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CJ Barbers: intimidation and histrionics fail to impress

CJ Barbers yet again resorted to violence against union members on Thursday as our campaign to get our member’s unpaid wages back continues.

In a remarkable demonstration of aggression, the owner Hamid Karam and the manager Cyrus Shabani smashed up their own wooden chairs in the middle of the road, wielded the remains at picketers, pushed and hit multiple people, and choked one member before throwing him across the street in front of traffic. They also snatched members’ phones out of their hands as they were filming the disgusting behaviour, smashing one phone in the process.

'I was desperate for work, desperate to find a stable career and trade I could rely on': the CJ Barbers worker tells his story

I am writing this to dispel a great deal of misinformation spread about me and my public campaign against CJ Barbers. I am the worker who was exploited by CJ Barbers and I understand why local businesses are coming out in support of their neighbours. I believe this comes from a positive place but I think you should know my side of the story before you come to any conclusions.

'I train people for free because that's how it works': CJ Barbers owner Cyrus Shabani admits to not paying worker

'I train people for free because that's how it works': CJ Barbers owner Cyrus Shabani admits to not paying worker

In this video, the owner of CJ Barbers, Cyrus Shabani, admits to not paying a worker who worked for him for two months, claiming 'that's how it works'. As we have pointed out to CJ Barbers multiple times, that is not how it works. This worker's employment did not meet the standards of an apprenticeship (for which he still should have been paid), so he is owed at least the national minimum wage for the two month's work he has done. That's what we are demanding, and that's what we will continue to fight for until CJ Barbers pay up.

More info on this dispute:

Cambridge SolFed at Strawberry Fair Saturday 1st June 2019

Cambridge Solidarity Federation will have a stall in Scarecrow Corner at this year's Strawberry Fair, 12noon onwards Saturday 1st June, Midsummer Common.

Strawberry Fair is the most popular free, entirely volunteer run, one day music & arts event in Cambridge (and probably across Europe!), attracting over 20,000 visitors throughout the day, running for over 40 years.

In between enjoying the music and the beer tent, call in and see us for some lighthearted anarcho-syndicalist banter.

We should also have info on local grassroots housing campaigns.

 

Cambridge SolFed at Strawberry Fair Saturday 1st June 2019

start: 
Sat, 01/06/2019 - 12:00

Location

Strawberry Fair
Midsummer Common
Cambridge
United Kingdom

Cambridge Solidarity Federation will have a stall in Scarecrow Corner at this year's Strawberry Fair, 12noon onwards Saturday 1st June, Midsummer Common.

Strawberry Fair is the most popular free, entirely volunteer run, one day music & arts event in Cambridge (and probably across Europe!), attracting over 20,000 visitors throughout the day, running for over 40 years.

In between enjoying the music and the beer tent, call in and see us for some lighthearted anarcho-syndicalist banter.

We should also have info on local grassroots housing campaigns.

 

local, network, collective:
Access Layer:

Cambridge SolFed at Strawberry Fair Saturday 1st June 2019

start: 
Sat, 01/06/2019 - 12:00

Location

Strawberry Fair
Midsummer Common
Cambridge
United Kingdom

Cambridge SolFed at Strawberry Fair Saturday 1st June 2019

Cambridge Solidarity Federation will have a stall in Scarecrow Corner at this year's Strawberry Fair, 12noon onwards Saturday 1st June, Midsummer Common.

Strawberry Fair is the most popular free, entirely volunteer run, one day music & arts event in Cambridge (and probably across Europe!), attracting over 30,000 visitors throughout the day, running for over 40 years.

In between enjoying the music and the beer tent, call in and see us for some lighthearted anarcho-syndicalist banter.

local, network, collective:
Access Layer:

CJ Barbers Dispute: Business Threatens to Blacklist SolFed Member

As our dispute with CJ Barbers, which owes one of our members two months in unpaid wages, continues, and the owners still refuse to negotiate (we emailed them on May 4th, offering negotiations: they didn't reply), the son of one of the owners is publicly saying that they intend to illegally send images and personal details of the worker to “every business in Brighton”.

Kevin Karam, the son of Hamid Karam, has made multiple long and rambling posts about us on Facebook, calling SolFed a “gang”, making wildly contradictory statements about the worker’s status at CJ Barbers, referring to SolFed in general as a “bunch of benefit losers”, etc. It's nothing particularly remarkable - the usual smear campaigns that bosses and their friends try when they are backed into a corner.

Education Workers

Working conditions in educational institutions are becoming more and more difficult. This is often linked to managers making cuts, establishing austerity measures, or asking all workers to do more for less.  We currently organise as a network of workers at University of Brighton, and have links to other educational institutions.

We aim to organise to improve these conditions on a day-to-day basis, trying to fight winnable disputes for caretakers, cleaners and hourly-paid lecturers alike. To resist the ways that these institutions are attacking the working conditions of all staff means working together, not establishing boundaries between academic and non-academic staff.

Eastbourne tenant wins back £100 by challenging deposit deductions

A tenant in Eastbourne has won back £100 by challenging deductions to his deposit. The tenant’s landlord was attempting to make various deductions for replacement items that had been subject to fair wear and tear.

The tenant contacted Brighton SolFed for advice on what he could do in this situation, given that he had already moved out and was unable to gather his own evidence. After some brief discussion about the different ways that deposit theft can be challenged – such as by checking whether your landlord has correctly protected the deposit, and challenging your landlord to produce invoices for items that they allege needed replacing – the tenant opened correspondence with the landlord about the deductions. The landlord immediately agreed to return £100, which the tenant was happy to accept.

No Work Without Pay: Boycott CJ Barbers!

Brighton SolFed has started a public campaign against CJ Barbers, who owe one of our members over two months in unpaid wages. The worker was employed as an "apprentice" for no wages, with the promise of paid work after two months. Unfortunately, this kind of practice is common in the barbering industry in Brighton, so the worker decided to go along with it. After the two months were up, CJ Barbers paid him...£50 a week, for full time work! The worker left two weeks later.

During this so-called “apprenticeship” the worker was given no contract, no opportunity to work towards any qualification, and worked full time hours. This therefore does not meet the legal requirement of an  apprenticeship, which is why we are demanding that CJ Barbers pays our member the full legal minimum wage, holiday pay, and pension contributions for the hours he worked, which total £2821.63.

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