperialist competitors of the “Central Powers”.

[ The 100th Anniversary of the First World War: For Internationalism and Peace!]

South Africa NUMSA agrees to end strike

by Abayomi Azikiwe

A STRIKE by 220,000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa, the largest labour organisation in the country, ended with a three-year agreement for a wage increase. The strike shut down production at General Motors facilities and other industrial locations beginning on 1st July.

NUMSA Secretary General Irvin Jim said that the workers had agreed to a 10 per cent pay hike for the lowest paid employees. Jim said his members voted overwhelmingly to accept the deal.

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Russia, Ukraine and Nato: Sanctions and sour grapes

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

IT IS HUMAN nature for the losing side to act with spite and perpetuate feelings of hatred for their victor, hoping for another opportunity to challenge the stronger party in the duel lost, just like any vanquished stag, bull or ram. In the case of the Nato-imposed sanctions against Russia, is this the case, or is there something far more sinister?

Western readers will have been told that Russia invaded Ukraine, shot down an aircraft and so the West has imposed sanctions as a punishment. Did they actually believe that? Probably, yes because as Homer Simpson said, “It must be true, I saw it on TV.”

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Kiev junta disbands CPU, prelude to general suppression

by Chelman Lentz

THE SPEAKER of the Ukrainian Parliament, Oleksander Turchynov, a member of the US-backed junta that seized power in Kiev in March this year, has announced that he “corrected a historical error” and “fulfilled a historic mission” by disbanding the Communist Party of Ukraine.

As well as parliament’s 24th July dissolution of the Communist Party, the Kiev junta has filed a court suit to ban Communist Party activity and to declare it a criminal organisation on grounds of supporting “separatism” and “terrorism”.

A statement by Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko in early May, that if he were president, he would immediately recall all troops from eastern Ukraine triggered these moves. He called the “special operations” in Donetsk and Lugansk regions at the time a “war against the people”.

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