Call to support motions to BMA Conference for London Living Wage for cleaners at BMA House

LivingwageBMA1

The British Medical Association, the national trade union for doctors, pays its workers who clean BMA House the minimum wage of £6-19/hour. The cleaners are demanding the London Living Wage, £8-55/hour. To date the BMA have used the cop out that it is their subcontractor, Interserve, who set the rate of pay. However, the BMA awards the cleaning contract and so holds ultimate responsibility.

In October 2011 the BMA published a guide on tackling inequalities in health for doctors, ‘Social Determinants of Health: What Doctors Can Do’. The report urges doctors and their organizations to work towards creating fair employment and good work, and ensuring a healthy standard of living for all. As the then BMA President pointed out many BMA members are already doing this. Two such examples are BMA Tower Hamlets Division and the BMA London Regional Council which have both submitted motions to the BMA Annual Representatives Meeting supporting the cleaners demand for the London Living Wage.

The BMA Annual Representatives Meeting starts in Edinburgh on Monday 24th June. At present the motions have been consigned to the section “unlikely to be reached due to lack of time” so on Friday (21st June) London IWW leafleted outside BMA House to urge BMA members and passes by to help get motions 482 and 483 on the Table.

You too can help right now. Please email the BMA in Scotland and demand that these motions are heard.

BMA Annual Representative Meeting: London Living Wage

482. Motion by Tower Hamlets Division

That this Meeting notes the dispute between cleaners at BMA House last year and their employer, a private contractor, Interserve, over refusal to pay the cleaners the London living wage. This Meeting calls on the BMA:
i. not to contract with any organisation in the future which does not pay its workers at least the London living wage;
ii. not to renew the contract with Interserve, or any other private contractor if they refuse to pay at least the London living wage;
iii. to amend the contract with Interserve and all other private contractors to pay at least the London living wage at the earliest opportunity.

483. Motion by London Regional Council
That this Meeting sadly notes that the cleaning staff contracted to work in BMA House are paid less than the London living wage. We call upon Council to take immediate measures to ensure that all staff directly employed by the BMA, or working in BMA House in sub-contracted roles, are paid not less than their local living wage.

Please send an email to: BMAScotland@bma.org.uk
Suggested wording: ‘The failure of the BMA to pay its cleaners the London Living Wage disgraces an organisation that is a trade union and a guardian of the nation’s health. Please ensure that the ‘London Living Wage’ motions to conference 482 & 483 are heard, and acted on.’

Livig BMAPage_2

Bournemouth and Poole bedroom tax demo’s, a bizarre response.

A broad range of activists responded to B.P.A.C.C.‘s call out to picket council meetings in Bournemouth and Poole on Tuesday. In each case, a question was submitted by a resident of the borough demanding an assurance that none of our fellow residents would be evicted over inability to pay the bedroom tax.

In Poole, the question was submitted by Kevin Smith; as Mr Smith has recently found employment and is required to work a night shift, he was unable to attend in person. It had been agreed by the council that a comrade would read the question on his behalf but the council went back on this the day before, so only a written answer was given.

Poole Council give no assurances not to evict for Bedroom Tax rent arears

Write up from a comrade in Poole on Dorset eye: BPACC and UK Uncut Activists stage anti bedroom tax Demonstration in Poole and Bournemouth

Stewart McArthur of Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coaliton (BPACC) sends a clear message to Poole Council

Demonstrators from Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coalition, UK Uncut and Wessex Solidarity staged protests against the bedroom tax outside the offices of Poole and Bournemouth Councils this evening. The protest in Poole was in support of a question tabled by Mr Kevin Smith of Canford Heath Poole seeking reassurances there would be no evictions in the event of rent arrears being accrued due to these proposed changes.

Mr Smith was unable to attend the council meeting and the council decided any answer would be provided for Mr Smith in ‘due course’.

Outside of Bournemouth Council offices where a similar protest was staged sources reported there was one arrest.

Graham Horne – Swanage  More pictures here

Meanwhile, in Bournemouth, an even more bizarre situation developed; a Public Question was submitted by Mike Cracknell; during one of the most low-key (not to say boring) protests ever, a local activist was arrested for allegedly chalking this picture on the pavement outside Bournemouth town hall.

bedroom_tax

He was taken away by 4 Babylon including one plain clothes and remained impassive throughout. Subsequently a delegation from BPACC comprising members of Unite, CP, SolFed, non aligned and labour party were denied access to the council chambers apparently on the orders of the mayor’s chauffeur! Our comrade was held 6 hours and bailed, he was not informed that the delegation was waiting for him at the police station.

Bournemouth Council give no assurances not to evict for Bedroom Tax rent arrears

Meanwhile as evictions do seem likely to happen, please put some serious thought into adding your support and involvement in setting up phone trees to physically stop bailiffs from evicting you or your neighbours. We need to self-organise now so we are ready, if and when, evictions begin. Thank you.

Pubs to avoid: the Borough Hotel, Southend-on Sea.

Today, 30-40 anti-fascists prevented an EDL meeting in Southend. Nazi scum forced to hide in pub.

fash

On 15th June, The Bough Hotel Pub management explicitly insisted that they were more than happy to serve and host racists. A regional EDL ‘meet and greet’ happened there that day. The manager of The Borough Hotel, Nicola Tiney is an EDL member.

Here is the statement that appeared on their Facebook page:

“For everyone who has wrote to the borough hotel this EDL meeting has not interfered with any of the reggae gigs and never will, it has nothing to do with supporting them, nothing racist was said while they were in the pub and nothing was said to offend anyone if that is the way you feel were sorry to offend anyone but business is business. If all these people complaing were regulars then i could understand that its offending them but they only come down for the reggae gigs as i said business is business.”

The pub had a profitable sideline hosting reggae bands, not any more!

This is a fascist pub, used and run by fascists. Let’s shut them down!

CONTACT THEM:

FACEBOOK

TELEPHONE NUMBER: 01702 466936

ADDRESS: 10-12 Marine Parade, SS12EJ, Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Police raiding StopG8 Convergence Centre.

Police raiding StopG8 Convergence Centre

Reblogged from stopg82013

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Well over 100 riot police are now raiding the StopG8 convergence centre at 40 Beak Street, London W1. They have cordoned off the street and are not letting people near the building. Please come and support if you can.

Don’t let them intimidate us. The carnival will of course go ahead as planned, meeting at 12 Noon at Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus. With street party at Piccadilly Circus at 5.30PM. See you on the streets!

SOUTH LONDON ANTI-FASCISTS: THANKS TO THE MANY

SOUTH LONDON ANTI-FASCISTS: THANKS TO THE MANY

Posted by Justin on 03 Jun 2013 / 3 Comments
By South London Anti-Fascists / @SouthLondonAF

This statement of gratitude is to the many who were on the streets on Saturday, those who in the past week who emailed us offering support, to those who came to our planning meetings. We thank the thinkers who thought deeply and practically about how to stop fascists,  the activists who got arrested and brutalised by the police, to those who organised childcare and those who were there in spirit. We thank those who met up with individuals including from Lambeth SOS/UnisonSouth London Solidarity Federation andBloomsbury Fightback who without their help would have travelled alone. Also the Animal Rights activists who joined us while dressed as badgers. We thank all of you for your support, the British National Party because of all of your efforts were shown to be a national joke and didn’t even get close to South London.

London antifascists who have been instrumental in the effective resistance on Saturday have published a detailed report which can be read here.

anti-fascist arrests

Antifascist arrests

We are disgusted but once again not surprised by the actions of the police, one female antifascist was hospitalised with a broken leg, while 58 other antifascists were arrested because they refused to allow the fascists to march. The arrests with the prepared buses were clearly planned in advance of the protest. We will continue to show solidarity with the arrestees and we will work with Green & Black Cross to continue to provide legal and financial support. We urge all fellow antifascists who are able to donate to GBC, their help has been incredibly important and vital to organising quick and effective arrestee support.

We saw legal observers were punched and pushed out of the way so that they could not record police brutality. This was planned and prepared by the police and we must learn from this experience.

We note that Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism did not cooperate with the police to divide the antifascist resistance, and also many UAF activists joined us in forming defensive lines against the fascists and the police, this solidarity was welcome.

In Woolwich, we thank activists from the Movement for Justice who kept an eye on the local Islamic Centre and spoke with young black people about the current situation. In Lewisham, various antifascists from the local Trade Union Council, Newham Monitoring Project,  and other people from the local community came together to support Lewisham Islamic Centre. The Centre in response held a meal for all who attended on the day.

However, while we defeat the BNP, despite the valiant efforts of antifascists across the country, the English Defence League were able to hold a few unopposed “silent walks” on Saturday particularly in their home town of Luton. They have subsequently raised significant sums of money for their own organisation. We know that at least 13 mosques and Islamic centres have been attacked according to media reports, and many more Muslims have been attacked in the streets.

Our movement has many challenges ahead, we are too white and disconnected from the migrant communities and activists that are directly affected by Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism. Racism, sexism and fascism doesn’t just appear in fascist marches and pitch battles against the police. It happens in the workplace, in the national newspapers, during stop-and-searches, through local councils and the corridors of power in Westminster. Popular racism is endemic in British institutions and mainstream culture. In response to this, we as antifascists must develop a genuine diversity of tactics and a coherent strategy to pull racist ideologies and power structures up from its imperial roots in the British state. Our autonomous struggle is against police brutality, the murder of migrants labelled “asylum seekers”, the countless deaths in custody, the demonisation of Romanians and Bulgarians, and against the inability to leave your home because of the fear of being attacked for being different.

If you are interested in supporting this struggle, we will be holding a debriefing meeting on Monday 10th June from 6pm to 7:30pm in South London. Details will be revealed on our mailing list. Email us to get involved: southlondon-antifascists@aktivix.org

We are also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthLondonAF and Twitter:www.twitter.com/SouthLondonAF

NO PASARAN

HOMEBASE AND ARGOS PULL OUT OF WORKFARE

Bath Anarchist Revolutionary Forces.May 29, 2013 /  / No comments

From Boycott Workfare:

“In yet another massive blow to workfare, Argos – which has 740 stores nationwide – appears to have pulled out of Workfare. Argos had previously boasted that it was using Workfare to cover its busiest period at Christmas. In at least one store, Workfare workers were doing ten hours a week more than paid staff. That they have now pulled out is a testament to the strength of feeling amongst the general public and shows the results we can get when we keep up the pressure!

It gets better. Remember how Homebase were exposed for using 25 workfare placements in one store and boasting about it? How we heard some people’s paid hours were cut from 48 a week down to 8 as a result? They faced such a huge response from the public that they took their Facebook Page down repeatedly. People protested at their stores across the UK. Now, they too, have apparently stopped using workfare. Their statement is full of doublespeak, but people protesting during the bank holiday at the store where the story emerged were told by the manager that the last Workfare workers finished on Friday and they won’t be using any more.

These companies were saving thousands on their wages bill by exploiting the unemployed. This, despite the fact that the CEO of Home Retail Group – which owns Argos and Homebase –  was paid £1.1 million last year. They didn’t ditch Workfare out of the goodness of their hearts: it’s clear that your actions are making a massive difference, taking two big scalps! Please keep an eye on your local stores to check they don’t slip back into Workfare when the pressure eases off.

There are still many scalps waiting to be taken – a list of which, unless the government manages to find a way out of it, it will now be compelled to reveal soon. One such example is retail chain B&M Stores, which wasawarded a prize for its work with Work Programme provider Ingeus. While the award talks about the people who have been given jobs after their stint of unpaid work, it seems existing staff are having their hours cut as Workfare is brought in.

If Workfare is one side of the coin, then sanctions are the other. Without the threat of sanctions forcing people to undertake Workfare, these schemes could not exist. To underline this harsh fact, last week it was revealed in research by London Assembly and Green Party member Jenny Jones, that one in three people in London and the Home Counties sent to Mandatory Work Activity was sanctioned. Another reason to challenge the London Mayor’s Workfare scheme, which forces young people to work without pay from the first day they sign on.

With your support this campaign will continue to take action action against the businesses, charity groups or organisations exploiting Jobseekers and the disabled through Workfare, as well as those forcing people into Workfare via sanctions. After all, it’s not only basic morality, it’s basic common sense. Workfare makes everyone poorer. It’s up to us to stop it, and as these successes show, together we can do it – and we are!”

Activists from BARF and Bristol Anarchist Federation worked together over the last two months in the campaign against Homebase, so we’ll claim this one, thanks.

From Green & Black Cross: Arrested yesterday? Know people who were? Did you witness anything?

greenNblack_logoArrested yesterday? Know people who were? Did you witness anything? If you’re not in touch with us already then please pick up the phone or ping us an email ASAP!
If you’re wanting to challenge your bail conditions get in touch with one of our recommended solicitors – link below, or chat to us. We’ll be coordinating a defendants meeting soon. gbclegal@riseup.net 07946541511

Solidarity, GBC 

Please share this callout far and wide! Ta

The following is a list of firms who are experienced at dealing with cases surrounding police and protest.

Solicitors with relevant expertise | Green & Black Cross

If your area is not covered then check out the Network for Police Monitoring solicitors list which has an even more comprehensive list of solicitors’ firms, based on the pooled experience of many activists over many years. All of the solicitors are graded by an experienced panel.