Workers Notes': Eurostar strike goes ahead Saturday

by New Worker correspondent

EUROSTAR workers walked out on Saturday in protest at the dangerous overcrowding at London’s St Pancras station. Members of transport union RMT picketed the international departure entrance following the breakdown of talks over shocking and dangerous working conditions resulting from repeated service failures and breakdowns.

The international terminal at St Pancras has been reduced to chaos, with staff left to bear the brunt of public anger, following a spate of service problems that have dumped thousands of passengers on the cramped concourse at St Pancras as the season heads towards its summer peak. RMT has repeatedly demanded

action to improve conditions but with nothing tangible coming from Eurostar there is no option but to strike. Workers at the French end of the Eurostar operation have also registered their disgust at the appalling conditions and have taken action in an attempt to force the company to act. RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: “The conditions at St Pancras have been simply appalling in recent weeks with dangerous levels of overcrowding on the concourse as services plunge into meltdown on the cusp of the busiest part of the year. RMT will not tolerate a position where our members are left to pick up the pieces due to corporate failures.

“RMT is escalating this dispute with a ballot of train managers that is now underway and it is “RMT is escalating this dispute with a ballot of train managers that is now underway and it is now time for Eurostar to get their heads out of the sand, recognise the seriousness of the current situation and come forward with proposals that address the issues our members have been raising with them”

Zionists slam Corbyn ally

by New Worker correspondent

THE ZIONISTS are calling for the suspension of one of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) over remarks they claim are “anti-Semitic”. Peter Willsman was taped at a meeting earlier this month when the NEC refused to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. But Willsman, the secretary of the left-social democratic Campaign for Labour Democracy group, has subsequently apologised and suggested he has been misquoted.

In an audio recording published by the Jewish Chronicle, Willsman claims an open letter about anti-Semitism within the party signed by 68 British rabbis was written by “Jewish Trump supporters”. “Some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump,” Willsman is heard saying. “They’re Trump fanatics and all the rest of it.

“I am not going to be lectured to by Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all.” Willsman also said that the allegations of “severe and widespread” anti-Semitism within the party are false. “So I think we should ask the 70 rabbis: where is your evidence of severe and widespread anti-Semitism in this party?” he says in the recording.

He called on NEC members to raise their hands if any of them had encountered anti-Semitism within the party. “I’m amazed” he says, as several people apparently do so, “I’ve certainly never seen any.” The Jewish Labour Movement, an affiliate of Labour and the World Labour Zionist Movement, has filed a formal complaint against Willsman and called for his suspension.

Willsman has apologised and, so far, no further action has been taken against him. “I accept that what I did say, and the way I said it, fell short of the requirement, which I accept, for discussions of contentious issues to be conducted in a fully civil and respectful way,” Willsman said. “I deeply apologize for any offence caused to those present and those to whom my remarks were reported.” Several Labour members have lashed out at Willsman, including Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, who called the NEC member a “loud-mouthed bully”, and Labour MP Luciana Berger, who called the audio recording “sickening to listen to”. “The fact that it took place in a meeting of Labour’s sovereign body the other week, after all, that’s happened is a disgrace,” she said.

Right-wingers in the Labour Party and Corbyn’s enemies outside the movement have launched a concerted attack on the leadership over the NEC’s adoption of a new code of conduct on anti-Semitism. Last week, three leading Jewish newspapers published the same front-page editorial warning that a government led by Corbyn would pose “an existential threat to Jewish life” in Britain. But it’s Corbyn’s support for Palestinian rights they don’t like.

Last March the veteran Jewish Socialist Group noted that a recent extensive survey by the highly respected Jewish Policy Research confirmed that the main repository of anti-Semitic views in Britain is amongst supporters of the Conservative Party and UKIP. They said: “This political context, alongside declining support for the Tories, reveals the malicious intent behind the latest flimsy accusations of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. These accusations have come from the unrepresentative Board of Deputies and the unelected, self-proclaimed ‘Jewish Leadership Council’, two bodies dominated by supporters of the Tory Party.”