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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Changing gear

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON Mayor Sadiq Khan has come under fire for allowing Transport for London (TfL) suddenly to cut by half the funding for cycling instruction. The small Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) held a protest last Friday by cycling from Trafalgar Square to City Hall to highlight the declining pay and conditions of its members that have resulted from the cuts.

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Beer battles

by New Worker correspondent

HALLOWEEN saw the formation of a new union. This was the Brewery Workers Union (BWU), which is being formed by the small non-TUC Industrial Workers of the World who have been organising for several years in the craft beer sector, particularly in London. It is not taking on the big brewers such as the big four of Molson Coors, ABInBev, Heineken and Carlsberg, who between them account for over two-thirds of the British market. These giants have generally been organised for over a century by Unite and its various ancestors, who have long represented the brewers and draymen who drove the horse-drawn wagons to the neighbouring pubs.

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Workers and their union

by New Worker correspondent

ON PAGE nine we report a victory in Scotland by rail union RMT. The union is also involved in another, less edifying battle. This time its own staff were involved in a walkout that resulted in the union’s annual conference in Leeds closing early and union services being suspended for a few days.

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Some better news

by New Worker correspondent

MORE CHEERING news of victories that, whilst they do not herald a coming revolution, are to be welcomed as a step in the right direction.

Readers of Robert Tressell’s Ragged Trousered Philanthropists will be pleased that today’s Scottish equivalents of the painters of Hastings have secured a decent pay rise. Unite has secured what it describes as a “massive boost” by raising wages of up to 8.5 per cent. Although this only applies to second year apprentices, those in the first and fourth year will get five per cent net and 3.9 for their third (why does it have to be so complex?).

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

LAST WEEK we predicted that Glasgow would be hit by strikes by cleansing workers and railway workers during the COP26 shindig. That prediction was only 50 per cent correct.

ScotRail has finally climbed down on the long-running dispute, resulting in the RMT transport union securing victory and calling off the strike. This meant that delegates could travel by train from London to Glasgow. At least, they could have had not a fallen tree knocked out the electricity supply leaving many sleeping on the floor of Euston Station.

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‘Green’ Scotland

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

It is too early to say what the results of the COP26 summit will be. No doubt if it is successful the SNP will claim it was all due to the event being held in Glasgow, and if it fails, it was all due to the Tories. We have enough evidence from the 14 years of SNP rule however, to make a judgement on their environmental policies and rhetoric compared with the actual record.

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Future of all of us hangs upon Assange court ruling

by Svetlana Ekimenko

JULIAN Assange’s extradition to US custody to face espionage charges would deal a deadly blow to the free press, believes Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters.

As Britain’s High Court stopped short of issuing a ruling last week in Washington’s appeal case against a lower court’s decision to block the WikiLeaks publisher’s extradition, Waters said he was “deeply, deeply concerned” about the eventual outcome, as he gave an interview for RT.

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International News

New Sudanese government welcomes Russians back

by our Arab affairs correspondent

CALM HAS returned to the streets of Khartoum after days of protests against the new army government. Thousands took to the streets of the Sudanese capital last week to call for the return of the old regime that was kicked out by the army. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds, but they deny claims that over a dozen protesters were killed when security forces opened fire in clashes with protesters during the demonstrations.

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America’s bloody hand in Guatemala

by Guillermo Alvarado

THE US-sponsored virtual Summit on “Democracy, Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism” will soon be upon us. According to the Spanish government, this conference in December will be an opportunity to demonstrate the capacity of democracy to “recognise its weaknesses and imperfections and face them in an open and transparent manner”.

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Playing with fire over Taiwan

Xinhua

US FOREIGN minister Antony Blinken’s clamour for Taiwan’s “robust, meaningful participation throughout the United Nations system” has once again crossed China’s red line over the Taiwan question.

His irresponsible remarks severely violated the one-China principle and the three China–USA joint communiqués, the political foundation of China–USA ties, broke the promise Washington has made, and constituted a gross breach of international norms.

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Features

How Frankenstein and Dracula created a union

by Tom Campbell

CLASSIC HORROR film actors Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi were key to the formation of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1930s. As we celebrate Halloween, did you know that “long hours and dangerous conditions” on the Frankenstein sets led legendary actor Boris Karloff to get behind the movement to unionise screen actors?

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Who is really behind the “Havana Syndrome”?

by Alexander Artamonov

ON 15th September 2021, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all American military personnel, Defense Department civilian officials and contractors to report any symptoms of the “Havana syndrome”, a mysterious disease which affected US diplomatic missions in many countries around the world.

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