VOTE FOR SAMMI IBRAHEM VOTE BIRMINGHAM WORKER IN BALSALL HEATH

IMG-20170811-WA0016 (1)

Sammi Ibrahem gives his support to striking workers last summer

BIN COLLECTIONS AND VERMIN

Our bin collections must remain weekly and there should be no cuts to our waste services. Our streets are filthy; the attacks on bin workers last year only benefitted local rats. For a saving of £300,000 a year the Labour Party spent £6million in an attack on poorly paid bin workers making private haulage firms from Telford veritable overnight millionaires.

STOP THE LABOUR PARTY WASTING PUBLIC MONEY

No more attacks on the terms and conditions of Council workers. Millions in taxes has been wasted in senseless attacks on bin men, care workers and others who provide essential services for the city whilst earning less than £20,000 p/a. If any wages are to be cut, it must be the wages of the top Council executives. The Labour led council currently pays:

Chief Executive £180,000

Change and Support Services Strategic Director £135,000

Finance and Legal Strategic Director £135,000

Legal and Democratic Services Director is on £100,000

Customer Services Asst Director £100,000

Corporate Strategy Asst Dir £90,000

HOUSING

Our city needs decent, cheap, secure public housing, and not the allocation of more city land to private developers building expensive flats for the purpose of ripping-off students. Restrict the growth of “houses of multiple occupancy” and help families into affordable homes.

WOMEN AND CHILDREN

High-quality, safe, pre-school childcare and education, and the protection of ALL the Children’s Centres at risk from Labour party cuts. Oppose all attempts being made by the Labour party to encroach on provisions made for women and children in Birmingham.

LOOK AFTER OUR ELDERLY RESIDENTS

Bring to an end the conversion of large domestic houses into private care homes where the elderly are left in squalid conditions by capitalists who profit from not looking after our elderly. The city council must protect existing services, AND fund more services to look after our elderly. This money can easily be raised from small taxes – thousands of businesses pay no rates at all in Birmingham due to the system of “small business rates relief”, a system which is being abused by hundreds. Everybody should pay their way to look after our children and the elderly folk.

FREE BUS TRAVEL FOR PARENTS & CHILDREN, THE UNEMPLOYED & LOW-WAGED

Access to a free, fully integrated public transport system. Children up to the age of 10 are allowed to travel FREE by bus and tube in London, why not in Birmingham?! We demand the same, and why shouldn’t we get it when the Director of NX Buses took home £309,000 in 2016! This bus company makes millions from Birmingham workers, if it can’t give anything back to our women, children, unemployed and low-wages, we can find a bus company who will – or take the Company into public ownership and run it on a not-for-profit basis.

To support our campaign, get in touch:

Remembering Bhagat Singh

Comrade Reuben of the CPGB-ML spoke at this meeting to honour the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who gave their lives for the freedom of India from British colonialism today.

The speakers at the meeting highlighted the history, ideology and legacy of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and the rise of communalism in India, as well as looking at the crisis in the NHS and the rise of racism in Britain.

Speakers:
Avtar Jouhl (Indian Workers Association)
Bhagwant Singh (Indian Workers Association)
Sheera Johal (Jallianwala Bagh Masssacre Centenary Committee)
Reuben (CPGB-ML)
Sachdev Virdee (Asian Rationalist Society, Britain)

Poets and singers:
Ashwani Kumar, Daljit Nijran, Surinder Pal Virdee, Jaspal Singh, Sohan Ranu, Nirmal Singh Sangha, Rawal Rath and many more.

Organised by the Indian Workers Association (GB), Birmingham and Sandwell branch.

BIRMINGHAM GKN WORKERS NEED SUPPORT IF THEY CHOOSE TO RESIST

GKN

John Bull – long record of hypocrisy and back-stabbing, is clearly concerned only with the future of the British arms industry; the wokers should ditch him and look to the Communists who are the real allies of workers in struggle.

THE INTERESTS OF SHAREHOLDERS AND WORKERS ARE NOT THE SAME

On GKN’s website we are told that the company is “a global engineering business. Every time you travel by road or air almost anywhere in the world it is likely that GKN is helping you on your way. We design, manufacture and service systems and components for original equipment manufacturers around the world.” The company, which employs 58,000 globally and 6,000 in Britain, works with Airbus and Boeing on defence projects and supplies equipment to the RAF and the Army, whilst its automotive division supplies parts to around half the companies manufacturing cars and trucks. But right now all is not well with GKN.

Rumbling financial problems at the global company came to a head in the US aerospace sector when news broke at the end of 2017 that the company “would have to write off mountains of overvalued inventory and unpaid bills”, revealing a black hole in the company’s finances which has given shareholders the jitters. Subsequent panic-stricken management switches have failed to calm nerves, exposing the whole of GKN to a series of hostile bids from Melrose, a band of vulture capitalists. Melrose specialises in sniffing out businesses in trouble, breaking them up and selling parts quickly on. Unite calculate that if Melrose’s hostile bid succeeds GKN will end up over £1.3 billion in debt.

Hoping to forestall this ignominious conclusion to an industrial career which began in the eighteenth century, GKN first announced plans to hive off its automotive division, then days later proposed that said division be merged with Dana, a company with which GKN had previously collaborated. Whilst some see this as a smart move by the GKN board, others caution that separating the automotive from the aerospace sector could weaken the ability of the latter to resist being snaffled up in a future hostile bid.

Undeterred Melrose made what it said was its final bid for the whole of GKN on 12 March, hoping to get support from key shareholders.

Whatever the fat cat shareholders decide about the Melrose bid, and whether or not the merger of GKN’s automotive business with Dana goes ahead, what is clear is that the fate of thousands of workers depends upon decisions being taken in boardrooms and back offices by unelected managers and bureaucrats and shareholders for whom nobody voted. These decisions can affect not only the jobs and pensions of those in Birmingham and the West Midlands, but also can have a knock-on effect on those working for plants relying on parts and systems supplied by GKN such as Toyota and Jaguar. This is the real face of British “democracy”, in which the lords of capital dictate the whole productive existence of society on a throw of dice.

Workers need to organise to defend their jobs, their pensions, their rights. Resistance to capitalism will flourish when it is fought out as class against class, not “British jobs” versus “foreign jobs”, and certainly not “national security” versus the world.

PROTECT JOBS NOT PROFITS

Sri Lankan MP urges local community to support Sammi Ibrahem as candidate in Balsall Heath West

IMG_20180224_133634277

Comrade  Sunil Handunneththi Sri Lankan MP visited Birmingham and gave his hearty and enthusiastic support and best wishes to the branch and our candidate in the 2018 local elections comrade SammI Ibrahem for Balsall Heath West.

At the visit to party offices in Moseley Road, comrade Sunil said, “Sammi Ibrahem is a wonderful man, a terrific comrade and the people of Balsall Heath West could trust in him to look after their class interests”.

If you can help us campaign, please get in touch. Birmingham needs councillors who aren’t careerists but ordinary Birmingham workers.

 

Support Home Care workers :: Oppose Labour council cuts

Support Home Care workers_header

Our city’s Home Care workers, employees of Birmingham City Council and members of Unison have justly voted for strike action. These workers provide adult social care across the city. Birmingham’s social care workforce was 7,000, now’s it’s a mere 2,000. Birmingham city council now plans to make 40% of care home enablement staff redundant and introduce a ludicrous 3 split shift a day system! How can any self-respecting socialist, or indeed any self-respecting worker, support Labour Councillors introducing such a system?! Each day workers will be expected to work 7-10am, 12-2pm, and 4-10pm!

Such a system will bring about a 15 hour day – an utterly disgraceful proposal rightly rejected by workers. This is the same Labour council who just took away 50 rest days a year from bin men after having threatened many with redundancy, because nobody has stood up to these councillors they feel empowered to continue attempting to implement such reactionary measures.

Lessons from the bin strike

2017’s Birmingham bin strike was heroic, and it should have ended in total and utter defeat for the council … and the Labour party careerists. However, there are reasons why so many workers have ended up worse off.

When the Birmingham bin men went up against the Labour run council in 2017, it was in defence of terms and conditions. The workers had to fight a Labour council, every bit as bad as any Tory council. Unions try to prevent strikes against Labour councils, they prefer to make deals with Labour councils because the union bureaucracy is full of Labour party members. The full time officials all have comfy jobs and don’t want to derail the gravy train.

All summer the bin strike proved that the cuts were not being implemented by a “few bad apples “inside the Labour Party, the cuts are not coming from the Tories they are prepared and implemented by Labour councillors.

Despite this obvious fact, many full time trade union officials like Caroline Johnson, the Birmingham Branch Secretary for Unison, continue to blame the Tories or give the story of the “few bad apples”. Nobody should be fooled by this rubbish. Everybody associated with the Labour party is the same, they are careerists and when push comes to shove, be they local Labour councillors or Labour supporting trade union bureaucrats, they all want to get Labour re-elected and keep the gravy train steaming ahead. They directly benefit from not rocking the boat for the Labour party.

Support our Home Care workers

A successful strike by Home Care workers in defence of terms and conditions will not be won by officials trying to do deals and reach agreement with the city council. The city’s Labour councillors are hell -bent on introducing cuts to services and attacks on workers terms and conditions.

Home Care workers need to expose the wretched nature of the Labour party, mobilise their patients, friends and family and drive these careerists from the political scene. It’s time Birmingham workers stood up to the bullies in the council chamber.

 

If like what you have read and want to find out more fill in your details below::

Support for RMT members out on strike in Birmingham

The Birmingham Worker calls on our supporters and friends to defend and lend their support to RMT rail workers who are out on strike. 

RMT strike December 2017_BIRM_pg 1

Race for profits = more train delays

Attacks on working conditions and cuts to services have forced rail workers to take industrial action to protect their jobs and public safety.

When railways were nationalised and there was an integrated national service, terms and conditions across the industry could be uniform. Now that privatisation has carved up the train network between dozens of different companies, working conditions and disputes between workers and managers can arise at any one of several companies at any time and standards and safety are constantly under threat from a race to the bottom, driven by the need to maximise profits.

The government’s solution to the fragmentation, unaccountability and petty rivalries that privatisation has inevitably bred in the previously integrated national rail service is … more privatisation!

Strike action is a DIRECT result of train management attacks on workers. If your train has been delayed, it is not the fault of workers, but management.

Show your support for the workers.

You can claim back the cost of your ticket under the Delay Repay scheme. Collect a form from the station or apply online at:  https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/delayrepay   or https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/customer-service/contact-us/delay-repay

Cross Country services recruit scab managers

Cross Country operate trains in and out of Birmingham from Tamworth, Nottingham, East Midlands, Bristol, Cardiff, Sheffield, Leeds, Cambridge, Bournemouth, Reading, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The RMT union have warned passengers “that the company are trying to recruit a scab army of managers, ill-equipped and without the skills and training needed to fulfil the safety-critical role of the guard, and paid a bounty of £250 with luxury hotel accommodation thrown in. Drivers are now being strong-armed by the company with the imposition of compulsory overtime.”

The “RMT has warned that these bogus train managers are acting outside of their substantive role and are poorly trained, incapable of carrying out the full role and responsibility of a fully competent and safety critical guard”.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“It is disgraceful that the management at Arriva effectively sabotaged talks… that were making progress towards a settlement to this dispute and were instead focused on dishing out cash bungs to a dangerous scab army of under-cooked management recruits to try and break the action.”

Strike action is a result of train management sabotaging talks.

Show your support for the workers.   

African Lives Matter Protest in Birmingham City Centre

viaAfrican Lives Matter Protest in Birmingham City Centre

A national anti-slavery march has taken place through Birmingham City Centre to protest slavery in Libya.

The peaceful protest, organised by the Communist Party of Great Britain Marxist-Leninist (CPGB-ML), sought to raise awareness of the enslavement and torture of black Africans.

People from all over the country assembled at 12pm in Pigeon Park carrying placards that read ‘Death to Imperialism. African Lives Matter!’

Reuben Lawrence, a member of the CPGB-ML, said: “My concern is this country’s government and their involvement with Libya. This is imperialism. Slavery in the 21st century is disgusting.”

The political organisation, which was founded in 2004, seeks to ‘bring an end to NATO and British government support for Libya’s slave trading’.

Reuben, 26, who spent four years in the army, spoke of the ‘lack of power’ in Libya after the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and said: “Under Gaddafi, Libya was a really progressive government and the standards of living at that time were one of the best on the African continent.

“Now because of British and NATO intervention, unfortunately we have this situation in Libya which is a complete mess.

“People are dying. People are being sold in the streets by mercenaries that are being funded and backed by NATO.”

The protesters gathered around Pigeon Park before marching through the snow-covered streets as they chanted “Black and white unite. African slavery is wrong.”

Reuben added: “What I hope for is to send the message to the government ‘no more interventionism in other countries’ affairs.

“This is what our government have caused.

They are complicit in what’s happening in Libya right now. The slavery, the tragedy, the humanitarian crisis”.

Information about The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) can be found on their website www.cpgb-ml.org

The Labour party in the trade unions: a wolf in sheeps clothing

When the bin men went up against the council this year, it was in defence of terms and conditions. The workers had to fight a Labour council, every bit as bad as any Tory council. Unions try to prevent strikes against Labour councils, they prefer to make deals with Labour councils because unions are full of Labour party members. They all share comfy jobs and don’t want to derail the gravy train. Unite were desperate for a deal right from the moment Howard Beckett arrived, Unite had no faith in victory unless it was declared in Court, Unite have given away the best part of 50 rest days a year, not only rest days for Grade 3’s but also Grade 4’s & 2’s. They said no other deal was possible. But is that true? Strike action cost the council over £6million – it nearly sank them! Unite threw their friends in the Labour council a life line by calling off the strike action TWICE and giving away the rest days of all grades.

Without knowing it, all summer the bin men were exposing the anti-working class nature of the Labour party. Without knowing it, all summer the bin men were shaming & exposing all the Labour party members, trade unionists and sham socialists who kept saying Corbyn would give his support. Without knowing it, all summer the bin strike proved that there were not “two Labour party’s” (Labour was united in its hostility to the strike), it proved that the cuts were not being implemented by a “few bad apples”. The strike proved everyone was out to stab the bin men in the back, everyone except the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which isn’t scared to expose Labour or any enemy of the workers.

This year’s bin strike was heroic, and it should have ended in total and utter defeat for the council … and the Labour party careerists. However, there are reasons why so many workers have ended up worse off…

  • Unite the Union is a major backer of the Labour party, it gave more than £2 million of its members money to Labour last May/June alone. Many of Unite’s leading members are members of the Labour party. Howard Beckett spoke at the Labour party Conference in 2017. These facts are known to all bin men.
  • Many workers are now saying that they have been betrayed by union reps and stewards over the deal struck. But local reps don’t really make the decisions; they do what they are told by the Unite the Union leadership, they are not to blame. They have been influenced by Labour party trade union officials.
  • The Unite leadership is made up of Labour party members. The Labour party serves capitalism, it doesn’t serve the workers. It is no surprise that they bargained away up to 50 odd rest days a year, not only for the Grade 3’s, but for all grades. They bargained these away because the Labour Council was desperate for a deal, as were the Labour members running the dispute from Unite. Birmingham Worker highlighted this all along; we also pointed out the likely betrayal by Clancy and the anti-working class attitudes of Lisa Trickett and the Moseley & Kings Heath Labour party.
  • Bin men did the right thing when they supported the Communist Party and picketed Lisa Trickett’s surgery. We exposed Trickett. Bin men cannot be neutral, they have to take sides and they must fight to expose the Labour party as traitors and expose those who work for the Labour party in their own union. It was a mistake to listen to Labour party members of Unite who told bin men to stop putting pressure on Trickett by supporting our picket. It was a mistake because all these Labour party members were working together to get a good deal for themselves and not necessarily for ALL the bin men. Our aims are best served by building an organisation to challenge the Labour party sell outs inside and outside the trade unions.

To help in this work, get in touch using the form below:

 

Message to Birmingham’s bin workers

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and the Birmingham Worker salute our bin workers who have this weekend brought to an end the current industrial action against a mean and petty employer.

The 2017 bin strike has been a refreshing and inspiring interruption in the day to day industrial life of this city. The strike action brought Birmingham City Council to its knees. It demonstrated to the working class of Birmingham the power which we have as a class when we withdraw our labour and refuse to be subjected to unjust cuts and attacks on pay and conditions. The strike significantly demonstrated to the entire city, and indeed the entire labour movement, the anti-worker nature of the Labour-led Council.

The weeks of solid strike action, waged against a Labour council supported by hired wretches, was worth ten thousand proclamations of opposition to cuts issued by moribund Trotskyist groups. This strike action was a direct blow to the Labour policy of cuts. The action has exposed the Trickett’s, Clancy’s and Ward’s of this town. The workers of this town have learnt an invaluable lesson in class politics, and no matter how desperate the attempts will be to implore workers to vote for Labour next year in local elections, we are sure that the class conscious workers will not hand these traitors a single vote.

Comrades, the war between labour and capital is a guerrilla war, one skirmish is followed by another. The struggle continues.

Red salute to the bin workers!

www.birminghamworker.org

Binmen Strike; Perry Barr Depot, 1st Sept 2017;

Binmen Strike; Perry Barr Depot, 1st Sept 2017;

 

“new” bin deal – what they give with one hand they will take with the other

The Labour party today brought it’s “new” proposals to the city cabinet for resolution of the Birmingham bin strike. The “new” report was kept secret and not even the councillors favourite journalists were allowed sight until this morning when Kathryn Stanczyszyn of the BBC began to tweet photographs of text that appeared to propose many of the basic features of the original deal conducted by Clancy and which the cabinet subsequently reneged upon.

But what they give with one hand they take with the other.

What has been released today is not the whole story. What we learn today is that the Council will change the name of the Grade 3 job. That sounds like a victory for bin men. But to make it a victory for Labour Councillors they have added in a whole new job role. It will not merely be a rebranding – it will involve a longer week for no more pay
as there are attempts to claw back the rest day (compressed working week) and put everyone into a five day week.

Screenshot_20171124-141319

The BBC journalist noted the reference to the words “retain a GR3 role” and the bizarre explanations emanating from the mouth of Lisa Trickett (Labour Cabinet member for bins):

Screenshot_20171124-141238

Trickett may hope the general public is as gullible as her local CLP (who just reselected her for 2018) but it was not lost on anybody that having wasted more than £6.6 million in taxpayers money the “new” proposals could hardly claim to have been “cost neutral”! The most vital thing to take from Cllr Trickett’s remarks is that this isn’t the keeping of the Grade 3 role – it is a new role. It is walking up the road with a ludicrous tablet in your hand, ticking boxes and making notes whilst trying to collect bins and not get run over.

The next step is for the bin men to discuss the proposals at tomorrow’s mass meeting. No doubt there will be questions over the following:

What happens to suspended trade union rep brother Rickett’s?

Brother Ricketts, trade union rep from Tyseley was suspended on spurious grounds at the start of the dispute, clearly in an attempt by bullying managers at that depot to undemrine the strike. Unite announced early on that his reinstatement was a red line. As it happened, Tyseley rose to the challenge of losing an experienced comrade and those who took over from brother Rickett’s represented the workers admirably. All bin men will want to know when he will be reinstated.

New WRCO job – how many extra days, how many extra hours?

The ludicrously titled Waste Reduction and Collection Officer, i.e., a bin man, is the attempt to mask over the failure of the Council to beat the bin men into submission, whilst trying to find another way of cobbling together the savings they insist they must make. No mention was made today in public of how much more work will be put onto the job, nor how many more days they will be expected to work, for the same pay. The compressed week is a target, and bin men will have even more work heaped upon them.

It is clear that having failed to take from the bin men their grade 3 wages the Council intends to take extra labour for free. Having undertook militant strike action that proved in practice the bin men can beat these Labour wretches, why should any worker accept that to retain their current pay they must accept a increase in their working day, epecially when they already undertake an incredibly taxing job?

Victory to the Birmingham bin men.