Another quick round-up of news across a few different areas:
In the workplace, Brighton SolFed are reporting another victory against a wage-stealing pub, and they’ve also finally resolved the long-running Caffe Bar Italia dispute, and construction workers in Teesside have been out protesting against bosses in Redcar trying to get away with undercutting wages. Coming up, workers at the Royal College of Art, having secured a commitment to the London Living Wage, will be protesting on the 22nd to demand that the increase should happen now and not be put off till September. There’s still the demo in support of victimised union rep Petrit Mihaj planned for May Day, and International Workers’ Memorial Day events will be taking place across the country on Wednesday 28th. Hazards magazine have made a range of posters you can use to advertise events in your area.
On the legal front, the government have introduced a range of new court charges that penalise people further for getting convicted and particularly for exercising their right to a trial. To anyone on a low-to-average income, these charges are going to act as a huge deterrent – for instance, getting convicted at the magistrates’ court after a trial might cost you £1000, put pleading guilty to the same offence will only cost £180, so unless you’re absolutely sure of winning, fighting to clear your name in court could become very expensive. Oh, and if you want to appeal against a sentence and your appeal’s rejected that’ll be another £150-£200 on top. As with the introduction of fees for workplace tribunals, justice is going to become harder and harder to get for anyone who’s not rich.
In welfare news, the Black Triangle Campaign are celebrating the fact that they’ve been able to pressure the British Medical Association into informing all GPs about some important regulations that could save people from failing the dreaded Work Capacity Assessment. And the next Boycott Workfare week of action is getting closer – there’s already events planned for Edinburgh, Bristol, and two separate events in London, but hopefully more will be announced closer to the time.
Looking at London’s developing movement around housing, Johnny Void reports that last Wednesday’s March for the Homeless went well. Coming up, the London Property Awards will see a bunch of landlords and similar parasites gathering to slap each other’s backs, so it’d be good to have a presence there letting them know what people think of them, and then there’s the Reclaim Brixton stuff happening next weekend.
In antifascist news, people have been out on the streets today confronting the EDL in Solihull and nazis in London. Coming up, the major mobilisation is against the March for England in Blackpool next Friday, although there’s also a few more events coming up in the Midlands in May. And, indeed, the antifascist 0161 Festival in Manchester.
Finally, as if anyone’d forgotten, it’s May Day soon, and it should be marked by events across the country including Newcastle SolFed’s party in solidarity with imprisoned Spanish anarchists, the Radical Workers’ Bloc marching through Cardiff, and Class War’s street party in London, as well as the Petrit Mihaj demo, Bristol workfare picket, and Manchester antifascist festival mentioned above.