Underemployment is the term used for workers who get fewer hours than they want and need to live on. In the UK there are now at least 1.4 million workers on zero-hours contracts and 865,000 agency workers, many of whom struggle to get enough hours a week to survive on. Added to which, companies are increasingly employing people on a part-time basis, often on contracts of 10 hours or less. This leaves workers dependent on any extra hours management may choose to offer them. According to the Office for National Statistics, just under 10% of the working population or 3.3 million people want more hours; or to put it another way, are part unemployed. To put this into context there are now twice as many people underemployed as there are unemployed.
Monday 18 June saw Manchester Solidarity Federation join tenants in a protest outside Fortis Student Letting in Altrincham, Greater Manchester. The protest is the latest event in a long running campaign being organised by the tenants because of the appalling conditions in the Fortis run building, where they are living. Throughout their stay, Fortis have refused to carry out even the most basic maintenance of the building. The tenants went weeks without water, months without heating and had to live in rooms covered with mould. On one occasion, water poured through a ceiling light fitting for weeks, with Fortis making no attempt to repair it. This was despite numerous complaints by tenants.
1pm to 5pm Sunday 17th June at Portland Arms
Free Entry but Donations welcome.
CAMBRIDGE CLIMATE ACTION
CAMBRIDGE SOLIDARITY FEDERATION
CAMBRIDGE UNITE COMMUNITY BRANCH
SOUTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE HUNT SABOTEURS
THEORY AND PRACTICE
ANARCHIST COMMUNIST GROUP
CAMBRIDGE KURDISTAN SOLIDARITY
Info on local grassroots housing campaigns
On Monday (June 4), Manchester Solidarity Federation demonstrated outside the head office of Fortis Student Lettings in Altrincham, near Manchester.
It was an action in solidarity with a group of tenants renting in Chester through this letting agency. Fortis had allowed unacceptable delays in carrying out basic maintenance resulting in tenants living, for example, with damp and mould, or without hot water for months: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ fortishorrorstories/posts/. The tenants are now asking Fortis for compensation and the agency keeps ignoring them or to engage in any attempt at mediation.
Cambridge Solidarity Federation will have a stall in Scarecrow Corner at this year's Strawberry Fair, 12noon onwards Saturday 2nd 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.
We should also have info on local grassroots housing campaigns.
Also info on upcoming 2nd Cambridge Radical Bookfair on 17th June at the Portland Arms
In Manchester, Empty Cages Collective, Manchester No Prisons, Smash IPP, & Unis Resist Border Controls felt the urgency of not only discussing and pushing against border regimes and the hostile environment policy, but also fighting prison injustice. As it was reported in Corporate Watch, the current Conservative government are pushing to build 6 mega prisons, one of which has already been built in Wrexham, North Wales. The crisis of violence and overcrowding inside prisons is causing huge damage to communities across the UK.
Below is the write-up of a successful campaign organised by a tenant and Brighton SolFed against a deduction to that tenant's deposit. The three month public campaign concluded in April 2018 with a £450 payment to the tenant, who had had £390 deducted from her deposit. Please note that the article contains brief discussion of post traumatic stress disorder.
A Brighton hospitality worker supported by SolFed has won a victory against the exploitative conditions prevalent in the local hospitality sector, as a restaurant paid £1,200 in response to pay demands made by the worker.
The public campaign in support of the worker ended after a single picket - and some back-and-forth emailing - with the worker receiving all the money she had asked for.
The worker's demand of £1200 was in relation to outstanding pay. Unusually, the worker had been told she would be paid a set weekly amount, depending on whether she worked 5 or 6 days. Her contract stipulated that she was employed and paid for 32 hours a week. However, since work days usually lasted around 11 hours, in reality she worked close to double what she had been contracted for.
Guides for getting organised
If you would like to support us, you can donate to the Solidarity Federation. You can use your your debit/credit card, or a PayPal account if you have one. Donations will be used to support our work, including our free newspaper Catalyst and our workplace organiser training programme.