Note date has changed to avoid clashing with the county show.
“Again we need to show the CCG that they can’t play with our children’s lives we need Kingfisher and SCBU, not forgetting maternity. Please join us at 1pm at top o town car park with a view to be setting off at 1.30pm. Speakers TBC. After the March the Dorchester Round tables have their cider festival with live bands and plenty of entertainment for your children, we will finish the March at the borough gardens in time for the festival to start.”
The entire N.H.S. is under siege from this parasitic regime, we need every bastard we can get out for this, come on!
After 61 days of strike action by the cleaners at 100 Wood Street, the United Voices of the World Union issued the following statement:
“The dispute at 100 Wood Street between the cleaners, members of United Voices of the World the union, and their employer, Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited, has now been resolved. As a result we are pleased to announce that all advertised protests have now been cancelled and the picket line at 100 Wood Street has now been lifted.”
UVW are still trying to recover legal costs incurred in defending an injunction application in the High Court, you can contribute to their appeal via Paypal here.
Or by bank transfer:
The Co-operative Bank
Account title: United Voices of the World
Sort code: 08-92-99
Staff of the Byron burger chain were called by their employer to 15 non-existent training meetings to lure them into Home Office immigration raids; 50 workers have been summarily detained and at least 20 deported, minus their personal effects.
Byron’s, which is owned by the private equity fund and notorious tax avoiders Hutton Collins Partners, will pay dearly for their treachery. Protests have already been conducted by Anti-raids Network, Black Dissidents, Bradford IWW, Global Justice Now, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, London Black Revs, London IWW, London Latinxs, Malcolm X Movement, South London Solfed, United Voices of the World Union, Unite Hotel and Restaurant Workers Branches, and War On Want. Activists have taken to releasing insects into their restaurants.
Join us in stuffing it up these two-faced anti-working class parasites! Click on the cockroach to find a Byron’s near you. Here’s a flyer for it: 2 x A5 pdf
This Saturday, Bristol branches will be picketed by AFed and SolFed, Meet 6.45pm Saturday outside Bristol Museum. facebook event, and there will be a communications blockade to coincide with this, call 0117 925 6666 repeatedly. Dialling (141) before the restaurant’s number will hide your own number so they will have to pick it up each time.
Original article from El Ibérico translated by Marcela of Latinxs:
British immigration police deported dozens of Latin American Byron Hamburgers workers.
Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Unimaginable situations in real life, can lead to shattered dreams and broken families, all due to the interests of a few to fatten their pockets. Something like this was experienced last July 4th in the hamburger chain Byron.
One of the workers of this company wanted to tell us what happened with the sole purpose of exposing the occurrence of this type of situations, that usually do not transcend public opinion. Out of respect for his privacy, because today they still work for Byron Hamburgers, the anonymity of the person interviewed will be maintained.
It was 9:30 in the morning, read more.
It wasn’t my little splinter off the anarchist movement that did this. It wasn’t Boris Gove, the far right or the hard left, UKIP, the SWP or the CPGB-ML. It wasn’t racists or bent landlords, the landed gentry or people who want to privatise the NHS and abolish sick pay, there aren’t enough of all those put together.
It was the Working Class, the poor downtrodden, defeated Working Class. The ones who get told how powerless they are, all those people who never vote because there’s never anything to vote for. Don’t tell us we’re thick or gullible because we’re not. We were given a spanner and we threw it.
This was not about immigration or jobs. It was a plebiscite on austerity, precarity, housing, inequality, on the dictatorship of the political class, on getting shafted by global money markets and the irrelevance of 21st century gesture politics.
People don’t need more jobs or even more money; they need food, clothes and a roof over their head. They want free education and healthcare, leisure and a community in which they can participate as a full member.
As anarchists within the workers’ movement, we need to stop telling people what can’t be done and start doing it. Pessimism is counter-revolutionary, defeatism is a form of collective self-harm. Whatever we said yesterday is irrelevant, there’s a new game on a different field. The bourgeoisie won’t take this lying down and they’ll use fascism against us. We must neutralise that first, then fight for every inch of the new terrain.
I would recommend comrades take stock of their local neighbourhood and draw up a list of priorities, assets, strong and weak points. Who, what, where and how? Find out who’s in struggle now and what support they need, organise together. Use the communications technology but be sensible and do the planning face to face. We will support picket lines, we will resist evictions, we will resist deportations, we will defend community spaces.
Everything’s up for grabs now.
Mal C x.
Saturday 7th May marks the National Day of Action Against Detention Centres across the UK. Come and demonstrate at one of the UK’s most isolated detention centres, The Verne, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. Previously a prison, The Verne was reclassified as an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in September 2014, however it remains under the jurisdiction of Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Aside from the its isolated location, which prevents many detainees from receiving visits, an HM Inspectorate of Prisons report in March 2015 reported high levels of violence within The Verne as well as considerable difficulty for detainees in obtaining legal representation. The inspectors found that just 30 minutes of free legal advice was available and many detainees “struggled to obtain representation to fight their cases”. The report also highlighted “excessive stays”, finding that 40 of The Verne’s 580 inmates had been in detention for over a year and one had been held for over five years.
This barbaric treatment of people seeking to remain in the UK must stop.Join us in support of those detained, and to call for an end to detention: SHUT DOWN THE VERNE! SHUT DOWN DETENTION CENTRES!
DEMONSTRATION 7th May 2016- 12.45 pm- 1.45 pm outside the Verne (bring things to make noise) 2.15 pm in the town.
For more information about the Close the Verne Campaign see https://www.facebook.com/closetheverne/?fref=ts
From Bristol Solidarity Federation.
George Ferguson, the elected Mayor of Bristol, is directly responsible for cuts to services in this city – including services for children. He has halved the number of beds at the Bush, a residential centre for disabled children.  Even though the council voted to preserve funding – he pushed it through personally. This month the Hawkspring, a vital service that helps families affected by drug addiction, almost closed after having its funding from the council slashed. It only stayed open thanks to a charity stepping in to help at the last minute.  This is all while having plenty of money for other things – like massive pay-rises for council bosses , and £2.3 million a year on public relations and marketing. 
Maybe if this one man is responsible, protests should be directed at him as well as the council? We’ve protested in the streets and at council meetings – but the mayor owns a chain of bars and cafés in the city that have been mostly untouched. Last year campaigners against cuts to disabled kids’ services organised a protest outside his home and business – the Tobacco Factory. Bristol SolFed thinks this was a great idea – we’ve always found picketing and communications blockades  far more effective than normal protests. We have found a list of some more of the pies the mayor has got his finger in, which should help anyone who wants to take this kind of action. We hope you find it useful…
 facebook page for the campaign against cutting The Bush – https://www.facebook.com/No-to-Cuts-to-the-Bush-Residential-Centre-for-Disabled-Children-605680162863622. Debate between the mayor and one of the parents – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q5sRRX2ebA
 background from a Labour campaigner – http://amandaramsay.co.uk/council-should-fund-hawkspring/
 a “comms blockade” is where on a set day/time, lots of people call up a business at once, fill their facebook with complaints, etc
We’re still going to need steel after we’ve overthrown capitalism! No pay cuts, no pillaging the pension fund; the workers need to take the plant, now. Then we would have something to fight for, starting a wave of occupations and expropriations building to a social general strike and a long hot summer! – W.S.
“I can’t be cool … I read one too many books”
– The Clash: ‘Deny’
As an anarchist I regard the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn to the Leadership of the Opposition as a huge backward step. We were finally getting the message across that the political caste can do nothing for us, being in thrall to some distant, unaccountable people, and arbitrary market forces that no one understands, especially those who are paid fabulous sums to predict their outcome. Social inequality has reached Pharonic proportions, with 62 individuals wielding more purchasing power than the poorest three and a half billion. Through all the crises of the past five years, their wealth increased by 44%, while everyone else’s fell by a similar amount. The richest 1% is now worth as much as the rest of us put together. No state redistribution scheme is going to make a dent in this mountain of fictitious capital, and there’s simply nothing big enough to invest more than a tiny fraction of it in. In so far as it exists at all, except as a measure of the theoretical status of the socially useless, such wealth resides in tax havens, far from the workers whose needs and abilities it represents. The plutocrats amuse themselves with football clubs, islands and vast swathes of London, and use their newspapers and TV stations to install their lackeys in the institutions their class devised over centuries to keep it in power forever.
Our people still don’t know what they want, much less how to get it, on a recent TUC outing it struck me what a confused mess the left has become with all its different agendas. “Fight for every job”, one placard says; “a million green jobs now!” screams another; “NHS not Trident”, “stop tax dodging”, “positive banking!” – really? The GMB supports fracking, Unite sits on the fence over Trident. We aren’t helping much with slogans like “demand the impossible”; demand the bleeding obvious more like. With the Labour Party at last consigned to the dustbin of history, the mirage of political representation would evaporate revealing naked class struggle. The last thing we needed was someone breathing life into this anachronism and giving people false hope; it would be a tragedy if the young and angry spent the next five years campaigning for a Labour government when they could be kicking off, wildcatting and occupying the means of production. Like you, I’ve groaned at the false dichotomy of state-managed socialism versus state-guaranteed capitalism, shuddered at the grim spectre of Old Labour. It burns my arse that I’m sat here writing about party politics, just months after the Syriza fiasco exposed its futility.
As a matter of fact, back in July when the Messiah showed up at Tolpuddle to fill the gap left by Our Tone, I harboured a vain notion that I might have a quiet word with him at some point. He’s a nice geezer who works hard for his constituents. Having respect for his sincerity I would say: “For the sake of our class! Please don’t stand!” In the event, he floated in and out again, smiling beatifically, surrounded by swarms of entranced acolytes in their J.C. T shirts. After slogging away for decades to no good purpose, he’s having his fifteen minutes and loving it – well who can blame him? Had I waded through the selfie apocalypse to express such dissonance, I would have been denounced as a heretic and belaboured with copies of the Morning Star. Anyway, by then I was occupied with fucking off a pro-Israel group.
Corbyn was put up as a joke candidate by the Blairites, who no longer bother to hide their contempt for our class. He was to act as a foil for their argument that Labour had lost the election purely because they had failed to keep up with the Tories’ stampede to the right and were too soft on immigrants and the poor. New Labour had opened their leadership contest to supporters who paid a fee to register. This was mainly to reduce the influence of trade unionists, almost exclusively workers in the beleaguered public sector. This backfired spectacularly as thousands registered to vote for Corbyn. So they resorted to a range of dirty tricks, barred people from voting, even wheeled out the old war-criminal himself – big mistake; as Blair is the left’s most hated figure after Thatcher, perhaps even more so as he conned them into putting him in government. The result was that the 200/1 outsider polled three times as many votes as the next runner-up. Since His election, there have been a few unexpected developments, and some entirely predictable ones.
First there was The Miracle Of The Trots. Every Marxist group that ever there was, SP, CP, SWP, TUSC, LU, AWL Counterfire – who all hate each other with a vengeance, abandoned their turf war to unite behind Corbyn. The factionalist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty even de-registered as a party so its members could join Labour.
As anticipated, the chattering classes have closed ranks, the corporate press and the state-corporatist BBC whine forlornly at the prospect of having to fight a battle they thought ended with the Miners’ Strike. The parliamentary Labour Party, an uninspiring gang of careerists and time-servers representing no one whatsoever, were oiked out of obscurity and are now on the radio every five minutes. A year ago it would have been inconceivable that anyone would ask Andy Burnham’s opinion on anything.
The message blaring from every speaker is that under the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism, a socialist agenda has no place in a national representative assembly, however many of its subjects may want it. This arrogance from the 24% seems to have galvanised the multitudes who want to wave two fingers at them into joining the Party, more have done so since His election than are in the tory party. Branch meetings are suddenly packed with people who have never belonged to a party in their lives. Who are these people and what do they hope to achieve? A crowd- sourced budget perhaps? I’m imagining the kind of people who follow Another Angry Voice and The Artist Taxi Driver. Green, anticapitalist, for free education and healthcare, open borders and public ownership, if not exactly workers’ control. I suspect most of them want to go a lot further than their leader would dare and don’t give a damn if he wears a poppy or kisses the queen’s ring. So they aren’t too fussed that Corbyn can’t carry a majority in the house, or win an election with all the tabloids and the Beeb against him. Anecdotally a few anarchists are joining in, no names no packdrill, that should give the Daily Mail something to froth about. The tories who were rumoured to have infiltrated Labour to vote for the unelectable Corbyn, are reduced to lamenting the lack of a serious (i.e. neoliberal) opposition being bad for democracy. So maybe the Labour party will become a campaigning network like 38 degrees, which doesn’t suffer from having to have a policy on everything. But why do we need another one?
Those of us who read a bit were also quick to have a pop; we follow ideas not people. Corbyn’s ideas are neither new nor explicitly anticapitalist, and at the present stage of capitalist accumulation, impossible for any government to implement. Some of them are daft and obviously made on the hoof, his idea of building nuclear submarines without warheads smacks of Keynes’ digging holes and filling them in again. His Unite backers would prefer to while away their days building Trident, a mechanism for ending human history and making the planet uninhabitable, than be excluded from waged labour. As for back-door negotiations with deash, that would be a betrayal of the working class in both territories, and put Britain in the same sordid position as Turkey and Saudi Arabia – if it isn’t already.
It’s a truism that politicians are out of touch with the people, having never done, been trained for, not had any ambition to do more than govern others. The media have long lamented the young’s lack of engagement with the Westminster circus. In reply they’ve thrown up only reactionary buffoons like Farage and hare-brained misogynist Russell Brand, whose boner melted before Milliband’s legendary charisma. Both are heavily reliant for their livelihood on the status quo. In the media-generated political mirage, the class that must work for wages is only allowed to construe economics in terms of jobs and money; they would have us believe that money has a value, is finite, and must be worked for. Corbyn cannot escape this mythology, so he chats about creating jobs, wealth and economic growth through investment as if these things were desirable. The trouble with Keynesianism, as Hitler and Mussolini knew only too well, is you have to have a war every so often to destroy surplus production. When Billy Bragg sang ‘Between the Wars’ thirty-odd years ago, Britain actually was – if you didn’t count Ireland, and the proxy wars going on in Palestine, Iran/Iraq, Timor etc in which British capital was invested. We are now in a continuous state of war and it will end when capitalism ends.
Capitalism rests on violence; it pervades every aspect of the culture. Children are taught to admire and simulate the taking of life as soon as they are able to grasp the concept of death. There are few computer games related to saving the planet, I tried a Google search and the latest entry was from 2011. On Radio 4’s Question Time recently a panel of liberals and worthies had a solemn debate on whether it was reasonable to lock away a fifteen year old for the rest of their life, for fantasising on the internet about killing strangers in a distant land. They agreed they didn’t have enough information to make that judgement and would leave it to others – a pretty sorry admission from would-be opinion formers. This was followed immediately by a discussion on whether it was irresponsible for a seventy-year old man to say he would never kill strangers in distant lands. The grown up common sense view is that not having a vessel under the sea, carrying more explosive than has ever been detonated, anywhere, would put us at risk – who, exactly is ‘us’?
Here’s the double-edged bit: unlike us Bookfair-goers, the braying toffs and media hacks are not just sneering at some fluffy old lefty and his 20th century politics; they are sneering at the needs and aspirations of our class. Those who aspire to bring their kids into a world that isn’t fitted with a self-destruct button, and is at least prepared to feed and house them. The young who see themselves as more than just creators of surplus-value, while the rich, breeding at our expense on their stolen land, see their own offspring as appropriators and accumulators of that value. The test of a socialist utopia will be whether you’re still getting up in the morning and taking crap off people you don’t respect. Within the drudgery of our lives we find that that the most significant things people do are done neither for reward nor to order but out of the instinct to altruism and goodwill. It’s just that we’ve all grown up in a society where greedy sociopaths rise to the top, are perceived to be successful and held up to be admired.
There are more useful things we could be doing than kicking Corbyn right now, we need to get amongst the disciples a bit sharpish and steer the conversation away from fixing the economy, a hateful thing that exists to maintain the dominance of the few over the many. Our class could break it irrevocably in a heartbeat, but we must abandon the attitudes, and to some extent the desires that sustain it. We work to live, or else we are raw material to the industry that generates its profits from managing our inactivity. In work or out of it we are confined by procedures, forms, assessed and audited by folk who have no idea what they’re doing or why they’re doing it, as are they in turn. We are required to sacrifice our dignity and be pacified with toys and entertainments, endless consumption without satisfaction. It’s bizarre that so many corporate-constructed cultural artifacts are claimed as ‘working class culture’. Capitalism robs children of their childhood and robs adults of opportunities to grow up. The economy makes us sick and trades our ill-health. False hope and desperation are commodities, or no one would ever buy hair restorer. Loving Corbyn is a commodity, so is hating Him; their stocks will rise and fall, the market will care little, and when the party’s over, there’s going to be a fucking great hangover.
What can we salvage from all this? Probably no more or less than from the occupy movement; sitting round the fire listening to tosh about chemtrails and the Bilderberg group, every now and then someone would ask: “seriously, how do we get out of this fucking mess?” Well I’ve a few ideas, but you’re going to have to put yourself out … fancy a pint?
On Tuesday 15th, Bristol City Council will be debating cuts to “The Bush”, a respite centre for autistic children. This is after being forced to talk about it by a petition from Bristol Unite Community branch, after the mayor refused to debate his decision to halve the number of beds available. We can win this if we keep up the pressure – there have been protests for two months running, including one at the Mayors place of business as well as at the last two council meetings. So we’ll be joining Unite Community on the 15th, please get your friends and contacts down too!
Full details will be announced on the campaign’s facebook page nearer the date, but the debate will start at 7pm in The Grace Room of the Gloucestershire County Club, BS7 9EJ. The meeting itself starts at 6pm and there will probably be a rally outside just before.
Mayor Ferguson makes a twat of himself:
Ferguson is mainly known for wearing red trousers.
We have reports that ‘cameo’ nightclub (map) in Bournemouth is operating a racist ‘colour bar’. Last night a group of black customers were turned away despite having paid in advance for a table booked two weeks previously. The party had all given their names with the booking but crucially the management didn’t know they were black. We call on comrades in the Bournemouth area to close this establishment down. Watch the video here:
As a result of the legal battle waged against the workers of the occupied self-managed VIOME factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, the state-appointed trustee is now organising a series of auctions with the aim of liquidating the plot of land on which the VIOME factory is located. A possible sale of the land would create the legal ground for evicting the workers from the factory. Although the workers and the solidarity assembly are decided to stand their ground and defend the factory in all eventualities, the auction process represents a threat and it requires mobilisation in order to be prevented. A first step is to block, through direct action, the first such auction that is programmed for November 26th. This is why we reach out to you, to ask for help and mobilisation to put pressure on the government to satisfy the long-standing demands of the VIOME workers for legalisation of their activity, by expropriating the factory and granting it to the VIOME workers’ cooperative, which will operate it in a horizontal and self-managed way, as it has been doing for 3 years now.
We appeal for an international week of solidarity, from November 17 to 24. Facebook.
We urge you to sign the below resolution by returning your details (name, collective, place) to firstname.lastname@example.org, or even better, hand it in to the nearest Greek embassy or consulate demanding that it is transferred to the Greek Ministry of Labour. We welcome any international acts of solidarity, especially ones that involve non-violent direct action towards Greek embassies worldwide.
We urge you to organise screenings of the below 30-minute documentary by D.Azzellini and O.Ressler, detailing the struggle of VIOME through interviews and participation in its assemblies (English subtitles included). Write to us if you want a good quality copy. You can send us announcements of your events, and/or photos to be uploaded to VIOME´s website, to email@example.com, thank you for your support,
The Assembly of Solidarity to the Struggle of VIOME for Self-management.
After being abandoned by the employers, the Factory of VIOME has been operating for nearly 3 years under workers’ control, through self-management by the workers’ assembly. Today, it constitutes an internationally emblematic struggle, which demonstrates that the real response to the crisis that leaves millions in poverty and unemployment is workers’ emancipation and a productive reconstruction based on society´s initiative and creativity.
The workers of VIOME, through the production of natural cleaning products in the premises of the occupied Factory, have proposed a new mode of production that responds to the needs of society, against exploitative labour relations and the drive for endless accumulation of capital.
Unfortunately, despite the promises of a series of governments to legitimise this important example of workers’ self-management, the workers of VIOME are now facing legal procedures that could lead to the liquidation of the factory premises and could threaten the continuation of the factory’s production.
We, the undersigned collectives and individuals, support the struggle of the workers of VIOME for employment, dignity and freedom against the judicial system that blindly serves the interests of the powerful.
We stand by their side in their decision to defend their productive endeavour by any means possible.
We warn the Greek authorities and the powerful business interests that oppose the VIOME struggle that an attack on VIOME is an attack on us all.
We demand that the Greek government stops the auction of the VIOME premises and that it offers a definitive solution by expropriating the land and granting it to the workers, on the condition that the factory keep operating under workers’ control and horizontal decision making.
We state clearly that we will not allow anyone to grab the factory from its legitimate owners, that is, the workers and the wider community. We will support this struggle in every step along the way.
The workers of VIOME will prevail, since they fight for the just cause of dignity and self-determination!
When Bridgwater Royal Mail victimised a disabled worker, his colleagues walked out; no ballots, no bureaucracy, just solidarity. Andrew Mootoo, is deaf and suffers from severe MS, and management have come up with a stream of ridiculous excuses for keeping him off work for 18 months against his will. He might get stuck in the bog, they said, and anyway they’ve commandeered his rest room for disciplinaries. When Andrew passed a fitness for work test, they changed the test, and used a faulty chair.
80 posties went on strike the day after the government’s anti-union bill received its second reading, showing their plans to chain the working class will come to nought so long as we stick together. The management have backed down and assured the workers that they will sit down with Mootoo and reach a resolution. Watch this space to make sure they do!
CWU rep Dave Chapple said it was remarkable that 98% of staff had walked out (without legal protection) in solidarity with someone they haven’t seen for 18 months, and that he has received over 200 emails of support from fellow trade unionists and disabled people. Royal Mail are now threatening to discipline him for breaking their rules – good luck with that.
So if the bosses are taking the piss, just get together and walk the fuck out – you don’t need a vote if you have consensus. Together we win!
On the 18th November 1949, 21 striking miners and a bystander were shot dead at a British government-owned coal mine at Enugu, Nigeria; 51 were injured.
The miners were fighting for back-pay owed to them for a period of casualisation known as ‘rostering’, later declared illegal, and had been sacked following a work to rule. They occupied the mine to prevent a repeat of the lock-out they had suffered during the 1945 general strike. Because Enugu was home to the Zikist independence movement, which included Marxists and other radicals; police were sent to remove the mine’s explosives, accompanied by Hausa troops drafted in from the North of the country; whose language and even their uniforms were unfamiliar to the Igbo miners.
Local Igbo constables fraternised with the workers, they were sure the government would pay them what they were due; in return the miners assured them they did not want to fight. They would not obstruct the police from removing the explosives, but refused to help because it wasn’t their job. They had strict work demarcation imposed by the British, these were hewers and tubmen: “This job is for timbermen, some special labourers, he should call them.”
Nigerian Coal had been of strategic importance during the war, and continued to be vital in the re-building of infrastructure by the post-war Labour government, who sought to maximise output in the Sterling zone to pay off its debt to the U.S. Many of the men had served in the British armed forces, veterans of guerrilla warfare in Southeast Asia. In 1943 with inflation raging they had been called on to make up the shortfall in the British coalfields caused by the war. They were acutely aware they had saved Britain’s arse and been led to believe their sacrifices would create a better world, whilst their bosses were planning for a future that didn’t exist.
They used their regular income to develop their communities, establishing the self-help mechanisms once familiar to mining villages in Britain, which were the inspiration for the welfare state, with free hospitals and relief funds for injured workers and their dependants. The Enugu Colliers supported maternity clinics, road building and clean water supplies. Rejecting the British government’s mass literacy programme, designed to prepare their children for a life of menial labour, they created permanent, stone-built primary and secondary schools. These commitments were undermined by the economic uncertainty of rostering.
The aspirations of these workers collided with Labour’s reconstructive ambitions and its cold war paranoia, plus the racism of the colonial management, desperate to maintain their privileges. As they had done at home Labour wanted to integrate trade unions into the state, using them to contain and defuse class struggle. The Colonial Office recruited hundreds of T.U.C. bureaucrats and despatched them around the empire to institute modern industrial relations practices. In this they were thwarted by the colonial officials, who considered African workers unworthy of political representation. The Igbo themselves had no use for the concept, their culture of open assemblies and mass meetings lent itself to Syndicalism; judging union leaders simply on their ability to execute the will of the workforce. Their Zikist General Secretary, Okwudili (Isaiah) Ojiyi, used his detailed knowledge of colonial labour law and thorough understanding of its political context to run rings around the bosses. Because striking was illegal he imported the Durham miners’ ‘ca canny’ go-slow tactic, translated to ‘welu nwayo’ in Igbo and spent many days in the mines teaching it.
A T.U.C. advisor named Curry tried to insert a layer of bureaucracy between Ojiyi and the rank and file by splitting the union into five occupational branches, in violation of Igbo organisational principles. They therefore interpreted this as the creation of five autonomous unions, rendering the negotiating structure redundant. The hewers began a wildcat go-slow, were sacked and occupied the mine, followed by the tubmen.
The violence was initiated by a British policeman called Captain F.S. Phillip; terrified of Africans and fearful of communist subversion, he spoke neither Igbo nor Hausa. The miners had tied strips of red cloth to their helmets and clothing to show their solidarity; to Phillip these were paramilitary insignia. As was their custom, facing the mass of armed troops they began to dance and chant to keep up their spirits. Philip panicked and shot dead a young hewer named Sunday Anyasado who had recently married and moved to the area. He then killed a machine man, Livinus Okechukwuma. Hearing the noise, tubman Okafor Ageni ventured out of the mine asking “Anything wrong?” and was killed on the spot. The firing continued for several minutes, some miners were shot in the back. Dead and wounded alike were left where they lay; blacksmith Emmanuel Okafor told Philip: “I surrender, take me to hospital”. Philip answered: “I don’t care” and walked away.
Those eighty-seven rounds sounded the doom of the British Empire; Labour’s strategies of using intermediaries to buffer class anger, and separating industrial disputes from their political context had blown up in its face. The ethnic, regional and even class divisions in Nigerian society were temporarily set aside, replaced by a collective momentum to do away with British rule.
“The radicals and the moderates, the revolutionaries and the stooges, the bourgeoisie and the workers, sank their differences, remembered the word Nigeria and rose in revolt against evil and inhumanity.”
– Nduka Eze
We are indebted to Dr Carolyn Brown, for information and sources. Mal C x
Syndicalist Workers’ Federation: How Labour Governed 1945-51
OWEI LAKEMFA: “One hundred years of trade unionism in Nigeria”
The link is to the first of five parts, dealing with the background to the 1945 General Strike, for the next part you have to click ‘previous article’ on the web page, and so on.
Bristol Radical History Group: Hidden histories of the British state revealed 2013
Carolyn Brown Phd: ‘We Were All Slaves: African Miners, Culture, and Resistance at the Enugu Government Colliery, Nigeria.’ Heinemann / James Currey.
‘Africa and World War II’ edited by Carolyn Brown, Judith Byfield, Tim Parsons, Ahmad Sikainga Cambridge University Press.
‘POWER AND NATIONALISM IN MODERN AFRICA: Essays in Honor of Don Ohadike.’ Edited by Toyin Falola and Salah M. Hassan, Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2008.
Frederick Cooper: ‘Decolonization and African Society: the labour question in French and British Africa.’ (Cambridge 1996)
David Smock: Conflict and Control in an African Trade Union: A Study of the Nigerian Coal Miners’ Union.’ Stanford U: Hoover Institute Press, 1969
Agwu Akpala: ‘Background to the Enugu Colliery Shooting Incident in 1949’ – Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 3,2 (1965) 335-64
Paul Kelemen: ‘Planning for Africa: The British Labour Party’s Colonial Development Policy, 1920-1964’, Journal of Agrarian Change, Vol 7, No. 1 (January 2007), pp. 76-98.
Jack Woodis: ‘The Mask is Off! An Examination of the Activities of Trade Union Advisers in the British Colonies.’ London: Thames Publications, 1954
The shirt on your back belongs to the working class, we put it there.
The AAN website has been updated and new content is being added all the time, however the SSL certificate has expired which means a new one must be purchased and installed, this is being sorted by the collective. In the meantime you will see a ‘security warning’ that depending on the browser you are using will look something like the examples below. You will then have to jump through a few hoops to access the site, ignoring all their dire warnings, and we hope you will; it’s perfectly safe and fortune favours the bold!
In that case you have to click on ‘advanced’ to proceed to the site.
Residents of West Dorset and supporters will march through Dorchester on Saturday 13th June, determined to retain paediatric and maternity services at Dorset County Hospital.
Meet at 11:00 at Top O Town Car Park Bridport Road, DT1 1XT Dorchester, Dorset.
A group of around 30 mothers came together today for a flash demo at Vespasian House, Dorchester, outside a meeting of the Clinical Commissioning Group. The protest, which was self-organised through social media, is over a plot to close the Kingfisher children’s ward and Special Care Baby Unit at Dorset County Hospital and move the service to Poole or Bournemouth They were supported by a member of the local Unite community branch and the driver of a bus stopped to show his support.
The protesters were met by someone calling himself an ‘engagement director’, who suggested a small delegation might be admitted to the meeting – and get fobbed off by a gang of suits – but the women were having none of it. The Unite rep told him: “Looks like you’ve got a Spartacus situation on your hands”
We hope the campaigners will stick to their guns and not allow themselves to be split up, intimidated, or worse, co-opted by political interests. The most effective movements come from the ground up. More on this as it develops.
The hospital’s website says: “We have a philosophy of family–centred care in which we see each child as an individual as well as being part of a family.” And: “We encourage parents to stay with their child and there are no restrictions on visiting times.”
Residents in West Dorset are suffering from cuts to their bus services that make it hard enough to get to Dorchester let alone Poole or Bournemouth, there is no longer an evening service and some villages have only two buses a day.
A recent attempt to flog off the pathology service at the hospital was foiled after a public outcry.
Please support this major strike in a Somerset manufacturing plant in any way you can. This is a David and Goliath struggle against a vicious multi-national company going all out to weaken or smash trade union organisation. Please share far and wide.
Don’t vote, picket!
Press release from Unite the Union: Friday 13th March 2015
Angry strikers set to escalate dispute:
250 Bridgwater fruit-juice makers resolve to see out their David and Goliath struggle against foreign-owned company to bitter end
Fifty Unite the Union demonstrators, a familiar sight at the Express Park roundabout at the north end of the Bristol Rd in Bridgwater for months now, were still in determined mood yesterday. This was their seventh 36-hour strike protest against plans by Refresco-Gerber to radically worsen pay and conditions at the factory, which produces household-name fruit juices. At least three more stoppages have been planned for the next two weeks. Unite the Union officer Roy Winter said:
“Our members contribute their working lives to this factory, which makes a handsome profit for Refresco-Gerber. Unfortunately, under new owners whose HQ is now in Rotterdam, those profits are not enough: the plan is to double or treble them at the expense of Unite members sick pay, shift allowances, pay protection. We are talking here of corporate greed, nothing more or less. Refresco-Gerber is making a bad mistake. There has been a recognised union organisation here for nearly fifty years: Unite the Union will not walk away from this dispute until the company agree an acceptable settlement.”
Two mass meetings will be held on the 16th & 17th March to inform Unite members involved in the dispute of the latest negotiations.
Future 36-hour strikes are set for:
- Wednesday /Thursday the 18th/19th March, 0645am to 1900pm;
- Tuesday/Wednesday 24th/25th March, 0645am to 1900pm;
- Wednesday/Thursday 1st /2nd April, 0645am to 1900pm.
Trades unionists are welcome at picket lines, key times are 7am/7pm. For further information please contact Roy Winter on 07720 705078 firstname.lastname@example.org
What follows was posted as a reply to the blog post here: twice; we then asked the blogger whether our comment had been censored, as we could see other, more sycophantic comments had since been approved by the admin; that reply didn’t appear either. It doesn’t auger well for a future under labour if even their supporting bloggers seek to stifle mild dissent.
From the anti-capitalist point of view of course they’re all the same, – should the turkey vote for Christmas? The Chartist and suffragette campaigns were not primarily about the right to vote, that was just a means to an end. They were an attempt to bring the selfish and greedy ruling class to heel, and they weren’t afraid to fight. But it was too late, they let us have the vote once they had completed the theft of our means of production, and condemned every single one of us to wage labour, which however you dress it up, is an abusive relationship; an abomination. The labour party gave the working class someone to vote for that could speak politely for it in the corridors of power then take its seat again without ever altering the balance of that power.
The worst thing about voting is that it’s an excuse for not doing anything, it reinforces the idea that someone, somewhere, is in control and it’s up to them to solve the problems they created, it isn’t, it’s up to us. People waste their time and energy campaigning in an election and then sit back on their arses as if they’ve done something worthwhile. What a fucking cop out. The working class has power, governments claim to have it; government is a conspiracy between rulers and ruled. Your reward for allowing yourself to be governed is absolution from responsibility for the misery created by the society you inhabit. Recent history has shown that whilst elected governments must bend to corporate interests a handful of determined militants can thwart their best laid plans. An example of the futility of parliamentary democracy can be found here: yet generations of leftists have defeated themselves in this arena. Read how the labour member respects our enemies for their ability to frustrate us.
What if labour do get elected? A thinly-veiled corporatism is sold to us on the basis that it will be slightly kinder; and to the bourgeoisie on the premise that it will be more stable than their cut-throat piracy (in other words we will be persuaded to collaborate in our own exploitation). When we start kicking off, wildcatting, blockading fracking sites, stopping evictions and deportations, closing down exploiters, actually hurting our capitalist enemies, they’ll tell us to stop rocking the boat or we’ll let the tories in again, just like they did in the 70’s. Anyway, here’s our original reply:
“All three parties are fighting this election under false pretences, the idea that countries must balance their books like petty bourgeois households and that abstract debts created in computer programmes exert some moral obligation over real people – much less the working class, who even built their wretched computers for them. The idea that there is a shortage of work and money when in fact there is too much of both. There is plenty to do; to be sure, saving the bloody planet for a start, but the only activity that will earn you a qualified right to exist in their world is one that adds value to someone else’s capital thereby enhancing the fetishised status of the socially useless. A true socialist would have the courage to say so.
Of course the tories are despicable and wish to enslave the working class, but need I remind you the last labour government introduced workfare and lied to the United Nations to start a war in which a million people died, despite an unprecedented and inarguable level of active public opposition. Short of taking up arms against the state the British people were powerless to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe engineered by Tony Blair on behalf of his sponsors in the oil industry – Halliburton – who were at the time running the United States. They’ve got form for this; the Wilson government took a solemn decision in cabinet to lie to the U.N. over Diego Garcia which it had sold to the U.S. for a military base, had the population forcibly removed and left to stave to death on a rock.
Now Miliband will pander to the moral panic painstakingly created by the corporate media over immigration; curiously the public service broadcaster has led the way in this. The BBC incessantly prompts callers for reactionary comments, reassuring wavering racists that it’s understandable to be scared of foreigners. Any fool knows that economic migration is not controlled by governments but by the bourgeoisie, who use it to lower the wages and conditions at the bottom, whilst ‘quality immigration’ – importing I.T. specialists from India or doctors from the Philippines is just a shameful pillage of the education systems of the poorest countries by the richest – primitive accumulation. National borders are of no use to us, being only necessary to maintain differentials in prices and wages to the benefit of the employing class. A true socialist would have the courage to say so.
A ‘Labour’ party would stand for the working class regardless of nationality and expose the concept of national interest for the scam it has always been. It would stop lying about the realities of economics, stop apologising for the excesses of global capitalism, stop trying to fix the economy, stop polishing the turd. If we want an end to capitalism we have to stop trying to make it work. The economy is the mechanism that maintains the dominance of the few over the many and we must push it until it breaks.
We don’t want a different government we need expropriation of private property and to take control of the infrastructure to institute sustainable demand-led production. No political party is going to do that for us, the emancipation of the exploited is the task of the exploited themselves, not some lily-livered apologist for the exploiters.”
Mal C x
The resistance to eviction at Yorkley Court Community farm goes on. Here’s a map for those coming to help, supplied by Forest of Dean Anarchists.
Here’s a map with footpath routes in… don’t try and park on the Yorkley-Lydney road beyond the village as there won’t be anywhere, nor on Yorkley Wood Road.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact
The weekly Poor Doors protests outside No.1 Commercial Street in Aldgate have been ongoing over the past eight months. But last Thursday, organisers Class War were told to remove their banner featuring the four major party leaders with ‘ALL FUCKING WANKERS’ slogan underneath or face arrest.
Although eager to carry out arrests over the banner, Met backed down in apparent confusion over the legalities. The clash between the Met’s reliance on public order legislation against protests and the protesters’ on European rights rulings means the outcome will have far reaching implications for protest. The Met allege the banner was offensive but despite canvassing passers by could not find anyone other than themselves who were offended – a requirement under the legislation.
Class War’s Ian Bone said: “The Met morality appears stuck in a 1960s Lady Chattersley’s Lover era – where offence is taken on behalf of one’s servants. Do they have a remit on English language usage?
“Only four years ago a photographer was acquitted after cops raided his house of a Class War ‘Cameron wanker’ poster in the window. More recently a judge ruled that swearing at a policeman was not a crime because they heard it so often.
“We like swearing and swear that we will continue to swear in public….at policemen. Defend swearing. Tell the cops to fuck off!”
Class War argue that Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act give them the right to display the banner in a public place. Case law pertaining to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 also suggests that use of swear words alone is insufficient reason to arrest. See Harvey v Director of Public Prosecutions  All ER (D) 143 (Nov).
DEFEND FREE SPEECH – OUR RIGHTS TO SWEAR ARE BEING ATTACKED
NO.1 COMMERCIAL STREET THURSDAY MARCH 5TH 6pm
We were just about to share Bristol Solidarity Network’s call out for another comm’s blockade against Jabbar Mohammed of Central Estate Agency and the slum landlord Ernie Biela, this time over a ‘missing’ £800 deposit. After a bit of buck-passing between landlord and agency the deposit has been ‘found’. Solnet have received an email from CEA with a deposit protection certificate attached. We still have a fight on for the necessary repairs, so watch this space for updates.
Recently we asked for solidarity for a long-serving housing association employee whose place of work had been moved miles away from his home and his pay slashed making the job unsustainable for him. Another win. Mike is being made redundant, as he requested, and thanks all those who participated.
We received the following inspirational message from him:
“I could never accept what is fundamentally unjust. I would advise anyone in a similar position to stoke up the fire in the belly and keep fighting. Do not be divided, Don’t accept what is unjust or it will become the norm. Thanks again for the support. M”
You see, it works! We recommend you join a solidarity network or get together with your friends, colleagues and neighbours and start your own, link up with the rest of us. We can help you fight, all we ask is you do the same for others. There is strength in numbers. Wage theft, bad housing, police harassment, bullying at work, evictions, workfare, deportations, racism, sexism, homophobia, all can be resisted.
Please take a moment to support ZSP union members at Amazon.
10.5 hour shifts, one 30 minute unpaid break for lunch. Barely enough time to get to the canteen, eat something quick and get back to work. Not to mention that the food isn’t fresh. Half the time we work in the night, from 18:30-5 AM. Many of us travel more than one hour to work. Our bodies cannot adjust to the changing shifts. We miss spending the evenings with our families. We treat this job as something we are stuck with until something better comes along. Almost any job is better.
Work in the fulfillment center is stressful, we are always monitored. There is a lot of physical work. We are exhausted in the first few hours. We cannot take a break to rest our feet. When we get home, we can only collapse.
For all our hard work in the evenings and even on Sunday, we get no extra pay. Workers in Sady get paid more than workers in Bielany Wroclawskie for the same job.
In some countries, workers get more money for the evening shift and two paid 15-minute breaks. Not in Poland.
A lot of colleagues say the same: they thought they would have opportunities to work more, overtime, extra pay for night shifts. They feel misled by the agencies that recruited them. Nobody told anybody what the work would really look like. Some people might not have taken the job. A lot of us have no other choice.
There is a total mess with the payments. One colleague is not in the system and can’t get paid. Others claim they received too little payment. There are delays. People do not understand why their salaries are so low.
Some of our colleagues already quit and a lot where just hired til the end of the year. Some of us will stay on here, hoping that things will get better. But nothing will change if we let the bosses treat us like slaves. In Germany workers make 4 times more money for the same job and they still fight for better working conditions. We are being used to increase the profits of a company that earns enough to pay their workers decent wages.
ZSP union has taken action concerning payments through Manpower and Adecco. We will fight so that agency workers and better informed and paid correctly and on time!
In the long term, we want to see better working conditions in Amazon Poland and this means concretely a higher rate for evening and Sunday work, no pay discrimination and paid breaks.
BIG UPDATE 28/12/14: From Bristol Solidarity Network:
CEA have had enough, and have notified the landlord and the tenants that they have quit managing the property. We have called off a second picket and communications blockade of their offices, pending further confirmation. They have put the tenant in direct contact with the absentee landlord, watch this space for more information on how the landlord plans to handle things!
Rotting House, Rotten Landlord
On Monday 22nd December, 20 members and friends of Bristol Solidarity Network demonstrated at the offices of Central Estate Agents in Bristol. There was a great deal of interest and support for the picket from passers by, many of whom said they would tell others about the situation. This marks the beginning of a campaign to expose CEA’s shocking neglect and threats against tenants of a house in Easton, which will continue with a second demonstration on Friday the 2nd Of January.
CEA “manages” this property for an absentee landlord last seen by the tenants in 2007. The house is in an appalling state of disrepair, with a seriously leaky roof, huge cracks in walls and ceilings, broken doors, rotting window frames and intolerable mould, cold and damp. Four family members, including three children, have developed asthma as a result of these conditions they have been forced to live in by CEA and the landlord’s neglect. They are understandably angry.
CEA and the landlord they work for have consistently dodged their responsibilities and ignored the tenants’ repeated requests to carry out the necessary repairs. Even ignoring a legally binding improvement notice issued by Bristol City Council. The very few repairs that have been done have been cosmetic, minimal and ineffective. Unbelievably, the council claim they are satisfied the repairs have been done, without even examining the roof! We offered them a ladder so they could see the extent of the disrepair but they declined. Their “investigation” was clearly just about how they could shirk any responsibility or involvement. As is often the case, the tenants are very unlikely to get help from the council. Luckily, our boxes are not so easily ticked and we are not so easily brushed aside.
On Monday 8th December Bristol Solidarity Network members accompanied one of the tenants to the offices of CEA to deliver a letter demanding the necessary repairs be done. Two days later Jabar Mohammed of CEA responded, not by agreeing to do the right thing and start the repairs, but by threatening the family with eviction. We will not allow this absentee landlord and his agents to bully a family out of their home just for wanting to live in decent conditions. This family are prepared to stand up against this shameful bad practice, and Bristol Solidarity Network will fight alongside them until we win. We know this family is not alone and this is part of a larger struggle for decent homes for people – rather than ever higher profits for landlords.
CEA have a clear list of the much needed repairs. We will not stop and the pressure will increase until these repairs are done. It seems they won’t listen to tenants or appeals to do the right thing. Let’s see if they’ll take notice of a high profile campaign to affect their profits. Money talks after all.
One of our next steps will be a demonstration at the offices of CEA on Friday January 2nd at 2pm: Central Estate Agents, 52-54 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BH. (Facebook).
At the same time, throughout the day on Friday January 2nd, we are calling for a communications blockade to give everyone a chance to let CEA know what they think.
If you can’t join the demonstration, please contact them to let them know what you think. Here are the company’s contact details:
Tel: 0117 98 92 150
Fax: 0117 94 21 882
First of all I need to update everyone that we managed to hold on to our UNISON office and to our facility time. Tonight 63 Barnet Councillors are going to vote on the proposal to outsource 81% of the existing Council workforce. Our story has been covered in the Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty: “Outsourced and unaccountable: this is the future of local government”
By the comments being left it is taking place across all of public services. BUT there are more and more shocking headlines emerging I have produced some of them below:
The makes it very clear that public services funding will be reduced to 1930’s levels. I have checked, there weren’t many public services in 1930’s, which does mean the end of local government. But it isn’t stopping a local government with 70% of NHS contracts already handed to the private sector.
Two weeks ago we submitted a joint Trades Dispute with the GMB in response to the mass outsourcing proposals. Today our branch submitted to our region a request for a formal industrial action ballot as this is the only response to the draconian proposals we are now facing. It is untenable not to mount a fight that is directed at our member’s Terms & Conditions, Pay and Pensions.
Some branches may be able fight battle alone but it is obvious this is a national matter which needs a national response and quickly.
Solidarity to all and good luck in your fights in 2015.
Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON
DS members have been supporting the UNITE Defence Support Group picket lines at Bovington.
Wetherspoons are getting all upset about the negative reviews of their Cardiff establishment the Prince of Wales, resulting from their decision to host members of the Neo Nazi Welsh Alliance recently. Antifascist locals have been barred for life.
It seems they are leaning on Fashbook to remove honest reviews from their FB page as well, keep ’em coming! By their own admission, Wetherspoons made record profits of around £80m last year.
Industrial Workers of the World Dorset group is in the process of chartering as a branch in its own right, having operated for several years under the auspices of Bristol General Members’ Branch. The paperwork’s all done we’re just waiting for the formalities and should be fully operational in the new year.
The IWW is a certified union and can represent you at work, but unlike the TUC unions we’re not shy of direct action and don’t have to pretend we’re all on the same side, we’re not bothered about getting Labour elected and none of us has any ambition to sit in the house of lords! Follow the logo to the side of the page.
– Cindy Callist.
As the gentrification and Class/ethnic cleansing of London proceeds apace the people have drawn the line at No 1 Commercial Street. There are weekly pickets at the socially-segregated building in Whitechapel, traditionally a working class stronghold and the spiritual home of London’s Anarchist movement, just a few doors from Freedom Books.
The front door, which resembles a swanky hotel lobby, only serves part of the building. Planning regulations require the developers to grudgingly include ‘affordable housing’ on their sites, knowing full well that few of those who actually make this city work could ever afford to buy a flat in London. Tenants of the 70 ‘social plots’ at no 1 are required to enter through the Poor Door, located down a dingy piss-stained alley; they have separate lifts, which are out of order for days on end.
“ONE ICONIC BUILDING One Commercial Street towers twenty-one storeys above Aldgate East like a blade of light, its glass fin protruding dramatically to add a sculptural quality to Redrow London’s first flagship development.” The developers’ website slobbers.
A three bedroom flat here will set you back over four million quid. The sign in the lobby says: “The concierge is available 24 hours per day. Should you wish to contact the concierge by phone or we are away from the desk, please phone: Mob: 07872108385 Landline: 020 7247 0464″
Please be polite.
“This is the Alamo for the working class of East London, if people put up with ‘one door for the rich, another door for the poor,’ they’ll put up with fucking anything. If there’s ever been an issue that people should stand up and be counted on, it’s this disgrace.” – Ian Bone.
Redrow goes on:
“this development bridges the gap between the square mile and London’s exciting East end”
– Every Wednesday for the past fourteen weeks, Class War and allies have been making the East End a bit more exciting for the toffs and swankers who get to use this door:
Deep blue apartments offer short stays in the flats to corporate sharks working in the City of London, starting at £170 a night for a studio flat about the size of a prison cell. Their website boasts:
“the ideal location in an up and coming trendy area, … right in the heart of the fashionable East End of London … Around the corner, you’ll find the creative hubs of Hoxton, Whitechapel and Shoreditch”
– masturbate furiously!
” The ideal base to return to after a hard day’s work,”
– stripping assets, cutting wages and foreclosing on poor people’s houses, presumably.
Saturday’s action, coming after the TUC’s festival of irrelevance ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ – emphasising the point that the business unions only represent those who get paid in the first place – was joined by anarchists, socialists and wobblies from across the country. North East Anarchists brought the Durham Miners’ banner, Cosmo entertained the troops, drummers drummed – sorry didn’t get their name – the Women’s Death Brigade did the okey-cokey, and blocked the road as well as the entrance, not a single toff did pass for over an hour.
Steve Morgan, Chairman 01244 527411
Barbara Richmond, Group Finance Director 01244 527411
John Tutte, Group Chief Executive 01244 527411
If you can get to One Commercial Street on a Wednesday evening please come along and support this campaign: farcebook event
If you can’t here’s a list and map of Redrow’s developments in England and Wales, and if you’re aware of any development in your area using Poor Doors, tell us about it. Let’s spread this battle until we win it!
While we’re at it, why not come to Bridport and give ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin a bollocking on the 8th November.
Localise the resistance!
Thank you – your support helped contribute to this important win.
Back in May we launched a campaign on LabourStart in support of striking German workers at Autogrill. 5,930 of you signed up to support it.
That campaign, called by the NGG union and its global union federation (the IUF), has now resulted in a victory.
The IUF has issued this statement:
The German Food Workers Union (NGG) have announced a successful conclusion to their fight for a first-ever collective agreement at Autogrill Germany, where workers in Bavaria and Thuringia have been holding strikes since April. On September 9, Autogrill Germany announced it would be joining the national employer organization for the sector, which would bring Autogrill employees under the national collective agreement for the sector. The NGG has warmly thanked the many thousands who supported the campaign.
It’s always great to report a victory — but I’d like to ask you to do more:
Make sure you’re supporting ALL eight of our current online campaigns. Workers on the picket line, workers who have been the victims of employer-initiated violence, workers who have been locked out — they all need your support:
- Peru/Colombia: Prosegur must denounce threats and attacks on trade unionists
- Thailand: Drop the charges against Andy Hall
- Poland: LOT sacks union leader
- IKEA: Stop social dumping
- Palestine/Israel: Say No to union-busting of Palestinian workers organizing in Mishor Adumim settlement
- Iran: Free jailed trade union leader Reza Shahabi now
- Poland: Stop union busting at Chopin Airport
- Poland: Solidarity with workers at LIDL
And most important of all: spread the word in your unions about these campaigns. Share this message by email and on social networks. Click on any of these links:
On Thursday 10th of July members of Bristol IWW and friends visited the Samsung phone shop on Park Street in Bristol to speak to an unscrupulous boss who has recently dismissed an employee with no good reason.
Matthew had worked for the same boss for over 5 years in his two laptop and phone repair shops. After a holiday of 6 weeks, he returned to find his hours reduced. A few weeks later he was told that he was ‘surplus to business requirements’ and that they did not have enough hours for him. This dismissal came completely out of the blue with no disciplinary procedure at all. Insultingly in his last week of work (having only been given one week’s notice) Matthew’s job was advertised in the window of the shop.
Matthew is owed over £1000 in unpaid holiday pay and wages. His former employer has offered no redundancy pay to help Matthew while he looks for another job.
Matthew decided to take the issue to his union, the Industrial Workers of the World, who wrote to the company and asked for a meeting to ensure Matthew received his wages and the holiday pay. After a terse, incoherent and rude written response from the boss, (in which the company expressed that they felt there was ‘no need’ for any further discussion), the union decided to visit in person to deliver their demands and ensure that this boss knows what to expect when he treats his workforce unfairly with little respect.
8 members of the union accompanied Matthew in the shop while around 20 others handed out flyers to potential customers in the street. The boss reacted by insisting they had to leave and he didn’t have any time, but the group stood their ground, delivered a letter with their demands and the boss had to listen to Matthew.
The recently hired manager of the shop was phoned and an organiser with the union spoke with him on speaker phone. Both bosses refused to negotiate with the union and while the phone conversation was taking place, the shop was visited by two police officers.
After assessing the situation the police explained to the boss that the union had every right to be holding their protest.
Samsung Bristol are now taking Matthew’s dispute seriously and are currently seeking legal advice. The union expects that the company will be advised to pay Matthew the money that he is owed or face a much larger cost should this escalate to employment tribunal. Not only have they unfairly dismissed Matthew and withheld his money, the company has broken the law in several other ways including not paying wages on a regular basis, not providing employees with a written contract, having no coherent sick pay policy and having no disciplinary or grievance procedure for longstanding employees.
Matthew and the IWW are still waiting for correspondence from the company. We urge all readers and friends not to buy services from Samsung Bristol or RepairPhones4u on Park Street and to take your custom to a company that respects its employees. For more information on the company please visit http://samsungbristol.co.uk/
Having problems at work? Fed up of the way you’re treated by your boss? Want to organise with your colleagues for a better deal? Please visit bristoliww.org.uk to contact your local branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, the fighting union.
NXP Semiconductors, the billion-dollar electronics manufacturer, is further intimidating workers and using delaying tactics to break trade union demands to reinstate 24 illegally fired workers in the Philippines.
The Dutch multinational, which is reportedly supplying technology for Apple’s new iPhone 6, sacked 24 trade union leaders from the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP) on 5 May for not working on a series of public holidays.
Now the company is said to have conveyed through the ministry of labour that it wants to try and pay off the illegally sacked workers, effectively removing the trade union leadership from the plant. MWAP has rejected this offer.
Despite assurances, NXP has failed to bring a new negotiating team to the table for talks with IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, MWAP, this week, delaying a critical conciliation meeting. In the meantime, the 24 fired trade unionists face yet another week without work and without pay
NXP has also increased the number of security guards at its plant in Cabuyao, outside the Philippine capital Manila, adding to the intimidation already felt by workers there.
Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL’s general secretary, said:
“NXP must end the delaying tactics, stop the intimidation and bring back the workers now. NXP’s cynical strategy to draw out proceedings and break the resolve of 24 loyal workers and trade union leaders, some of whom have been with the company for 20 years, is an overtly aggressive case of union busting, contravening all international standards on labour legislation.”
Furthermore, Raina added:
“NXP’s insulting attempt to pay off the illegally fired workers would set a dangerous precedent of trading corporate cash for worker rights. You cannot put a price on fundamental worker rights.”
MWAP has succeeded against all odds in achieving union representation at NXP’s Cabuyao facility in the country, which is located in a special economic zone notorious for hostility towards unions.
When MWAP workers attempted to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with NXP, the company responded by firing all 24 members of the union’s leadership under the pretext that their failure to work on a number of public holidays mounted to an illegal strike.
There is a growing global campaign in support of the sacked Filipino workers. As well as protests around the world, 15 IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines have signed a powerful statement of solidarity in support of MWAP.
NXP has operations in over 25 countries. Formerly a Philips division, in 2013 NXP reported revenue of US$ 4.82 billion. As well as being key supplier to Apple, its customers include major employers of IndustriALL members including Bosch, Continental and Samsung among others.
IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors.
For more information, please contact:
+41 22 308 50 23
.The action was organised by members of the Industrial Workers of the World and Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coalition, there was a good turnout and the accompanying communications blockade seemed to be going well. The e-mail and phone blockade was specifically targeted to affect the exploiters alone and not impair services to the clients, thanks to comrades and fellow workers around the world who supported us, we will do the same for you.
More actions will follow. An injury to one is an injury to all!
If you have been affected by cuts to care in any way, whether you have lost your day care, lost you benefits, mobility car, a carer who has had their wage slashed, a care provider who is having to slash their staff’s wages or simply someone who cares please join us in the “CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. Let those that are making the decisions see the human cost, bring a placard, bring your personal story written down to be collected for presenting to the councilors at a future date. Enough is enough with 60% of cuts still to be rolled out we must make ourselves heard.
If you’re a teacher and you’re striking tomorrow, good luck and solidarity!
If you’re a teacher, not in a union or in a different one and you’re thinking of crossing a picket line:
- A. Don’t
- B. No one wants a scab, your pupils will lose all respect for you.
If you’re in the N.U.T. and you’re thinking of crossing a picket line:
- A. Don’t.
- B. What are you fucking thinking of? Don’t you know there’s a war on!
- C. What sort of example are you setting the youth? Selfish, cowardly, treacherous…
If your children have a scab teacher, keep them home:
- A. This is about more than just the future of their education but about resisting the ravages of this despicable neoliberal regime.
- B. This is the most important lesson they will ever learn, don’t scab.
- C. Forcing them to cross a picket line before they are old enough to understand the enormity of betraying their class is child abuse.
If you’re at school and you’re old enough to think for yourself (hint), join the picket line, show some support, one day others will do the same for you.
A couple of days letter they brought their demand for union recognition to the board during a meeting, and a few days ago they met with the General Manager.
By unionizing, the workers want to ensure that the patrons of the store are promoting a business that respects its worker-owners and operates in a fair, democratic, and truly cooperative manner.
7 of 10 Citizens Co-op Workers petitioned to have a union. In response Citizens Co-op fired 5 of them and 2 of them are now on strike because of Unfair Labour Practices.
However, it seems Citizens Co-op might be hiring scabs. They have advertised the position of a current Worker Rep on the Board and Workers Union member: http://gainesville.craigslist.org/fbh/4385258888.html
We are asking that every IWW member and supporter immediately apply for these positions regardless of your location or qualifications.
Thank you for you help and Solidarity!
To keep in touch with Citizens Co-op you can follow them online:
Here look we’ve done it for you – Sample e mail:
Subject: Grocery Purchaser (Gainesville, FL)
To whom it may concern:
I wish to apply for your crappy fucking job, I’ve been purchasing groceries for years.
I am a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.
You can support the strikers financially here:
The Verne ex-prison on Portland is due to open its doors to detainees on Monday 24/03/14.
The opening of the Verne as a Detention Centre has been postponed, but the MOJ has declared it will house detainees there from Monday whilst it is still a prison, according to the Echo.
Dorset Socialists have collaborated with Detention Action and others to help set up Dorset Against Deportation.
1/. There will be an Anti-Deportation vigil to mark the opening on the roundabout at Victoria Square on Portland from 17:00 to 18:00 on 24/03/14, followed by
2/. the inaugural meeting of DAD in Osprey Quay nearby from 18:30 to 20:00. This will be addressed by Bill Mackeith from the Campsfield campaign and Oxford TUC. Banners and placards welcome.
Train carries straight on from Dorchester to Weymouth. It is a no1 bus to Portland from Debenhams.
Imagine you just found out a member of your project is actually a police informant. What project resources do they have access to? How will your group go about locking them out and protecting yourself? Is there any one person who could bring your project to a halt because they are the only one with certain passwords, access to mailing lists, or databases? Is there anyone who has access to a lot of data who doesn’t need it? (Which isn’t to say they are suspicious, but that a good security practice is limiting access only to people who need the information.)
Are there any changes you could make right now that would make an informant less of a problem?
For sure, this kind of thing seldom happens, but the more prepared we are, the stronger our group will be, and the more trust there can be between the members of the group.
A healthy anarchist and antifascist presence joined yesterday’s RMT/ITF demo at Portsmouth ferry terminal, in support of French comrades at St Malo who are conducting a sit-in on a vessel to protest against the super-exploitation of Ukrainian seafarers being paid £2.35 per hour by Condor Ferries operating from EU ports.
It is vital that we build and maintain class solidarity across all borders in opposition to global capital, and that the debate on economic migration and employment is framed in terms of class struggle and not the short-sighted protectionism so easily co-opted by the far right.
We emphasise that economic migration is directed by the ruling class, both with the use of super-exploited groups to drive down wages and conditions, and the so-called ‘quality immigration’ of engineers, scientists and healthcare professionals, which just pillages the resources and education systems of poorer regions. Meanwhile the refugees from the bosses’ wars are treated like criminals and there are more slaves alive today than at any time in human history.
The IWW flag you see here represents a proud tradition of more than 100 years of self-organisation across all trades, grades, races and nationalities.
The working class has no country!
Please support RMT / ITF demo 16.00 on Tuesday 18th February at Portsmouth Commercial Freight Gate, Prospect Road, Portsmouth, PO1. Facebook event
French Comrades are currently sitting in on a Condor vessel in St Malo, they have asked the UK unions to support them against ‘social dumping’ by Condor who, are paying Ukranian seafarers £29 a day for a 12hr day. This rogue ferry operator, using Portsmouth as its crew change over base, is avoiding UK legislation through dubious interpretation of immigration laws to exploit foreign workers and pay poverty wages. Bring your banners and whistles! We support our comrades in dispute with Condor and we are not going to accept exploitation of workers in a ‘Race to the Bottom’. SOLIDARITY will change the agenda.
RMT NEWS RELEASE February 17th 2014 Immediate
RMT campaign over social dumping scandal in UK shipping industry returns to Portsmouth this week
A long running campaign against social dumping in the UK shipping industry will return to the south coast this week with a major protest targeting ferry-operator Condor in Portsmouth tomorrow.
The protest, supported by both RMT and the International Transport Federation, will take place at 16.00 on Tuesday 18th February at Portsmouth Commercial Freight Gate, Prospect Road, Portsmouth, PO1.
The RMT campaign to expose the scandal on Condor Ferries is specifically over the ‘social dumping’ of cheap, non-EU labour which makes a complete mockery of both UK and EU employment rights. Condor Ferries are able to duck around rules and regulations that are supposed to stop exploitation and as a result pay their seagoing staff £2.35 per hour well below the UK minimum wage. Condor operates a ferry service between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“The super-exploitation of foreign nationals in the British shipping industry is a massive scandal that the political elite want to keep quiet. That’s no surprise as it’s their wealthy mates running the shipping companies who benefit from this scam that dodges normal employment regulations while the European Union refuses to lift a finger.
“Social dumping is a mechanism seized on by some of the most rotten employers in the book to dry and batter down wages and conditions. RMT members and their supporters have the full support of the union for this weeks’ protest in Portsmouth as the union, alongside our colleagues in the ITF, steps up the fight against Condor Ferries and the ships of shame.”
RMT National Secretary Steve Todd said:
“The fight to stop the scandal of social dumping remains a national priority for RMT and we will continue to step up the campaign to turn the spotlight on the shameful practices that this ConDem government legitimises in the British shipping industry with the collusion of the EU.”
Further information: Geoff Martin 07831 465 103; 0207 255 9146
Continuing the campaign against Santander in support of the ISBAN Spanish CNT-AIT section, we picketed the Poole high street branch on Saturday, positive feedback from most people, including a few former employees and customers. Santander do not have a good reputation here! One nutter. Actions also took place in Bath and Bristol.
£3 Entry (less if you can’t afford it)
Vegetarian soup on sale from 6.30pm
An unknown piece of Bridport ‘history from below’ of 100 years ago.
Austin the photographer and the Bridport women wildcat strikers.
An illustrated talk by Carlos Guarita
EVENTS ORGANISED BY OTHERS.
Dorset Greenpeace will be in South Street, Dorchester on Saturday 2nd November from 9:30 to 12:00 to raise awareness about fracking. Greenpeace have launched a new country-wide campaign to create a legal block against fracking. It’s called “Not for Shale”. If you’re in town, you can go and say hello and find out more or even help on the stall to get the message across. Just 30 mins of your time could help nlighten 15 members of the public to the ks of fracking; it’s easy once you start, and regular campaigners will be alongside to support.
The ask will be to enter a postcode on the wrong move –the next page will tell you if fracking could happen in that area. If it’s a yes, then you have the opportunity to object. Frack Free Dorset facebook group and Frack Free Dorset
Unusual Things that Happen at Trees.
Illustrated talk about a hidden history of visions, rituals and healing at special trees. This popular tradition has survived across Europe, partly inside conventional religion and partly despite it, and is traced back over 3,000 years. Thursday 7th November 8 pm The Ropemakers Pub (at the back of the pub) West Street, Bridport.
Multinational banking group Santander was targeted for union busting across the breadth of their empire on Tuesday 1st October 2013 by the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association (IWA). A number of actions were held in Britain by the Solidarity Federation (SF-IWA). In Bristol, the local SF-IWA section was joined by members of Bristol Anarchist Federation, BARF & migrant Spanish workers to deliver a message of resistance to the company and solidarity with the sacked union organiser of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT-IWA) union. The CNT has been organising within Isban, a computer services company owned by the Santander Group into which thousands of workers have been transferred. Workers at Isban are controlled and dismissed through the use of employment agencies. Pay and conditions have deteriorated at the same time that the banking group’s profits have soared. Workers organising in Spain have been targeted by a company anxious to maintain control over its ‘resources’. Just as the company’s tentacles reach across the globe, so does our resistance and organisation. For more information see:
More pictures to follow from Bristol picket.
We rose early and breakfasted well as we anticipated the day ahead. The targets had been well defined, plans drawn up with military precision and we were off.
The first action involved a picket and communications blockade by a powerful alliance of unionists and activists from Bristol General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Dorset Socialists, Wessex Solidarity, Solent Solidarity Federation.
The picket was set up because a good and conscientious worker at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park in Swanage had been sacked in October 2012 for drawing attention to health and safety concerns, was victimised for membership of the IWW and threatened with local blacklisting.
The picket was in place promptly at 10.00 in the morning and was a good natured, lawful and peaceful affair that did raise some curiosity amongst the holiday makers at the park.
It was wonderful to see holiday makers and activists getting along so well and a large number of leaflets were handed out explaining why we were there. The activists went to extraordinary lengths to reassure the holidaymakers that we weren’t there to spoil their holiday and that if they agreed with our contentions to express their concern to the management at the park who are notoriously bad employers in the Dorset area.
Several holidaymakers expressed their solidarity with our action before they went off to enjoy their day and we can only hope that they had a wonderful time.
Reaction from the management at the park proved to be a different story. One young man who we believe to be a junior (in status not age) member of the family that own the park was rather rude and not a little threatening to one of our female activists who had travelled all the way from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. It gives me enormous pleasure to report that this solid comrade was well able to stand her ground and not be intimidated by this inappropriately butch moron.
The communications blockade which, we believe was being conducted from all over Europe, seems to have kicked in around this time and was proving extremely effective. We observed, with some pleasure, that a certain Mrs Karen Jackson, admin manager and daughter of the site owner appeared after about half an hour of setting up in a state of some agitation and with a massive amount of paper. Job done.
After about an hour and a half a large 4×4 police vehicle turned up crewed by a couple of Dorset’s finest. Within less than 5 minutes the jolly boys in blue had been reassured by an activist there was nothing to worry about, accepted one of our leaflets and drove off to, obviously, more urgent duties never to be seen again.
By about 12.30 our point had been made and we moved on to support another action in Portsmouth while the IWW in America continued the communications blockade.
A redoubtable group of concerned Portsmouth citizenry had gathered to tell the English Defence League (EDL) that they weren’t welcome there. Why Nazi’s would want to advance their cause in a British naval port that had been bombed to bits by Nazi’s during World War 2 is anyone’s guess. We can only wonder.
Sadly we were badly held up in traffic at Ringwood. We arrived in Portsmouth at around 3pm and we able to link up with some of the people who had turned out to oppose the laughable EDL action.
Eye witness reports from reliable sources witnessed that for the most part, the bone heads in the EDL, after throwing some fireworks at innocent passers-by and being not a little the worse for drink had comprehensively defeated their own shambolic effort by turning on each other and fighting amongst themselves.
Tired but happy we got home around 10pm after a lot of road miles, chanting, singing, having nice conversations with holiday makers and some top-notch solidarity with the citizens of Portsmouth.
The icing on the cake had to be something we saw on the newsstand at Bournemouth railway station when we stopped off for a well earned coffee and bar of choccy.
‘Police give in to mob rule’ screamed the headlines from a Daily Mail newspaper, one of many on the stand which judging by the number still there at 8.30pm hadn’t sold too well that day.
The headline was referring to a story from Balcombe that Cuadrilla, the drilling company involved in the fracking controversy in Sussex had suspended operations.
How much better could it get? Well 3 victories in one day won by committed activists from all across the spectrum of decent and well motivated working people has to be something to crow about – doesn’t it?
So there we have it. A grand testimony to what decent ordinary people can achieve when they stand in solidarity with each other regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexual preference or state borders.
If I was an establishment bourgeois toff I would be very, very worried by these developments and with good cause.
Anon – somewhere in Dorset – Sunday 18th August
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION BRISTOL AND DISTRICT BRANCH BRIDGWATER DELIVERY OFFICE
7th August 2013
Our next four days of strike action are this Saturday August 10th, Monday August 12th, Saturday August 17th, Monday August 19th: please continue your support!
110 members at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset, having already taken 5 days of strike action, are now embarking on another four days of strikes with the possibility of a whole week at the beginning of September.
The original issues are still with us and unresolved: un-agreed cuts to full-time jobs and overtime; failure to negotiate with the union; failure to pay money for previous savings; too many and too many bullying managers.
Royal Mail, unlike many previous legal official and unofficial strikes at Bridgwater, are digging in and refusing to consider reasonable compromises.
In the last few weeks, in between strikes, many local agreements have been ripped up and CWU members increasingly harassed. CWU Reps have been moved from work areas, isolated, and banned from the office on their days off. Postmen and women have been spied on, followed, harangued by three managers at a time for ‘breaking off’ or being too slow, until they break down or go sick.
To complete the hypocrisy, the senior manager remains in charge and un-suspended despite allegations of signing for and opening a Special Delivery letter addressed to a postman who is taking out a bullying and harassment charge against him!
There is a strong feeling in the Delivery Office that the employer is trying to provoke a wildcat walk out on a carefully-chosen issue that might split the office. We ARE trying to keep it legal.
What has restored morale and determination is the magnificent response to the Bridgwater Dispute Fund Appeal, both within the Communication Workers’ Union and the wider trade union movement.
Over twenty trades unionists from a dozen unions have addressed our Friarn St picket lines which run from 5am to 9am: ‘solidarity hour’ is between 8am and 9am. Our next four strikes are Saturday 10th August, Monday 12th August, Saturday 17th August, and Monday 19th August. See you there! Royal Mail, 25 Friarn St, TA6 3XX
A CWU Rep from the dispute or our Bristol Branch is always available to speak at trade union branch meetings, while financial solidarity-as well as picket-line speakers-is as vital as ever.
Please make any cheques payable to: ‘Bridgwater Trades Union Council’ and send to Dave Chapple, CWU, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU tel. 0777 6304 276 e-mail
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
One 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.
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!
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: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Find contacts for your nearest YMCA shop: http://www.ymca.org.uk/find/ymcashops
Tweet their President, Bishop John Sentamu, has spoken out against workfare in the past: @johnsentamu
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org“.
Don’t disappoint them, get in touch!
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!
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!
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.’
Today, 30-40 anti-fascists prevented an EDL meeting in Southend. Nazi scum forced to hide in pub.
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!
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 01702 466936
ADDRESS: 10-12 Marine Parade, SS12EJ, Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
PRESS RELEASE: Sussex ‘Pop-Up Union’ to fight outsourcing
Workers at the University of Sussex have formed a new union in a bid to halt the outsourcing of 235 campus jobs. The initiative comes from rank-and-file members of the three recognised campus trade unions, with the support of students from the now six-week old Occupy Sussex movement.
Announcing the move at a mass demonstration on Monday 25th March, a spokesperson said: “The Pop-Up Union is a result management’s refusal to engage meaningfully with staff, students, and the recognised trade unions for over 10 months. We are now taking things into our own hands.”
“A recent poll found that 70% of students oppose the plans. Numerous academics have voiced their opposition, and the local MP has sponsored an Early Day Motion in the Houses of Parliament. But university management are pushing ahead with this unpopular and unnecessary proposal.”
“We are urging all Sussex staff to join the Pop-Up Union so that we can stand together against the attack on workers terms and conditions that outsourcing represents.”
Notes for editors
1. Outsourcing background. University of Sussex management proposed in May 2012 to outsource 235 campus jobs, including porters, cleaners, security and catering. The Pop-Up Union believes outsourcing will lead to erosion of workers terms and conditions and is calling for the services to remain in-house.
2. Legal background #1. Trade Unions are defined in law under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Pop-Up Union has been formed in accordance this definition.
3. Legal background #2. The Pop-Up Union is in the process of becoming ‘listed’ with the Certification Officer, who maintains a list of all known Trade Unions.
4. Campaign info. Occupy Sussex have been in occupation of the Bramber House conference centre since 8 February 2013, and have received support from well over 300 academics, trade unions and public figures including comedian Frankie Boyle, actor Peter Capaldi, and public intellectual Noam Chomsky. Letter to Staff at the University of Sussex
5. Local MP. Local MP Caroline Lucas has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons opposing the plans, which at the time of writing had attracted 11 signatories:
6. Campus trade unions. Three trade unions are recognised by the University of Sussex – UCU, Unite, and Unison. The Pop-Up Union includes members of all three, and does not intend to replace the recognised unions, but to provide a means for workers across campus to lawfully oppose the outsourcing proposals.
7. Union fees. Dues are set at just 50p per month, making the Pop-Up affordable to every staff member on campus.
UPDATE: Homebase are feeling the heat, time to turn it up! Bristol Demo This saturday ( Facebook / Indymedia ) Bath on Sunday ( Facebook / Indymedia) and two demos called in London. More in the works… In the mean time keep up the pressure online!
Yesterday, sources including Tom Pride’s blog, revealed that Homebase had been recruiting unpaid workers via a ‘work experience program’. Even worse they were actually boasting about getting extra hours of work by exploiting job seekers and reducing their ‘payroll costs’. A poster was spotted in a management office asking ‘would 750 hours with no payroll costs benefit your store?‘. Few companies are this brutally honest about their motivations!
Our first response was to ‘politely contact’ homebase online, and we were far from the only ones. Angry comments on twitter & facebook were popping up faster than they could delete them. They managed to remove ours, only for a many of our facebook friends to repost it. All these responses seemed to worry the management at Homebase and they quickly put out a couple of rushed statements including:
‘[..] The company has not signed up to the workfare programme, but, on occasions, works with local organisations to help unemployed people into the workplace. A number of unemployed people have recently joined our Haringey store through JobCentre Plus in a short, voluntary programme, to gain work experience. They are entirely under no obligation to participate, nor will non participation affect any benefits. Colleagues at this store also have not been impacted by this programme in any reduction of hours.’ and ‘Some of our best colleagues have joined us having previously been unemployed […]‘
Even on a first read through these statements seem to be full of double speak and blatant lies. They start by saying they haven’t signed up to workfare but then describe a workfare scheme they have evidently signed up to! They move on to say it is voluntary even though it has been repeatedly revealed that the job centre forces people onto so-called ‘voluntary’ schemes, by threatening them with sanctions, telling them the only alternative is an even worse mandatory scheme, illegally giving inaccurate information and not explaining to them their right to refuse.
Next they say that the workfare scheme has not impacted staff or reduced over time hours, boycott workfare quickly exposed this as an outright lie with a staff member reporting massive reductions in overtime. They also revealed that Homebase isn’t offering any of their unpaid workers jobs, hardly surprising given the fact that only 4% of people on the work program end up with steady job. As for their claim that some people who got a job with them were unemployed before hand? Well surely this is true anywhere, its quite common to be unemployed before you get a job!
We’re calling on individuals and groups around the country to join us in taking action against Homebase. (facebook event)
Bristol AFed, SolFed and friends at one of our previous anti-workfare demonstrations
We propose that people keep up the contact and criticism via their twitter, facebook, you tube, customer email, media enquiries email, post box, and telephone. Then, if Homebase has not 100% officially backed out of all methods of exploiting unpaid workers at the expense of their paid staff, we call on people to hold protests at their local homebase store a week from now, on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of APRIL. If there isn’t a Homebase close by, why not hold a protest at an Argos instead, seeing as it also uses workfare in the same way and is owned by the same parent company!
If you are thinking of joining in with the national days of action against Homebase, we highly recommend you speak to the staff working in the shop before hand. If you work their yourself, or know someone that does, this is ideal. Even if you don’t it is worth going down before your protest and politely talking to staff in a relaxed way. Make it clear that your protest is not aimed at them, but at the management and owners of homebase. Explain how if this isn’t stopped it could negatively affect their jobs. Encourage them to get together and talk to other members of staff at Homebase, and consider joining a workplace group or union to fight to protect and improve their pay and conditions (we would recommend the IWW or Solidarity Federation, but the choice will depend on the local situation).
We will be calling for a picket and protest at our local Homebase, in the mean time we have set up a Facebook Event to help people network, share ideas, and advertise their local events. We also suggest using the Boycott Workfare and UK Uncut websites to help network with other people in your area.
Calling a protest doesn’t have to take a lot of time, print off some leaflets (feel free to copy anything from our last workfare leaflet – we will post links to other leaflets produced (send ‘em to us!) so people can copy them if they don’t feel like writing their own), make some placards and banners, text call and speak to your mates, then publicise the event online or on any community notice boards etc.
Additionally, this is the demand we’ve made of Homebase, what would be enough for you to call off your action may vary:
Release a binding statement that clearly states 1) you will never participate in any workfare schemes nationally or locally*1 2) Homebase will stop all current involvement with all schemes (including the ‘work experience program’) that equate to people working for you for no money*2 3) you apologise for the callous nature of the poster that was up in a management office (a picture of which is bellow) and will investigate the manager(s) responsible 4) You compensate anyone who has been on such a scheme with you, and if a paid position is available offer them a job should they decide they want one. Due to the circumstances of the job offer it should be completely acceptable for someone to refuse, homebase should work with the job centre to ensure this in itself does not lead to sanctions. This absolutely must not impact on hours, overtime or pay for current staff members.
*1with the definition of workfare being any scheme where unemployed people work for you without pay, including (but not limited to) so-called ‘work experience’ schemes operated by the job centre and private companies.
*2 Homebase will also ensure that no one suffers any sanctions due to the scheme ending, something they should actively pursue and check up on with the relevent job centres.
To get everyone in the mood for SolFed’s southern regional conference, host local Solent called a flash picket of the devious workfare provider on Commercial road; A joint action with CNT-AIT Caen France, Forest of Dean Anarchists, Wessex Solidarity and other comrades.
Poundland’s repeated protestations that they have given up the DWP’s slave labour scheme have proved to be worthless. As always, we talked to the staff and handed them some literature: the stakes were raised somewhat as it turned out two of them were working for JSA (about £2 an hour). It was only fair to share this information with the Saturday morning shoppers, and it was enough to put most of them off.
Bit of déjà vu for Holland and Barrett but they just happened to be next door and there wasn’t room for us all to stand outside Poundland’s shop window. Passers by were mostly friendly including some passing Trots, who were impressed with our level of organisation! Cheers comrades, did you know it was the 92nd anniversary of the start of the Kronstadt Rebellion?
From thence to our secret conference venue, multiple breakfasts and plotting the downfall of the bourgeoisie. The day rounded off with a sociable evening of radical folk, punk & noise. You should have been there!
Bristol’s Budget Day – Tuesday 26th February – an appeal from Bristol And District Anti Cuts Alliance (BADACA)
Please support and publicise these events via any networks you have available. We need you and all your friends there.
Tuesday 26th February – From 1pm – Lobby Bristol City Council
This is the full meeting of Bristol City Council where a vote will be taken on George Ferguson’s budget – £35 million of cuts and 330 jobs lost. Despite the inconvenient timing we need to get as many people as possible to a lobby from 1pm outside the Council House and as many people as possible in the public gallery for the meeting. We have written to all councillors calling on them to speak out against the budget. A large and vocal lobby and a packed gallery may encourage them to do this. Please come if you can an publicise among others – even if you can only get there for a short time in your lunch hour it will help. Bring banners, flags, placards etc. Facebook event.
Tuesday 26th February – from 5.30pm – Lobby the Institute Of Directors
In previous years the council’s budget meeting has gone long into the evening. This year, George Ferguson is attending an IOD event at 6pm – meeting his big-business friends. This means that either the council meeting will be guillotined or will continue without him – meaning he won’t have to hear what councillors think of his budget. BADACA is organising aprotest outside the M Shed Museum where the IOD event is taking place. Please join us there from 5.30pm. Bring banners, flags, placards etc. A flyer/poster for this can be downloaded from our website.
from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty:
Protestors blockaded and occupied both British Heart Foundation and Superdrug in Edinburgh today Saturday 8 December, in opposition to their participation in the government’s workfare schemes.
A huge banner declaring IF YOU EXPLOIT US WE WILL SHUT YOU DOWN blocked the entrance to the BHF furniture store in Leith’s Kirkgate centre as demonstrators occupied the shop. Impromptu speeches were given inside and out, explaining that although BHF had claimed to be “moving away” from workfare, they were still taking on new compulsory placements.
When you get bored with Starbucks, there’s a Brighton Benefits Campaign picket outside Superdrug on London Rd (there may also be one on Western Rd if there are numbers) this Saturday at 2pm.
WORKFARE NOW FOR SICK AND DISABLED PEOPLE
Since Monday, sick and disabled people claiming ESA can now be forced to work without pay. As if this isn’t bad enough, many of their placements will be with the very charities which are meant to support disabled people. Charities such as Scope, Sense and British Heart Foundation are all profiting from workfare.
But what we do is having an impact: yesterday Age UK announced they were pulling out; Scope claims to be reviewing its involvement; British Heart Foundation has not pulled out completely, but has announced it is “stepping back”.
REPLACING CHRISTMAS STAFF
We’ve had reports that Argos and Superdrug are systematically replacing paid Christmas staff with workfare. They’re not the only ones. Asda was definitely at it this time last year. http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=306
We’ve heard from staff at Shoezone too: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1778
If they exploit us, we will shut them down!
TAKE ACTION THIS WEEK
The start of this year’s Libdem conference was met by a noisy march and demo called by Brighton Stop the Cuts and the local Trades Council. Speeches followed, the final one being given by a member of the Solidarity Federation who called on those present to join us in shutting down workfare in Brighton. For the rest of the afternoon, the centre of town was dominated by anarchosyndicalists, their friends and comrades. Red and black flags and banners were ubiquitous the length of London road as members of SF locals Brighton, Bristol, Croydon, North London, Solent, South London and Thames Valley picketed workfare parasites and handed out thousands of leaflets to the staff and shoppers. Two branches of Poundland were picketed along with Argos, Costa’s Coffee, Primark, and Superdrug. We were also graced with a visit from Brighton’s lonely fascist photographer who fucked off after a group of anarchists decided to picket him.
Brighton Benefits Campaign: Austerity demo & mass workfare picket
Members of Solent local of the Solidarity Federation picketed Domino’s pizza in Bitterne Southampton as part of the International Day of Action in support of Australian delivery drivers of the General Transport Workers Association. Some interesting conversations were had with staff and public (hello Eddie!)
A communications blockade will follow on Monday 17th.
Saturday 15th September, International Day of Action In Support Of Domino’s Workers: A5 pdf Leaflet here:
I.W.A. sections and friends around the world will be picketing Domino’s premises. Find one near you or join:
Bristol Solfed: Gathering at 12.00 for a 12.30 start, for one hour, 119 Whiteladies Road, BS8 2PL opposite Clifton Down Railway Station.
Brighton Solfed: meeting at 7pm at the bottom of Trafalgar St
Monday 17th September Fax and Phone Blockade:
Domino’s delivery drivers in Australia have received a 19% pay cut to their wages this year. Domino’s Australia made $105 million in profits last year. There is no need for a paycut.
The union of the Australian Domino’s delivery drivers is closer to the bosses than it is to the workers it claims to represent and went along with the company’s cuts just to maintain their good relationship with Domino’s management. Now Domino’s drivers in Australia are stepping up and fighting back without their old union. They’re moving on to form their own worker-controlled union, the General Transport Workers Association, (part of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation-International Workers Association), so that they can reverse the 19% pay cut and gain some real power and respect on the job.
Phone or fax the Head Office of Dominos in Brisbane.
Free faxes can be sent from here: Choose Australia as the destination country then add the local number.
Fax (+61) 736333399
Telephone (+61) 736333333
If you send a fax to the telephone number they will just hear a short series of beeps, but it will cost them money and time to answer the phone and it will block the phone line.
Cut and paste and send this message: On Saturday 15th September, during the International Day of Action, you can also send this message via the Dominos Australia Facebook page or paste it on their timeline or their website feedback page:
The Dominos Australia Feedback Line is (+61) 1800 805 888
The day started in Paton Square, a tense atmosphere was building with many people waiting in anticipation of the secret action. While the protest in Paton Square was in full swing with an attendance of 400, around 30 disabled and able-bodied activists entered the DWP HQ in Westminster. The activists inside locked on and made their demands for Iain-Duncan Smith and Maria Miller, while being supported by activists outside blocking the door with a banner. More people turned up in support of the action, and UK Uncut announced the action on Facebook gaining over 3000 shares. The main Atos Closing Ceremony came to a close with those in attendance moving to the DWP building to support the action they had all been waiting for.
A heavy-handed approach from the Met lead to several protestors being injured, including a wheelchair user suffering a fractured shoulder, and minor scuffles broke out as protestors attempted to keep the entrance blockaded. Only one arrest was made, of a man who was inside occupying the building, he came out to inform the Police that their tactics of pushing and shoving to gain a Police line was crushing and injuring protestors, he went peacefully and was taken to Charing Cross police station.
The Atos Closing Ceremony and DWP Action brought a close on a week of action against Atos, with both DPAC and UK Uncut promising more actions against Atos and DWP until this multimillionaire ConDem government stops penalising sick and disabled people for a crisis they did not cause.
UK Uncut Films – http://vimeo.com/48640242
Sky News Report and video (Worth the watch, spot the Wessex Solidarity members) – http://news.sky.com/story/979371/disabled-protest-over-fit-for-work-tests
Live stream of the day – http://bambuser.com/channel/alburyj
On Saturday Brighton Solidarity Federation were joined by Brighton Benefits Campaign on our first picket in the national campaign against Workfare profiteers Poundland. Over the course of two hours we handed out a thousand leaflets and struck up many conversations with the public at their North Street store. This follows the high court ruling that the DWP were within the law to force two unemployed workers out of voluntary work and into unpaid labour at the store.
“Trades unions and community groups have called on the Bournemouth and Poole College to withdraw its support for the government’s discredited Work Programme which seeks to coerce the unemployed into unpaid work, after it emerged the college was encouraging employers on their website to “Try before you buy” – describing the unemployed as expendable commodities.”
From Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coalition (BPACC): –
It seems that The Bournemouth and Poole College Students’ Union are supporting this, either unwilling or unable to condemn such practise from the College; when the chance to comment was offered to BPC SU via Facebook, they chose to delete the post (Click to enlarge):
Surely they don’t represent the views of real students – who could just as easily starve to death with their feet up! Dorset has 3,635 residents claiming jobseeker’s allowance and just 2,111 listed vacancies, according to latest figures. – Get in touch if you want to do something about it.
B.P.A.C.C. plan to “target the college with a wave of protests if it refuses to distance itself from the Work Programme.”
Having stuffed it up Holland & Barrett our flying pickets are getting restless… We’re in!
Nick Griffin & co will be outside Fareham magistrates court at 09:00 tomorrow morning. One of theirs is in dock for racial abuse and harrassment; I’m sure you don’t want them on your manor so please feel free to go and make them unwelcome!
The irrepressible South Wales Anarchists and comrades celebrated Mayday with an anarchist picnic in the city centre. Assorted free literature, free food in the shape of bread rolls and spicy veg stew provided by Food Not Bombs Cardiff plus free entertainment from local acts busking in the shadow of Nye Bevan’s statue. A sunny day brought a crowd out and some interesting conversations were had.
The event also marks the launch of their stylish new website The A Hole.
We also managed to slot in a couple of workfare pickets: Primark and Poundland, I can report that management and security at both are proper bell-ends. We then adjourned to the boozer and it all gets a bit hazy after that…
May Day is our day! – International Workers’ Day, and this is what it’s all about: The Anarchist origins of May Day (pdf)
Mayday roundup from London