The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Change the World, Join SolFed!

What does it mean to change the world? Where do we start? How do we get masses of people to wake up and rise up? Sometimes it feels impossible. People vote for parties who openly attack their interests. Most of the time only a handful will join protest marches or do anything more militant. The climate is changing, wars are raging the world over, and most people don’t even want to hear about it.

But that isn’t the whole story…

Your Rights And Working Part-time Under The Goverment's Furlough Job Scheme

From 1 July onwards the government will be introducing a flexible furlough scheme which will apply to all those who were placed on the existing scheme on or before June 10th.

Under the scheme, employers will be able to bring in workers already on furlough on a part-time basis. It will be up to the employer to decide the hours and shift patterns they want people to work to suit the needs of their business. Your employer will pay your full wages for the time you are in work and the government will pay 80% of your wages for the hours where you are not needed.

Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

We would like to offer our full support and solidarity to BLM protesters around the world fighting for racial justice, against white supremacy and police brutality. We would also add that we offer solidarity to protesters involved at the protest in bristol last weekend who are being investigated by the police for doing something which should have happened decades ago, toppling the statue of the racist slaver Edward Colston.

When protesters, who joined the Bristol’s Black Lives Matter demonstration, toppled Edward Colston statue last week they probably didn’t conceive the impact their symbolic act would have. They tore down a statue and helped push discussions around race and history in a new direction. These views voices on Britain’s colonial and economic past have become central to the dialogue.

Black Lives Matter: Solidarity statement

Content warning - racism, racist violence, police brutality, state violence, anti blackness, transphobia, misgendering, misogynoir, colonialism, transmisogyny

We offer our solidarity and compassion to the people in the US and UK bravely resisting the structures of white supremacy and systemic anti-blackness which are endemic in our societies. The murder of George Floyd has furthered a global movement which is provoking tangible change in many countries. Resist the media narratives of chaos and brutality; these protests are courageous, well-organised actions by communities seeking to abolish the structure of racist state violence.

U.S. Port Workers Stop Work in Protest of George Floyd Killing

Dockworkers across the USA stopped work on the 9th June in a show of support for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) stopped work and lay down their tools for an 8 minute and 46 second moment of silence in honour of George Floyd and all victims of police brutality.The 8 minutes and 46 seconds is representative of the amount of time George Floyd was pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020.

The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL/CIO (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX), representing employers of the East and Gulf Coast longshore industry, also stopped work for a “peaceful protest hour” at all ports from Maine to Texas.

Black Live Matter: Learning From the Past

The Black Lives Matter movement across the world has certainly created a space for resistance against racism, white supremacy and the dynamics of colonialism. Colonialism in the past but also the remains of colonial ideas in the present. The idea that black people and People of Colour, should be "grateful" to the society that offers individuals work and, sometimes, offers asylum and refugee status, is a product of that old colonial mentality that we have to destroy at its roots. The uprooting of the Edward Colston statue that seems to have caused so much uproar is a sign of this on-going and all-pervading colonialist mentality. Surely, it is argued, Colston has brought benefits to the city (of Bristol) and supported in his time a wide range of philanthropic initiatives. The other aspects, the fact that he was a slave trader, can be conveniently put aside as "not relevant" to today.

Returning to work after the lockdown and staying safe

Working from home

The government guidelines are clear, your employer should  take all reasonable steps to allow you to work from home. You should only be asked to return to work if it is not possible to work from home. If your employer is demanding you return to work when it is possible to work from home, write to them making it clear that they are breaking government guidelines.
If you are working from home your employer still has a duty of care. They should protect your mental and physical wellbeing, including providing you with all the equipment and information you need to work  from home safely. 

Returning to work

Reduced Life = Reduced Work (The Work/Life Balance)

Applause is lauded at NHS workers; ideas for re-compensation; a daily service supplement; an increased hourly rate; even a medal for working during the pandemic. Many of us in the NHS work shifts - day and night - throughout the year. It is not just a virus that killing us, our shift work is too. The World Health Organisation declared in 2007 that shift work is probably carcinogenic (Straif et al 2007 #1). Studies such as Gu et al (2015 #2) have shown us that shift work, especially nights increases our risks of cardio vascular disease, mental health issues, lower immunity, cancer and ultimately our mortality.

Rather than working our life away for minimal financial compensation would we not rather have our life given back? Striking a better work / life balance: a reduced working week without being financially penalised.