CNT vs. Ryanair

Ryanair workers in Zaragoza, Spain, are currently in dispute. The workers involved are members of the anarcho-syndicalist union, the CNT. The dispute started in March when Ryanair cut the hours of staff by reducing the working day. The strikers are also protesting at Ryanair’s refusal to make staff on temporary contracts permanent.

The dispute deepened when the delegate of the CNT’s union section in Ryanair received a letter of dismissal, for reasons of unsuitability, claiming a drop in the worker’s performance – a claim that is clear nonsense. Ryanair hoped that by sacking the CNT delegate the rest of the strikers would be intimidated back to work.

Have your say: Left Luggage

Dear DA

Just to let you know that we have launched a website to promote discussion of strategy on the British left.

We hope to build links and share ideas and experiences with others on the left. Our primary goal is to develop working class self-organisation and to reorientate the left towards this aim. We also aim to encourage a culture of robust self-criticism and internal democracy. The site is independent and run on non-sectarian lines, and welcomes contributions from activists from across the Left.

Please visit our blog at:

We’d also be very grateful if you’d be willing to put a link to the blog on your site, or in DA. Feel free to use any of the articles on the blog – we just ask that you include an active link to our site.

Best wishes, Joseph

See “Friends and Neighbours”, p35.

No Platform for Fascism

The British National Party is a fascist party and must be treated as such. Don’t be fooled by their growing electoral success. Don’t think that because “ordinary” people, and even non-racists, are voting for them and joining them that the party has somehow changed. Elected positions and an influx of “moderate” members will not transform the party.

The Big Green Con: Seeing through the sham of “green” capitalism

Raging deforestation, degradation of the soil, sea and atmosphere and rising greenhouse gas emissions. With current concerns over the environment and future of the planet, it seems every business under the sun is doing their utmost to jump on the green bandwagon and convince us of their sound ecological credentials.

Along with this, all sorts of consum-er products are advertised with buzz words like “ethically traded”, and “carbon neutral”. Magazines from The Ecologist to The Observer wax lyrical about how we can all be greener and do our bit to save the planet. The implication here seems to be that if we all buy the “right” products, recycle our rubbish and take a few steps to cut down on our energy emissions then, hey presto!, the planet will be magically saved.

Breaking isolation: Domestic abuse and workplace support

Domestic abuse remains a massive problem in Britain with the vast majority of it being carried out by men against women and children. The sheer scale of the problem can be gauged from the fact that, although only half of incidents are reported, the police still receive one call every minute that is related to domestic violence. Many of these calls involve life threatening situations, reflected in the fact that an average of two women each week are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap - Immigrant cleaners: the “hard-to-organise” are self-organising

Workers in contract cleaning face low wages, a lack of basic employment rights, bullying management and victimisation for union activities. However, especially among Latin Americans, self-organisation has sustained struggles against the un-scrupulous multinational companies who employ them, and against the immigration controls which are used to sack un-wanted workers and victimise union acti-vists. Those struggles highlight the inadequacy of the “organising model” of trades unionism promoted by the likes of Unite!

Fujitsu Attack on Pensions

The IT firm, Fujitsu Services, has announced it is closing its final salary pension scheme to existing members. It was closed to new joiners in 2000.

The union, Unite!, centred around the firm’s Manchester site, has condemned the plans. Peter Skyte of Unite! said:

Fujitsu Services is a highly profitable company and made profits of £177m in the last financial year. The company has yet to produce any proper justification for this latest attempt to raise profits by cutting pension benefits, and this action may hinder future bids for blue chip private sector outsourcing contracts.

Lewisham Occupation

Since 23rd April parents of pupils at Lewisham Bridge Primary School in Lewisham, south east London, and their supporters have been occupying a school roof. They are protesting against Lewisham Council’s plans to demolish the school building and replace it with a school for children aged 3 to16. The proposed new school will be squeezed into a site presently occupied by the primary school, which has less than half of the 835 pupils projected for the “all age” school, so play areas and room sizes would fall below government recommendations.

The new school would only have one primary class per year, instead of the current school’s two. Eleanor Davies, whose six year old son, attends the school, said: