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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A classic photo of impressive quality (we've seen better UFO shots!) and underplays a turn out of 10 people. Once again the Clayton Street branch of Poundland was picketed and hundreds of leaflets handed out to the usual supportive shoppers. Well done to everyone who turned up and see you at the next one soon!
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.
Over last year Newcastle SolFed members have been shifting thousands of the SolFeds national paper, Catalyst at metros, bus and train stations, as people head to or from work. Our regular street presence has been well received by passing commuters, with regulars stopping to chat. Newcastle will continue to build on their their high profile street pitches for 2013.
Friday 7th of September saw a picket of the Gateshead branch of Poundland, organised by Newcastle Solidarity Federation, against the governments highly controversial workfare scheme. Poundland seek to profit from the exploitation of what is essentially forced free labour.
Following the SolFed's successful campaign against Holland and Barretts involvement in workfare and joined by members of the Anarchist Federation and others, the demo saw massive levels of public support, with car horns being pipped and hundreds of leaflets handed out.
Poundland has been targeted after it announced that it is re-launching its participation in the Workfare scheme following a recent High Court ruling in its favour. The campaign comes on the back of successful action by the Solidarity Federation and other groups and individuals against Holland and Barrett who were forced to pull out of the various schemes. We expect to keep up the same levels of pressure against Poundland in the coming weeks and months.
Newcastle Solfed will be picketing the Gateshead highstreet branch of Poundland.
Members of SolFed in the North East are forming a local based in Newcastle. We are widespread across the region and stretch as far as Teeside - so if you live in anywhere in the North East and want to get involved, please give us a shout!