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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

The following is a personal account of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity by a member of South London Solidarity Federation. The member has made some additional points in response to comments which are included in the addendum below.

MCS is an adverse reaction to airborne chemicals, such as air fresheners, solvents, and scented cleaning products. Symptoms vary from nose and throat irritation, fatigue and headaches to full-blown immune system overload. It can be triggered by a one off or severe exposure to chemicals, pesticides or other toxins and become a long-term susceptibility to the low levels of exposure now common in many public spaces.

Call for Soldarity for the Woolwich Free Ferry Strikes

GMB and UNITE members who work on the Woolwich Free Ferry are taking strike action every Friday. Against a background of long-running health and safety issues, they are coming out in solidarity with a female colleague who brought a complaint about persistent sexual harrassment by her offce boss. She was then left facing him every day at work for 3 weeks.

It is a credit to the ferry crew that they didn't hesitate to take action to support their colleague, who after being subjected to unwelcome personal comments and offensive behaviour for over a year, had the courage to record and report these events, only to find herself vulnerable to further harassment.

Direct Action Discussion at Solfed Conference

The Solidarity Federation were delighted to talk to members of Disabled People Against the Cuts, Feminist Fightback, Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth, London Campaign against Police and State Violence and Sisters Uncut in a discussion of direct action and strategy at our recent conference in London.
 
The groups came together to discuss their aims, tactics, difficulties and hopes for future activities. Members of the Brighton local spoke on behalf of Solfed regarding their experience organising around the hospitality sector.
 

Byron Greenwich Picket

Byron Burgers acted despicably when they collaborated with the Home Office to deport their workers during a fake training event on July 4th. After the story broke from Spanish language newspaper El Iberico a number of groups and unions with Byron worker members have organised and called for action against Byron (see list below)

In a joint leaflet we demand:
no more threats to staff by immigration enforcement!
no discrimination against migrant staff members.
no to exploitative pay and conditions.

Solidarity with Mexican Teachers Against Police and State Violence

South London Solidarity Federation would like to express solidarity with members of the Mexican Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educacion teaching union, who have faced violent attack by the police and state.

The union, which is made up of teachers from the poorer southern states, is protesting new mandated teacher evaluations. These it describes as ignoring the challenges of providing education in rural and underfunded areas whilst also enabling mass teacher layoffs. This is part of a wider programme of privatisation across Mexican education, removing the limited educational provision available to the poorest.

The response from the state has been brutal and violent. Police in Oaxaca opened fire on a teacher protest, killing eight. Two of the unions officials have also been arrested as part of the response.

Action against Jimmy's spreads to South London

The Solidarity Federation today escalated it's campaign against wage thieves Jimmy's Restaurants, with a picket by the South London local of their Wimbledon restaurant.

Jimmy's owe their former workers in Brighton £1,500 in holiday pay and have failed to provide the workers with  P45s or pay income tax to the HMRC (despite tax being taken from their pay!) The manager of the Brighton branch has refused to engage with SolFed when confronted with this, insisting it is the responsibility of head office who never answer our calls and emails.

Kinder Sports campaign school picket

On Friday 18th March, members of Solfed informed parents of Dartford Primary Academy, part of the Leigh Academies Trust, about the ongoing campaign to get Lydia’s wages back. Lydia worked for Kinder Sports, who are contracted by Leigh Academies Trust to provide Physical Education lessons and after school sports coaching. Lydia worked for Kinder Sports for 30 hours between 6th and 30th of October 2015 (including at Dartford Primary Academy) however she has not been paid for this work. We are supporting Lydia in demanding Kinder Sports pay her the full £360 she is owed.

Kinder, Pay Up

Lydia worked 30 hours for Kinder Sports between the 6th and 22nd of October. Kinder Sports have repeatedly tried to weasel out of paying Lydia fairly and promptly for the work she undertook for them.

Lydia and South London Solidarity Federation are now calling for a communications blockade on Twitter against Kinder Sports for unpaid wages. Kinder Sports, run by Matt Longhurst, provide after-school sports activities and some school hours provision at locations around Dartford in Kent.

Communications Blockade of Manpower - Thursday 29 January

We are calling a communications blockade against Manpower employment agency who our Polish sister section is in dispute with. See details here and don’t forget to call and email. 

The action has been called as part of a week of action in support of our sister section, the Polish ZSP, who are involved in taking action within two Polish Amazon dispatch centres that Manpower hires workers for. The workers in these centres are paid 1/4 of the wage of workers in Germany carrying out the same job, are denied paid breaks during 10 hour shifts and receive no extra pay for working evenings and weekends. In addition there have been a series of late or incorrect payments from Manpower whilst pay varies between different centres and between directly employed and agency workers.

Communications Blockade of Manpower - Thursday 29 January

South London Solidarity Federation is calling a communications blockade against Manpower employment agency on Thursday 29 January.

The action has been called as part of a week of action in support of our sister section, the Polish ZSP, who are involved in taking action within two Polish Amazon dispatch centres that Manpower hires workers for. The workers in these centres are paid 1/4 of the wage of workers in Germany carrying out the same job, are denied paid breaks during 10 hour shifts and receive no extra pay for working evenings and weekends. In addition there have been a series of late or incorrect payments from Manpower whilst pay varies between different centres and between directly employed and agency workers.

Stop MIPIM protest report

A few Solfed members went along to the StopMipim protest this Wednesday. Mipim is an event for local authorities to sell of public property, including social housing, to developers. Boris Johnson was kicking off the event with a speech, encouraging investors and developers to displace communities and gentrify our cities.

SLSF supports Radical Housing Network action against MIPIM 15th-17th October

MIPIM, the world’s biggest property fair, is coming to London this week for the first time in its 25 year history.

Billed as ‘the first UK property trade show gathering all professionals looking to close deals in the UK property market’, MIPIM will attract huge numbers of financiers, developers & local authorities, all looking to profiteer from UK land and property. This profiteering is creating unaffordable, insecure housing and contributing to the corporate takeover of our community spaces and public services.

South London SolFed stands in solidarity with the Radical Housing Network in opposing MIPIM and demanding a city for people, not for profit.

SLSF take to the streets of Lewisham in anti-workfare demo

On Saturday South London Solfed's roaming anti-workfare picket targeted businesses on Lewisham High Street exploiting unpaid labour.

Despite autumn choosing Saturday to finally arrive, a determined group took to the streets in support of Boycott Workfare's week of action. Marks & Spencer, Primark and Poundworld were all picketed, as well as Iceland who have reportedly signed up to the new 'Help To Work' scheme, the newest and most punitive version of workfare yet, involving six months' unpaid traineeships. Information leaflets were distributed to the public, including know your rights advice for those facing workfare placements. Despite the rain there were plenty of positive responses.

SLSF calls anti-workfare picket in Lewisham for Saturday 4th October

Join the South London Solfed roaming anti-workfare picket in Lewisham this Saturday, 4th October, in solidarity with Boycott Workfare's week of action.

Meet us at Lewisham Clocktower at 1pm.

We will be targeting a number of organisations on Lewisham High Street who continue to exploit unemployed people as free labour.

Workfare is an attack on us all. It does not save money, does not create jobs and does not help the unemployed. The government is trying to divide us by pitting those in work against 'scroungers' who supposedly need to forced into work. But workfare is as much an attack on those with jobs as those without. It drives down wages and disciplines those in waged work not to rock the boat lest they be replaced by workfare labour and end up unemployed themselves.

Solidarity with sacked Swedish School workers

On Sunday 10th August South London Solfed held a pre-Mass information picket at the Swedish Church in London. Members of FAU (our sister section in Germany) have been sacked at the Swedish school in Berlin, run by the Swedish Church. In May, after protesting against a salary decrease, all staff members were sacked. They were told to re-apply for their jobs on worse pay and conditions. 

The dispute is going to the court of appeal on October 17th, in the meantime it is unclear what will happen when term starts on August 18th. The school is not negotiating with FAU or the workers generally.

The CEO of the school is called Lena Brolin and is also the rector of the parish. You can write to her bosses and tell them what you think about these practices:

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email: southlondonsf@solfed.org.uk
mobile: 07514 468069

London Solidarity Federation, c/o 84b Whitechapel High St., London E1 7QX



If you are an education worker in South London, please contact the LEWN from the contact form.
 

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