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Northampton SolFed

Combating Workfare in Northampton

As part of the ongoing national campaign against Workfare, Poundland on Abington Street is bracing itself for the 3rd picket in as many weeks this weekend. Please get involved and help us intensify the pressure. If you can't make the pickets there are other ways you can get involved. Contact us via the website.

We've let them know that we aren't giving up until they withdraw from the Governments forced labour scheme, and start paying ALL the workers. It seems that the staff at Pondland in Northampton are confused as to why unpaid workers are at Poundland. Its because your managers signed up for it.

Link for more information about Workfare.

Lively Holland and Barratt protest hits Northampton

Northampton Solidarity Federation held a lively and loud protest and leafletting on Saturday outside Holland and Barratt in Northampton's busy shopping Centre. The protest was against Holland and Barrat's involvement in the Government's workfare scheme, which allows them to use unpaid labour. A number of shoppers were turned away. This was the second time in a month that the store has been targetted.

End Ryan Air Recruitment Scam

Members of Northampton Solidarity Federation went to Birmingham International Airport this afternoon (16th March) to picket Ryan Air passengers as they checked in. This was an attempt to get the passengers to complain about the exploitative nature of the company's recruitment procedure. The leaflet labelled it a SCAM, for that is essentially what it is.

This was in part of the International Week of Action called by the International Workers Association, who have thrown their support behind the RyanAir Don't Care Campaign. This week was identified to coincide with a RyanAir sponsored race at the Cheltenham Festival.

Northampton local relaunching

Northampton Sol Fed now has members from Birmingham, Bedford and Milton Keynes. We recently held a re-launch meeting and will be updating this Webpage very soon, with news of local activities.

Office Angels Part 2

On Thursday 12th May members of Northampton solidarity Federation again picketed Office Angels in Northampon over their failure to pay Dan for 2 out of three days' work.

Leaflets explaining the issue were again handed out to intersted passers by, many of whom stopped to chat and asked what they could do to help.

The manager graced the picket with her presence and as last time didn't manage to raise her level of conversation above petty insult: this time telling the picket that it was all 'bollocks'.  We assume she's talking about Office Angels' act of asking someone to work three days and then only paying them for one!

More action to follow.

Northampton: Office Angels picket 28th April

Members of Northampton Solidarity Federation today picketed the local office of Office Angels in connection with the current dispute over non payment of wages.

We talked to many passers by about the bad practice and heard several stories of mistreatment at the hands of employment agencies, particularly of underpayment and summary dismissals. One worker in particular related instances where she had worked for long periods of time for agencies only to be laid off for one day's illness.

On the Streets of London

Members of Northampton Solidarity Federation joined the masses on the streets of London on March 26 to protest against the brutal cuts being imposed by the government.

People were marching for many reasons: some still accepting the idea that cuts are necessary but wanting to slow them down or alter the focus, some suggesting that investment rather than cuts would stimulate the economy which in turn would reduce the deficit, many pointing out that if taxes were fully collected and if military interventions were curtailed the cuts would not be necessary.

"This is the last thing we want to do" Really?

According to a headline in the Chronicle and Echo, "THE LARGEST cuts faced by Northamptonshire County Council in years have been approved by the Conservative leaders of the authority, despite the politicians admitting it was the last thing they wanted to do."

The last thing they wanted to do?

I can think of at least one option they could have taken.  Any councillor whose conscience was against the cuts could have taken the decision to resign their position.  But they didn't.

There are two conclusions:

1.  They actually did want to vote for the cuts, or

Red and Black Flags Fly in Northampton

Members of Northampton Solidarity Federation joined the protest outside the county offices this afternoon to oppose the cuts being decided upon inside.

In honour of the event the red and black flags of anarcho-syndicalism were waved causing a few people to come and ask us who we were and what we stood for.  A good chance to discuss our position in relation not only to the cuts, but to government and capitalist economy in general.

As a perk, many happy punters went home with a copy of Catalyst under their arm.

As for the event itself, it was a fairly mild affair, with a few speakers and a few chants.  All in all, less noise was made than at the picket in the morning, when a bunch of kids turned up in green t-shirts and enlivened the event.  Radical at 5 years old...

The next official anti cuts demonstration in the town is set for 12th March.

Anti Cuts Picket in Northampton

On the day that Northampton County Council meets to discuss and vote on local cuts, members of Northampton Solidarity Federation joined in the morning's picket of the county council offices.

Our poster and leaflet for the morning was a simple statement:

 

NO CUTS!
NO TORY CUTS!
NO LABOUR CUTS!
NO LIBDEM CUTS!
NO CUTS!

 

Highlighting the fact that these cuts come straight from the heart of our economic and political system, and not just from the whims of one party.  Labour were already engaging in cuts, and conditions for ordinary people were being attacked before the crisis: all that has changed is the pace.

Working Class Paradox - one person's discussion

I had a discussion with a work colleague last week. It began with a newspaper headline about the situation in Egypt. Apparently, many years ago he had served in Egypt in the forces. He had been shocked at the level of poverty he observed there, and realised that things had probably not moved on much for many people. And so he could understand why there was an uprising there.

Then the discussion moved to the UK, and although I did not suggest a parity of conditions to him we did talk about areas of poverty in the UK, people loving in poor quality run down housing on low incomes etc.

Saving St James' Library

Northampton SolFed was represented at today's 'read in' at St James' library, which is threatened with closure in the current round of cuts.

Roughly 100 people turned up to hear Alan Moore (V for Vendetta) read one of his short stories, and others to read selections from their own selected books.

Feeling is strong: this library is a very important service to an area with many families on low incomes.  As one man pointed out, it's used, it's needed, he was going to read some Dr Zeuss as a reminder of his own early library days, but all the Dr Zeuss books were out on loan...

It's a typical aspect of current political ideology that such a service should be cut, a service which the local population depend upon but would be hard pressed to replace, whilst money is loaded into banker's bonuses, wars etc.

Library Closures

An article in the local newspaper, the Chronicle and Echo, talks about the fight against library closures in Northamptonshire, where 8 local libraries are earmarked for closure thanks to government 'austerity' cuts.

Visiting London

Northampton SolFed teamed up with comrades from North London SolFed to join the anti cuts anti fees march in London today.

Hundreds marched past the houses of Parliament before heading towards Millbank, banners waving, amidts the cries 'You say cut back, we say fight back' amongst others.  Approaching Millbank, and sensing the police were ready to form a kettle protesters headed off on alternative routes.  After showing our faces (not too literally!) at Millbank, we too headed off for the Egyptian embassy to show solidarity with the Egyptian people currently engaged in their struggle against Mubarak's regime.

Northampton Fights the Cuts

On Thursday 20th January members of Northampton Solfed attended a local meeting "Northampton Alliance to Defend Services" at the Guildhall.  The meeting was well attended, the hall was packed with between 200 and 300 people.  (Which meant we hadn't taken quite enough Catalysts with us!)

The first speaker, Tracey Morel, represented a local charity "Autism Concern" and spoke about the imapct on people with autism, but touched on those needing various types of care.  In particular she discussed the implications of changes to disability allowance and the massive problems it will cause to individuals and families.

The second, Mick Kavanagh, represented the CWU and talked mostly about the impact of privitisation of the Post Office, including the implicated attack on the pensions fund.

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