Just a quick post plugging a few important events happening over the next few days: First, workers at Remploy factories are meant to be going out on strike tomorrow and next week. The government’s proposed closure of Remploy factories doesn’t just make a cruel mockery of all their talk about getting people into work, but, as Johnny Void has outlined, it could push the disabled people currently employed by Remploy into a very vicious trap: since they’ve been working, they’ll be found fit for work and ineligible for disability benefits, but they’ll also find a hard time getting hired in most mainstream workplaces, so it’s likely that they’ll end up being classified as long-term unemployed and so a target for all the weapons that are used to beat the “workshy” into submission. They really do have everything to lose if these closures go through, and they deserve all our support. If you’re not sure if there’s a Remploy factory in your area, and you can’t find out by googling “Remploy + [your area]”, try emailing mail (at) dpac.uk.net and they might be able to help you out.
On Friday, there’s going to be another strike by members of the IWW Cleaners’ Branch at John Lewis. The strike itself is only in London but – as I understand it – the cleaners have said they’d welcome solidarity demonstrations at John Lewis sites elsewhere. Without meaning to be too critical, the IWW’s online presence isn’t great, so I have to direct readers to a trot site for coverage of the dispute and resources for solidarity pickets. Sorry about that.
Also on Friday, tenants in Edinburgh are going to be taking action against letting agents. This comes soon after similar action taken by tenants in Haringey in London. Housing struggles have been getting a bit of attention recently, with a write-up in the Guardian – I hadn’t heard of the National Private Tenants’ Organisation before, so I don’t quite know what I think of them yet, but my instincts say that, where they don’t already exist, it might be more worthwhile putting your efforts into building solidarity networks, of the kind that have recently won victories for tenants in Glasgow and elsewhere. Still, any tenants’ organisation is better than none, so I wish the Edinburgh and Haringey tenants’ groups all the best.
Oh, and if you’re in London, you might want to get down to the Ruck Against Workfare gig on Saturday night, especially if shouty punk’s your cup of tea.