Thursday, February 03, 2011

Twenty Years Ago... the New Worker

THE RATE of job losses throughout Britain accelerated sharply last week with a number of big employers announcing savage job cuts, amounting to nearly 116,000 jobs lost or threatened.
On Thursday came news of the collapse of the John Lewis chain of retail stores. The firm was founded in 1856 by David Lewis and has large department stores throughout the country.
Then came the news that Brel, the engineering division of British Rail now owned by the Trafalgar House construction and shipping group, is to cut 1,200 train-building jobs.
On the same day, called Black Friday by Jimmy Knapp, London Underground announced 1,000 job cuts.
Still on Black Friday, Federal Express, the International delivery group, announced 1,850 job losses. Three of the group's British distribution centres are to close: in Norwich, Alfreton and Exeter.
By the next day British Airways announced it is considering cutting between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs, up to 10 per cent of the total workforce.


THE AFRICAN National Congress called on western governments "not to be too hasty" in calling off sanctions on South Africa following the regime's decision to scrap many of the racist laws.
President F W de Klerk's declaration to scrap the Group Areas Act, which segregates residential areas; the Land Act, which segregates farming and rural land and the Population Registration Act, which classifies people by race has been welcomed by the ANC. As has been the publication of the Manifesto for a New South Africa, which will provide the climate for the writing of a new constitution.
But the ANC rejected de Klerk's proposal for the "integration" of the ANC into the existing state structure. Their demand is as before, for an interim government and an elected constituent assembly to draw up a new constitution, which must be based on one person, one vote.