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Nortel workers deserve the support of all workers and trade unions in their battle for justice. These workers have been treated like dirt by the fat cat bosses of this highly profitable multi-national company. More than two hundred workers have been sacked across the UK, with barely any notice, without any redundancy payments, no stautory notice payouts and have had their pensions stolen by the company.
On 23rd July, Queen’s University’s (QUB) senate met and agreed an academic plan for the next five years which will see 103 staff being made redundant. The most dramatic effect of the cuts will be the closure of the German department, but all the university’s schools will be effected in some way.
These cuts come despite QUB actually receiving an increase in funding of 2% for teaching and learning and 7.7% for research. The university management wish to shift the emphasis away from frontline teaching and local-oriented research towards international research, which lends more status within the prestigious Russell Group. Their stated aim is to make Queen’s one of the top 100 universities in the world within the next 5 years. The idea that this can be achieved while cutting staff and resources is entirely false.
The anti-water charges We Won’t Pay Campaign has responded to speculation that water charges may be introduced next year by warning the Northern Ireland Executive that they “will be met with mass civil disobedience if water charges are imposed on people.”
Gary Mulcahy, spokesperson for the anti-water charges campaign added “There is no mandate to introduce water charges. It would be totally undemocratic to impose this tap tax on households. At the last Assembly elections the politicians were left in no doubt that people are strongly opposed to water charges.
The planned introduction of household water charges next April looks to be in serious doubt. It seems the parties in the Executive have privately admitted to themselves that they haven’t a hope of making people pay, despite their best efforts to disguise the introduction in some form next year.
The mass opposition to the charges and the support for mass non-payment which has been built by the We Won’t Pay Campaign has not dissipated. In fact with record job losses and falling incomes, the potential for mass non-payment is now greater than ever. It is this fact which has led the Executive parties to realise if they go ahead with their plans to introduce water charges next year, they face almost certain defeat.