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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Pay victories

by New Worker correspondent

IN THESE DAYS a victory, even by a comparatively small group of workers is to be welcomed. Last week 150 refuse workers in the Tory-controlled south-east London borough of Bexley voted to accept a revised pay deal from outsourcing giant Serco. The main elements include a £10.25 an hour minimum rate, with a 2.75 per cent pay rise for everyone already above the minimum rate and full sick pay, with no three day wait, for every worker. Even a manager alleged to have bullied workers was removed.

Unite regional officer Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “We have made significant progress on the pay issue and other matters, such as health & safety improvements, but the campaign is not over as Bexley council is currently considering whether to award the contract to Serco for a further five years up to 2025. We believe that the contract should come back in-house as the best solution for the residents of Bexley”.

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Fireman Sam’s troubles

by New Worker correspondent

LESS PLEASED with their pay are Britain’s firefighters. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned a two per cent pay offer from employers describing it as ‘insulting’ to frontline firefighters and control staff. This is below teachers, doctors, dentists, police, and prison officers, but on par with judges, senior civil servants, and the armed forces who are much better paid.

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The backstabbers’ gazette

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE SCOTTISH Parliament is on its holiday, so instead of fighting each other the main parties have been embroiled in internal battles at a leadership level whilst others join in the fun to settle old scores further down the food chain.

The most unfortunate was Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw, whose brief career as Leader of the Opposition came to an end when the men in the grey kilts told him to go. He previously served as deputy leader to Ruth Davidson, who served as interim leader for a slightly longer period than his six months of being actual leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party.

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under fire

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Meanwhile, Labour leader Richard Leonard is under fire from his right-wing opponents. Labour peer Lord Foulkes has demanded he step down in favour of recently elected Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie. The noble lord pointed out that the SNP had a poor record on public services that could

Coming to his defence, the Campaign for Socialism said: “If Keir Starmer and Jackie Baillie are serious about unity and the electoral recovery of Scottish Labour they should make it clear that Lord Foulkes is not speaking in their name.” A telling silence came from these quarters.

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Johnson’s Scottish conundrum

Sputnik

DOWNING STREET’S COVID response has apparently become the last straw for Scots already frustrated with Boris Johnson’s tough Brexit approach. But Johnson is facing another challenge in the steady rise of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and its independence agenda. According to the two latest Panelbase polls, roughly 55 per cent of Scottish respondents want to split from the UK.

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Victory at the Ministry of Justice!

by New Worker correspondent UVW members have overcome the odds winning a ballot for trade union recognition at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) with a whopping 70 per cent vote in favour!

The victory has come just three weeks after the workers won full pay sick pay for Covid-19 related absences and some two months after the death of their colleague, cleaner and UVW member, Emanuel Gomes. Gomes’ death was mired in controversy with reports the MoJ ignored repeated warnings of potential Covid-19 infections and had put workers’ lives at risk through its refusal to provide full pay sick pay or face masks. Something which saw Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister, David Lammy MP, call for an official investigation.

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Banksy raises millions for Palestinian hospital

Sputnik

ANONYMOUS England-based street artist Banksy’s Mediterranean Sea View 2017 triptych has raised over two million pounds at a Sotheby’s ‘Rembrandt to Richter Evening Sale’ auction last week, with the proceeds being donated to a Palestinian children’s hospital in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

The triptych, showing orange life vests washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean is Banksy’s judgement on Europe’s response to the refugee crisis. It was initially displayed in the Walled Off Hotel built by the artist in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem alongside the Israeli West Bank barrier.

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Cuba Solidarity condemns American lies

Radio Havana Cuba

THE BRITISH Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) has condemned false accusations by the US government against Cuba’s international medical cooperation programme. The CSC denounced the new bill sponsored by Republican Senators Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, that seeks to classify Cuban medical brigades as victims of human trafficking, as well as demanding sanctions against countries that request such solidarity aid from Cuba.

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International News

Leaving Portland with his tail between his legs

Radio Havana Cuba

US President Donald Trump, feeling overwhelmed by criticism and the harsh reality of his country, has ordered the withdrawal of federal forces from the city of Portland in Oregon.

These agents, a select group which includes custom officials, border protection and the migration agency, were sent to Portland to repress thousands of people who have fought against racism and police brutality for more than two months.

According to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, local authorities did not request their presence. But they still acted as an occupying force, not accountable to anything or anyone, and they even increased the levels of violence and social unrest in that state.

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China’s ultimatum to Europe

by Finian Cunningham

ULTIMATUMS are usually considered to be imperious and impolite. But in the case of China’s latest demand on the European Union (EU), one can view Beijing’s approach as apt and correct.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi left his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in no doubt in a phone call this week about the current international tensions and what needs to be done.

He said all nations must “resist any unilateral or hegemonic act” to “safeguard world peace and development”. The Chinese diplomat referred explicitly to the USA. “Tolerating a bully will not make you safe. It will only let the bully get bolder and act worse.”

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US to cut troops in Germany

Radio Havana Cuba

THE AMERICANS say they’re going to withdraw about 12,000 of their troops from Germany and place them in other European countries to “counter Russia”. But the plan has provoking bipartisan opposition in Congress and widespread dismay amongst other members of the NATO.

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Science is crucial for our survival

by Kimball Cariou

WITH NO early end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, two crucial questions are on the agenda: how can we protect lives in this emergency, and what fundamental economic changes can prevent big corporate interests from imposing the burden of this crisis on working people?

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Chile: When hunger sits at the table

by Rafael Calcines

PEOPLE protesting in poor neighbourhoods of Santiago de Chile ask for food and soup kitchens to help those in need. Hidden behind an appearance of prosperity based on consumerism by those that can afford it, poverty and its worst consequence, hunger, come to light as one of the many negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which Chilean authorities have hardly been trying to contain.

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Features

COVID-19: Why the US failed and China won

by Lee Siu Hin

National Coordinator of the US National Immigrant Solidarity Network

What’s going on?

IN JANUARY 2020, several cases of viral pneumonia of unknown origin were detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. No one knew exactly what the virus was, hence the vague identifier of “coronavirus” so popularly known today.

Thousands of miles away in the USA, when the virus was believed not to have reached its soil yet, right-wing American elites, media and politicians began using cruel words and ridicule against China, calling the virus “China’s Chernobyl.” US Senator Tom Cotton, famous for his anti-China rhetoric, along with the right-wing media and the “liberal” Washington Post, began spreading the “Wuhan military-lab-made virus” conspiracy theory.

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Music can help create permanent meaningful change

by Andy McGibbon

IT CAN be hard to find something to laugh about these days. Hopelessness can overwhelm if you allow it.

Try this though. Recently Rage Against The Machine, the American rock band, have announced they are reforming and doing a world tour, the perfect band at the perfect time. But watching right wingers outing themselves as idiots is so laughable and ridiculous it has to be an avatar of our times. Some are informing the world with confidence and a self-righteous anger on Twitter that after listening to them for a lifetime they’ll never listen to RATM again as they’ve just realised they’re a political band

One of the funniest responses was “what machine did you think they were raging against? The fucking fridge?” Get your laughs where you can, I say.

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Nikos Zachariadis: a great communist leader

AUGUST 1st marked the 47th anniversary of the death of Nikos Zachariadis, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) from 1931 to 1956, one of the most significant figures of the European and international communist movement in the 20th century.

Nikos Zachariadis was born to ethnic Greek parents in the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s Edirne (Adrianopolis) in 1903. At the age of 16, Nikos moved to Istanbul (Constantinople) where he worked as a docker and a seaman in the port. It was there that he started having his first organised relationship with the working-class movement.

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