Early October round-up: transport strikes, Bristol repression, and more

A few upcoming events:

Uber drivers organised through the IWGB’s United Private Hire Drivers branch will be striking on Wednesday 6th, and are holding a protest at Uber’s headquarters that day. Bin collectors employed by Serco in Sandwell will also be striking that day.

The 6th will also see the start of Toby Shone’s trial in Bristol. Toby Shone is facing terrorism charges related to the raids against the anarchist website 325.

You can currently write to Toby at:

Toby Shone A7645EP
HMP Bristol
19 Cambridge Rd
Bristol BS7 8PS

It’s possible that, if convicted, Toby’s address may change after sentencing. 
On Thursday 7th, two people are in court in Manchester facing charges related to alleged direct action against the Israeli arms company Elbit (non-fb link for backup purposes).
On Friday 8th, cleaners organised through the grassroots union CAIWU will be protesting at Facebook over their workloads and the victimisation of a union activist. They have also now announced their intention to ballot for strike action.

Sunday 10th will see Manchester tram workers striking over pay, park cleaners and other striking workers at Royal Parks in London holding a protest as part of their month-long strike action, and a radical bookfair hosted by Active Distribution in Bristol (non-fb link for backup purposes). You can also donate to the Royal Parks strike fundraiser here.

The International Workers’ Association has called for a week of action against unpaid wages starting on October 11th. Several groups of bus drivers have voted to take action against Stagecoach, starting with drivers based in Preston and Chorley who’ll be striking over pay from the 14th-16th October.
Manchester tram workers will be striking again on the 15th and 18th, and the 18th will also see strikes by Stagecoach bus drivers in the South West, East Midlands, and Derbyshire/Yorkshire. Stagecoach drivers in South Wales have now also voted for action but not set a date yet, and drivers in Manchester and Scotland are now going through the balloting process.

On Wednesday 20th, the Blacklist Support Group and National Construction Rank and File will be hosting a meeting in Liverpool on rank and file organising in construction. (non-fb link for backup purposes). That day will also see further strike action by care home workers organised through the UVW union at Sage Nursing Home, over pay, sick pay and annual leave.

There will also be further action by Lancashire Stagecoach drivers starting on the 22nd, and another Manchester tram strike on the 24th.

Ryan Roberts will be facing trial in Bristol on charges connected to the Kill the Bill protest earlier this year from October 25th-27th, and Bristol ABC are calling for a presence throughout his trial, but particularly on the first and last days.
Finally, going into November, the Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair will be happening on the 6th, and that day will also see a global day of climate action coinciding with the COP 26 talks. The AngryWorkers collective will also be holding a gathering in Manchester the day after.

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Uber strikes, Jock Palfreeman, victimised Facebook cleaners and more

Following on from the previous round-up, a few quick additional updates:

Uber Eats and Just Eats drivers in Dumferline are holding a wildcat strike over pay this week.

On Thursday 23rd, the Cowley Club in Brighton will be hosting a talk by former antifascist prisoner Jock Palfreeman.

Talk with Jock Palfreeman

CAIWU’s fight against trade union victimisation at Facebook continues, with another protest planned for Friday 24th.

The Uber strike planned for Tuesday 28th is now planned to happen in at least eight cities, with events confirmed so far for London, Sheffield, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, and Nottingham.

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Separately to the ADCU strike, the IWGB’s drivers union is also organising another Uber strike for October 6th, which will also involve a protest at Uber’s headquarters. It seems that Unite may also be organising protests over Pizza Express’s tipping policy that day, but there’s not many details of that confirmed yet.

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In other IWGB news, food delivery couriers organised through the IWGB have organised a boycott of a Dalston McDonald’s over parking issues, and they’ve also published a new survey showing the extent of harassment affecting couriers.

Further ahead, it’s just been announced that the Blacklist Support Group, Shut the Sites and the Construction Rank and File will be holding a joint meeting in Liverpool on Wednesday 20th October.

Finally, busy times for Manchester transport workers – this weekend’s tram strikes have been called off after an improved pay offer was made, but Stagecoach bus drivers in Manchester will now be balloting over pay.

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Breaking news – mass wildcat against blacklisting at Atomic Weapons Establishment

Breaking news coming from the Construction Rank and File network:

“They’re at it again. NG Bailey, Costain Group and AWE PLC are all pointing fingers at each other over who is responsible for blacklisting sparks at AWE Burghfield. Over 200 sparks walked off the Burghfield site today in support of their Unite the union safety rep who was removed from the site by NG Bailey – a firm with a long history of blacklisting union members. These are the very same electricians whose action in May 2021 was decisive in winnning the No2ESO industrial dispute.”

Dave Smith adds that:

“NG Bailey sent out letters threatening disciplinary action this afternoon. Costain (another firm with a history of blacklisting) are the main contractor on the project.”

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Mid-September round-up – Bristol wildcat wins, Uber strike, new bookfairs announced and more

Another quick round-up of upcoming events and ongoing struggles:

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On the evening of Tuesday 21st, the Louise Michel Sports Club will be hosting a talk by former antifascist prisoner Jock Palfreeman in London. An Australian anti-fascist and founder of the Bulgarian Prisoners Association, Palfreeman was sentenced to 20 years in a Bulgarian jail for defending two Roma boys and himself from a racist mob. He will talk about the lessons learnt during a decade spent in prison, including the role of solidarity behind bars, direct democracy as the natural way to self-organise in prisons, as well as reform and abolition.

Weetabix workers in Northamptonshire are set to begin a round of strikes from Tuesday 21st September onwards, in opposition to a “fire and rehire” attempt to change their contracts and shift patterns. Engineers organised through Unite are set to begin continuous action short of strike on Friday 24th at Abellio Scotrail, a company which is also seeing a separate conductors’ dispute organised through the RMT. Friday 24th will also see the return of the Youth Strike for Climate movement, there’s a protest in support of cleaners’ struggles happening in London on the 25th, and Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th will see Greater Manchester tram drivers striking over pay. The 25th may also see local Disabled People Against Cuts events over the £20 Universal Credit cut, but I’m not sure if any have been confirmed yet.

Conductors on Scotrail and East Midlands Railway are continuing their series of regular Sunday strikes over a range of issues.

On Monday 27th, workers at the GKN factory in Birmingham are launching an all-out indefinite strike against the threatened closure of their factory, and outsourced cleaners at the University of the Arts London will be starting a strike demanding to be brought in-house and given equal terms and conditions. More information can be found on their linktree, and they have a strike fundraiser here.

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Tuesday 28th sees a protest outside Parliament commemorating a year of the dehumanising refugee camp in Napier Barracks and demanding its closure, while Disabled People Against Cuts are planning a very loud protest in London that day over the Universal Credit cut and similar issues in the benefits system. Also on the 28th, the App Drivers and Couriers Union have just announced a strike by Uber drivers, with demos apparently planned in London, Glasgow, Birmingham and Nottingham

The joint UVW/PCS dispute by Royal Parks cleaners and playground attendants continues, with the outsourced workers set to walk out on October 1st and stay out throughout the whole month. On Sunday 3rd, there’s the traditional demo against the tory party conference in Manchester. Further ahead, Active Distribution will be hosting a radical bookfair in Bristol on October 10th, and the Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair will be happening on November 6th.

Other miscellaneous notes:

The Bristol bakery wildcat has now ended in a victory. Also in Bristol, defendants are still being sentenced from the Kill the Bill protest that kicked off in the spring, with Dylan Dunne being given 4 months for stealing a copper’s hat. Dylan’s address is:

Dylan Dunne A4108ER
HMP Horfield
19 Cambridge Road
Bristol
BS7 8PS

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The IWGB have launched a dispute at Ocado, with drivers voting for strike action over poverty pay and the threat of job losses. They’re currently asking for people to donate to their strike fund and to send letters to Ocado using this tool. Over at the UVW, cleaners at Great Ormond Hospital have voted to strike over issues around annual leave, maternity/paternity leave rights, and redundancy issues. You can find more about the campaign here, and they’re currently asking people to donate to their strike fund, write a letter to the hospital trustees using this tool, and fill out a form here if they want to get more involved in supporting the dispute.  

The Bexley Serco bin strike has won an impressive victory including a pay rise and extra holidays, and voice.wales has a report on the possibility of a number of public sector pay strikes breaking out in Wales.

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At Facebook, a cleaner and CAIWU member involved in union organising against impossible workloads has been taken to a disciplinary and now sacked. CAIWU seem to be holding fairly regular Friday protests at Facebook’s offices at the moment, and also suggest that groups could invite Guillermo Camacho or one of his coworkers to address their meetings to raise awareness of the dispute.

Final notes: ACORN members have been involved in resisting an eviction in Cornwall, and the last few days have also seen Stagecoach drivers organised through the RMT voting for strike action over pay in Derbyshire and the South West, and workers at four Tesco distribution centers rejecting a pay offer, meaning that they’ll now move to being balloted for strike action.

Posted in Anarchists, Climate Change, Disability, Housing, Repression, Riots, Strikes, Tories, Unemployment/claimants and welfare, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Late August round-up: Kill the Bill prisoner solidarity, Royal Parks strike, Bristol bakery wildcat and more

A few quick updates:

Tonight, North London Anti-Fascist Assembly will be running a night of solidarity with the imprisoned Bristol Kill the Bill prisoners, featuring letter-writing, a film showing and more.

On Saturday 28th, Equity are organising a protest against the proposed council cuts at Stratford Circus in Newham. That night also sees a fundraiser party for the ongoing PCS/UVW Royal Parks strike. As previously noted, in Brighton, Liverpool, Nottingham, Cambridge, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Coventry, North London and East London, campaigners will be calling on TUI to end their complicity with the Home Office’s deportation regime.

Regular Sunday strikes are continuing on East Midlands Trains, running into mid-October, and also on Hull trains and Scotrail.

On the bank holiday Monday, there’s a big strike rally being organised in support of the Royal Parks strikers, at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. Then on Tuesday 31st, Serco staff at Sandwell will be striking over health and safety issues and management bullying, and seem likely to walk out on four successive Tuesdays if the dispute isn’t resolved.

On September 4th, care workers will be holding protests highlighting issues with pay and conditions in their industry, with events so far confirmed for London, Newcastle, Manchester, and Preston. That day also sees the Bradford Anarchist Bookfair, and the start of the Antiuniversity thing in London.

Also in early September, there’s going to be a range of events happening against the DSEi arms fair, mostly between the 6th-16th. Then on the 11th, there’s a demo against another arms fair going on in Liverpool, the Wigan Diggers’ Festival up in Wigan, and an anarchist bookfair happening in London.

In other industrial news, Bristol IWW report that staff at a Bristol bakery have started a wildcat strike in response to threatened redundancies. It sounds like the Bexley bin strike may be coming to an end, and Manchester tram drivers have started balloting for action over pay.
In prison news, there’s a call for action in response to racist attacks on Muslim prisoners at HMP Long Lartin. You can use a tool to send emails here, read a bit more about the situation in this post, and Freedom have a report from a recent demo at the prison highlighting these issues. There’s also another call to send emails in response to a similar situation at HMP Wakefield.

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Kill the Bill, deportations, arms fairs and more: mid-August class struggle round-up

A quick round-up of ongoing disputes and upcoming events:

The joint PCS/UVW strike action by outsourced workers demanding equal treatment at Royal Parks started on Monday the 16th and is set to run till the 30th August. You can donate to their strike fund here, and email their bosses in support of the strike using a tool here. In other PCS news, DVLA workers are striking over Covid safety through the whole of August. Another long-running strike continues in Bexley, where bin workers are still on strike over pay and victimisation issues, and have previously warned that the dispute could stretch out into October.

Also, pretty much all the health unions are running pay ballots of some kind at the moment, so those are important to vote in for anyone who works in that sector. See Health Workers United for more on that.

Biomedical scientists in Lancaster are set to walk out over pay on Friday 20th August and keep striking through till the end of November if no progress is made.

Saturday 21st is set as the next big Kill the Bill day of action, with events so far confirmed for Manchester, Cardiff, Newcastle, Liverpool, Exeter, Stoke, and London. A coach to London is available from Sheffield/Leeds/York, as well as another from Swansea/Cardiff/Newport/Bristol. Although there is definitely local stuff happening in Cardiff that day, and I think local stuff is better myself. As before, see Bristol ABC, Bristol Defendant Solidarity on twitter or Support Kill the Bill Prisoners on instagram for more information on how to support the people facing ongoing repression connected to the movement.

Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley are set to strike from Saturday 21st through to Tuesday morning against management bullying, and regular Sunday strikes are continuing on East Midlands Trains, running into mid-October, and also on Hull trains and Scotrail

Extinction Rebellion’s next big event will be running from around Monday 23rd onwards. On Wednesday 25th, there’s a fundraiser event for Kill the Bill prisoners in Bristol, and on Friday 27th, the IWGB will be running a leafleting and face-to-face outreach session with workers around Brick Lane.

On the 28th, there’s a number of events taking place against what No Borders Manchester have called a “summer of deportations”. In Brighton, Liverpool, Nottingham, Cambridge, Sheffield, Leeds, North London and East London, campaigners will be calling on TUI to end their complicity with the Home Office’s deportation regime.

On September 4th, care workers will be holding protests highlighting issues with pay and conditions in their industry, with events so far confirmed for London, Newcastle, Manchester, and Preston. That day also sees the Bradford Anarchist Bookfair, and the start of the Antiuniversity thing in London.

Also in early September, there’s going to be a range of events happening against the DSEi arms fair, mostly between the 6th-16th. Then on the 11th, there’s a demo against another arms fair going on in Liverpool, the Wigan Diggers’ Festival up in Wigan, and an anarchist bookfair happening in London.
Finally, one more development that has the potential to be very important: Unite has officially launched an investigation into union collusion with the construction blacklist, an issue that the Blacklist Support Group have been highlighting for a while now.

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Workplace and legal/repression news for early August

Another quick listing of upcoming events and recent news:

UCU members at the University of Liverpool are out on strike from now until Saturday 14th against compulsory redundancies. They’ve already managed to negotiate their employer down from 47 job losses to 2, but refuse to suspend their action until all jobs are secure.

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On Thursday August 5th, grassroots cleaners’ union CAIWU will be holding protests at the headquarters of both the BMA and Facebook. About the facebook campaign, they’ve written:

“On July 21st, several dozen cleaners at Facebook’s 10 Brock Street offices took to the streets. The purpose: to tell their employer, Churchill Cleaning, that enough is enough.

They cannot work harder just because Churchill has added five new floors to the area they have to clean.

They cannot work harder to make up for Churchill’s failure to replace cleaners who have left.

They can’t work any harder, and they won’t work any harder. But they will keep protesting until Churchill and Facebook get the message.

They are already working as hard as they can.

Support the Facebook Cleaners. Join the protest on August 5th.”

This Thursday also sees the BFAWU union holding a protest at the Leicester factory of Food Attraction, who are forcing their workers to work long hours without extra overtime pay and only providing the minimum SSP rather than proper sick pay rates.

On August 6th, there’s an important demo in London against the construction companies building HS2, which are refusing to allow Unite meaningful access to the site. The demo should be the start of a larger campaign against union-busting in the construction industry, and starts at 12 noon at the corner of Hampstead Road and Roberts Street NW1 3EL (close to Euston Station, London).

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That day also sees an online solidarity rally with the Liverpool UCU strike.

RMT members on Hull Trains are to start regular strike action on Sundays in defence of their pension rights, with the first date set for the 8th, and then continuing on every Sunday through August if the dispute isn’t settled. Similarly, on East Midlands Railway, RMT members are set to strike on every Sunday from the 8th through to the end of September in a dispute about safety and management trying to impose new working arrangements.

On Monday 9th, there’s a real-life, in-person rally in support of the Liverpool UCU strike, and the Strike Map project has a (virtual) book club about self-organising and workers’ struggle in South Africa.

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Further ahead, Saturday August 21st is the next big date for the Kill the Bill movement. As Netpol have highlighted, the House of Commons passing the bill does not mean the fight’s over. That date also sees Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley starting a three-day strike against management bullying and harassment.

Further ahead, there’s a few anarchist bookfairs and related events planned for September, with the Bradford bookfair on the 4th, the Antiuniversity running a festival from the 4th-10th, and a London bookfair planned for the 11th-12th.

In other ongoing workplace dispute news, the grassroots union IWGB have begun balloting for strike action among Enfield cycling instructors, and you can donate to their strike fund here. They’re also preparing for a campaign against outsourcing at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Elsewhere, London IWW have launched a campaign against wage theft at a Wimbledon sushi restaurant.

Planned strike action on the tube has been suspended for now after progress was apparently made in ACAS talks. Meanwhile, the long-running Bexley Serco bin strike continues, and seems like it could run for a while longer as Serco appears unwilling to negotiate. Reel News have made a short film about the dispute so far:

In legal/repression news, there’s a lot to report. The first cases from the Bristol Kill the Bill protests have now come to court, and five people have received prison sentences, with two more currently being held on remand awaiting trial. You can donate to support the prisoners here, and read a bit more analysis of their sentencing in Freedom here.

The following prisoners would like to receive messages of support:

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See Bristol Defendant Solidarity on twitter or Support Kill the Bill Prisoners on instagram for more news on that situation as it develops.

Meanwhile, Community Action on Prison Expansion are asking for people to object to a proposed prison in Buckinghamshire getting planning permission, and the family of anarchist prisoner John Paul Wootton are asking for people to email and write to the Northern Ireland Prison Service demanding an end to the discrimination against John Paul.

Finally, just to note that a range of new stickers are available from the Anarchist Communist Group, with new ones from the related No Safety No Work campaign also coming soon. And if you want even more, perhaps to cover up the conspiracy theorist shit that seems to be everywhere these days, the Autonomous Design Group always have cheaply-priced and excellently-designed stuff.

Posted in Anarchists, Repression, Riots, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

End Unfair Terminations at Uber: Fight For Unfairly Fired Drivers and Couriers, Monday 26th July, 2pm

From the IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch:

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For app-based workers like UberEats riders and Uber drivers, the threat of being TERMINATED (being permanently blocked from the app and having your income source suddenly shut off) is always present. We can be terminated even if we’ve worked in the job for 10 years with 100% customer satisfaction. 

We can be terminated for reasons as insignificant as an app glitch or a few late deliveries, and may be given no notice at all. For many of us, this is our full time job. We are typically given no chance to present our own side of the story or to appeal the decision.

As key workers we have served you throughout the pandemic, delivering food to those who are self isolating or providing riders to those avoiding public transport. Now we’re calling on you to help us fight for our dignity and job security.

We are calling for:

  1. A fair dismissals process for all app-based workers!
  2. That all unfairly terminated workers are re-instated immediately!

Bring your car, moped or bike and join UPHD and the IWGB Couriers on 26th July to demand an end to unfair terminations, and that all unfairly closed accounts be reopened NOW! We will be meeting at the ASDA Car Park in Stepney Green at 2pm and then driving together from there to the Uber Head Office at Aldgate Tower, please join us!

If you don’t have a car, moped or bike, and want to join directly at Uber Head Office, the address is Aldgate Tower, Aldgate East, E1 8QN.

That day will also see a demo in Street, Somerset, against “fire and rehire” plans at the shoe company Clarks.

A quick reminder of other upcoming events over the next week:

On Thursday 29th, there’s a “fight oppression globally, welcome refugees” protest at the Home Office, organised by the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and supported by a number of other groups.

On Friday 30th, cleaners at Royal Parks will be striking over pay, conditions, and the reinstatement of a sacked colleague, in action co-ordinated between PCS and the grassroots union UVW. Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh have been taking strike action over bullying and harassment, with the next date scheduled for Saturday 31st, and that date also sees a call to occupy Peckham Green, where the local community are fighting to defend a park from being built over.

Posted in Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mid-July roundup: cleaners’ and rail disputes, prisoner solidarity and more

A few notes on upcoming events and ongoing workplace disputes:

On Tuesday 20th, the RMT are holding a Justice for Cleaners demonstration outside Parliament, as part of their ongoing campaign against the privatisation of cleaning.

On Wednesday 21st, there’s another cleaners’ protest, this time organised by grassroots union CAIWU at Facebook’s London offices. They complain “Facebook cleaners have started getting sick – hardly surprising when they have twice as much work as before. Yet Churchill Group just blames [them] for not working ENOUGH.”

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On Saturday 24th, a Reclaim Pride march will be held in London.

Sunday 25th is the international day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners, so you might want to do something to mark that date.

Conductors on East Midlands Railway are striking regularly every Sunday through July and into August in response to the company trying to issue inferior contracts to some guards. ScotRail staff have also been holding regular Sunday strikes over pay justice

On Thursday 29th, there’s a “fight oppression globally, welcome refugees” protest at the Home Office, organised by the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and supported by a number of other groups.

On Friday 30th, cleaners at Royal Parks will be striking over pay, conditions, and the reinstatement of a sacked colleague, in action co-ordinated between PCS and the grassroots union UVW. Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh have been taking strike action over bullying and harassment, with the next date scheduled for Saturday 31st, and that date also sees a call to occupy Peckham Green, where the local community are fighting to defend a park from being built over.

Tube drivers will be taking strike action starting on August 3rd, in response to London Underground scrapping the Night Tube Train Drivers’ grade.

Further ahead, there’s a few anarchist bookfairs and related events planned for September, with the Bradford bookfair on the 4th, the Antiuniversity running a festival from the 4th-10th, and a London bookfair planned for the 11th-12th

Another dispute is ongoing in Bexley, where outsourced refuse staff employed by Serco on behalf of the council are in the middle of a two-week strike over a 1.5 per cent pay offer, disparities in pay for workers doing the same jobs, the removal of industrial sickness benefits and Serco’s refusal to hand over years of back pay owed to nearly 50 staff. Outsourced security staff at Reading Hospital went out on strike on July 12th and are staying out till the end of the month, after balloting over the failure of the company to meaningfully negotiate a decent pay offer for 2020; failure to take health and safety concerns seriously; and the refusal to discuss on sick pay relating to health and safety and to address the disparity in sick pay between colleagues.

Outsourced support staff employed through ISS at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have delivered a 97.3% vote for strike action on an 82% turnout.

In prisoner support news, Bristol ABC are calling for people to support Ryan Roberts, who’s held awaiting trial on charges related to alleged participation in the Bristol Kill the Bill protests.

His address is:

Ryan Roberts
HMP Horfield
19 Cambridge Road
Bristol
BS7 8PS
Prison number A5155EM

As ever, please be careful with any writing addressed to a pre-trial prisoner.

Finally, a few recent victories: workers organised through UVW at the luxury housing development West End Quay have called off a strike after winning a whole set of demands. London Renters Union and others successfully prevented an eviction, a story which has been reported in the Mirror and Novara.

At the Royal London Hospital, strikes have been called off after Serco offered important concessions including moving and retraining a manager accused of bullying, and workers at the Southbank Centre have beaten an attempted pay cut.

Posted in Repression, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bow crane collapse one year on – June Harvey vigil, Thursday 8th July

The Hazards Campaign, Construction Safety Campaign, and Families Against Corporate Killers are supporting a vigil in memory of June Harvey, who was killed by a crane crashing through her house one year ago.

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For more information, see this article in the local press, the Hazards Campaign or Families Against Corporate Killers.

Posted in Protests | Tagged , | 1 Comment