Several months ago there was a report in some British papers of an unusual speech by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King. The speech gives a glimpse of a discussion that must have recently taken place amongst the British capitalists, and which the Gate Gourmet dispute is a direct consequence of. It is about the use of cheap immigrant labour to drive down wages and worsen working conditions.

The dispute that erupted at the Gate Gourmet company in August is symptomatic of what is really happening in the British labour movement. The strike of the Gate Gourmet workers received strong support from the workers at British Airways who paralysed Heathrow Airport and inflicted heavy losses on the company. The class solidarity expressed in this dispute is an indication of what is to come throughout the whole of the British labour movement.

The Houses of Parliament cleaners made history by staging their first walk-out on the morning of 20th July. At 10 am the strikers assembled outside St. Stephens’ entrance together with some MPs, parliamentary staff and the media to publicise their demands. The strikers were chanting slogans like “Low Pay, No Way” while some of them were brandishing placards and mops.

Over the past weekend the Annual National Conference of the 67,000 strong college and university lecturers union, NATFHE, which took place in Eastbourne, Britain, unanimously agreed to support the Bolivarian revolution and the measures that it has taken to help the workers and poor in Venezuela.

Over the weekend of May 28th to 30th the National Association of teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) held its annual conference in Eastbourne, Britain.