Thursday, 21 July 2011

We love our NHS: join our fight to save it

Subject: We love our NHS: join our fight to save it
Dear Romayne
Just yesterday, when the scrutinising eyes of the media were firmly fixed on the Murdochs’ evidence to Parliament, the Government made an announcement that shows their true colours on the NHS – the privatisation of £1 billion of NHS services. Starting in April, whole swathes of the services our NHS provides will be opened up to the private sector – including wheelchair provision for children.

We’ve heard a lot over recent months about Cameron and Clegg’s ‘reform’ of the NHS. Health professionals, patients’ organisations and the public united in their campaign to slam the breaks on the reforms.

Cameron and Clegg claim to have watered down their plans, but their NHS Bill is still a deadly threat to our National Health Service – and yesterday’s announcement proves it.

If Cameron and Clegg get their way, it will mean:
more privatisation and more companies making money from all parts of our health service
worse patient care including cuts, hospital closures and longer waiting times
more red tape making it harder for nurses, doctors and other health professionals to do their jobs
millions of pounds wasted on new bureaucracy which should be spent on patients

After the Summer break, these plans will come back to MPs in the House of Commons. Will you join our fight to stop them?

Before the General Election, Cameron promised to “protect the NHS”, to “give the NHS a real rise in funding” and to “stop NHS reorganisations”.

But he’s breaking every single one of these promises.

After just one year of his Tory-led government, one in ten people are now waiting over 18 weeks to get into hospital for the treatment they need. And he is making it easier for private patients to jump the queue.

We have to work together if we are going to protect our NHS from Cameron and Clegg’s plans to destroy it. Will you join our campaign?

It's our National Health Service - join our fight to save it.


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Reproduced from an electronic communication sent by Byron Taylor on behalf of TULO, both at 39 Victoria St, London SW1H 0HA.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Climate Change and the Railways

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that the threat from man-made climate change is enormous. As Sir David King, until recently the Chief Scientific advisor to the Government, said ‘Climate Change is the biggest threat to humanity that we have ever known, bigger than terrorism’.

What then has this to do with railways? Rather a lot. Transport is responsible for about 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

So nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are from transport. Looking within that one sees that 85% of global CO2 transport emissions come from cars, planes and trucks.

So nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are from transport. Looking at the table one sees that 85% of global CO2 transport emissions come from cars, planes and trucks.

Planes produce eight to eleven times the CO2 of high speed rail. Lorries emit about six times more CO2 than trains for every ton carried. Lorries also carry most of the freight. A shift to buses and trains would cut transport CO2 emissions by 80%.

Investing in trains
In order to combat global warming it is necessary to invest in alternatives to cars, planes and trucks. Trains are especially useful for replacing plane travel and road travel. High speed trains can replace many domestic and European flights. Transferring freight from road to rail will play a key role in building a sustainable future. Important improvements to the railway infrastructure, including electrification and gauge clearance will be required. New rolling stock will be needed to deliver the low carbon transport future.

The UK railways were privatised in the early 1990s. The result has been an unsatisfactory and expensive service. The interest of the railway operators is primarily commercial to maximise their profit for shareholders, and not keeping ticket prices down. The government needs to take responsibility once again, and ensure that rail capacity is increased so that companies like Bombardier can flourish. World War Two.

In some ways, the model for what we want to do is what happened in World War Two. Then all the great powers of the world took control of their economies and directed industry to make as many weapons as possible, as fast as possible. The Second World War rearmament boom did not bankrupt governments. Instead it created jobs and lifted the whole world out of the Great Depression. We need to do the same thing now, but in order to save jobs and prevent runaway climate change.

Why Derby?

Some people argue that it doesn’t matter where rolling stock is manufactured and what counts above all is value for money. This argument loses sight of the basic need to invest more in railways and railway manufacturing. It makes no sense to strip down Bombardier, heart of the British railway manufacturing, possibly forcing it to close, certainly losing 1400 jobs directly. The RMT union is specifically seeking justification for the Government claim that the Siemens bid represents “value for money” for the British taxpayer in light of the destruction of 13,000 jobs in and around Derby as a direct result of the plans.

Bombardier is the UK centre of railway expertise and technical resources. Destroying the capacity to build train fleets will make it extremely difficult and expensive for the UK to design and construct greener trains in the long term so that we can switch transport away from cars, planes and trucks. Increasing passenger use and the amount of freight carried on rail will reduce the levels of HGVs and other vehicles on our roads and help us combat climate change and create jobs!

It is as if the government decided to stop manufacturing Spitfires at the start of the Second World War!

This leaflet has been produced by Climate Alliance in conjunction with the Derby Climate Coalition and the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group.

For all sources see the One million Climate Jobs Now! booklet and Jonathan Neales’s book Stop Global Warming- Change the World.

(Email; Website

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The New College of Resistance - EAN Conference on October 29

The government wants to divide students and education workers in order to impose its austerity measures.

But from the UCU picket lines on 24 March to the coordinated strikes on June 30, students have stood alongside staff in defece of education, just as lecturers have supported their students since the occupation of Millbank on November 10.

Demonstrations, occupations, and strike action have turned our universities into bastions ...of resistance against the Con Dem Coalition.

Cameron, Clegg amd philosopher-profiteers like AC Grayling want to turn our universities into ivory towers, bastions for the wealthy and privileged. The government has scrapped EMA, trebled fees and is cutting jobs, pensions and courses as it seeks to privatise education.

The Education Activist Network is organising a one-day conference under the banner of 'The New College of Resistance'. It will equip activists, educationalists, and trade unionists with the tools and knowledge to tackle and fight the assault on further and higher education and put forward an alterbative to elitism and austerity.

Workshops include: Crimes against Humanities - from London Met to AC Grayling; The movement one year since Millbank; Alternatives to austrity; Organising casual workers; Protest and the police; Gender inequality in education; Building universities of international solidarity; ESOL, EMA and the fight for FE; Points-based immigration and the racist clampdown; Jobs, pensions, pay and the defence of education; Exposing the new managerialism

workshops include: Crimes against Humanities – from London Met to AC Grayling, What would democratic universities look like?, The movement one year since Millbank, Alternatives to austerity, .Zero hour contracts = Zero future: Organising casual workers, Protest and the police, Building universities of international solidarity, Cuts, EMA and the fight for FE, We Are Not Your Spies: points based immigration, prevent and the racist clampdown
speakers include: Ilan Pappe, John McDonnell MP, Laurie Penny, Peter Hallward, Alex Callinicos, Liam Burns NUS President, Alfie Meadows, Mark Campbell, Jacqueline Rose, Albert Toscano, Katy Clark MP, Owen Jones, Guy Aitchison, Zita Holbourne

initial supporters: UK Uncut, UCU Left, NUS Black Students', Action for Esol, SBL, Woodcraft Folk (16-21s), Golsdmiths SU, Birkbeck SU, Sussex Stop the Cuts, Manchester University against Cuts and Fees, Defend the Right to Protest as well as Stop kettlin

Acknowledgements Martin Francis

Friday, 15 July 2011


Copied and pasted from another TU list: acknowledgements to Douglas Rouxel

Map: http://www. en-199506-guildhall-city-of- london/map


The Guildhall, London according to its own website was designed to show the power of London's ruling elite. This tradition is continued today by annual speeches by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of the Bank of England. The most recent event was a dinner in tribute to the new Ronald Regan statue attended by the Foreign Secretary, Condoleezza Rice and other dignitaries.

Though regulary hosting wealthy patrons of this ancient and prestigious venue, the cleaning staff are failing to be paid for the actual hours they work. Whilst their hourly rate are far below the London Living Wage.

In June of this year, 34 cleaners employed by Ocean Contract Cleaning London struck for 2 days because of many workers receiving underpaid wages over the last 3 months. On average 2 weeks of wages were missing. The company promised to pay the overdue wages by the 20th of June and so the dispute was suspended.

However when the cleaners received their last pay packets, the company failed to keep their promises which resulted in the cleaners calling a new strike day for 15th July with a picket outside London Guildhall 5:30am to 10:00am.

The workers raised a collective grievance to review the salaries for the past 6 months but Ocean Contract Cleaning London are have ignored this and refuse to participate in any collective bargaining process.

The cleaners of Guildhall are on poverty pay rates of £5.95 per hour, whilst working in one of the most expensive cities in Europe and receiving no sick pay or pension. According to the London Living Wage Unit this is officially poverty pay and the London Living Wage has been set at £8.30.

There will be banners and support by fellow trade unionists including Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

For more details contact cleaner-organiser Alberto on 07946735141

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Arrrests of Ann Gray and Pippa Bartolotti

The Green Party Trade Union Group fully supports the recent statements of Caroline Lucas , Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales (letter to William Hague), calling for the release of the international campaigners arrested and unjustly imprisoned by the Israeli government. We also want ALL these campaigners to be released and for them to be able to proceed to Palestine as they had intended, but we would like especially to send our solidarity and support to , Pippa Bartolotti, Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, and to Ann Gray of Haringey Green Party a supporter of GPTU and a member of Green Left.

Unjustified arrest is relatively mild by the standards of many of the actions that Israel has taken against Palestine, nonetheless it shows the contempt which the Israeli government seems to show for the human rights of Palestinians and their supporters, Pippa and Ann are quite right to take part in a protest against this and in no way deserve any unlawful punishment for doing so.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Demonstration against the loss of 1400 jobs at the Bombardier factory in Derby.

Dear all,

Please see the press release from the RMT below, containing details of a demonstration against the loss of 1400 jobs at the Bombadier factory in Derby. I believe that these jobs, workers involved in the manufacture of trains, are climate jobs and must be saved. I encourage environmental activists, campaigners and trade unionists to join the demonstration.

Martin Empson
Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group
079 585 35231

"UNIONS REPRESENTING the Bombardier workforce in Derby confirmed today that they will be mobilising a mass demonstration on Saturday 23rd July in the city in protest at plans to axe over 1400 jobs as a result of the Governments’ refusal to award the company the Thameslink carriage contract."

Romayne Phoenix

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Vote in the Green Party Conference Prioratisation ballot (GP members only)

Conference Motions: The prioritisation ballot needs to be sent in as follows
Please either post the form to the convenor of SOC, James Youd, 32 Roseford Road,Cambridge, CB4 2HD to reach him no later than Friday 15th July or email it to James at, to be received by 23.59 on Friday 15th July. Prioritisation ballot forms are on page 39 of the first agenda which is available via the members website.

The GPTU Committee recommends voting for the following motions in the Prioritisation ballot: Section C (Policy Motions)
C21. One Million Jobs
C24. Removing the Special Status of the Corporation of London
C35. Industrial Policy Enabling Motion
Section D (Organisational, and other, motions)
D46. Coalition of Resistance
D48. Making the Green Party a Model Employer

It was felt that the following motions might need strengthening amendments
C21. One Million Jobs
C33. Motion Against an Immigration Cap