New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Hobson’s choice

by New Worker correspondent

LAST WEEK white puffs of smoke emerged from the London HQ of Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), which was not to announce the election of a new General Secretary but to declare that the membership had voted 85 to 15 per cent in favour of merging with another union. A special conference will be called next weekend to sort out the details. As it was a very important ballot, it had a massive 32 per cent, or 5,089 of the union’s 15,802 members, who voted 4,322 to 767 for the merger.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Hi tech class struggle

by New Worker correspondent

WORKPLACE monitoring is on the increase in Britain and is “spiralling out of control”, according to a recent TUC report. This is not a case of the foreman banging with a stopwatch to time the length of tea-breaks or trips to the toilet, but constant use of artificial intelligence (AI) to record every minute of the working day, and sometime beyond. AI does not merely observe however, but controls workers.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

On the buses

by New Worker correspondent

ABOUT 1,000 bus drivers working for Arriva Bus at various south London depots have voted by 95 per cent in favour of strike action on the 21st March, and a 48-hour strike on the 28th and 29th. The cause of their anger is a below-inflation pay offer of 1.5 per cent. This is well below the retail price index, which records inflation at 7.8 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva’s pay offer is pathetic and it is an insult to bus drivers who continued to work throughout the pandemic risking their health to ensure London could continue to function.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

On the roads

by New Worker correspondent

ALSO ON the roads and affecting the West Country and further afield, is a pay dispute involving 250 Sainsbury’s warehouse workers at Emerald Park in Bristol. They are employed by German transport company DHL on an outsourced contract.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Welcome victory

by New Worker correspondent

IN LATE January we reported that at the Barts Health NHS Trust in London, 1,800 mostly BAME [Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic] workers who had rejected a miserable pay offer of three per cent offered by their employer, notorious outsourcer Serco, would be taking strike action. Now, after a two-week strike they have been successful in securing their demands that the Trust takes over the contract to end the scandal of them being paid 15 per cent less than directly employed NHS staff.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes recently announced a 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), which has achieved the remarkable feat of alienating just about everyone in Scotland – including the SNP’s own supporters.

In the red corner, Scottish TUC (STUC) General Secretary, Roz Foyer, said: “Sadly, this is more a strategy for economic status quo than economic transformation. The Strategy has a sprinkling of good ideas and we have successfully argued for some strong lines on the importance of Fair Work, decent pay and the role of trade unions, but overall, it is a missed opportunity to address the challenges before us and make real, transformational change.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Women at War

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Another matter that has long caused ructions in nationalist ranks, and beyond, is the recently published Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. This intends to amend Westminster’s ‘Gender Recognition Act 2004’ as it applies in Scotland, which will make it easier for people to change their gender legally.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Labouring under an illusion

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Last weekend the Scottish Labour Party held its Spring conference in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, the first such event since the present leader Anas Sarwar deposed left-winger Richard Leonard just over a year ago.

He is firmly in the saddle. The recent elections for the Scottish NEC went his way. But Sarwar’s rule has so far not been very successful. In last year’s Holyrood elections Labour remained the third party behind the Tories, falling from 24 to 22 seats.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Bercow banned from Parliament

by Svetlana Ekimenko

JOHN BERCOW, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, has been banned from holding a House of Commons pass following an independent probe into bullying claims that were made against him by three staff members. But Bercow has dismissed the inquiry as a “kangaroo court” and says he will appeal against its ruling.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

London has most deprived communities

Xinhua LONDON has some of the most deprived communities in Britain says the capital’s mayor as the Johnson government unveiled the long-awaited plan to level up the country.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Solidarity at the Casa

by New Worker correspondent

KOREAN solidarity campaigners held their first public meeting in Liverpool for nearly five years when they returned to the Casa Bar last month. to hear Dermot Hudson and Peter Hendy talk about the developments on the Korean peninsula Despite the cold and windy weather and attention being focussed on the Ukraine crisis, people still came to the meeting on 24th February called by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA).

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

International Women’s Day

Xinhua

China’s female astronaut sends greetings from space

WANG YAPING, China’s second female astronaut who is now on a six-month mission on board the country’s Space Station, recently recorded a video message for the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland, sending her greetings to women around the world on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

On the road to equality

by Yeilén Delgado Calvo

THE CHALLENGE any woman can try on social media seems simple: put your first name in the Google search engine, or that of your sister, your mother or your daughter and, next to it, the word “found”. The result is in no way simple, but rather terrifying. It is enough to press a key to come across a list of horrors, the result of male violence.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Gender equality still a long way off

by María Josefina Arce

ON 8th March, International Women’s Day, the world is facing greater challenges regarding the achievement of women’s human rights. The COVID‑19 pandemic showed how much progress still needs to be made in gender equality, a goal that is still distant in many regions.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Features

The war on Donbas: why we must all stand against fascism

by Fra Hughes

This lightly edited opinion piece first appeared in Al Mayadeen, the Arab independent media satellite news channel, on 26th February.

THE DONBAS people, much like the Palestinian people, continued to resist the dominance of global capitalism that supports fascism in Ukraine for the last eight years.

For those who claim President Putin is a megalomaniac sociopath, intent on drawing Europe and the USA into some kind of Machiavellian war in order to massage his overinflated ego, let’s look at the facts, shall we.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]