Executioner for the rich, George Osborne, has challenged ‘our’ local parties to fully implement welfare reform measures that will see even greater hardship, poverty and homelessness heaped upon poor and vulnerable working class people across the north. (From the December issue of The Leveller, publication of Belfast SolFed)
On Saturday, the 13th of December, the first picket against Caffe Bar Italia took place. Around 11 in the morning, a group of 10 SolFed members met in George Street (Hove) and after trying unsuccessfully to reach an agreement with the owner, started the picket outside the business.
The mobilisation, anger and direct action of working class people opposing water charges in the south has got the government on the run. Much is made of a brick thrown at Garda and Joan Burton being trapped by a ‘mob’ in her car during a water charges protest. Little to nothing is said about police violence against protestors or the devastating impact this charge will have on poor working class families. Families already devastated by attack after attack upon them by bosses and government in the name of ‘austerity’.
On the evening of 29th November Belfast Solidarity Federation took to the streets of Belfast with over 300 others to reclaim the night.
Set to become an annual event we all marched to demand an end to harassment and violence against women. There were speakers from Hollaback, Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, NUS USI Women’s Campaign, the Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Network, Belfast Feminist Network and Gender Jam NI.
This summer, Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) took on one of the most uncompromising bosses we have faced. The owner (who shall henceforth be referred to as ‘V’) of a well-known local café had hired a worker with an agreement to pay her £6ph but when it came to payday, he only coughed up what amounted to £5ph and refused to pay her holiday pay. After V refused to pay her the remainder, the worker approached BHW, who agreed to support her in getting back her owed wages.
Newcastle Local have created our own campaign website and phone number to simplify our message and become easier to find. Already regularly advising workers in distress, we hope to increase this work as well as take on further case work as we build our Local. If you or anyone you know is in dispute with a boss, or wants advice on workplace rights and fighting back, contact us via our new site www.stuffyourboss.org.uk or ring 0191 3082354.
On December 6-7, 2014, an Extraordinary Congress of the IWA took place in Porto, Portugal. On the Agenda were unfinished items of business from the XXV Congress of 2013, plus new motions and initiatives. 80 delegates and observers from 13 Sections and one Friend organization took part.
Emotions ran high throughout the Congress. Again some outstanding matters need to go to the next Congress in 2016. A number of new iniatives were passed, including the creation of a media group, a historical project and the go-ahead for broad centenary celebrations in 2022.
Bristol Solidarity Federation extends it’s solidarity to the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) as they continue to take industrial action over detrimental changes to pensions - with the latest day of strike action happening today, 9th December 2014.
Recently, workers at YHA hostels around the country launched a campaign for the living wage (£7.85 an hour, up from their current average of £6.50). Bristol Solidarity Federation would like to extend our Solidarity to YHA workers, who are also campaigning around irregular shifts and unfair payment for sleepover shifts. We meet regularly at the YHA in Bristol, which has also hosted our workplace organiser training, conference, new members days and other events.
Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is a grassroots, democratic and member-led organisation based in Durban, a city in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. AbM have an impressive record of exposing corruption and asserting the constitutional rights of thousands of the marginalised shack-dwelling people. We, the undersigned, are in support of the resolve of AbM members to strive for more participatory forms of development and to advance the struggle for access to urban land.
When management at the University of Sussex announced plans to outsource 235 jobs, workers responded by launching a 'Pop-Up Union', a new tactic in modern British industrial relations. Is this a model other workers can emulate? Solfed members involved in the Pop Up Union analyse what happened.
Since the beginning of the crisis more and more migrants are arriving in London and the UK. When people come here, they often find their first steps difficult. We want everyone to feel welcome and help them as much as possible. That’s why we have published a new pamphlet, “London – a migrant's guide”. It is a practical introduction to life in London and the UK.
Workers at St Mungo's hostels and homeless services started a week long strike on Friday 16th October. The workers are striking over the imposition of worse pay and conditions after a merger with Broadway. NLSF visited the picket line at one East London hostel.
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.