This upcoming action against a rip-off temp agency in West London looks worth attending if you can make it, or helping to publicise if you can’t:
ACTION TO GET OUR HOLIDAY PAY!!
We are 4 agency workers, on minimum wage, whose holiday pay is being withheld. We think this is systematically being done by this agency. We have tried calling and going in individually, phoning their head office, all to no avail. They never call us back, and come up with different excuses as to why they’re not coughing up e.g. “we’ve sent your P45 now, it’s too late to get your holiday pay” or “You needed to have given us one weeks notice before you left the agency so we don’t have to pay your holiday pay” etc. etc. Our contract states that if we are owed holiday pay upon leaving, i.e. we have holiday days that we have not taken, this money will be paid to us instead.
Our individual efforts have failed, so we want to go together and not leave until they pay us what we are owed! We have all now left the agency so we have nothing to lose. We also want word of our action to spread amongst local workers so that they know that they could also do something if their agency fucks them around.
The plan is to be at the agency at 9.30am. we want to go inside, make our demands to get paid and basically refuse to leave until they’ve done what they’ve had to do e.g. phone head office, find our records and the exact amounts they owe us, and sign something that the payments have gone into our accounts. in the meantime, it would be good to have people inside with us, and also maybe talking to other workers inside who will be there to register with the agency. if we get chucked out, would be good to have some kind of presence outside for a while, speaking to people as they come in, maybe handing out some flyers…? Also, if someone could film it, that would be good.
So, the details are:
When? Wednesday 13th August.
Meeting point: 9am, outside Tescos, 229 Greenford Road. UB6 8QY. The easiest way to get there if you are coming from centre of london is to go to greenford on the tube (zone 4 on the central line, westbound) and then get the 92 bus outside the station for 10 minutes along the road until you get to greenford broadway. If it’s easier, I can meet people at greenford tube station at 8.30am and we can go to the tesco’s together.
Because of work/flight commitments of some of us, we’ve only got until about 11.15am at the latest before we have to quit the action.
We haven’t done something like this before so any advice with regards to strategy is welcome!
I’ve not had anything to do with organising this, I just saw the announcement and thought it was worth passing on, but if you fancy getting in touch with Angry Workers of the World, the group who seem to be behind the call-out, you can try firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the subject of direct action, a few recent victories won by direct action struggles over housing: a huge crowd prevented bailiffs from carrying out an eviction in Nottingham, the Seattle Solidarity Network have pressured landlords into signing up for a huge repairs programme costing over $50,000 after a nine-month fight, and Bristol ACORN also report that they’ve had some success in forcing landlords to make needed repairs.
All these stories demonstrate the power of solidarity to win real victories and improve our lives. The more good examples we can point to, the easier it will be to persuade our friends, coworkers, neighbours and families that they don’t have to just passively take it next time they get ripped off by a landlord or employer. If you’re in London and free during the day, joining the temp agency action next Wednesday might be a good place to start.