Support the precarious workers rally on Wednesday September 27th

London Region UCU is supporting the precarious labour protest on Wednesday 27th September, the day of the Uber employment status appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

9-11am Employment Tribunal, EC4Y 0DS London

The case against Uber brought by two trade unionists could have wide ranging consequences for all workers in the so-called gig economy.

As the media spotlight will focus heavily on this trial, this protest is a way of turning some of that media interest to other precarious workers’ struggles happening now in the UK.

We already expect cleaners, receptionists, security officers, couriers, Deliveroo riders, cinema workers and many more to be marching on the day.… Read on ...

Arrest and detention of Three Relatives of Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a document expressing “grave concern” to the Bahraini government at the allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention of three relatives of Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei, as well as death threats and treatment amounting to torture.

Security officers arrested AlWadaei’s brother-in-law Sayed Nazar AlWadaei, mother-in-law Hajar Mansoor Hasan, and maternal cousin Mahmood Marzooq Mansoor in March 2017. They were reportedly targeted in relation to Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei’s human rights work. After days of detention without official charge, the three individuals were presented with terrorism charges, based largely on coerced confessions and “confidential sources”.… Read on ...

Who stole the town hall?

In this provocative new book, Peter Latham argues that the UK Conservative Government’s devolution agenda conceals their real intention: to complete the privatisation of local government and other public services.
Using illustrative examples from across the UK, including the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the Midlands, the book explains the far-reaching implications of the reorganisation of local government that is already affecting vital public services, including education, health, housing and policing.
Proposing an overhaul of the taxation system to include land value taxation, a wealth tax and more progressive income tax to fund an increase in directly provided services, the author argues that a new basis for federal, regional and local democracy is vital.… Read on ...

Nikolaus Wachsmann, ‘A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps’

Wasserman, in this minutely researched tome, addresses many of the myths and misconceptions that have grown up over who were the victims of Nazism as well as the contradictory and shifting impulses behind the concentration camps. An earlier paradigm: to understand the Nazis as primarily focused on destroying Communists and the left (a perspective which was also dominant in E. Germany) has shifted in the last decades to a focus on the extermination of ‘Jews’. This review will focus on these narratives, rather than the minute and distressing details of how the CCs operated or attempt to provide an explanatory framework for why the Holocaust happened (which anyway is not Wachsmann’s objective).Read on ...

Iran: Release teacher union leader Esmail Abdi

Esmail Abdi, leader of the Tehran branch of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, was unjustly sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court.
The February 22 verdict came eight months after he was arrested while en route to Armenia to obtain a travel visa to attend Education International’s World Congress in Ottawa, Canada. In custody since his arrest, Abdi was charged with “gathering and colluding with intent to harm public order” and “propaganda against the system.” His colleagues say that these charges were prompted by his legitimate trade union activities and leadership role.
Prior to Abdi’s incarceration on June 27, 2015, nationwide rallies were held to protest at the low wages that leave the majority of Iranian teachers below the poverty line.… Read on ...

Two contrasting reviews

We have just received notice of two reviews of Steve Cushion’s book “The Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution“.

One from “Solidarity”, the newspaper of “Workers Liberty”, the other from “Special Warfare” which styles itself “The Professional Bulletin of US Army Special Operations”.
The first  says that “He reproduces the hackneyed Stalinist version of events“, while the US Army journal says “Perhaps Cushion’s most significant contribution is the detailed account of organized labor that fought the Batista regime in parallel to the guerrillas“.