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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Baked beanz battle

by New Worker correspondent

IN ANOTHER battle over a two-tier workforce, Unite the union has secured an agreement to gain formal recognition and end the two-tier workforce on the Heinz distribution contract, which will see in many drivers boosting their incomes by over a quarter.

This agreement covers 26 outsourced drivers employed at Wigan by distribution company Wincanton.

General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members on the Heinz contract stuck together and won these much-deserved changes. This should send a message to employers across the distribution sector that when you fail to pay our members the rate for the job, we will challenge you and we will win.”

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Jobs on the move

by New Worker correspondent

THE Communication Workers Union (CWU) is taking up the cudgels of outsourced workers at British Telecom’s City of London HQ, which is being relocated to the East End.

They are presently employed by ISS, who have not won all the contracts for the new building.

The present HQ will close in December. On Friday it was announced that housekeeping will be transferring to an as-yet undeclared company, resulting in an uncertain TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) situation for cleaning staff. Front-of-house services will be transferring to CBRE, resulting in triggering either another TUPE situation for those individuals or their redeployment into other potential roles within ISS.

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Thousands of cops accused of sex crimes

by Sputnik correspondent

NEARLY 2,000 officers, special constables and community support officers at 39 forces have faced accusations of sexual wrongdoing since 2017. An investigation by Channel 4 and analysis by the Times has uncovered cases of misconduct within the Metropolitan Police, prompting calls for more transparency. More than half of the allegations failed to result in disciplinary action whilst eight per cent were dismissed. Nearly 300 officers had previously been reported for misconduct when facing fresh allegations.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

LAST week the Supreme Court ruled unanimously (including Lord Reed, the Scottish president) that the SNP Government was incompetent.

This was not a value judgement on the SNP’s handing of the COVID‑19 crisis, the growing numbers of potholes on Scottish roads, or even their handling of the ferries’ situation.

Instead, the matter in question was two bills passed at Holyrood that the Court decided were out-with the competence of the devolved assembly under the terms of the 1998 Act, which set up what some people refer to as the ‘Shortbread Senate’ or the ‘Scottish County Council.

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Cover Ups

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Meantime, to show how open and transparent Holyrood is it has only just been reported that in January a man easily broke into the building by climbing over a wall at night. After entering through an unlocked door he wandered around the building and into the area housing ministerial offices before he was apprehended. This comes after spending no less than £90 million on bomb-proofing the interior and exterior of the building, and then £1.25 million on bollards and benches to stop vehicles crashing into it.

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Rocky Road to the Isles

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

A great deal of space has been taken up in this column about ferries, mostly concerning the two uncompleted hulks at Port Glasgow that the SNP hastily commissioned at great expense. Those ferries that are in the water, however, are also as much of a problem for the 93 islands which depend on them. They are getting very old in nautical terms and therefore have a habit of breaking down, and when they do manage to find a replacement for a particular route the replacement also has a habit of giving up the ghost. This year almost a fifth of sailings on one of the busiest routes have been disrupted, three times the level of 2017.

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COVID Inquiry: thousands of deaths could have been avoided

by Oleg Burunov

GOVERNMENT ministers and their scientific advisers made “serious errors” at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, which “cost thousands of lives”, a new parliamentary report has revealed.

The Lessons learned to date report was prepared by parliament’s Science and Technology Committee as well as the Health and Social Care Committee, who argued that the delay to impose a first lockdown last spring was “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced”.

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Solidarity with Korea in London

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON comrades returned to the Chadswell Centre in Euston to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) at a meeting called by the Korean

Friendship Association last weekend. Chaired by Dermot Hudson, the meeting heard a variety of speakers, including NCP London Organiser Theo Russell, talk about the achievements of the Korean revolution over the years.

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Remembering the Sacrifice in Spain

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES paused to remember those who fell fighting fascism in Spain in the 1930s at a ceremony in Southampton on Saturday. They gathered at Southampton’s Cenotaph which is also the site of a plaque to the four men from the city who gave their lives in support of the Loyalist government’s struggle to halt the advance of General Franco’s rebels who were backed by the might of Nazi Germany and the Italian fascists.Speakers at the event included Alan Lloyd, a former Southampton City Councillor, Councillor Jackie Rayment and Nathan Le Bas from the CPB. The event ended with the singing of the Internationale by Southampton’s Red Star Choir.

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International News

Greek workers’ strike pays off!

By G Dunkel

GREEK delivery workers just got a big win – and they want more. From the militants of PAME (All Workers Militant Front of Greece) to financial analysts following the fast-food industry worldwide, all agreed: eFood delivery workers won big last month.

eFood is owned by a German international firm and has 90,000 clients in all major Greek cities, especially the three biggest: Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras. During 2020, a pandemic year, its profits soared by 26.7 per cent.

In order to keep profits up, on 17th September eFood told 115 of its workers who were on three-month contracts they had to either become self-employed or quit. This email went viral and drew reactions from both customers and workers.

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Czech communists smashed in poll

IDoC

FOR THE first time since 1948 communists will not be represented in either house of the Czech government.

In last week’s election in the Czech Republic, the Communist Party of Bohemia & Moravia (KSČM) lost all its 15 seats. Support slumped to just 3.62 per cent – less than the five per cent of the votes needed to enter parliament. “I am very disappointed because it is a really big failure,” said KSČM leader Vojtech Filip, who has now resigned.

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Kellogg’s workers walk out

by Emily Butt

PICKETS were active outside Kellogg’s plant in Battle Creek, Michigan, last week following the rejection of company plans for a new two-tier payment system. The new scheme would leave lower seniority employees with significantly lower pay and worse benefits than the rest of the work-force. Workers also say they’ve been overworked during the Covid pandemic, with many of them working seven days a week with no days off for months on end.

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A voice that cannot be ignored

by María Josefina Arce

IN BELGRADE, the capital of Serbia, a summit is taking place commemorating the 60th anniversary of the emergence of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), an essential movement in an increasingly dangerous international arena, in which peace and stability are threatened and an unjust economic order prevails.

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A devoted China storyteller

by Zhong Yurui

AMIDST the COVID-19 pandemic, a documentary about Du Fu, a great Chinese poet, has caught the attention of many. It was produced by a British director named Michael Wood. To portray the life of the Sage of Poetry in a one-hour documentary and make sure a foreign audience could get the culture and spirit of the East may seem to be ‘mission impossible’, but Michael Wood did it.

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Features

Prepare now for Irish unity now!

by Declan Kearney

National Chair of Sinn Fein

Those attending the BIA in Oxford, representing governments across these islands and other significant civic institutions, should begin preparing constructively for Irish unity and all the new associated opportunities.

THE ANNUAL British–Irish Association (BIA) conference took place last month in Oxford, England. Indicative of the pressures on relations between Britain and Ireland, there was a large number of senior Irish and British cabinet ministers and civil servants present. Ministers from the administrations in Holyrood, Cardiff and Belfast, including myself, also took part.

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Winter is coming – Russians blamed for fuel crisis

by Finian Cunningham

AMOS HOCHSTEIN, an energy official at the US State Department, said there was deep concern about Europe not being to keep warm this winter because of “inexplicably low supplies of gas from Russia”. The sinister implication being that Moscow was deliberately shutting down exports to boost prices.

Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper sought to explain the energy crisis hitting Europe – which has seen prices soar by 250 per cent in recent weeks – as partly due to “Russia’s games”. It reported: “As shipments of gas have turned from Europe towards China, flows of pipeline gas to Europe from Russia have failed to make up the shortfall”.

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‘Red tourism’ booms in China

by Fan Anqi

ECHOING Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s heartfelt words as she stepped outside the plane from Canada back to China, that “If faith has a colour, it must be China red”, ‘red tourism’ in China has welcomed yet another boom during this year’s National Day holidays, amidst a new wave of patriotic sentiment boosted by the centennial celebration of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Meng’s return to the motherland, and the release of epic war film The Battle at Lake Changjin.

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Our Che and the world

by María Josefina Arce

“CHE Comandante, amigo.” This is how the National Poet of Cuba, Nicolás Guillén, described Ernesto Guevara, the Argentinean-Cuban guerrilla fighter who united his destiny to the struggle for the true and definitive independence of our homeland.

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