Mobile Rail Management Fires Two IWW Organizers – Workers Will Respond

iwwlogo-buttonContact: Sam Green, 773-728-0996, ghq@iww.org

On Friday the 26th, Management at Mobile Rail Solutions fired Eric and Dwayne, two non-CDL service-helpers who are active participants in the ongoing Unionization effort. They further alluded to the possibility of firing all remaining non-CDL carrying employees. While management claims this is part of a restructuring, we believe that the firings constitute a broad attack on protected organizing activity and most likely a direct retaliation against protected OSHA complaints recently filed across several Mobile Rail locations.

From the very beginning, the workers at Mobile Rail have held safety as their most important demand. We have succeeded in pressuring management to provide some basic Personal Protection Equipment but remaining safety concerns are numerous. A chief complaint is the use of single-worker servicing teams that lack protection from heat-stroke, injuries from faulty equipment, or the threat of train accidents. We fear that the firings could be just the beginning of Mobile Rail destroying the two-worker teams and replacing them with the much riskier and more dangerous single-worker service. We demand that Mobile Rail rehire both Eric and Dwayne, stop all firings, and implement two-worker service teams across all locations.

In a further act of venom, it appears that Management has already posted job openings to replace these organizers. If Mobile Rail has no need for Eric and Wayne, why are they hiring new employees? If Mobile Rail intends to do away with non-CDL workers, then they need to provide full tuition for each existing worker to become licensed. If Mobile Rail thinks they can force everyone into unsafe single-worker teams, they are very, very wrong.

The IWW and the workers at Mobile Rail Solutions are asking for support from the community of labor. Workers have been organizing for months and hope to have their voices heard in an upcoming NLRB election on August 14th. The IWW is a rank and file Union open to all workers across all industries. The workers at Mobile Rail and the IWW are prepared to engage in direct action to see their Fellow Workers rehired and their voices heard.

URGENT APPEAL: Bridgwater Delivery Office Official Dispute – Financial Support Needed

Dear Colleagues,

110 CWU Members out of 120 Postal Workers at Bridgwater Delivery Office are currently under severe attack from Royal Mail. They have taken five days strike action so far, following a 79.3% “Yes” vote.

The main issues are Royal Mail’s un-agreed implementation of a drastic summer savings plan, also allegations about bullying and a “Performance Management” regime and refusal to pay monies owed for mail sequencing savings. These issues have involved Royal Mail selectively breaking both local and national Agreements with the CWU.

Local representatives, officials from the Bristol & District Amalgamated Branch, CWU Divisional Representatives and Bob Gibson National CWU Officer have attempted to come to an acceptable compromise agreement, including substantial summer only savings, only to be rebuffed by the employer.

Meanwhile Bridgwater CWU Reps Darren Granter, Dave Chapple, CWU Committee Members and striking postal workers are allegedly being harassed on a daily basis. There is a feeling that this is to try and provoke wildcat walkouts in order to weaken the official balloted action. Furthermore, CWU members have complained of being watched during their deliveries, during grace breaks, and at gate meetings with officials, and even at a toilet cubicle. They have had overtime denied for spurious reasons and been summarily taken off their delivery. Some new temporary contracts staff feel they are being placed under severe pressure to attend work on strike days.

Attendances on the Bridgwater picket lines have been excellent and have ranged from 35 up to 70 people; the membership’s continued solidarity has shocked Royal Mail. Consequently, the CWU and wider trade union movement cannot afford to stand by in the light of the Con-Dem Government’s privatisation attempts and let the strong CWU membership at Bridgwater Delivery Office be starved back to work.

Further strikes are planned to continue the pressure on Royal Mail to negotiate a fair settlement.

Therefore to assist workers who are involved in this protracted dispute please can you help and ensure that you give all you can to the official “Bridgwater Delivery Office Dispute Fund” this will keep morale to a maximum during the next crucial few weeks.

Please can you make out cheques to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to:
Dave Chapple CWU
1 Blake Place
Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 5AU

You can also send messages of support to Dave Chapple at davechapple@btinternet.com   or telephone 0777 6304 276 or to

Dave Wilshire Branch Secretary, CWU Bristol & District Amalgamated Branch at davewilshirecwu@btconnect.com or telephone 07909525740

Finally, we are requesting speakers from the Trade Union movement and supporters of the Postal Workers to contact Dave Chapple to make arrangements to attend picket lines and also for CWU Reps to speak at your meetings. 

KEVIN BEAZER: SOUTH WEST REGIONAL SECRETARY, DAVE WILSHIRE BRISTOL & DISTRICT BRANCH SECRETARY, CHRIS WEBB: DIVISIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Save itClosing the loopholes

Tolpuddle 2013 Radical Workers’ Bloc: the weekend in pictures.

RAD00

You could say we got lucky with the weather – up to a point, the heat was actually quite challenging at times and the free showers were as welcome as the overpriced beer. Our stall attracted plenty of interest; we shifted a mountain of literature and took enough in donations to cover our expenses plus making a few quid for Freedom Books; our magnificent banner was supplied free of charge by our comrades at Sabcat Printing, the Anarchist workers’ T-shirt co-op.

The stall was operated by comrades from Brighton, Bristol and Solent SolFedCNT-AIT Caen and Wessex Solidarity; Sunday’s Bloc was about double the size of last year’s, our militants ranged in age from 16 to a 96 year old Spanish Civil War veteran – a proper antifascist! It was good to welcome new faces from Cymru and Reading IWW, with community singing led by Bristol AFed. Shout out also to Bath Anarchists (B.A.R.F) – and anyone else we may have missed – give us a shout and we’ll link to your site.

Everyone we spoke to felt the mood was more militant than previous years; the Labour ‘got to be in it to win it’ line was challenged at every turn, the appetite for direct action is growing. What is the Tolpuddle story but an example of working class self-organisation crushed by the state? The Martyrs came together as equals; they didn’t form a trade union but a friendly society. You can fantasise about general strikes and armed insurrection all you want, the bourgeoisie will carry on chortling into their Dom Perignon; but get together and find practical solutions to the problems they cause you, outside of the structures they need you to rely on, and they will shit themselves.

We reiterate that we don’t come for a row, but to examine each others ideas and find ways of putting them to the test, so that we can give confidence to our class as a whole; the last thing the left needs now is a ‘tribal’. The 20th century is over; we must learn its lessons and evolve. We have the best opportunity for decades to give capitalism a kicking and if we fail, history will judge us harshly.

The above-referenced article on friendly societies is available by courtesy of the author, as an A5 pamphlet from one of our event stalls, or in our reference library, from where it can be downloaded for the princely sum of Fuck All.

Here’s the gallery, pictures still coming in, bear with us!

Bridgwater Royal Mail strike still on: solidarity needed!

Friends,

Hours of talks on the Bridgwater Delivery Office Royal Mail dispute, that took place in London on Monday and Plymouth today, have broken down without agreement.

This means that the three day strike starting at one minute past midnight tonight, Wednesday, is on, to continue for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We are still holding a solidarity hour between 8am and 9am every morning to which we would be delighted to welcome visitors and especially other trades unionists. The picket line gets going around 5am.
Messages of support can be sent by e-mail direct to me: any donations to the Bridgwater strike fund, which is now open, can be sent to Dave Wilshire at CWU, 20 Church Rd, Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS5 9JA.

Financial support is now becoming important to maintaining the excellent morale of the 110 Bridgwater strikers.
Please make any cheques out to “CWU Bristol and District Amal” and send to the above address.

See you on the picket line!
The next national talks on the Bridgwater dispute between the CWU and Royal Mail are set for London on Monday.

Dave Chapple,Shop steward/branch chair

From Boycott workfare: Take action on the charities creating hunger and homelessness.

end-unpaid-work_0One in five people sent on mandatory work activity in charity shops face destructive sanctions (benefit stoppages) of three or six months. Sanctions are a major reason for the soaring rise in the use of food banks as hunger is made a daily reality in the UK. The charities still involved in workfare are profiting from making people poorer and giving moral cover to the companies involved as well. Let’s tell them it’s time to pull out!

Last month, a poll of charity workers showed just how unpopular workfare is with the majority of people in charities: 92% thought that the government should publish the list of workfare providers that it is withholding.

Since the start of the year, thanks to your action, five charities have said they will no longer take part in workfare schemes: Sense, PDSA, Capability Scotland, Sue Ryder and the Red Cross. The Children’s Society has also pledged not to use workfare.

This means the workfare schemes which rely on charity placements are on the rocks! Already before the latest withdrawals, the government complained“The high profile withdrawal of placements from a number of larger charities meant a sharp reduction in placements.”

Let’s help banish workfare from charities: contact these workfare exploiters today.

RSPCA

Fellow animal charity PDSA has already realised that it needed to show a bit more kindness to the human beings working in its shops. Time for RSPCA to do the same and stop using workfare!

Head office: 030 0123 0100
Facebook: RSPCA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/rspcauk
Flickr feed: www.flickr.com/photos/rspca
Twitter: @rspca_official

YMCA

The YMCA released a statement in March defending their use of forced unpaid workers, and ignoring the fact they are responsible for pushing people into destitution and possible homelessness through sanctions which can last up to three years. Persuade them to join the list of charities who will no longer have anything to do with workfare.

Phone them on 020 7186 9500 or their shops hotline on 0845 601 0728.

Email: shop@ymca.org.uk or enquiries@ymca.org.uk
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ymcaengland
Find contacts for your nearest YMCA shop: http://www.ymca.org.uk/find/ymcashops
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/THEYMCA
Tweet their President, Bishop John Sentamu, has spoken out against workfare in the past: @johnsentamu

Twitter: @ymca_england

Salvation Army

The government has praised the Salvation Army for ‘holding the line‘ on workfare. When new figures emerged two weeks ago showing just how disastrous the Work Programme is for claimants, the Salvation Army released a pro-Work Programme report and have publicly claimed that ‘The Work Programme is working‘. They have boasted about the fact they even force sick and disabled people to do their workfare schemes.

Salvation Army UK can be contacted on facebook and on Twitter:  @TSA_IHQ and @salvationarmyuk

They can be telephoned on (020) 7367 4500 or emailed at: info@salvationarmy.org.uk

The Salvation Army’s youth section are on facebook here.

To tell Salvation Army branches round the world what is being done in their name in the UK find twitter details here.

British Heart Foundation

Following occupations and pickets in across the UK British Heart Foundation announced they were “moving away” from workfare. Recently they declared they had withdrawn from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. But they are openly declaring on their website that they are still participating in the Work Programme – despite the fact that in December this scheme was extended to give providers the power to force many sick and disabled claimants on Employment and Support Allowance to work for nothing, or face sanctions.

BHF state on their site: “Our supporters are welcome to contact us directly if they have any questions about our participation in the scheme. Please email customerservice@bhf.org.uk“.

Don’t disappoint them, get in touch!

BHF Retail HQ – 01372 477 300
Head Office – 020 7554 0000
Customer Service Centre – 0300 330 3322
Facebook: BHF
Contact: http://www.bhf.org.uk/contact-us.aspx
Twitter: @thebhf

Papworth Trust

Papworth Trust told civilsociety.co.uk:
“Papworth Trust believes that by being involved in mandatory work activity, we can make sure that each work placement is as effective as possible for each disabled or disadvantaged person.”

Now tell them what you think of their use of disabled people on workfare!

A list of phone and fax numbers can be found here.
Email: info@papworth.org.uk
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/papworthtrust
Facebook: Papworth Trust
Twitter: @papworthtrust

And if you’ve got a bit more time, why not get in touch with some of the high street brands profiting from workfare or the green charities exploiting forced labour too? Remember there’s loads of action on the streets this Saturday too!

Autonomy film show in Bridport, Friday 12th July 2013

FADOSFriday 12th July 2013 7pm for 7.30pm

THE SALTHOUSE, West Bay (near the bridge), Bridport.

Entrance by donation (up to £3) Tea and coffee served

As part of ‘Portuguese Folk-ways’, exhibition of traditional Portuguese patchwork and quilting with photographs of folk customs in Portugal, at THE SALTHOUSE – Friday 12th and Saturday 13th July 11am–5pm.

Spot The Difference! Autonomy film is on a DIFFERENT DAY (Friday) and at a DIFFERENT VENUE (The Salthouse) BUT WITH THE SAME FRIENDLY GREETING!! HOPE YOU CAN MAKE IT!!

INTERESTING LOCAL EVENTS ORGANISED BY OTHERS

UNITE Community union (West Dorset & Yeovil group):
Open Meeting Tuesday 2nd July 7.30pm at the Labour Club, opposite the Bus Station, Yeovil

BridFem (Bridport Feminists):
Informal talk and discussion about Women in Africa Wednesday 3rd July 7.30pm upstairs in the Beach and Barnicott, Bridport ALL WELCOME

Dorset Socialists:
‘Will the Unions Fight?’ Public meeting with talk and discussion Sat 6th July 1.30pm at The Colliton Club, Colliton House, Colliton Park, Dorchester DT1 1XJ

Monkton Wyld Movies:
‘Inside Job’ Oscar-winning documentary on the global financial crisis of 2008 Thurs 11th July 7.30pm at the Boston Tea Party Café, High Street, Honiton Entry £5 (Conc. £3) Please phone to confirm 01404 851048 or 01404 548739