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Newcastle SolFed

Newcastle Solidarity Federation

Welcome to the page of Newcastle SolFed, the local group based in Newcastle. We also have members in North Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland. Most of our activity isn't publicised on these pages - much of which may deal with case work and so requires privacy. We hope to be able to give you an insight to the type of work we are engaged with. Please continue to Who We Are for more about our Local. 

Newcastle SolFed is a diverse group of workers, students and unemployed. We believe in self-organisation, direct action and making our own decisions -  this is why we formed our Local branch of SolFed.

Being a Local in Solidarity Federation means we are part of the International Workers Association, and as you can see by the news items we post, we are active in supporting international struggles as well as local. Some of our solidarity actions in and around Newcastle have seen people from other countries join in our pickets.

Please continue to What We Do for a better look at our activity.

Newcastle is a new Local within SolFed. Much of our work currently focuses on building new fighting unions as part the SolFed federation in the North East. 

We believe in direct action - we aren't professional legal advisors and we aren't a charity. People who have approached us know that they must play an active role in their own struggle - we are there to help, not to provide a free service. 

In our short existence, we have organised public meetings, pickets in support of workers in conflict, fought our own struggles and have given solid, practical advice to an increasing number of enquiries. We do not profess to have all the answers, we believe the best solutions can come from the workers themselves who are in conflict - this is the basis as to why we are different to other unions. We do not lead workplace struggles - even when our own members are in this situation. Given that SolFed uses direct action - action carried out and controlled by those in struggle, as opposed to using intermediaries and representatives - we believe the support we offer is more practical and democratic than that of reformist TUC unions. 

We aim to build enough members to create small, fighting unions based around our Local and are keen to meet with other workers who are interested in organising, as well as continuing social actions - community support and educational work. If you or anyone you know needs support and wants to play an active role in their own fight-back, whether working, studying or unemployed, then why not give us a call?

Newcastle Local have launched a new campaign to both highlight workers rights at work and to fight alongside those who seek our help. We make no bones, our aim is to create small fighting workplace unions attached to our Local - but in order to find our feet and gain membership and experience, we feel this campaign is our best way forward.

If you want to be part of our campaign or if your boss owes you money - then why not contact us at newcastlesolfed@gmail.com - or visit our new website at:


Its early days for Newcastle Local and things are moving very quickly. Why not give us a shout and be part of our anarchosyndicalist fightback!

Newcastle Local Attend Anti-Pegida March

As predicted, the static demo held by Pegida in Newcastle's Bigg Market was something of an embarrassment for the neo-nazis. Denied a march through town, and lacking anything like a fraction of the numbers that the hype and publicity accorded to them, the unveiling of the far-rights latest toy turned out to be broken. Dredging up all the old fascists from the past several decades for something that was supposed to be new and dynamic, was both tragic and comic, with reports of less than 300 them turning up. Outnumbered many times over - several estimates of anti-fascists are close to 2000 - just shows that for all of Pegida's effort, Newcastle was never going to be the city of the Fourth Reich.

Newcastle's Campaign Starts to Pay Off

Since starting our Better Call SolFed campaign at the end of 2014, we have seen a massive amount of effort being put into door-to-door leafleting publicising Newcastle SF as a small, radical union that fights on its own terms. The response has been fantastic - we have been as equally busy answering calls asking for advice and support from workers in the North East; we also kept in regular contact with someone as far away as Liverpool!

As well as regular contacts with disgruntled workers, we have also taken on new members in Teesside and Wearside. And with this new growth, we have began extending our door-to-door leafleting beyond Tyneside (here's a photo of some our members in Teesside today). Keep an eye out for coming newspaper ads!

A year in the life of...Newcastle SolFed

Newcastle Local has closed the year in a much stronger position having gained new members, new contacts and developed a new direction for the Local. We’ve been involved in 3 successful workplace battles - one of which being the Santander conflict in Spain, that was in support of a sacked member of our Spanish sister union, the CNT; another being a week of international action against a company our German union, the FAU, were in conflict with; and closer to home a local pay theft case in North Tyneside, which won a four figured settlement. http://www.solfed.org.uk/newcastle/another-win-for-solfed-this-month

New Website for Newcastle

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.

SolFed Out in Force Against Union Busting Bank

SolFed have been out in force in response to a sacked union organiser from our sister union in Spain, the CNT. Pickets were held in Brighton, Bristol, Newcastle and Middlesborough (see below). Santander have outsourced thousands of jobs in Spain, making it easier to control employees working in oppressive conditions - union organisers are targetted by the notoriously crooked family cartel run bank.

All pickets were well received, Santander having an already shoddy reputation in Britain, it was no suprise to those asking what the row was about to find that the bank is targetting union activists.

Newcastle SolFed were joined in Middlesborough by Teeside Solidarity Movement whose members eventually swelled the picket to envelope the bank and show the power of international solidarity. 

Solidarity Federation Workplace Organiser Training in Newcastle

There will be a Solidarity Federation Workplace Organiser Training Day on Saturday, June14th in Newcastle. 
If you would like to attend, please email training[AT]solfed.org.uk

The Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training programme is designed to give workers the tools and confidence to organise in their workplaces, whether or not there's an existing union. Even if you've had training from another union, you may find the direct action based approach we adopt offers a fresh perspective.

Whether you've got a union or not, join us for a workshop on how to create strong organisation in your workplace.

HSBC targeted for Las Heras complicity

Today's international day of action called by FORA saw Newcastle Local picketing the city-centre branch of HSBC, who provide finincial services to YPF the state-owned Argentinian oil company, making them complicit in the repression & persecution of Las Heras workers.

The absence of an Argentine consulate proved no barrier to Tyneside workers joining with IWA-AIT comrades in demanding the freedom of all Las Heras workers and the end of state-sponsored attacks on those fighting for their rights.

Newcastle puts the 'Sol' in Solidarity!

A warm, sunny day in Newcastle seemed appropriate weather to turn the heat up on Santander & shine a light on their slave labour policies and Union repression. We were joined by two comrades from USI as our banner was unfurled outside the Northumberland Street branch.

There was lots of interest from workers on their lunch-break for whom solidarity with our CNT comrades in Spain needed little explanation. Most people on Tyneside have friends or family who have suffered from outsourced labour practices & our presence today was well recieved.

An appearance by a flustered branch manager, who took some photos to 'pass on' our condemnation of Santander's abuse of workers' topped off an effective picket of this corrupt & criminal bank.

Newcastle SolFed in anti workfare demo, target Marks and Spencers

Newcastle SolFed were out again today highlighting the use of unpaid labout under the Governments controversial Workfare Scheme. High street chain Marks and Spencers was again targetted by Newcastle SolFed members and as ever there was a positive response from the public.

Four! It's the Magic Number!


Newcastle SolFed found the magic picket attendence today as they continue putting the pressure on Poundland. Poundland are becoming notorious for using and abusing unemployed workers. Using the unemployed as free labour is not only a disgrace in itself, it threatens those in full time or part work jobs in the shop.

We can honestly say that today we were able to really approach people and explain the problem with the government workfare scheme. Previously we have held reasonably large pickets that may have been daunting for shoppers, some times a dozen or more. So what do you know? Small is the new big!

Look out for the next Newcastle SolFed, picket at a piss-taking shop near you!


Newcastle SolFed hold anti-workfare picket outside Marks and Spencer's

As part of the week of action against the government workfare and affiliated schemes, Newcastle targeted upmarket retail chain, Marks and Spencer. M&S seek to profit to the tune of 1 million pounds using its own workfare scheme. While M&S attempt to put a worthy spin on its free labour, only a small percentage of people find work because of workfare. Not only is workfare an attack on unemployed workers but threaten the positions of those in work, potentially pitting worker against worker. Marks and Spencer's were no different to all the pickets Newcastle SolFed has taken part in, 15 minutes in sending out their security guard to try and harass us - to no avail. What made it different was people really stopped and took time to listen to what the picket was about.

Calling all Freedom Lovers! A Benefit for Freedom Bookshop

Freedom, the 125 Year old anarchist bookshop was fire-bombed on February 1st.

Over 100 people came forward to carry out emergency repairs that saw the shop reopen 3 days later.

Newcastle Solidarity Federation are proud to present a benefit knees-up at Pride Café! Please come along to show your support.

All proceeds will be given to Freedom Bookshop.

Full line up of bands and DJ's (and start time) TBA.


Pride Cafe
24 Scotswood Road, NE4 7JB Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

The Pickets Continue!

Managed to cram in another Poundland picket before the nationwide week of action against workfare and our CALLING ALL FREEDOM LOVERS! A benefit extravaganza for Freedom Bookshop event on the 23th!

Positive responses from those on the streets as always, many thanks to everyone who came down to help out. Watch out for a new banner - this one is getting rather tatty (poor old thing!)

Lets keep it up!

SolFed picket Poundland 15th December

A great turn out again to all that turned out for today's anti-workfare picket at the Clayton Street branch of Poundland - a big thank you and well done to all that took part. See you all next time!

Anyone wishing to help in SolFed's anti-workfare campaign should get in touch via the contact page (top left)



SolFed Anti-Workfare Demos continue in Newcastle.

Newcastle SolFed continues its ongoing work against the Governments controversial Workfare Scheme. At the moment our focus is targeting one of its biggest beneficiaries, the Poundland chain of of high street stores. There was a large turnout for the demo, our numbers bolstered by local anarchist and anti cuts groups. As ever the support from the public was overwhelmingly sympathtic, with the anger toward the scheme palpable. Newcastle SolFed will continue organising against Workfare and anyone interested in getting involved please email us.


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