The ongoing threat of outsourcing of work at Bombardier and the current redundancies, linked to outsourcing, are a huge challenge to the workforce. However, having led the battle to save jobs and skills, Bombardier workers have shown what they are capable of when united and mobilised and are now in a stronger position to deal with future threats, whether political or from the company.
Campaigns & Issues
This year marks the centenary of the first women in Britain and Ireland winning the right to vote in parliamentary elections. The political establishment and right-wing propaganda have been celebrating the introduction of the 1918 Representation of the People Act. But it cannot be forgotten that this Act was a deeply classist compromise, and aimed only to enfranchise a small number of property-owning women from the privileged elite in society, whilst simultaneously ignoring millions of ordinary working-class women.
It’s fair to say that the Channel 4 hit Derry Girls, which was commissioned for a second series after its first episode, had us all in laughter and tears by the end of it. The series is set in Derry, a “troubled little corner of the world” as Erin puts it, with the backdrop of the Troubles. It follows a group of teenage girls and a “wee English fella” as they grapple with teenage angst and all the fun that comes along with it in the context of sectarian conflict and steeped in nineties nostalgia.
Only two days into 14 days of planned strike action by academic staff in Queen’s University, the University of Ulster and 59 universities across Britain and the front page headline of the Times ran “University chiefs split as strikes cause chaos!” Some university bosses went so far as to publicly criticise the plans to scrap defined benefit pensions and declared support for the strike.
When the twenty first century dawned young women in the US and much of Europe were being told that equality was within their grasp. They didn’t need feminism because capitalism was offering a glittering future based on growing prosperity and gender equality. Today that illusion lies in ruins.