Supreme Court rules in favour of care worker victimised for taking strike action

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The Supreme Court building, Parliament Square, London

A CARE worker victimised at work for taking strike action has humiliated the government in the Supreme Court today.

In a case brought by public-sector union Unison, Britain’s highest court ordered the government to outlaw the victimisation of workers for striking as part of a landmark ruling today.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said the case was the “most important industrial action case for decades” while the TUC hailed it as “monumental.”

The judgement is a slap in the face for former business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who had ordered an appeal against a previous court decision upholding the worker’s claim.

It is also a victory for millions of workers who will be protected from victimisation by vengeful bosses if they take strike action in the future.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “This is a monumental victory for Unison and the whole union movement.

“And it represents yet another crushing legal defeat for the Conservative government’s oppressive strike laws.

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Reaction to Wes Streeting comments on NHS reform and private sector involvement

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Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Responding to comments by the Shadow Heath Secretary saying that under a Labour government investment in the NHS would be dependent on reform and that there would be an increased role for the private sector, co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said: 

“Wes Streeting says that if the NHS doesn’t change, it will die. But it is inadequate funding that has left our NHS in a poor state of health, not lack of reform.  

“Between 2010 and 2019 the UK had a lower level of capital investment in health care and 18% lower average health spending than 14 EU countries. 

“So to say that the public is paying a heavy price for failure is an insult to hard-working NHS staff, who are doing their level best despite being overworked and underpaid. It is the failure to invest adequately and pay staff properly that is at the root of dissatisfaction with the NHS. 

“The public agrees. They don’t want endless reforms; neither do they share the Conservative or Labour appetite for creeping privatisation. They want the current model to work and to see the NHS available to everyone free of charge and primarily funded through taxes. A tax on the super-rich billionaires and multi-millionaires can provide the funds needed to fix our cherished NHS.    

“The Green Party has never had any truck with the profit motive in health care and will continue to push for a fully publicly funded NHS.” 

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RMT leader Mick Lynch gives Jeremy Corbyn general election backing

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Image of Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party

The RMT Union has announced it will be supporting former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the next general election.

Mr Corbyn is the independent MP for Islington North – a seat he has held since 1983.

Last year, the 74-year-old was banned from standing for Labour, having been suspended from the parliamentary party over an antisemitism row in 2020.

RMT leader Mick Lynch said the union would back Mr Corbyn should he run for his seat again as an independent.

“We will support all sorts of people in this election, because we’re not affiliated,” Mr Lynch told the War on Want conference.

He added: “We will support Labour candidates. We will support socialist candidates.

“We will be supporting Jeremy Corbyn in the next election.”

The RMT became estranged from Labour in 2004 under Tony Blair’s leadership, meaning – unlike many other trade unions – it is free to support other candidates.

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Unions call for end of ‘rampant profiteering’ as pre-Christmas food inflation remains at 9.2%

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Shoppers in a supermarket, October 15, 2021

UNIONS called for an end to “rampant profiteering” as official figures showed food inflation remains at a painfully high 9.2 per cent in the run-up to Christmas.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said yesterday’s larger-than-expected drop in overall inflation would not offset the real-terms fall in wages this Christmas.

She said: “Headline inflation might be slowing, but workers know their wages aren’t going as far as they did two years ago.

“Even the competition regulator now admits what Unite has said all along: that firms have been exploiting the cost-of-living crisis to raise prices excessively.

“It’s time the government and Bank of England tackled the rampant profiteering in our economy to get inflation under control.”

Responding to the figures showing CPI inflation slowing to 3.9 per cent and RPI inflation to 5.3 per cent, TUC general secretary Paul Nowak added: “Today’s inflation figures will provide scant relief for hard-pressed families. Prices are still going up — just a bit more slowly.

“Household budgets remain under immense pressure. And many families will struggle with the cost of Christmas, with food and energy bills sky high.”

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More than 1,000 trade unionists block four Israeli weapons factories

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Activists blockade Eaton Mission Systems in Bournemouth Photo:  Workers for a Free Palestine

FOUR arms factories producing parts for Israeli fighter jets were shut down in protests by more than 1,000 trade unionists today.

Campaigners calling for an end to Britain’s complicity in war crimes being committed in Gaza blockaded sites at Bournemouth, Glasgow, Brighton and Lancashire.

The demonstrations were organised by campaign group Workers for a Free Palestine in co-ordination with workers in France, Denmark and the Netherlands, involving members from trade unions including Unite, Unison, GMB, the NEU, the BMA, UCU, Bectu and BFAWU.

The campaign group said they targeted sites run by defence giant BAE Systems which produces parts for the F-35 stealth combat jet currently being used by Israel to bombard Gaza.

More than 600 blockaded Eaton Mission Systems in Bournemouth alone.

A spokeswoman for Workers for a Free Palestine said: “The fighter jets these factories help to produce are being used to imprison the people of Gaza in a death trap.

“Workers all over Britain are rising up for Palestine, saying we will not allow arms used in a genocide to be supplied in our name and funded by our taxes.

Craig Murray discusses the positive legal obligation to prevent genocide.

Every single state in the world has a positive duty to intervene to prevent the Genocide in Gaza now, not after a court has reached a determination of genocide. This is made crystal clear in para 431 of the International Court of Justice judgment in Bosnia vs Serbia:

This obviously does not mean that the obligation to prevent genocide only comes into being when perpetration of genocide commences ; that would be absurd, since the whole point of the obligation is to prevent, or attempt to prevent, the occurrence of the act. In fact, a State’s obligation to prevent, and the corresponding duty to act, arise at the instant that the State learns of, or should normally have learned of, the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed. From that moment onwards, if the State has available to it means likely to have a deterrent effect on those suspected of preparing genocide, or reasonably suspected of harbouring specific intent (dolus specialis), it is under a duty to make such use of these means as the circumstances permit.

This case was specifically on the application of the Genocide Convention. That the ICJ has ruled there is a positive duty on states to act to prevent genocide makes it even more astonishing to me that no state has invoked the Genocide Convention over the blatant genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza.

Continue ReadingMore than 1,000 trade unionists block four Israeli weapons factories