B&M Day of Action

Liverpool IWW

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Liverpool IWW members and anti-workfare activists held a very successful demonstration against B&M stores in the Toxteth area of the city this afternoon. Over a two hour period, a rolling cast of around thirty of us leafleted and spoke with customers, banged pans, chanted and generally let people know what a load of benefit cheats £100 million profitmakers B&M are. In doing so, we took part in a nationwide day of action against the company.

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The demo was due to start at noon, and at one minute past, a police van pulled up in the car park. The company’s security team had already been patrolling the perimeter, making it very clear that we would not be allowed inside to talk to staff. No matter. Their actions only drew attention to the fact that B&M have something to hide. So to any B&M workers (paid or unpaid)who have reached this page…

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Shameless: Charity Bosses To Gather In Luxury Hotel For £715 Homelessness Conference

the void

£715 will pay for a room for a charity chief executive in a top hotel for just one night.  Please give generously. Sponsor a room. Just £715 will pay for for a charity chief executive to stay in a top hotel for two nights. Please give generously. You fucking mug.

Charity Chief Executives and so-called housing experts are gearing up for this year’s homelessness industry conference which is due to be held at a four star hotel with ticket prices as high as £715!

Next month’s Under One Roof conference is organised by charity umbrella body Homeless Link and provides a chance for homelessness experts to talk about homeless people without any actual homeless people being present.  This year’s swanky bash is being held at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire where according to Homeless Link  “Delegates staying overnight are also entitled to complimentary use of the leisure club facilities, which include a heated indoor swimming pool, fully equipped gym, sauna, spa, steam room and solarium.”

Were somebody who is homeless wishing…

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Dorset IWW supports striking teachers at Hackney Downs Community College

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Solidarity Picnic on Hackney Downs in support of strike fund.

Dorset wobs in London for the anti-austerity demo and a fund-raising gig at the London Action Resource Centre were pleased to accept an invitation from striking teachers to a picnic on Hackney Downs. We enjoyed good vegan food and a good craic with members of Unison, UCU, SolFed.and their supporters.

Workers at Hackney Community College are on strike today, the 23rd of June against massive cuts to jobs and courses at the College in Shoreditch, East London. Many of the staff are hourly paid casualised staff and thus particularly in need of strike funds.

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A good start – Kingfisher rising!

Wessex Solidarity

SCBUJust got back from Dorchester where a couple of thousand people marched against the closure of the Kingfisher children’s ward at Dorset County Hospital; estimates vary between one and three thousand. Unless you believe the Echo who put it in the hundreds, odd since they are publicly supporting the campaign.

Conspicuous by his absence was ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, who has been hedging his bets, he would not have had a pleasant experience, we think. The march was good-natured but shows the strength of feeling in West Dorset about keeping our health services local, it was organised in a week and people required little prompting to turn out.

This is a grass-roots phenomenon bubbling up from the ground. The left are running to catch up; what will it take to get the unions to put their weight behind this? The workers at the hospital would be a good place to start…

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Victory at the job centre – an injury to one is an injury to all!

job_centre_plus2There is a way to help unemployed people who have ‘failed’ workplace assessments and a way was found here in Dorset.

A fellow worker with quite severe adult ADHD and anxiety disorder was recently the victim of a ridiculous workplace assessment and found totally fit for work without any consideration for his condition.

The fellow worker is in possession of a letter of diagnosis dated October 2014 that his ADHD and anxiety are so bad that he is unfit for work.

The fellow worker is also a single parent.

After the assessment ‘fail’ his ESA was immediately stopped and he was informed to file a claim for JSA and search for a job. No support, no guidance, nothing.

The fellow worker asked me to accompany him to the job centre and I did so.

The initial appointment was basically a ‘get the claim filed’ exercise designed to last about 10 minutes. This was no problem.

The fellow worker was then told that his next appointment would be a 40 minute appointment that would delve further into an appropriate type of work and any implications regarding his single parenthood. The JC adviser then told the fellow worker his appointment would be at a time that was ridiculous and gave the fellow worker no time to pick his daughter up from school.

The fellow worker asked for another appointment more appropriate and was told ‘no’.

The fellow worker then asked me for assistance. Together we demanded an appropriate appointment and the second time around after some faffing around in a back area we were given the appointment we wanted.

Getting this wish gave us 7 days to formulate a strategy to try to avoid the fellow worker being put into a position where :-

1. His mental health would deteriorate

2. He would be unable to take and collect his daughter to and from school

3. He would be able to construct a meaningful appeal against the work assessment’s ridiculous findings.

The answer was a good old fashioned GP’s sick note that the fellow worker had obtained at a GP’s vist immediately after the 10 minute interview at the jobcentre.

The fellow worker and I attended the job centre for the 40 minute appointment and rather than let the JC adviser control the interview the fellow worker took immediate control and presented his sick note clearly stating that he was signed off from work for 3 months with an anxiety disorder.

This gave us everything we wanted. The job centre adviser was forced to concede that JSA can be paid for up to 13 weeks on production of a sick note without there being any pressure on the claimant to search for work or be on any kind of workfare program.

I am pleased to say that our fellow worker will now be paid for 3 months at the full adult jobseekers rate, is under no pressure to attend the job centre, search for work or be mandated to attend workfare.

The pressure is now off and the task ahead is for our fellow worker to put together an appeal and have his ESA re-instated.

The important point in all this is that there is a role for union reps with job centre claimants.

The fellow worker approached the union for help and together we were able to identify a strategy that would achieve what the fellow worker wanted and we left the job centre fully satisfied with the outcome.

Credit goes to the fellow worker who owned the problem and with union assistance worked out his own solution.

He did tell me that support from the IWW had been crucial in him obtaining the confidence to clearly dominate the proceedings at the job centre and get the result he wanted.

He was quite anxious that because his ESA had been stopped, without an income he and his daughter would have problems being able to feed themselves and pay their rent.

I am please to report that this fellow worker and his daughter are now safe for 3 months pending appeal thanks to his presence of mind and appropriate IWW support.