Thursday, 27 January 2011

Terry Heath 1944-2011

Yesterday I was saddened to hear of the death of  Terry Heath former football player for Scunthorpe United.
He began his career at Leicester City where he played in the 1964 League Cup Final against Stoke City with Leicester winning 4-3 on aggregate.
In May 1964 he was transferred to Hull City but found his opportunities limited. He did however score twice in an FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest in 1966.
He signed for Scunthorpe in March 1968. He soon became a crowd favourite scoring often from midfield.
My memories of him are of a hard working footballer who would unleash his explosive shot from the edge of the area.
He played a major role in the shock cup win at Sheffield Wednesday in 1970.
He made 176 league appearances for Scunthorpe scoring 50 goals. He left Scunthorpe in 1973 to join local rivals Lincoln City but had to retire a year later through injury.
After retirement he ran a guest house on the South coast and became a successful artist painting countryside scenes.

I never knew what political views he held but at the time I watched him play he wore red and that'll do for me.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

North Lincs Anti-Cuts Alliance Report

Below is a report of the Anti-Cuts Public Meeting held in Scunthorpe last week.
Thank you to Martin Coposon for sending the report as I could not attend due to me being in London at a Unite National Metals Meeting

Around 50 people attended the 'North Lincs Against the Cuts' meeting in Scunthorpe hosted by the local Coalition of Resistance group. The audience included a broad spectrum of political groups,public sector workers, trade unionists and members of the public. Speakers at the meeting included Cllr Mark Kirk, the leader of North Lincs council, who told the meeting about his personal experience of the public sector and his opposition to the cuts. However, when questioned about whether he would take a stand on the council against cuts, Cllr Kirk said he would do his best to minimise the effects of the cuts but had to implement them none the less.

Paul Holmes, Kirklees Unison Branch Sec, told the meeting that the richest 1000 people in the country increased their personal wealth by £77bn last year alone. this statistic becomes even more relevant when counterpoised to the £83bn of savings the government plans to make over the next 4 years. Paul said that this shows that there are people who can pay and who should be made to pay.

Martin Deane of Hull Green party also put forward alternative ways of cutting the deficit including cracking down on tax loopholes and cancelling Trident.

Other speakers included Dot Gibson of the National Pensioners Forum who stated that she had felt the hope after the second world war that a society could be built based on the ideas of solidarity and a common interest, and that all of the gains made since are at stake as a results of the austerity program.

The undoubted star of the show was local sixth form student Max Bell who put the case against tuition fees and in defence of EMA passionately and eloquently. Max highlighted the hypocrisy of politicians who benefited from free, high quality education telling the next generation that they must come out of university with debt the size of a mortgage.

Everyone went away buoyed up for the ongoing struggle against the government's program of cuts, privatisation and wealth distribution from the poor to the rich.

The next coalition of Resistance organising meeting will take place on Tuesday 1st February at the Highfield House pub in Scunthorpe at 7.30pm.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Tata Group tea workers determined to claim their rights

Over 550 tea workers, two-thirds of them women, rallied on the Nowera Nuddy tea estate in West Bengal, India on January 16 to launch a new stage in their campaign for their rights after management failed to respond to a January 15 deadline to meet their long-standing demands.

Nowera Nuddy Tea Estate is owned by Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited, a company 49% owned by Tata Global Beverages, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of India’s powerful Tata Group conglomerate.

Tata's Tetley Tea is 100% Tata-owned, and sources tea from Amalgamated - though not, it claims, from Nowera Nuddy, an argument it has employed to excuse itself from all responsibility for brutal management practices at Nowera Nuddy. Tetley is the second biggest-global tea brand, and a leading member of the UK's Ethical Tea Partnership.

The Nowera Nuddy workers, organized in the Progressive Tea Workers Union (PTWU) and supported by the IUF, are still struggling with the brutal consequences of a punishing 3-month lockout inflicted on the estate, where 1,000 workers and their families workers not only work but also live. For these three months, management denied the workers all wages and food rations.

Management imposed the September-December 2009 lockout in response to a protest in August that year over the mistreatment of Mrs. Arti Oraon, a 22 year-old tea garden worker who was denied maternity leave and forced to continue work as a tea plucker despite being 8 months pregnant.

In response to the protest, management shut down operations for over two weeks, only reopening on September 8 on condition that 8 workers allegedly responsible for the spontaneous action be suspended and disciplined. When workers demanded time to respond, management again closed the estate on September 14, only reopening on December 13.

Management’s “domestic enquiry” into the suspensions, conducted in a language the workers do not speak and in which they were not allowed to defend themselves or present evidence, confirmed the suspensions. As a result of a campaign on the estate with international support from the IUF, six of the 8 were eventually reinstated in their jobs, but two workers, including Mrs. Oraon’s father, were sacked. And in April last year, in response to management complaints, police visited the plantation to announce that arrest warrants had been sworn out for Arti Oraon and 11 other worker activists, including the 8 already suspended workers, on charges, including theft, grievous bodily harm, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and unlawful confinement. These charges, which can carry prison terms of seven years and more, remain in force.

Repeated attempts by the union to secure the workers’ main demands through negotiations with management leading to a formal agreement have failed to yield results. Management has even threatened the union for their involvement with the IUF, and last year evoked the possibility of a renewed lockout.

For this reason the workers’ rally yesterday culminated in an assembly where they reiterated their determination to fight for:

•Payment of full wages and rations to all workers for the period the plantation was closed from mid-September through mid-December 2009;

•Reinstatement of Sudhir Xalxo and Kishor Toppo, the two workers terminated for their alleged roles in the protest surrounding the mistreatment of the pregnant Mrs. Oraon;

•Withdrawal in writing of the management police complaints which led to the criminal charges against the 12 workers;

•A letter of apology and compensation to Mrs Oraon.

The Nowera Nuddy workers and the PTWU have the full support of the IUF in their ongoing struggle. We will be doing everything possible to build international pressure to ensure that collective punishment and vicious retribution cannot be inflicted with impunity.

You can support their struggle by sending a message to Tata/Tetley – the power behind local management – telling them to meet the workers’ demands NOW!

To send a message, click here

Support Southwark Speech & Language Therapists

Southwark Primary Care Trust’s speech and language therapists have voted by a large majority to take strike action on Thursday, February 3rd over cuts to their service and job losses at their trust.
job losses will have a huge impact on many vulnerable children and will impact directly on the community they live in. Eight speech and language therapists (SaLT) and three SaLT assistants working across Surestart children’s centres, schools and community clinics across south London will lose their jobs.

Unite regional officer, Richard Munn, said:
“Our members, who work with children with speech, language and communication difficulties, have decided to take a stand against the cuts being made which will have a detrimental effect on some of the most vulnerable children and families in our society.
“There is clear evidence that when communication problems are not addressed at an early stage it is far harder to address in later life. Undetected and untreated speech, language and communication problems can lead to low levels of literacy, poor educational attainment and difficulties finding employment.”

Evidence shows that early intervention gives children a better chance of adapting and succeeding in mainstream schools, making friends and living a happy and fulfilling life.

Richard Munn said: “By removing funding to the posts that offer this support, many vulnerable people in Southwark will find it even harder to access early intervention therapies necessary and feel they are effectively being abandoned by this government.”

These people are showing a lead that all of us should follow in the battle against the onslaught of Public Sector Cuts.
While thousands are flocking to the cinema to see how someone from a privileged background was cured of his speech problems ordinary working class families will be denied similar treatment for their children who may suffer from speech problems.
 Below is a message from Steve Hack Unite Workplace Rep Southwark PCT
In the Year of Speech, Language and Communication it is appalling that

highly skilled clinical staff - one third of the existing Speech and

Language Therapy department in Southwark - are losing their jobs. This will

mean greatly reduced services for vulnerable children and families, and

increase pressure on the remaining staff.

Early intervention services help to raise educational achievement, help
young people with communication difficulties to gain the skills needed to

access employment, and reduce the longer term costs to the public of poverty

and employment-related benefits.

Everyone who cares about services for vulnerable children should support the
strike by Speech and Language Therapists on February 3rd, send messages of

support, and come to the public rally on February 2nd.

Southwark PCT must withdraw their notices that have put the eleven NHS staff
at risk. We call on the Secretary of State for Health, Southwark PCT and

Southwark Council to act immediately to ensure that existing Speech and

Language Therapy jobs and services are protected.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Unite Executive Council Elections 2011 United Left Slate

At a United Left National Supporters meeting in Birmingham yesterday attended by over 250 activists the slate for the 2011 Unite Executive Council Elections was ratified.
Below is a list of all United Left candidates.
Whrere there is a reference to Unite Now this means that United Left  will be supporting that candidate but they are not officially on theUnited Left slate.
Hopefully I have not made any mistakes but if I have it will be corrected in due course.

East Midlands
Steve Hibbert (Unite Now)
June Sheppard

Trevor McDowal
Plus one woman to be decided

London & Eastern
John Murphy
Brian Holmes
Lizanne Malone
Kwasi Agyemang-Prenpeh

North East, Yorkshire & Humber
Daniel Maguire
Steve Miller
Plus one woman to be decided

North West
Tony Woodhouse
Des Graham
Sharon Hutchinson

Dave Brockett
Marie Vannet

South East
To be decided

South West
Jayne Taylor
Kevin Terry

John James
Sharon Wallace

West Midlands
Maggie Ryan
Mark Thompson

Industrial Sectors & Equality Seats

Phil Entwhistle
Barry Knowles

Mark Lyon
John Story

Civil Air Transport
Sean Beatty
Collette Parsons

Pat Stuart
Kingsley Abrahams

John Sheridan
Meurig Thomas (Unite Now)

Docks, Rail Ferries & Waterways
Richard Crease

John Wiseman

Electrical Engineering
Gordon Fisher

Dave Witnall

Mike Dyer
Lindsey Adams

Food, Drink & Tobacco
Dennis Wilson
Mark Plumb

George Hickman
Sara Bennett

Frank Wood
Helen McFarlane

IT &Communications
Ian Allinson

Local Authorities
Dave Mathieson
Jennifer Elliot

Joe Harrikie

Brett Danes

Motor Components
Steve Turner

Passenger Services
Martin Mayer
James Mitchell

Dave Williams
Mick Johnson

Rural & Agricultural
Ivan Monkton

Servicing & General
Paul Greenwood
John Clark
One to be decided

Vehicle Building
John Cooper
Chris Bond

Jane Stewart

Mohammed Taj

Monday, 3 January 2011

North Lincs Anti-Cuts Alliance Public Meeting

North Lincs Against The Cuts Public Meeting

As the true extent of the ConDem cuts is revealed it is clear that we are facing massive attacks on everything from education to the NHS to the Royal Mail to benefits. Thousands of jobs will be lost and ordinary people will be hit the hardest while the bankers who caused the crisis continue to collect big salaries and bonuses. Come and hear the case against the cuts and for an alternative that puts people first.

Thursday January 20th 2011


Scunthorpe Central Community Centre, Lindum St.

Dot Gibson (National Pensioners Forum)
Cllr Mark Kirk (Labour Party)
Martin Deane (Green Party)
Paul Holmes (Unison)
John Lewis (Yorks &Humber TUC)
Louise Harrison (Coalition of Resistance)
Jake Hutton (John Leggott Student)