Year 2000 No. 188, November 6, 2000
On the National Consultative Conference, December 9-10:
Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :
On the National Consultative Conference, December
The Crystallisation of the Partys Tasks
1,000 demonstrate against PFI in Stourbridge
Meeting with Korea Truth Commission
Letter to the Editor: Jaguar Workers Are Taking an Active Stand
News In Brief
Postal Workers in Edinburgh to Hold Strike Ballot
Tube Privatisation - Public Private Partnership Protest
Ford Dagenham Strike Ballot
Job Losses at NTL
Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to Workers' Publication Centre):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
70p per issue, £2.70 for 4 issues, £17 for 26 issues, £32 for 52 issues (including postage)
Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10
On the National Consultative Conference, December 9-10:
Throughout RCPB(ML), regional forums are grappling with what is necessary to advance the work of building the Mass Party Press at this time.
The Partys 3rd Congress gave the orientation for the Partys work in the present period. This orientation is one of preparing for the coming revolutionary storms, settling scores with the old conscience and hitting at everything that conciliates with the Old. It is one of moving forward into the 21st century on the basis of organising the working class to occupy the space for change and advancing along the line of march to a new society, to a socialist Britain. The Congress reaffirmed that the cutting edge of the Partys work remains that of Improving the Content, Extending the Readership of Workers Weekly in the context of this present orientation, which entails building the Party in the heart of the working class. It established that RCPB(ML) must consolidate itself on the new historical basis, intervene in the political life of the country, and call on all communists, the class conscious workers, progressive and democratic people aspiring to a new society to come together to form one mass communist party as the decisive factor in preparing the subjective conditions for revolution. Thus the Congress set out an extremely exciting programme and vision for the future.
At the launch of the Congress document, The Line of March to a New Society, the Party announced and initiated its Millennium Project. This is a proposal to give concrete form to the decisions of the 3rd Congress, to fully realise the Partys plan of action, and to accelerate the tempo of its realisation. The stepping up of the all-round organising work of the Party, and the defining of new organisational tasks is very necessary as the tempo of the anti-social offensive of the bourgeoisie and neo-liberal programme of the government is increased, and as various sections of the people, including the working class itself, are being drawn into struggle against this agenda and in defence of their individual and collective rights. The essence of this Millennium Project of RCPB(ML) is to build the Mass Party Press in the context of consolidating the Party on the new historical basis.
The Enlarged 5th Plenum of the Central Committee involved all those forces organised with the Party in adopting this decision on the Mass Party Press as their own. The Enlarged Plenum gave the impetus for the regions to set up their respective forums to discuss how to implement this decision in the course of developing their programmes.
This concrete work of the start-up period after the 3rd Congress has amply prepared the ground for the holding of the National Consultative Conference 2000 with its theme of The Crystallisation of the Partys Tasks. The conditions exist for all the Party activists and the circles of sympathisers and activists in various spheres to politically prepare themselves extremely well for the National Consultative Conference. The national, regional and basic organisations of the Party are all doing their work which can be summed up in the Conference. This summation, if done well and with revolutionary spirit, is bound to give rise to a unified will on the Partys tasks, which will ensure the decisions of the 3rd Congress are implemented successfully.
On Saturday, November 4, 1,000 people demonstrated in Stourbridge town centre against PFI in NHS hospitals, specifically in Dudley in the West Midlands.
The demonstration included strikers and their families, and branches of UNISON from the North, Midlands and the London areas. The chairwoman of the rally said later on that it was a great demo.
People carried banners and placards saying that they did not want PFI, but wished to stay in the NHS. Slogans were shouted which attracted the attention of the shoppers in Stourbridge who took leaflets and gave money to the strike fund. The demonstration ended with a rally at the local town hall.
On Thursday, November 2, a briefing and discussion meeting was held in London with the Korea Truth Commission on US Military Massacres of Civilians (KTC). The meeting was organised under the auspices of Progressive Forum and sponsored by the Korea Friendship and Solidarity Campaign and the British Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation. Meeting with the KTC delegation were various friends of Korea, representatives of RCPB(ML) and NCP of Britain, both of which parties have recently visited North Korea, and Korean students studying in this country.
Introducing the delegation, chairperson Keith Bennett pointed out that this was a time of dramatic and exciting events in Korea following the historic North-South Summit in June, a major turnaround after 50 years. The visit of the delegation to Britain at this time, primarily to attend the International Conference Against Depleted Uranium Weapons being held in Manchester over the weekend, was very opportune, he said.
The Rev Kiyul Chung, the Washington-based Secretary General of the KTC, explained that the KTC had been established at a meeting in Beijing in May attended by delegates from both north and south Korea and from Korean communities around the world. The KTC has the aim of conducting a full and scientific investigation into alleged US war crimes committed during the 1950-53 Korean War and subsequently in south Korea, and demanding reparations for the victims. He said that the KTC planned to organise the following activities:
· To send investigative missions to both north and south Korea;
· To hold a Korea International War Crimes Tribunal in New York on June 23, 2001, with representation from the 16 nations which took part in the Korean War, and from Koreans around the world;
· To organise an International Peace March from New York to Washington on June 24-25, 2001, calling for US troops to be withdrawn from Korea;
· To bring the question of the US massacres of Korean civilians before the appropriate international legal bodies.
The chairperson of KTC in south Korea, a long-time activist in the students and workers movements, then spoke movingly of the work of KTC in the difficult conditions of south Korea and of some of their initial findings. There then followed a serious and wide-ranging discussion in which the KTC delegates made clear the great significance of their work and expressed great optimism about the prospects for reunification and the removal of the US presence from their country. Strong support was expressed for the work of the KTC.
I was interested to read your article in WDIE of November 3 on Jaguar workers voting to reject the pay deal, and would like to make some comments.
The reason the trade unions did not recommend the pay offer over two years was primarily because of the divisive offer of an extra 1.5% going to the team leaders each year of the deal. The trade unions did not recommend it because they negotiate for all the hourly paid workers and not just for individuals. But the trade union negotiators have said that Jaguar's current pay offer is otherwise the best in the industry to date. This is true given the current rate of other pay awards as witnessed elsewhere. But the pay offer in itself is not inspiring bearing in mind that it only allows the workers to marginally keep their heads above the rate of inflation, and that the last pay increase (in 1999) gave an incredible £1.60 to the workforce, which in turn means that to claw back lost ground (to inflation) a better increase would be appreciated! It is true that the way management has tried to sell the package to the workers will not wash!
It is very true that Ford are making cutbacks at present to boost their profitability and competitiveness and are due to close their Dagenham plant without a care for the workforce. This is very much the case at Jaguar, which in making cutbacks in workforce sizes, stepping up workload, and so on, employees at Jaguar feel that they have worked very hard and would like to see a decent pay increase for all their efforts. These sentiments of the workers on pay and on the team leaders being offered more are the main bones of contention.
Ford is keen to include Halewood as part of Jaguar because firstly its sale to Jaguar gets a plant off Ford's books! But, secondly, due to differences in pensions, pay and so on, Halewood is out of the current pay talks for two years. Due to a legal problem with pensions, Ford employees get a better pension (currently) than do the Jaguar employees. Hence the recent offer of improvement in Jaguar pensions (the best move in 25 years) and the gap in pay differentials between the (better) Jaguar pay and (lesser) Halewood pay will presumably be closed within this length of time when all employees at Halewood (Jaguar section) will become full employees of Jaguar with full Jaguar wages, pensions and all other company terms and conditions.
I endorse what the article says about workers at Jaguar's Birmingham Castle Bromwich and Coventry plants. The rejection of the deal does represent an active response from the car workers!
Worker from Jaguar
A strike ballot of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) postal service membership in Edinburgh is to take place in the coming days in response to what Union Deputy General Secretary John Keggie says is the latest in a catalogue of harassment and bullying of workers.
"Edinburghs quality of service figures are the best in the UK when our members are allowed to get on with their work without constant victimisation. They deserve to be respected and allowed to get on with doing what they are best at delivering Edinburghs post."
John Keggie said he hoped that calling the ballot for industrial action would bring Edinburgh management to their senses.
The Campaign Against Tube Privatisation have announced a protest outside the Greater London Labour Party Conference to be held on Saturday, November 11, beginning at 9.00 am at West Ham Town Hall, Broadway, Stratford, London E15 (Stratford Tube Station).
The four unions representing Dagenham Fords 7,000 workers are to hold a strike ballot on November 15 to protest at Ford's plans to close car assembly operations at the companys biggest plant in Britain. A spokesman for the Transport and General Workers Union said: ``Nothing has changed. They intend to close Dagenham assembly. Therefore we will hold a strike ballot starting November 15.'' The end of car assembly operations at Dagenham in 2002 would to lead to almost 1,300 job losses.
NTL, Britains largest cable TV company, which employs 22,000 people in Britain, is to cut 1,300 jobs across the country over the next year as part of a cost-saving programme. The company said the job cuts were part of a business restructure, following a period of rapid expansion.
RCPB(ML) Home Page
Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page