Your semi-regular-ish round-up of workplace goings-on and other stuff that might be of interest:
The Angry Workers of the World have just compiled their “system series” into a single pamphlet, which looks like a decent accessible introduction to what capitalism is and how we might think about being able to get rid of it. On a similar note, the Anarchist Communist Group have just put out the first issue of their new journal Virus, and also have a range of new stickers in case you can think of anything in your area that could use a bit of redecoration. And Past Tense are producing a new 2020 London radical history calendar for anyone who’s into that kind of thing.
In antifascist news, Football Lads & Lasses Against Fascism are having a whip-round for two people who were fined a few hundred pounds after a court case connected to events in Bootle during Tommy Robinson’s European election campaign, so you can chuck them a few quid via Paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel able to help out with that.
Workplace stuff without a specific date attached:
As you may have seen, the courts have just ruled against post workers’ union the CWU and in favour of Royal Mail bosses’ attempt to ban the upcoming post strike. It’s hard to say what’ll come next, but if you want to keep informed about what looks set to be a pretty bitter dispute, you can sign up to their supporters’ network here (although I’ve not really heard much from them since first signing up).
Similarly nasty moves have come from Asda management, who’re using the threat of mass sackings to force workers to sign up to unpopular new contracts. There’s a fair bit of talk about proposed consumer boycotts in response to the move, but I’ve not seen anything much about actual co-ordinated resistance within the workplace. You can keep an eye on #contract6 to see what people are saying about it, and #reinstatemickey to keep up with the case of Mickey Hunnam, a shop steward sacked by Asda with the apparent complicity of GMB officials.
Low-paid kitchen staff at 5 Hertford Street, a posh London private members’ club, have returned a 100% vote for strike action after organising through the grassroots union IWGB to demand sick pay and a living wage. There doesn’t seem to be a specific date set yet, but you can donate to their strike fund here.
As part of their ongoing campaigning for rail cleaners to be paid a living wage, the RMT recently held a “Justice for Merseyside cleaners” protest outside Merseyrail HQ, with more similar actions likely to come soon.
A few things that were upcoming dates when I started compiling this round-up but are now past are the strike by cleaners at Highgate Wood School demanding a living wage and sick pay, the strike across six South London McDonald’s, and round two of the strike by outsourced cleaners at St Mary’s Hospital who’ve organised through the United Voices of the World union to demand NHS wages and conditions.
There’s a whole lot of stuff coming up, and I’ll try to pull a fuller guide together soon, but I’ll stick to a quick listing of upcoming events in the next few days for the sake of getting this out now before I delay it any further and miss even more:
On Friday 15th November, there’s a call for actions against blacklisting construction company Kier to pressure them into pulling out of the contract to build a new megaprison. So far the only location where anything’s definitely confirmed to be happening is in central London.
On Saturday 16th, there’s a big conference on undercover policing, blacklisting and the trade unions, jointly hosted by the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, Police Spies Out Of Lives and the Blacklist Support Group, or for anyone around South Essex there’s a protest against local NHS cuts. And in the West Midlands, the RMT are calling regular Saturday strikes in defence of the role of train guards and against driver-only operation on West Midlands Trains.
On Sunday 17th, the London TEFL Workers’ Union, a branch of the IWW, are hosting a showing of the film Pride, along with a short Q&A with someone who was involved with Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners at the time. Entry is free, and all money spent at the bar will go to striking English Language teachers in Dublin, who will also be giving a short explanation of their situation.