David is UCU Branch Secretary, Sandwell College.
He was summarily dismissed for writing the word “racist” on a Prevent poster.
David was a member of our NATFHE branch at Harrow College when I was Branch Secretary.
He’s a committed trade unionist and hard-working Maths lecturer.
He has support from UCU and Angela Rayner (see link below) and please circulate.
David is UCU Branch Secretary, Sandwell College.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is a complete disaster for our NHS – particularly Section 75, which forces the NHS to let private companies compete to provide some services. Now, NHS England has recognised the harm that Section 75 has done, and are calling on the government to get rid of Section 75 as part of their ‘Long Term Plan’ for the NHS.
The Long Term Plan is the next step in dismantling our NHS, reducing care provision, and moving away from the original founding principles of universal healthcare, free at the point of use, and accessible to everyone.
NHS England are asking for your views – let’s tell them that we don’t just want to end Section 75. We want to end all NHS privatisation, and rebuild the NHS based on its founding principles.
Protests and strikes demanding the new ‘transitional’ president Abdelkader Bensalah follow Bouteflika out of office are gathering pace across Algeria. On the railways, in the ports, government offices, schools, universities and across large swathes of manufacturing, workers are walking out or going into occupation in solidarity with the continuing demonstrations in major cities demanding that all the key figures associated with the old regime step down.
But the regime is fighting back: police attacked a major student protest outside the Post Office in the capital Algiers on 9 April. Trade union federation COSYFOP condemned the attack on student protesters by security forces and urged workers to join the general strike planned for 10 April: “The strike continues, and we will escalate our action until we win freedom,” the federation said in a statement on Facebook.
Thousands of demonstrators were met again with police water cannons and tear gas on 10 April, but news reports showed large crowds continuing to rally despite the efforts of police to smash the protests. Thousands could also be seen in reports from social media marching in other major cities including Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, Tiaret, Annaba, Blida, Batna, and Tlemcen. School and university students are leading many of the demonstrations, alongside their teachers who have been at the forefront of strike action in recent years.
What you can do:
- Send a message of protest to the Algerian embassy in London, demanding an end to repression of demonstrations and the immediate release of all political detainees. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone numbers here: http://www.algerianembassy.org.uk/index.php/contact-us.html
- Send a message of solidarity to trade unions and student unions in Algeria – email email@example.com and we will pass it on or let you know where to send direct
- Take a picture and share on social media with this sign [algeria_solidarity_poster].Tweet to @MENASolidarity or share on our Facebook
- Download a copy of our briefing on teachers’ struggles with a model motion: [Teachers_MENA_2019]
Having a job should guarantee your family doesn’t live in poverty.
But right now that’s not the case. Millions of working people are trapped in low paying, insecure work with no path out.
Not only is the percentage of those in poverty living in a working household at its highest since records began, but so is the percentage of children from working households living in poverty.
Theresa May might think this is fine, but we don’t.
Raising the National Living Wage to £10 per hour would give a pay rise to 4 million people. That’s why today, on the 20th anniversary of the minimum wage, we’re calling on the Prime Minister to take action.
This pay rise would go a long way to ensuring those on the lowest wages have enough to pay the bills, put food on the table and find somewhere permanent to live.
Millions of people in working families are living in poverty and this isn’t an accident. The system has been designed to benefit a few, while the rest struggle to afford the basics.
The minimum wage was a victory for union campaigning. It will only continue to rise if we take a stand.
We were told it would bankrupt the country. Instead it gave workers earning as little as 90p per hour a fair deal.
20 years on, the fight to end working poverty goes on. Workers need a £10 minimum wage now.
Corporate courts, formally known as ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement), are an obscure parallel legal system only accessible to the super-rich. They allow transnational corporations to sue governments outside the national justice system, for amounts into the billions, over decisions the companies think might affect their profits.
Health warnings on cigarette packets, raising the minimum wage and protecting the environment from mining are just some of the laws big business has challenged in corporate courts. Even the threat of a case can be used to bully governments into backing down.
Recently the Minister proposed using Brexit to slash tariffs, regardless of impact on jobs, farming and industry, following an extreme market-driven approach. Corporate courts are a key part of this agenda.
The minister wants to keep ISDS to protect investment stocks. We need to speak out and say that people and planet matter far more.
The fightback has begun. Across the world, countries have been rejecting ISDS: South Africa, India, Ecuador, Tanzania, Indonesia and New Zealand have all taken steps to back away from corporate courts.
Here in the UK and across Europe, our movement against TTIP and CETA – the EU’s trade deals with the USA and Canada – has exposed its illegitimacy. The system is vulnerable.
We’re at a tipping point, and if enough of us come together, we could bring ISDS down altogether. Can you sign the petition today and join the movement to end corporate courts?
Sudanese activists will be organising protests in Liverpool and London on 9 February, as trade unionists across the country are moblising in solidarity with their demands for democratic change and social justice. Sudanese refugees in Liverpool will gather at Lime Street station at 1pm, while Sudanese activists will also gather in Trafalgar Square in London at 2pm the same day. The demonstrations, which bring together activists from different areas in Sudan, and UK-based members of the Sudanese trade unionists and political organisations, follow several weeks of protests in cities around the UK.
UK trade unions are mobilising in support of the uprising in Sudan, and to demand an end to UK arms sales and diplomatic backing for Omar El Bashir’s brutal regime which has thrown thousands in jail during the last few weeks, and killed dozens of demonstrators.
Liverpool TUC, Liverpool University UCU and Stockport NEU have all passed motions raising these demands, and other branches will be considering similar motions in the coming weeks. A statement for trade unionists to sign has been launched by MENA Solidarity which has attracted support from leading activists in UCU, NEU and UNISON.
What you can do:
- Join the protests in Liverpool and London on 9 February. Meet 1pm at Lime Street Station in Liverpool, 2pm in Trafalgar Square in London (in front of the National Gallery)
- Sign the petition to the UK parliament calling on the government to condemn the repression of the uprising: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236102
- Sign the solidarity statement here
- Pass a resolution in solidarity with the movement in Sudan in your trade union branch or student union. Download a model motion here [sudan_solidarity_modelmotion] [Liverpool motion]
- Call on your MP to show their support for the protesters’ demands for democratic change in Sudan.
- Take a picture in solidarity with the Sudanese uprising using this sign [sudan_solidarity_poster] and share on social media using the hashtag #تسقط_بسPlease mention @MENAsolidarity so we can share further. Follow reports from Sudan on #SudanUprising and #SudanProtests.
- Read more on the background to the uprising here
Kim Yong-gyun, a 24-year-old subcontracted worker was killed after getting stuck in a coal conveyer belt at the Taean Power Plant. Kim was working alone in the dark, doing extremely dangerous work. According to the occupational health and safety rules in the manual, Kim should have been working in a team of two. Excessive cost-cutting following the outsourcing of power plant fuel operations and maintenance means that this work is now done alone. This shocking event has sparked a national movement in Korea against the ‘outsourcing of danger’ endemic in the power plant industry and throughout the Korean economy. The KPTU President and 5 other coalition leaders have been on an unlimited hunger-strike since 22 January, calling for an investigation into the incident and punishment for those responsible. PSI and KPTU have launched a campaign calling on the government to carry out an investigation, make the necessary safety improvements in the power plant industry and carry out the insourcing and direct permanent employment for subcontracted workers in the industry.
The Education International, which is the global union federation for teachers around the world, is very concerned about news it’s been getting from the Philippines.
During a recent press conference, where the Alliance of Concerned Teachers was denouncing harassment and threats faced by its members and leaders, its general secretary, Raymond Basilio (pictured), received death threats on his phone.
Raymond was warned that unless he gave in to the caller’s demands, an order to kill him would be carried out.
The police deny any knowledge of this, but the union has learned of continuing unlawful profiling of its members carried out by the police in different regions of the nation, in a serious breach of both national and international law.
Please take a moment and send a message to President Rodrigo Duterte demanding that the government protect Raymond and other union leaders, that they investigate the death threats, and that they guarantee the privacy of union members and stop any illegal collection of data about them.
Support the campaign here:
Just three years ago our movement was instrumental in stopping TTIP, the EU-US trade agreement. It wasn’t easy. Together, we collected 3.3 million signatures. Hundreds of thousands of you protested in the streets. We took on the corporations, the lobbyists, 28 governments and the EU Commission. And we won!
Now we have to do it again to kill off ISDS – which was one of the most dangerous parts of TTIP – once and for all. Over the last three years, this system has been badly wounded. For the first time, with a strong push in 2019, we can get rid of it for good. A Europe-wide campaign against ISDS and for more corporate accountability has just started to make the best of this opportunity!
ISDS stands for ‘Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement’. It is an obscure parallel justice system only accessible to large corporations. They can use it to sue states and prevent new rules that were intended to protect people and the planet. If on the other hand people are harmed by a corporation, they often don’t have any way of winning justice. This is a horrendous injustice!
Some ISDS cases are well known, like Vattenfall demanding 5 billion Euros of public money for the German nuclear exit. But hundreds of other scandalous cases are still receiving close to no public attention. And new treaties containing a parallel justice system for corporations even keep on being signed! In order to stop ISDS we need to oppose these new deals and get rid of existing ones.
This week, corporations are gathering in Davos at the World Economic Forum. They will dine and chat with world leaders until Friday. Those companies include Chevron, which sued Ecuador to avoid cleaning up their oil pollution in the Amazon, and still refuse to pay the victims of their dirty business. Cargill, which sued Mexico after the Government implemented a tax on sugar to address the country’s obesity crisis. Dow Chemical, which sued Canada for banning harmful pesticides, and dozens more.
Today, we crashed their party. Our colleagues from the “Rights for People, Rules for Corporations” campaign are in Davos. Dressed as wolves, they revealed that more than 40 corporations attending the World Economic Forum have used ISDS to sue governments and extracted vast sums of taxpayers’ money. Some of these same corporations have infringed on human rights but people and the planet cannot bite back. It is time to stop this injustice!
We demand the EU and member states to support a tough global system that can punish multinationals for their crimes. We need rights for people and new rules for corporations! ISDS must be stopped! And 2019 is the year to do it.