The proposal to close fifteen libraries in the Belfast area has been met with strong opposition. Hazel Gilliland, who has been campaigning against the closures in Ballymacarrett told the The Socialist that, "the proposals would have a devastating effect. There are no facilities left in the community. Children will grow up without local access to books and the elderly will lose an important place to relax and enjoy a good book."
Pat Lawlor is a nurse at the neo-natal maternity ward in Royal Victoria Hospital. He is a long-time trade unionist activist who has earned a reputation for being an effective organizer and fighter for workers in the Royal. Pat is currently a Unite rep and is involved in building the Health Workers Action Group. Pat is the secretary of the anti-water charges We Won’t Pay Campaign which built mass support for non-payment of water charges. The real reason why water charges have not been introduced as yet has been because of the We Won’t Pay Campaign success in building mass opposition and collecting 120,000 signatures of people who would refuse to pay the charges.
Fight the cuts, not union members
Onay Kasab (Kaz), Greenwich Unison branch secretary, was told to "disappear sharpish" by Unison bureaucrat Dan Pappiett. That is just part of the shameful scene I witnessed last Friday at 7.50am as I shook with anger. This was without doubt an attack on every one of the 3,500 members in Greenwich.
The crisis surrounding NI Water (NIW) that unfolded over Christmas rocked the Assembly Executive. While the Socialist Party has been vindicated in warning this type of fiasco would occur as a result of the creation of NI Water and the process of privatisation of the water service, we take no pleasure from the suffering it caused to thousands of ordinary people. The Socialist Party has consistently argued that the back-door privatisation of the service via Public Private Partnerships (PPP) greatly increased the potential for such a crisis.