Mid-July round-up: workplace struggles and other movement news

A round-up of news from workplace disputes and social struggles:

Cleaners at the London School of Economics are celebrating after Alba, a worker who was sacked, has had her dismissal overturned. This was the last outstanding issue in the dispute between the LSE and the grassroots union UVW, and also marks the fifth sacked cleaner to be reinstated in a year at the LSE.

Over at the IWGB, they have another tribunal case happening about the rights of “gig economy” workers, and they’ve also come out with a major response to the Taylor Review on modern employment practices.

In Manchester, the four-week strike by housing maintenance workers employed by Mears is still ongoing. According to an event supporting the dispute, pickets should be running 7:30-10 on strike days at Hendham Vale, by the junction of Hazelbottom Road and Vale Park Way (M8 0AD), and messages of support can be sent to Colin Pitt via colinpitt65@hotmail.co.uk. Strike action’s also been taking place at St Bart’s NHS Trust, with cleaners, porters and security staff planning to take more action soon if the dispute over pay and management bullying isn’t settled.

British Airways cabin crew will be striking into the middle of August over pay and retaliation against striking workers, and Bank of England staff will be holding their first strike in nearly 50 years, after 95% of them voted for action over pay. They’ll be out from 31 July-3 August.

In the dispute at Picturehouse, a call’s gone out for a national day of action on July 29th. You can check if there’s a Picturehouse cinema near you here, and if there’s not, they’re owned by the larger chain Cineworld, who almost certainly will have a presence near you. Lefty Labour mag/site the Clarion has more suggestions about how to help the dispute here. There’s also a new site with more info about the case of the sacked Picturehouse workers.

Over in the public sector, workers at Eastern Avenue jobcentre have just struck again over the proposed closure of 1 in 10 jobcentres. I still have no idea why the PCS are responding to this national issue, affecting 70-odd centres, with such an extremely local action, but good on the Eastern Avenue workers.

In Durham, the heroic teaching assistants have voted to reject the latest divide-and-rule offer from the council, saying they need a settlement where no-one’s left behind. You can read some TAs’ thoughts from the Miners’ Gala here, along with a good statement of support from the Durham Miners’ Association here. The DMA statement certainly makes a contrast to the silence of some within Labour. Anyone in the area with left-communist leanings might be interested to see that the Communist Workers’ Organisation are holding a meeting on the TAs struggle on Tuesday 25th.

The prosecution over the death of Rene Tkacik, killed by his work at Crossrail, continues, with the next court date being July 27th, probably at Southwark Crown Court – exact details should be confirmed closer to the time.

In international news, the large-scale mobilisation around the garment workers’ strike continues in Haiti. The workers’ support network are currently asking people to flood the inbox of Liu Chunmou, director of Fairway Apparel, at chunmouliu@yahoo.com, with messages asking that he stops calling in the police to shoot at striking workers – full template provided here.

Back in the UK, a few miscellaneous upcoming events: the Angry Workers of the World collective, who now have a facebook page, are hosting their next trans-Atlantic discussion, on abortion rights and reproductive justice in the US, on Sunday 23rd. FB event is here.

In Sheffield, housing organisation/tenants’ union ACORN are gearing up to resist an eviction on Thursday 27th. You can sign up to join the anti-eviction committee here, or email jonny.butcher (at) acorncommunities.org.uk for more info.

Manchester has a new radical space opening soon, Partisan. Their opening weekend will be at the end of the month, July 28th-30th.

Plan C are keeping busy – their Leeds group are hosting a social strike planning game, which sounds intriguing, on July 31st, and down in London they’re holding a party on August 1st, raising funds for their upcoming Fast Forward festival. You can read much more about Fast Forward here. It’s a bit of a shame that in all the excitement they seem to have forgotten about their Deliveroo workers’ bulletin, but hopefully they’ll remember about it soon.


About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
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