The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Fujitsu IT Workers Announce Further Strikes

Union members at Fujitsu have announced a series of strikes—as bosses dismissed victimised reps. The first walkout will begin on Wednesday 24 January. Management sacked two reps over the christmas with one of the reps being dismissed  while he was on compassionate leave to attend a family funeral.

These are just the latest attacks in a long running dispute over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of a redundancy agreement. IT workers at Fujitsu in Manchester have already taken 27 days action in this long running campaign and plans further  strikes  on Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 January, Tuesday 30 January and Thursday 8 February – Wednesday 14 February. Union members are also taking part in action short of a strike and are working to rule.

Join the Smash IPP March on the 14th Feb

Jion the smash IPP march and protest  on the 14th February meeting outside 12 Minshull St, Manchester M1 3FR ( Probation Office ) This March is to get IPP sentences abolished retrospectively. The government have said its wrong yet 4000 prisoners still remain, including Ian Hartley, a prisoner at HMP Risley. His family need him home !

More than 4000 people are serving IPP (imprisonment for public protection) sentences in British prisons. Six years since the sentence was abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides and mental health problems. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free

The Alarming Rise of Branson's Virgin Care and the Threat to the NHS

Good old Sir Richard Branson has once again managed to get himself to the front of the queue for state handouts. Having spent years channelling public money into massive profits at Virgin Rail, he is now turning his attention to milking the NHS. Figures released in January 2018 show that his company, Virgin Care, won a record £1bn worth of NHS contracts in 2017. Added to already existing contracts, this means that Virgin Care now has over 400 separate NHS contracts. Funny how these arch free market capitalists, such as Branson, seem to be able to swallow their anti-state principles when it comes to claiming state subsidies. Good old Sir Richard even took this to the extent of suing the NHS in 2017 when Virgin Care lost an £82m contract. In the process he won an undisclosed sum that otherwise would have been wasted on treating sick people. 

'I own a portfolio of some seventy houses': the millionaire landlords G4Lets are trying to protect with legal threats

Brighton SolFed is continuing its campaign against local letting agents G4 Lets into the new year, as the agency has not yet made an adequate offer to meet the demands of two groups of tenants. Both groups are asking for the return of their deposits and for compensation. In one instance, tenants were charged for pre-existing damage to the house they were living in, which was damp and infested with vermin throughout their tenancy; in the other, tenants have been charged for wear and tear and for redecoration costs, even though they had the interior of the property repainted professionally before they moved out.

Support First Manchester Striking Bus Drivers

Thursday 22nd December saw another picket organized by First bus drivers at the Rusholme Depot in support of their ongoing dispute over pay. Drivers at First's Rushome depo are being paid up to £5000 a year less than colleagues working at the First’s Queen’s Road base just five miles away. The drivers at the Rusholme depo originally worked for Finglands Buses who were taken over by First Manchester in 2013. At the time of the takeover the Finglands drivers were promised parity but after repeated promises by First to harmonizes pay, drivers at Rusholme still find themselves being paid 23% less.

Plenty of bluster: Brighton Solfed unimpressed with legal threats by Cafe Plenty

Cafe Plenty issued legal threats just hours after Brighton Solfed tried to talk to them about £4,400 they owe a former worker. Having made clear they were unwilling to resolve the matter, the cafe's bogus threats triggered a campaign of protest highlighting the plight of the former worker organising with Solfed.

A Solfed member involved in the case explained what happened: “In late November, a couple of us went to hand them a letter about the £4K they owe the former worker. Our approach is always to try to resolve things amicably, by talking to them first and give them a chance to rectify their mistake. Since the owner wasn't there, we just left the letter with a helpful member of staff.

Brighton Solidarity Federation opens a dispute with Youngs Estate Agency

Brighton Solidarity Federation has started a dispute with the letting agency Youngs on Upper St James's Street. Two tenants have been organising in regards to structural damp, presence of severe black mould and overall dilapidation issues that created unsafe living conditions - dangerous to the tenants' health - throughout their tenancies at two separate properties managed by Youngs. Both tenants are demanding compensation for such issues and one of them, who is still living in the property, is urgently requesting that a number of neglected and still unresolved problems are attended to by the agency.

New Edition of the Migrant's Guide to Manchester in English and Spanish

Manchester Solfed's guide for migrants coming to Manchester has been republished with a updated edition for November 2017.

The guide contains information to help new migrants settle in the city. While focusing on Manchester, much of the guide will be useful to people living anywhere in the UK.

Available in English and Spanish, the guide can be downloaded in pdf format from the links below, paper copies will also be distributed around the city.

We are currently working on a translation into Portugese and we are producing a version for smartphones.

The Migrants Guide is a work in progress and we welcome submissions and suggestions. Please contact the Manchester local if you have anything to contribute.