Universal credit is a direct attack by the government on us, ordinary working class people.The new benefit system makes it harder to apply and hides a cut on the rates. UC will affect not just unemployed but employed!
For the third year, Liverpool-SolFed will be at Liverpool Anarchist Bookfair. This Saturday, the 13th of April.
We will be having our stall for anarcho-syndicalist literature, information about our campaigns and activity and materials for collective resistance and struggle.
We will also be running a workshop presented by a comrade from Manchester-SolFed.
A worker organising with Brighton Solidarity Federation has won a dispute with their seafront employer, the Harbour Hotel. The worker was employed over the Christmas period in the kitchen of the hotel. In the space of one month, the worker was not paid for 3 days worked, did not receive a contracted gratuities (tips and a bonus) payment and did not receive any holidays. These totaled up to over £1000 - quite an amount for just over a month's work.
Wage theft in the hospitality sector in Brighton is rife, and missing holiday entitlement is particularly common. Holiday entitlement starts accruing from the moment you start work and there are useful calculators online that can work out if you are owed any: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-holiday-entitlement.
Brighton Solidarity Federation recently assisted a tenant whose letting agent, Ashton Burkinshaw, were attempting to make unreasonable deductions from their deposit. We were contacted by the tenant after their letting agent tried to deduct nearly £200 for unnecessary (maybe never done) work. We advised the tenant what their rights were and helped them use one of our template letters to send to their agent. The agent could not provide an invoice for the work and had to back down.
Every person who has rented a home has experienced their letting agent trying to steal part or all of their deposit. There are many ways to fight back and sometimes the most effective one is also the simplest.
The new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage from April 2019 are set out below:
£8.21 per hour for ages 25 and over
£7.70 per hour for ages 21 to 24
£6.15 per hour for ages 18 to 20
£4.35 per hour for those under 18
£3.90 per hour for apprentices.
For your boss to pay the apprenticeship rate there must be a genuine apprenticeship agreement in place. This agreement must be based on training being the main purpose of the agreement, with working being secondary.
The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices aged:
those under 19
those 19 or over, who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Brighton SolFed recently entered into a public dispute with the Sidewinder to get them to pay compensation for the unfair dismissal of one of their workers. The worker was dismissed for calling in sick once after having worked at the pub for about nine months.
The pressure on the Sidewinder has been rising steadily over the passed few weeks as the frequency of our pickets increased. With result! Although the Sidewinder still refuses to pay compensation, they did pay up the unpaid holiday pay, and the management has let us know they have handed in their notice.
Brighton SolFed's statement on solidarity in the struggle
This information has been put together for groups who may be interested in affiliating to or organising with us. We regularly work with other groups. However, before formally working together, we actively check how safely a group organises and their connections to known-abusers, as a pre-condition.
SolFed welcomes working class people of all education backgrounds, genders, sexuality, ethnicity, race, immigration status and those with all forms of accessibility needs*; (other than people barred by our constitution).
Since September 2018, we have been organising with two different groups of tenants – one who had their deposit stolen by G4Lets, and one living in accommodation in a serious state of disrepair. We’re pleased to report that both of these situations concluded well, with the first group of tenants receiving £1000 back from their stolen deposit, and the second group receiving a rent reduction for the poor quality of their accommodation, and with the works being carried out. Below is the story of these two disputes, particularly how they relate to our previous disputes with G4Lets and the tactics we used in these two most recent disputes.
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.