Mid-November round-up of UK workplace and social struggles, and upcoming events

In mainstream union news, the Communication Workers’ Union are calling for people to join a day of action in defence of post offices on December 1st, with events currently planned for Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, London, Aberdeen, Crawley, Nottingham, Chester, Basingstoke, York, and Bristol. The post service seems to be seeing something of a wave of rank-and-file militancy at the moment, with walkouts reported at Hamilton, South Lanarkshire and Tarporley, Cheshire, joining other recent actions in places like Wigan and Maidstone.

In Derbyshire, workers at a crane factory are striking over a pay claim, with further action planned for November 19th and 26th and December 3rd. Taxi firm Addison Lee have lost an appeal against a tribunal ruling finding that their drivers are workers with employment rights, not self-employed contractors, in a case that may be relevant to other gig economy workers.

RMT members continue to take strike action on Northern and South-Western trains in the “keep the guard on the train” dispute against driver-only operation, with further action planned for next Saturday and probably ongoing weekly after that. Most of the public meetings in support of the Northern dispute have now happened, but there’s still an upcoming one in Liverpool on November 29th. Down South, Ben Frederick, a guard and RMT member who was facing management victimisation, has now been reinstated.

In Bath and other Somerset towns, care workers employed by Sirona have been striking against an attempted pay cut by management. Canteen staff and teaching assistants at Ladywood school, Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire are striking against job cuts, with support rallies called for Monday 19th and Thursday 29th. Messages of support can be sent to branchoffice@unisonbarnsleylg.org

In grassroots union news, the IWGB union are calling for a protest in support of low-paid outsourced staff outside a fancy ceremony organised by the University of London on Tuesday 20th, and in response to The Doctors Laboratory excluding courier staff from their works xmas do, couriers organised through the IWGB will be holding an alternative party outside, saying “bring your black tie & your red flag”. On Thursday 29th, the IWGB’s electrical workers’ branch will be holding a meeting in London to discuss the state of the industry and the ways that workers can organise to change it.

Meanwhile, another of London’s grassroots unions, the United Voices of the World, are inviting people to protest outside Justice Minister David Gauke’s private drinks on Monday 19th (assuming he’s still in the job by then) in support of outsourced cleaners and security guards fighting for a living wage at the Ministry of Justice. And on December 7th, the Women’s Strike Assembly and other socialist feminists are organising a “red christmas” fundraiser do for the UVW’s organising efforts among sex workers.

Meanwhile, the cleaners’ union CAIWU continue with weekly protests every Friday calling for the reinstatement of one of their members at Ofcom, and are involved in disputes against the sacking of cleaners at posh-sounding Croydon Catholic school Virgo Fidelis and the mistreatment of staff at nearly-bankrupt high-end bun-mongers Patisserie Valerie.

In more general social struggles, the campaign to stop nursery closures in Salford had another demo, which was attended by representatives of similar campaigns in Tower Hamlets and Nottingham, so they’re now looking at ways to link up nationally. The Stansted trial of people facing terrorism charges for taking direct action to stop deportation continues. The Focus E15 campaign will be paying a visit to a talk by former Mayor of Newham, Robin Wales, on Monday 19th, to remind everyone about his disastrous record of demolishing social housing while in office. On Tuesday 20th, the Mental Health Resistance Network will be gathering to make service users’ voices heard at the Westminister Health Forum, where NHS bosses and the like will be discussing the future of mental health services.

On Monday 26th, there’s a meeting in London to organise solidarity with Russian antifascists and anarchists. You can read a recent solidarity appeal from Russian comrades here. On Friday 30th, the “Up the Elephant” campaign against the development/regeneration/gentrification of Elephant & Castle will be holding a fundraiser night. The first weekend of December sees the Manchester & Salford anarchist bookfair, and Unite Community are calling for a national day of action against the introduction of Universal Credit. Further into December, the campaign against spycop-turned-politician Andy Coles will be holding another demo in Peterborough on December 12th.

Finally, there’s a few different upcoming events in the next few weeks aimed at developing a feminist antifascist movement, with an antifascist strategy meeting hosted by Plan C in Manchester on the 21st, a discussion in Huddersfield on “how do we continue to build an anti-racist feminist movement that can confront and defeat the far-right on these issues, and actually prevent, challenge and get justice for sexual violence in our communities” the same day, and a “feminists against fascism” demo in London on Sunday 25th.

That’s a fairly massive list of upcoming events, so for convenience’s sake, here it is in date order:

Monday 19th: Focus E15 vs former Mayor of Newham and cleaners, security guards and UVW vs Justice Minister in London, solidarity with school staff striking against job cuts near Barnsley.

Tuesday 20th: Mental Health Resistance Network presenting service users’ demands to NHS bosses, outsourced staff organised through IWGB making a fuss at a fancy University of London ceremony.

Wednesday 21st: Feminist antifascist stuff in Huddersfield and Manchester.

Friday 23rd, and regularly every Friday: CAIWU fighting for the reinstatement of a victimised member at Ofcom.

Saturday 24th, and regularly every Saturday: RMT strikes to keep train guards on Northern and South-Western trains.

Sunday 25th: Feminists against fascism demo, London

Monday 26th: London meeting in solidarity with Russian anarchists and antifascists

Thursday 29th: Electricians’ meeting in London, rally to support striking Ladywood school staff in South Yorkshire, support Northern guards public meeting in Liverpool.

Friday 30th: Up the Elephant anti-gentrification/regeneration fundraiser, unofficial alternative xmas do outside the official TDL event, both in London.

Saturday December 1st: Manchester and Salford anarchist bookfair, national days of action against universal credit and in defence of the post office.

Friday December 7th: Red Christmas do raising funds for the UVW’s organising, London.

Wednesday 12th: demo against sleazy spycop Andy Coles, Peterborough.

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."
This entry was posted in Anarchists, Gender, Protests, Strikes, Unemployment/claimants and welfare, Unions, Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mid-November round-up of UK workplace and social struggles, and upcoming events

  1. Pingback: Recent workplace wins: TGI Fridays, Bolton NHS and a London climbing centre | Cautiously pessimistic

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