Our public dispute with Fox & Sons has continued into the new year, with the agency still failing to adequately compensate six former tenants who they left homeless five days after their tenancy was supposed to start. This failure has been made starker through the revelation that Fox & Sons demanded £720 compensation from the property company, Jears Properties Limited, that own the house the tenants were to move in to.
Last weekend, Manchester and Liverpool Solidarity Federation organised pickets in support of 6 Brighton student tenants. The tenants have been organising with Brighton SolFed after being treated appallingly by the Brighton letting agency, Fox and Sons. Treatment which led to the 6 students being made temporarily homeless.
Manchester SF picketed Gascoigne Halmon estate agents, while Liverpool picket Jones & Chapman, both are sister companies of Fox and sons. All three companies are owned by Connells group, one of the largest estate agency and property services providers in the UK, which last year made £104.2m in profits. In turn, the Connells group is owned by the ever so friendly - we do not have shareholders - Skipton Building Society.
The World Bank announced this week that it is to make about $200bn available to fund action on climate change. In making the announcement, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, stated: “This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.” The announcement has been greeted with universal approval with many arguing that the Bank is taking a strong lead and sending a strong signal to private sector financiers.
Liverpool Solidarity Federation concluded its dispute with Secure Lettings. The dispute ended positively with the three tenants involved receiving the whole deposit back and a compensation due to the damp and mold issues during the tenancy.
A worker organising with Brighton SolFed has recently won a dispute with their North Laine employer, Natulia on Sydney Street.
Five years ago, “zero hours” contracts came to the attention of the national media. While there is no one type of “zero hours” contract, in all cases workers receive no guaranteed weekly hours or income. Workers are paid only for the actual hours worked, and the employer is under no obligation to provide any work. Their use by employers in very many sectors of the British economy has mushroomed in recent years. In 2006, possibly 0.5% of the workforce had “zero hours” contracts (130,000). According to the Labour Force Survey, 901,000 people (representing 2.8% of all workers) were on contracts that do not guarantee work in December 2017.
The EDL are now planning to march in the centre of Manchester on Sat 20th October. After growing and widespread opposition across the city the EDL were forced to abandon their planned national march to 'shut down' Didsbury mosque. Instead, they now intend to march in the centre of Manchester.
Join the protest, stop the march meet at 12.30 Piccadilly Gardens on 20th Oct.
The Smash IPP Benefit is only a few days away. The fun starts at 7.30pm in Manchester city centre, please call 07857 945846 on the day to find out the location.
Acts confirmed include:
Pasta Hull - psychedelic funk hip hop rock concoction and the most exciting up and coming band in Wales (https://pastahull.bandcamp.com)
Buff – anarcho space punk from Manchester (buff.bandcamp.com)
Ruff Trade – reggae straight outta Gorton (rufftradereggae.com)
Afshan D'souza-Lodhi - writer and activist (afshanlodhi.com)
Madz - beatbox street performer (https://youtu.be/-IYTTrIRv7E)
Plus bar, DJs, short films and a raffle with the chance to win some special prizes. Entry is by donation.
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.