Cleaners and security guards: updates from London’s grassroots union struggles

Cautiously pessimistic

Two quick updates from the capital’s grassroots union efforts: an IWGB member and striking University of London security guard has written a good introduction to their dispute, while over at the LSE, cleaners organised through the UVW have voted for weekly strikes on an indefinite basis until they win their demand for equal treatment. You can donate to the IWGB/University of London security guards’ strike fund here, and to the UVW/LSE cleaners’ strike fund here. With May Day coming up, it might be worth doing a quick collection for one or both of their strike funds at any local trades council-type rallies that might be happening in your town.

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May Day in Southampton 2017

Anarchy by the Sea!

Monday 1st   May 11am Palmerston Park, Southampton Centre, SO14 1ND

Southampton Trades Union Council, Unite Community and People’s Assembly Against Austerity will celebrate International Workers’ Day with a family-friendly march and Rally.

11am Assemble at Bandstand

11.15 March from Bandstand to Peace Fountain, past the Cenotaph to Bargate and back through the parks to the Bandstand

12.00 – 3pm music, poetry, speakers, with local trade union, left and progressive stalls and Indian food

There will be a large marquee in case of bad weather.

Donations welcome toward the cost of event

For peace and a united Working Class. HAPPY MAY DAY!

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Political Women; Lisa Turnbull: Single Mum, Durham Teaching Assistant, campaigner

lipstick socialist

lisa 2

Lisa Turnbull did not want to be a political campaigner but in 2015  her employer Labour-controlled Durham County Council told her and  2,700 of her fellow  Teaching Assistants  that their highly skilled work  would be downgraded  and  their  pay  cut by 23%.

It’s only women’s work….

She says, “I just had to do something. I was so angry, and still am, but I have to stand up for what I believe in.“  95% of the TAs are women, who work with children and, like many other groups of women workers –  such as care workers, cleaners and catering staff – face managements who  label their work as women’s work that is not skilled or valued. But over the last few years those women are fighting back in campaigns for cleaners, care workers and TAs.

durham march 3 Northern radical roots….

Lisa comes from a part of the country that had a dyed in…

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Orgreave justice – upcoming events in Leigh, Barnsley, Mansfield, Chesterfield and Sheffield

Lob a spanner in the works and let’s have some real change!

We are aware in advocating ballot-spoiling, that this is in itself a privilege denied to many Fellow Workers: Migrant workers, the homeless, prisoners, those on the run from domestic abuse, debt collectors or the state.

There has been a lot of speculation as to why May has done a massive U turn and called for a general election on June 8th. A fair few people think it may have something to do with the ongoing election expenses scandal that’s dogging the Tory Party: Claims May called an election to escape Tory expenses scandalhttps://politicalscrapbook.net/2017/04/claims-may-called-an-election-to-escape-tory-expenses-scandal/ The Crown Prosecution Service is currently investigating claims that up to 20 Tory MPs broke spending limits during the 2015 general election.

If these MPs were prosecuted and had to stand down thereby forcing by-elections, the government’s slim majority would have been made considerably slimmer or possibly even wiped out. Given that May is facing enough grief trying to negotiate a Brexit deal, the thinking is that she’s taking a gamble on a general election in the hope that the Tories will get a big enough majority to give her…

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Some thoughts on the Net, social media & activism

The aim of this piece is to start a discussion about the pros and cons of the use of the Net and social media in activism. This has been prompted by concerns about an over reliance on digital communication and a decline in face to face, real life interactions which are still essential in building the sense of loyalty and comradeship needed in activism. It has also been prompted by security concerns where there have been examples of the authorities shutting down actions before they even start because they’ve been promoted on social media instead of built by word of mouth. This is not a definitive piece and is open to revision and expansion as the discussion about the points raised in it proceeds…

The positives…

The Net and social media are tools which if used with due consideration, are incredibly useful. With your critical faculties switched on, the Net…

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No more deaths at work: Crossrail memorial vigil, Southwark Crown Court, 10 May