A few quick updates:
Reel News have an urgent callout for the North East:
Today Reel News are putting out a call to take action at a particularly dangerous site – we hope that some of you out there can help.
These are pictures from Smulders yard in Wallsend, 5 miles from Newcastle. Look at the canteen, with people crammed together. And look at the picture of the two people right next to each other by the red skip – that’s actually a safety adviser and a foreman, not even bothering to stand 2 metres apart when they could, in this case, do so easily.
It’s a steelyard, and welders and platers have been put back working in pairs where they are working within a foot of each other. There’s no way of doing this job safely, the work they’re doing is non-essential, and Smulders could easily furlough all their workers right now – but they don’t care. It’s all about power and money to them.
No unions are allowed on site, there is a bullying culture where the workers are treated like shit, and there is growing evidence that people have been sacked for even trying to speak up. Most workers do not want to be on site during the pandemic but it’s fear – and fear of not getting paid, or losing their jobs – that is keeping them there.
These pictures are very similar to ones we put up a month ago – and it’s clear that the Smulders management have not even attempted to think about keeping their workers and surrounding communities safe.
At a moment where Shut The Sites are calling for action to shut down construction sites on full pay all over the country, we hope you’ll agree that Smulders needs to be a priority. So if you want to take part in action outside to back these workers up, send us a private message (DO NOT POST HERE. Smulders management monitor this page.) If you can help organise it, even better. But let’s see if we can find 6 people in the Newcastle area to get the campaign up and running. It’s the least these workers deserve.”
You can also contact Reel News at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want. On a related note, you can also now download the new Miners’ Strike Stories film from them.
The IWGB have put out a call to help defend ten medical couriers threatened with redundancy, including some who are workplace militants, you can email their bosses (including David Byrne, but not that David Byrne) using a form here.
The new Croydon Solidarity Network have a reflection on the past month’s socially distanced activity, including the Pizza Hut dispute, here. And the Anarchist Communist Group, who’ve been consistently putting out up-to-date reporting throughout the crisis, are currently fundraising to cover printing costs, so you might want to chuck them a few quid here.