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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Low pay high profits Outsourcing struggles

UNITE the union has sternly condemned bosses of Sainsbury’s for insulting staff by tabling a wage cut in the guise of a pay offer.

The union, which represents thousands of Sainsbury’s workers, said a one per cent pay increase that has been offered to staff is in fact a pay cut when the 2.5 per cent rate of inflation is considered. It condemned the “insult” to staff who during the last two years have endured changes to their contracts and a failed merger with Asda.

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Outsourcing struggles

CLEANERS employed by Churchill’s Cleaners who clean trains on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) are up in arms about their treatment.

Transport union RMT has accused Churchill’s of running a brutal regime of bullying and intimidation of staff where individual union members are set up and picked off on bogus trumped-up charges without due process and natural justice. Managers are allowed to get away with the most flagrant breaches of disciplinary procedures to fit up and victimise staff who choose to join the trade union.

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A battle in the courts

ANOTHER group of lowpaid workers last week took their case to the Supreme Court where they argued that they should be properly paid for ‘sleep-in shifts’ at care homes and private residencies. Those on nightshifts are on call and have to be easily contactable at all hours. Unison started the

long-running legal action on behalf of a Mencap care worker who is paid less than £30 for working a shift from 22:00hrs to 07:00hrs, during which time she was expected to keep a “listening ear” out in case the people she was there to support needed help, otherwise she could sleep.

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Labour MP denied entry in Delhi


INDIA HAS denied entry to British Parliamentarian and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir, Debbie Abrahams, an outspoken critic of New Delhi’s decision to strip the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, after she landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday.

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Bridges over Troubled Waters

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

BRIDGES loom large in recent Scottish politics. The Scottish National Party (SNP) is very annoyed about Boris Johnson’s ambition to build a bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland. They favoured just such a link when it was suggested by the Irish government, but now things are different because it has a different proposer.

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Second-hand Tory

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

A major Scottish party recently had a leadership election, but nobody really noticed. This was because the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party had simply elected their incumbent leader, Jackson Carlaw. He had been de facto leader since former leader Ruth Davison went on maternity leave in September 2018. Her resignation to look after her new infant soon after her return to work coincided with other dramatic events, so the formal election has only just been concluded.

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Bed-Blocking Scandal

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Claims by the SNP government that their social care polies are going well have come under attack from opposition politicians, professionals and charities.

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Students speak out against anti-Chinese hate crime

by New Worker correspondent

FOLLOWING the recent coronavirus outbreak, many countries, organisations and individuals have shown sympathy and support for the Chinese government and its citizens. The British government, businesses, the Chinese community in the UK and Chinese overseas students have also come forward with assistance and donations. But there have also been isolated cases of discrimination against Chinese students in Britain, with one student physically attacked outside a university campus.

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Day of the Shining Star in London

by New Worker correspondent

PEOPLE battled their way through Storm Dennis to celebrate the Day of the Shining Star at a meeting in central London last weekend, organised by Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and the Friends of Korea (FoK) committee.

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Ken Loach in Battersea

by Bob Ede

KEN LOACH and his film Sorry We Missed You was part of a sell-out audience of 450 attending South West London Law Centres’ (SWLLC) 45th Anniversary celebration at the Battersea Arts Centre last week. Guest speakers including Lord Alf Dubs, a former Battersea Labour MP and Marsha de Cordova, the current Battersea MP and Labour Shadow Minister for Disabilities; Ken Loach took questions on the film from an audience that was left stunned by the dramatic content.

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International News

Syrian army sweeps across Idlib

by Xuxin

FOLLOWING years of indiscriminate mortar shelling on its residential areas, the northern city Aleppo has become safe from shelling after a wide-scale military operation.

After its liberation in 2016, the provincial capital of Aleppo remained subject to mortar shelling by the rebels in the western and northwestern countryside of Aleppo, which claimed the lives of many people whose number is yet unknown.

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Former CIA officer says Israel meddles in US elections

by Ed Newman

A FORMER US counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA says Israel has for a long time been interfering in American politics and elections, but that US officials prefer to remain silent and incriminate Russia.

Philip Giraldi made the remarks in a recent article, Is Pete Buttigieg the Israel Lobby Choice? , where he looked into an alleged cyber-warfare attack that recently hit Iowa and delayed the voting results of the primary caucus in the Midwestern state. The results were published nearly 21 hours after Iowans cast their ballots, with officials blaming inconsistencies related to a new mobile app used for vote counting.

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African Union calls for end of blockade of Cuba

by José Lamos Camejo

THE AFRICAN Union’s (AU) voice of solidarity was raised at the organisation’s headquarters in Addis Ababa last week to reiterate condemnation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the USA.

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Pompeo’s despicable attack on China amidst battle against virus

Global Times

AS CHINA spares no efforts in its battle against the coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo won’t give up smearing and attacking China. This is nastier than adding insult to injury and reflects Pompeo’s anti-China paranoia.

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American masters of torture

by Elson Concepción Pérez

THE USA used trained professionals to design torture for detainees at the illegal Guantánamo base prison, accused – but not proven – of being involved in the terrorist attack of 11th September 2001.

Hundreds of detainees from several countries were held at the base, simply on suspicion or because they had Arab features. Most never had access to a lawyer, nor were they informed of the charges they faced that led to their arrest.

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Life inside Wuhan’s quarantine zone

by C J Atkins

IT’S BEEN more than two weeks since authorities in the city of Wuhan quarantined 11 million people in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak spreading across China and around the world. Except for a few foreign nationals whose governments have ferried them out on charter flights, the capital of epidemic-hit Hubei province remains, essentially, a closed city.

But that doesn’t mean life inside the quarantine zone has come to a complete halt or that people there have lost all hope. On the contrary, a healthy dose of solidarity and community spirit is helping them make it through the long, isolated days. As one Wuhan resident said: “This storm will pass.”

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France on strike: ‘We’re fighting Macron and his World!’

by Susan Ram

SINCE early December 2019, workers, students and pensioners across France have been staging a magnificent fightback against President Emmanuel Macron and his project of neoliberal ‘reform’. Beginning with an insurgent day of strike and street action on 5th December, which mobilised more than a million people, protestors have continued their walkout from work and their presence on the streets for six weeks now – the longest wave of continuous strikes in recent French history.

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