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From: The Socialist issue 663, 23 March 2011: For a 24-hour public sector general strike

Search site for keywords: Closures - Royal Mail - Rich - Yemen

Fast News

Mail closures

Royal Mail bosses plan to axe another 1,700 jobs and close two mail centres - Nine Elms Lane and Bromley-by-Bow - in London. The projected job losses are on top of the 65,000 posts the company has shed since 2002.

The closures are the first tranche of cuts that will result in half the country's mail centres being closed by 2016 unless stopped by workers' action. The closures announcement follows on from the Con-Dems' decision to privatise Royal Mail later this year or next. Clearly Royal Mail bosses, with the government's blessing, are cutting costs to make the company appear more profitable to potential buyers.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) says the closures will mean compulsory redundancies and flies in the face of national agreements between the CWU and Royal Mail.

Yemen crisis

The regime of Yemen's beleaguered president Ali Abdullah Saleh is nearing collapse and civil war amidst continuing state orchestrated violence against street protests that led to at least 45 demonstrators being shot dead by plain clothes police firing from rooftops in the capital, Sanaa on 18 March.

In a desperate bid to retain power Saleh has dismissed his government but continues to see support from his close allies haemorrhage. The latest defection is army chief General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar who now claims to back the opposition! Army tanks are now positioned outside the presidential palace, central bank and key ministry buildings. Saleh, who has ruled for 32 years, has said he will defend his regime "with every drop of blood".

But his days could be numbered after a month of continuous protests from demonstrators demanding democratic and social reforms. He also faces a separatist movement in the south as well as trying to suppress Shia tribes in the north.

Fast-tracking the rich

Immigration minister Damian Green has made it easier for oligarchs and the super-rich from abroad to fast-track settlement in the UK. Those who invest 5 million in government bonds will be allowed to settle here after three years, and those investing 10 million or more will be allowed to settle after two years. This compares with the current minimum five-year requirement. "Entrepreneurs and investors can play a major part in our economic recovery, and I want to do everything I can to ensure that Britain remains an attractive destination for them", said Green.

Clearly these are the type of people the Tories see as priority immigrants. Not those who labour in the fields picking fruit, nor those who care for our elderly on the minimum wage but the very group of super-rich people - speculators and oligarchs - who were key in wrecking the economy two years earlier!

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Article dated 23 March 2011

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