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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Transport News

by New Worker correspondent

On the Tyne and Wear Metro, both RMT and Unite are taking co-ordinated strike action to secure a decent pay deal. The unions are opposing a pay freeze with a strike on the last three days of this month and the first four days of July, and with an overtime ban to follow.

The battle revolves around Swiss railway builder Stadler who secured a £300 million contract to build 42 new Metro trains, rebuild a depot at Gosforth depot, and maintain the Nexus Tyne and Wear train stock for the next 35 years. Stadler’s profits grew by eight per cent in 2020, but they are now trying to impose a pay freeze on workers. Their 2020 Annual report noted that a record £1.2 billion came from the Tyne and Wear operations. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch denounced them, saying: “It’s frankly disgraceful that this wealthy global company should be trying to impose a pay freeze on staff who have worked throughout the pandemic to keep the North East moving. It’s a kick in the teeth and Stadler should be ashamed of themselves.”

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On the Rails

Also on the rails, RMT are continuing their battles with SERCO Caledonian Sleeper, the train service which ferries people on the overnight train between London and various parts of Scotland. The latest action started on Tuesday and will continue until Saturday 26th June. A ban on overtime and rest-day working could follow.

The workers who have kept the service running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic voted by 85 per cent in favour of strike action in opposition to a pay freeze.

The union blames the wholesale cancellation of services that have been announced by SERCO on the management, whom they accuse of “intransigence and refusal to recognise the hard work and commitment of their staff”.

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High Pay Rows

by New Worker correspondent

HAD THE 19th century historian and Whig politician Thomas Babington Macaulay been around today he could have observed that “We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British shareholder in one of its periodical fits of morality”.

This possible adaptation of his famous quote fits perfectly recent examples of financial institutions raising objection to some of the salaries being awarded to Chairs and Chief Executive Officers of some of Britain’s leading companies. One example is JD Sports where Executive chairman Peter Cowgill is looking forward to a £5 million salary, which includes a £4.3 million bonus.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE SNP’s Transport Scotland quango has boasted that to help save the planet they have spent about £10 million on around 600 older diesel buses, to fit them with systems that are said to cut toxic emissions by up to 90 per cent. This was done so that they were compatible with tough new clean air regulations that will be applied in two years in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Now it appears the so-called “eco buses” are nothing of the kind and still emit too much nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which could cause them to be banned from the low-emission zones (LEZ) because they still breach pollution regulations.

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Britain’s ‘Special’ Relationship

by Finian Cunningham BRITAIN’S much-vaunted special relationship with the USA got a clunking reality-check with the arrival of President Joe Biden for the G7 summit.

Biden told Boris Johnson to stop messing around with the European Union over Brexit negotiations concerning Northern Ireland. According to reports, Biden gave a severe diplomatic rebuke to Johnson not to jeopardise peace in Ireland from British wrangling about customs controls.

That’s pretty sobering for the ‘junior partner’. It totally deflates British delusions of grandeur, showing Johnson and his ilk to be nothing but lackeys to the Americans who call the shots. Since the Second World War, we constantly hear about this US–British “special” alliance as if it is somehow a hallowed global force for good. We hear about “our shared values” and other platitudes.

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Corbyn says end arms for Israel

by New Worker correspondent

FORMER Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the halt to British arms sales to Israel at a rally in central London last weekend. Demonstrating in Whitehall, Palestinian supporters called on the Group of Seven (G7) leaders currently meeting in Cornwall to support Palestinian rights.

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International News

Bye bye, Bibi

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THOUSANDS of Israelis took over the centre of Tel Aviv to celebrate the downfall of the man who has dominated a generation of Israeli politics. Revellers cheered at the news that Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu’s 12 years in power had finally come to an end with a vote in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on Sunday. Netanyahu has vowed a comeback but many now believe his last stand will be in court on corruption charges that could mean jail time for the reactionary politician who held the premiership from 1996 to 1999 and continuously from 2009 to 2021.

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CIA helped Yeltsin run Russia

Radio Havana Cuba

BORIS YELTSIN had an entourage of CIA agents who instructed him how to run Russia, claims the former speaker of the Russian parliament. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin was reportedly surrounded by “hundreds” of CIA agents who told him what to do throughout his tenure as leader. That’s according to Ruslan Khasbulatov, the former chair of the Duma, the Russian parliament.

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Tens of thousands rally against far-right in France

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the rise of far-right extremism across France, as tensions run high over the prospect of Marine Le Pen being elected president next May. More than 100 left-leaning organisations staged nationwide “Liberty March” rallies on Sunday to demonstrate against “attacks on freedoms”.

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The ‘African Lion’ hunts for new prey

by Manlio Dinucci

THE ‘African Lion’, the largest military exercise on the African continent planned and led by the US Army, began on 7th June. The exercise includes land, air and naval manoeuvres in Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and adjacent seas – from North Africa to West Africa, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

Imperialist military interventions in Africa force migration, leading to the deaths of thousands in shipwrecks.

With half of the 8,000 soldiers deployed coming from the USA, the exercise will deploy about 200 armoured cars, self-propelled cannons, planes and warships. African Lion 21 is expected to cost $24 million and has particularly important implications.

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Gun deaths: The other pandemic in the USA

by María Josefina Arce Alvarez IN THE USA, more than 30,000 people die annually in incidents related to firearms, from suicides to mass shootings. An alarming figure that, far from decreasing, continues to increase, coupled with the rise in the sales of weapons in America.

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The fourth R in US education: Reading, ’riting, ’rithmetic and Racism

by Jo Allen-Eure

RACISM: “A belief that some races are by nature superior to others, in which discrimination can be practiced, based on this belief” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This cruel practice of acting out hateful feelings towards groups of people who are of a darker hue (especially Black, brown, Indigenous and Asian) is ripping this country into shreds.

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Oliver Law and the Lincoln Brigaders

by David Horsley

ON 21st November 1987, the then mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington, declared that day Oliver Law Day. This was a most important recognition of the achievements of both Oliver Law and the members of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. This belated acknowledgement of one of the 2,800 American who fought in Spain between 1936 and 1938 was also a tribute to the 90 of those volunteers who were African Americans.

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