We’d like to hear from workers in this position, you need a fighting union!.

“I have dined in your establishments many times but I write to inform you that I will never do so again and nor will any of my friends or family.

The reason for this is that my stepson has the misfortune to work in your Thomas Sheraton bar in Stockton and I am now aware of the basis upon which you operate and profit.

He is “employed” on a zero hours basis and earns barely enough to feed himself. Not long after joining your establishment he got into trouble with his rent due to the extremely low wages and was evicted from his home. I blame the basis of his employment with you for this. He now lives 2 miles away from your bar and is obliged to walk this distance to and from work as he does not earn enough to afford public transport. Yesterday my wife was obliged to buy him new shoes as he had worn holes in his existing ones. I think it is appalling that you do not provide your kitchen staff with appropriate footwear. If you feel that this communication is becoming a stream of negative comments then I urge you to read on as I have more to say. This 4 mile round trip trudge is sometimes made to attend a one hour shift. Unbelievable, a day’s work of just ONE HOUR. Furthermore, if he attends expecting a longer shift this is sometimes not the case as he is sent home if trade is slack. He, your employee takes all the risk, you the employer take none. You’ll note that I do not mention his name. This is for fear of reprisals. Before you scoff, let me tell you this: When he first joined you, after two months of working every single weekend he politely enquired if he might have a weekend off. He was given the weekend off but worked no other hours either. A genuine ZERO hours. This was clearly a reprisal and he has never asked for the weekend off again.

The only way he can survive on such grindingly low wages is by getting benefits top ups. In order to do this he must provide pay slips which you do not provide. He is obliged to download them and print them himself and given that he will never be able to afford a computer and printer so long as he works for you, he must go to the library. I put it to you that it takes him more effort to work for you for a pittance than it does me to fulfill a full time job.

Clearly your business model requires that the public purse subsidise your employee’s wages. This to my mind makes your firm and others like you one of the benefit scroungers we hear so much about these days.”

Yours sincerely

Here’s the Sheraton’s Facebook page, if you want to have a word..

Fair play for Mike Haney! Communications blockade of Gwalia housing association.

Please support! Looks like we’ve got ’em rattled!

Wessex Solidarity

Mike Haney has worked for Gwalia, a large housing association for 8 years, in July 2013 they changed his workplace without any consultation, increasing his annual mileage to and from work by 3,525 miles. In addition to fuel and vehicle maintenance costs he incurred extra insurance premiums. Gwalia have since cut Mike’s salary by £300 per month, making it financially impossible for him to continue. Mike has volunteered for redundancy but is being refused.

Mike has resorted to camping outside his work place at Brecon House, Llantarnam Industrial Park Cwmbran. Np44 3AB. Phone: 01633 833540 He’s camping out 22nd 23rd 29th & 30th Dec, then from 5th Jan he’s there from Monday-Thursday for as long as it takes!

Please support Mike Haney by contacting Gwalia Hierarchy telling them to give him redundancy he deserves otherwise the fight goes on! He’s on his own but with plenty of fighting spirit.

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Please support Bristol Solidarity Network action and communications blockade against rogue landlord: Friday January 2nd, see below for details..

BIG UPDATE 28/12/14: From Bristol Solidarity Network:
CEA have had enough, and have notified the landlord and the tenants that they have quit managing the property. We have called off a second picket and communications blockade of their offices, pending further confirmation. They have put the tenant in direct contact with the absentee landlord, watch this space for more information on how the landlord plans to handle things!

Wessex Solidarity

From Bristol Solidarity Network: Rotting House, Rotten Landlord

There will be a demonstration at the offices of CEA on Friday January 2nd at 2pm: Central Estate Agents, 52-54 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BH. (Facebook).

At the same time, throughout the day on Friday January 2nd, we are calling for a communications blockade. If you can’t join the demonstration, please contact them to let them know what you think. Here are the company’s contact details: Tel: 0117 98 92 150 Fax: 0117 94 21 882 Email:

The first protesters arrived outside CEA at 10am

On Monday 22nd December, 20 members and friends of Bristol Solidarity Network demonstrated at the offices of Central Estate Agents in Bristol. There was a great deal of interest and support for the picket from passers by, many of whom said they would tell others about the situation. This marks the beginning of a campaign to expose CEA’s shocking neglect and threats…

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An investigatory meeting at work.

From a F.W. who wishes to remain anonymous.

My issue came about in early October when my employer approached me with allegations made against me by another employee that I had breached the company’s social media policy. I was suspended on full pay immediately for four days, and I was told to come into work after these four days for an investigatory meeting with my employer, along with a witness for them, and a witness for me. I work for a large corporate business who can instantly replace me with another worker at their decision.

Scared that my job was in danger, I spoke to my close friend and her mother for advice, and it turned out that they are both members of the IWW and they could get me help quickly. They told me to contact ‘Wobbly Joe’, one of the IWW reps for Bournemouth and Dorset and they assured me that he would be of great help with my issue. After speaking over the phone a few times, Joe told me that he could help me out with my case and so we arranged for a meeting to take place before the investigatory meeting at work.

At the meeting which included myself, Joe and my friend’s mother, the fellow IWW member, I was given great advice to help me in my investigatory meeting. Feeling empowered and supported, I went to the meeting and handled it very well. I conducted my defence by refusing to answer their questions in order to prevent any evidence against me being gathered. Therefore, my employer could not forward the case onto a disciplinary.

I was allowed to return to work that same week and I told them that I did not want to experience any hostility from any of the managers or employees on my return. They agreed. I was very pleased with this outcome and felt very encouraged by the support of Joe and the IWW. I decided that I would like to be a member of the IWW because I knew that they could always help me out again if I experienced similar troubles at work. Being part of one big union for all workers means that I will always be supported by other workers, and I would be always willing to support other members too.


– A Worker.

Dennis the Menace, the Greedy Greek and the IWW laser cat

Red and Black Leeds

The Sheffield branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (the IWW, or “wobblies”) won its latest victory on the 23rd of November, against the Greedy Greek restaurant. The union had been informed that as well as paying workers with poor english skills less than minimum wage, stealing tips, short changing customers and forcing workers to work 20 hours of “trial shifts” for free, the owner of the Greedy Greek had been violent towards a member of staff, and when that worker took issue with this at the end of the shift he was sacked. While this kind of treatment by bosses is not uncommon, this particular worker was a member of the IWW, and wasn’t going to stand for it.

After the owner, Dennis Mouzakis (nicknamed “Dennis the Menace” by union members) hid from a delegation of union members when they visited to try and sort out…

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Statement of solidarity with our comrades at CSAAWU.

You can help!

You can help!

Dorset IWW General Members’ Branch wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers’ Union in protecting the interests of rural workers in South Africa. As revolutionary syndicalists we demand full respect for all our Fellow Workers regardless of their industry or location, affirming our tradition that an injury to one is an injury to all.

We are disgusted at the attempt of the state to suppress the union by imposing punitive and disproportionate costs on it for defending its members legally, potentially stripping this isolated workforce of its only independent voice.

We appreciate that some of the products we consume in Western Europe are provided by people toiling in conditions we abolished a century ago. As conscious working class militants we are well aware that the bourgeoisie would if it could, reduce us all to the lowest circumstances and it must be emphasised that the presence of super-exploited workers anywhere in the global market exerts downward pressure on us all.

Therefore the CSAAWU is in the vanguard of the class struggle and deserves the solidarity of all workers, we urge our comrades around the globe to provide whatever assistance they can, financial or otherwise.

Long live the CSAAWU! Victory to the organised working class!

November’s Anti-Workfare Action.

end-unpaid-work_0What had originally been planned as an anti-workfare picket outside Poundland in Poole hit a snag early on – rumours started circulating that Poundland had pulled out of the workfare scheme within a couple of days of the action being decided upon. We decided to press on and do some leafleting instead and it was no coincidence that we spent most of our time outside Poundland.

Only one incident spoilt an otherwise pleasant day. A thuggish-looking defender of the exploiting classes decided to verbally abuse a female fellow-worker. At least he was brave enough not to target the toddler who was also with us (though he isn’t an official member… yet).

I think there are some lessons we could learn from this. For a start, I think the event was too vague. We couldn’t actually picket Poundland without risking getting egg on our faces in the (admittedly unlikely) event that they actually had fully pulled out. As a result we settled on handing out leaflets explaining what workfare is to random passing members of the public. While raising awareness is a worthwhile endeavor, I’m not sure that many of those who took leaflets would ever do anything about it. I think we need to either picket a definite user of workfare, or target the jobcentre and the providers (Best Training, A4E, etc.)

I also think there were too many of us in too small an area, leading to some people complaining that they’d been offered leaflets multiple times.

It was an enjoyable morning and we raised awareness of this exploitative and harmful program, but next time I think we need a definite target.

South African farm workers need your help!

Please help if you can

Wessex Solidarity

CSAAWUlogoThe CSAAWU is the only thing standing between these workers and ruthless exploitation, they need and deserve the support of every worker throughout the world, please contribute to their fund, share their appeal and publicise their situation. They are not so far away, you’ve probably eaten something they grew, picked or shipped. Our class, our future.

Facebook page.

CSAAWUClick here to contribute.

In the coming months CSAAWU may be forced to close its doors.

CSAAWU made a decision to defend all farmworkers who were dismissed or victimized in the aftermath of the 2012/3 farmworker rebellion. Amongst CSAAWU members alone, there were close to 100 dismissal cases. CSAAWU went as far as to take dismissal cases to the Labour Court, representing farmworkers in the Court for the first time since since 1994.

The Labour Court issued devastating judgments against the dismissed workers and CSAAWU. The judgment rebuked individual union officials for…

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No More Workfare at Bulky Bob’s – How It Happened!

Liverpool IWW

494689Even if we do say so ourselves, Liverpool IWW have won a great victory by getting such a strong statement against workfare from locally-based household waste recycling/furniture company FRC/Bulky Bob’s, who used the unpaid labour scheme until last Friday.

Liverpool wobblies had heard about Bulky Bob’s use of conscripted workfare labour a few months back, and FRC have been viewed as a potential target for that long. But we considered that taking them on was something to build up to. This was particularly important because Liverpool IWW have only been organising since this spring. There’s been lots of admin work to do as we look to become a chartered branch, and many vital founding discussions to be had about issues such as safer spaces policy.

As preparations for a demo against the company began on 4th November, Liverpool IWW tweeted Bulky Bob’s “Is it true that your company uses…

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