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Monday, 27 June 2016

Fight austerity, not Corbyn

Corbyn: under siege from his own side
The Blairites are enticed out of the woodwork by what they believe is the scent of Jeremy Corbyn's blood. Instead of mobilising to defeat the Tories the same old Progress members, 4.5 per centres, and closet Tories are ignoring the successes in elections under Corbyn's leadership and instead are creating a smokescreen behind which they can politically assassinate him.

Let us welcome Benn's sacking and the resignation of the rest and develop an irresistible force in support of JC and the policies of anti-austerity and socialism. If members of the PLP have no stomach for the fight they can resign and fight an election on their right wing, pro-austerity, pro-EU programme under which ever banner they can find to back them.

Tony Mulhearn
ARMS North West
Committee Member

Friday, 24 June 2016

EU vote: what next?

North West ARMS committee member Tony Mulhearn proposes the Labour Movement's response to the referendum result.

The result shows a clear majority rejecting a system which has seen inequality reaching the highest levels in modern history. Endless austerity and attacks on workers' rights has been rejected. The Tories have been given their marching orders and are in complete disarray. Jeremy Corbyn and the TU leaders should demand a general election now.

Farage’s temporary triumphalism, which can only flourish in times of shortage, can be crushed by a confident Labour Movement mobilising all anti-austerity forces to finish the job off by throwing the Tories into the dustbin of history and returning a Corbyn-led Labour government committed to rolling back the cuts and bringing our utilities and the NHS back into public ownership. We can reach out to the European Labour and anti-austerity movement to join us in this objective.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Support sacked union activist

Leicestershire-based food manufacturer, Samworth Brothers, which supplies baked goods and other products to major UK retailers, responded to the introduction of the National Living Wage in April by eliminating paid breaks, premium pay and overtime rates, measures which can reduce workers’ pay by thousands of pounds per year. When hundreds of workers responded to these attacks by joining the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, Samworth Brothers bosses responded by harassing Kumaran Bose, a leading union organiser who spoke out against the attack on pay and conditions, and then sacking him from his job at Samworth’s Kettleby Foods on 3 June.

Kumaran’s only offence was to convince over 50% of the workers at his factory to join the union; he has worked there for 12 years with a spotless record. Samworth Brothers, who last year recorded profits of over £41 million, refuse to recognise the bakers union at this site, despite the union’s majority membership. The union is energetically defending Kumaran and is appealing against the company’s refusal of voluntary recognition.

Send a message to Samworth Brothers telling them to reinstate Kumaran Bose, recognise the BFAWU and stop attacking workers’ pay and conditions!

The petition is here.

Info: Samworth Brothers own Cornish pasty maker Ginsters, and are the largest maker of certified Melton Mowbray pork pies. It is listed at number four in The Times Top Track 250.

EU Ballot - D-Day Minus One

By Tony Mulhearn, ARMS NW committee member.

When you cast your vote remember this:
  1. The institutions of the EU are controlled by unelected people with extremely dodgy political connections. EU President Junker, for instance, presided over Luxembourg which was a haven for every tax-dodging fat cat on the planet.
  2. He was the bloke who patted Tsipras and Varoufakis on the head, ignored their pleas for a more caring capitalism, and chased them back to Greece to inflict the most appalling cuts in working class living standards in Greece’s history while that country’s fat cats who caused the crisis continue to live in opulent splendour and plunder state-owned institutions.
  3. The EU blocked Portugal from implementing a no-cuts budget
  4. It was the EU that ordered an increase in women’s retirement age from 60 to 65.
  5. EU treaties protect freedoms for Business to move labour from member state to another and to ensure there is ‘no distortion of competition’. That means freedom for unscrupulous employers to pay the lowest rate of any EU country.
  6. A condition of receiving EU ‘bale-outs’ is also that the recipient countries degrade the ability of trade unions to defend their members. National wage bargaining in Greece has all but disappeared.
  7. Remaining will ensure that a more confident EU will act as an obstacle to a future Labour government from bringing back into public ownership the NHS, Rail, and the other public utilities that have been flogged off with the poisoned brew of TTIP as an additional weapon in their hands.
  8. Unity of the international working class will not be achieved via this reactionary institution but via the struggle against austerity organised on a European basis. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

News updates - from the web

ARMS NW committee member Steve Ion's regular round-up of relevant news items.

Lost pension tracking service ... any job you have had and you're not sure whether a pension went with it, try this through the DWP and it's free - here.

LGBT people face 'devastating' discrimination in end-of-life healthcare, research warns - here.

Support for housing should be given to elderly as well as young - here.

Friday, 17 June 2016

News updates - from the web

ARMS NW committee member Steve Ion's regular round-up of relevant news items.

Can I buy extra years National Insurance for new flat-rate state pension? - here.

Unsafe hospital discharge of older patients ‘getting worse’ - here.

Older people 'suffering in silence over loneliness' - here.

Worrying pension deficit at UK’s top charities - here.

Bank of England's chief economist calls for more simple pension system, as workers have little chance of making sense of funds when financial experts 'have no clue either'  - here.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

EU vote: a message from Mark Serwotka & Janice Godrich

We urge you to use your vote in the EU Referendum on 23 June and to challenge politicians on both sides of the debate to say how remaining or leaving the EU will best serve your interests as a PCS member.

The debate in the national media has been dominated by myths and wild claims about the dangers of leaving or remaining in the EU. So our annual delegate conference last month agreed to launch a "PCS informs - you decide" campaign - challenging politicians on both sides of the debate to provide concrete information on how your jobs, pay, pensions and public services would be affected by a vote to leave or to remain in the EU.

Our special EU referendum publication outlines the issues that we need solid factual information on, including:
  • Public services
  • Trade union and workers' rights
  • Economic growth and living standards
  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Impact on women
  • Immigration.
We hope you use the questions in this publication to challenge the 'remain' and 'leave' campaigners at hustings, on the streets and on the doorstep.

General Secretary


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Orlando massacre terrorist will fail. Here's why.

Owen Jones explains why. From The Guardian website.
Click here to sign the on-line book of condolences.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

News updates - from the web

ARMS NW committee member Steve Ion's regular round-up of relevant news items.

Tata bailout threatens UK pensions as rescue fund braces for steel deal hit - here.

Why is it more difficult than ever for older people to leave hospital? - here.

People 65+ to outnumber children under 5 for the first time ever in the next 4 years - here.

Can Britain afford to pay its pension bill? (Try tackling tax dodging?) - here.

Fibre linked to healthy ageing - here.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

News updates - from the web

More news items from the internet, compiled by NW ARMS committee member, Steve Ion.

Which? advice on paying for care - here.

3,000 local chemists could close after £170m subsidy cut - here.

Football's silent shame: Dementia 'conspiracy' is a stain on the game - here.

Public toilets 'wiped out in parts of UK' - here.

Older drivers should carry on until 75 before renewing licence, says review - here


Jan Short of the NPC and
Angela Raynor MP hold up our banner
Steve Ion and Ray Beeton of NW ARMS attended a recent meeting of North West Regional Pensioners Association. Speakers included Angela Rayner MP (Shadow Works and Pensions Minister) and Jan Short (Vice President of the National Pensioners Convention).

Angela Rayner's speech puts her very much on our side as pensioners, whilst Jan Short appeals for evidence of wrong doings in the care industry, whether it be care in the community or care homes. This evidence is necessary to make our case to the powers to be!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Corbyn’s pledge to PCS

Jeremy Corbyn became the first ever Labour leader to address PCS conference and pledged that a Labour government would return national pay bargaining to the civil service and repeal the hated Tory Trade Union Act.

He also gave assurances on pay saying it was "time for the public sector (1%) pay cap to end and to restore good industrial relations in the civil service."

Condemning the Tory austerity agenda of cuts, closures and low wages he stressed that this was "a political choice being made by this government, not a necessity"; the cap on pay in the civil service continued, while consultants were brought in on very high levels of pay.

He also pledged that Labour would invest in HMRC, pointing out the inherent contradiction of the government cutting jobs in the department when billions of pounds were being lost in uncollected tax revenue. He said: "This government doesn’t seem to understand that job cuts mean tax not collected" and he called for “a properly staffed HMRC".

He also paid tribute to PCS as a "fantastic campaigning union", to which "the door is always open" and said he looked forward to working with the union on policy development.

News updates - from the web

More news items from the internet, compiled by NW ARMS committee member, Steve Ion.

Britain's pension system is a disgrace – we all deserve an easier way to save for retirement - here.

Almost two-thirds of people aged over 75 have never gone online - here.

The new era promised by the Care Act is yet to arrive - here.

Older people at 'heightened risk' of investment scam calls - here.

Delays in discharging older patients from hospital 'cost NHS £820m a year' - here.

Work until 70 to claim your state pension: Ex-FCA chairman Lord Turner - here.

What life as a pensioner really costs revealed - here.