Solidarity with German Couriers fighting Deliveroo

From iww.org.uk

On the 13th April, workers, trade unionists and activists in cities all over Germany will be holding a day of action – dubbed ‘Black Friday’ – in protest against the union-busting activities of Deliveroo in Germany, along with seeking to highlight the general shoddiness of the companies approach to their workers.

Union Busting at Deliveroo

In November 2017 Deliveroo drivers expressed their wish for a works council to the management in Cologne. They organised themselves via the Facebook page ‘Liefern am Limit’ (Delivery at the limit) and in the Trade Union NGG.

The management in Berlin reacted by deliberately melting down its permanent staff, stating that in future it would only use self-employed couriers.

Until then, riders were employees – albeit only with 6 month contracts, and amongst the couriers that Deliveroo dismissed either by direct dismissal or the non-renewal of contracts was also the Chairman of the Works Council election board.

Further to this, and to prevent attempts by workers to organise in the future, Deliveroo is changing the way that it, and its couriers, communicate with each other. Previously, using the company ‘HipChat’ App, couriers were able to communicate freely with each other, but following changes made to the app they are only able to contact their dispatcher.

This lock down of communication for workers is not only a gross attempt to limit their ability to organise, but also limits their ability to manage their work effectively. Before, they were able to chat with each other all over Germany and enabled them to exchange shifts and collectively help each other on their own.

According to the ‘aktion ./. arbeitsunrecht e.V.‘ who are leading this action in Germany, this ban on communication is an attempt by Deliveroo to “prevent the works council and union organizing ‘virus’ from spreading throughout Germany.”

Poor practices and precarious employment

Alongside highlighting the direct attack by the company on worker’s attempts to organise, the day of action seeks to highlight the poor practices of Deliveroo more generally as well as the precarious position workers in the industry face including:

  • Bogus self-employment
  • Fixed-term contracts as a threat against unionizing
  • Low wages that are not enough to live on
  • Antisocial experiments with zero euro per hour contracts and one-hour shifts

These issues are familiar to us in these islands, with couriers organising within the IWW’s RooRiders and Couriers Networks echoing these sentiments time and again – these issue are not just local, or national, these are international problems which are a direct result of Deliveroo’s (and other similar companies) business model which seeks to get rich off the exploitation of its workers.

What are we doing?

The IWW is calling on couriers up and down the UK to come out on the 13th April to show their support an solidarity for their fellow workers in Germany.

Whether by small scale demo’s expressing solidarity or large scale mass-walkouts, the IWW will provide their full support to workers on the day looking to show their support – let’s show them that despicable union-busting activity and poor conditions are not acceptable and that there is a growing world-wide movement fighting back against their brazen exploitation!

I’m not a courier, what can I do?

Solidarity should always spread beyond the boundaries of an industry to exert the greatest amount of pressure and publicity. If you don’t directly work for Deliveroo or a similar company, you can:

  • Organise your workplace to put on a show of solidarity – get in touch with organising@iww.org.uk if you need support
  • Share the story via social media.  aktion ./. arbeitsunrecht e.V. have created some great facebook and twitter banners for use on your social media profile
  • Petition Deliveroo to stop their union-busting activities in Germany and to listen to their riders demands!
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“With love and determination,” Anna’s Father Dirk Campbell

Peace in Kurdistan

Anna-Campbell.jpg

“Dear friends,

You all know my dear daughter Anna.

She believed in your vision of an ideal society, based on honour of the feminine, inclusion of all ethnicities and respect for nature.

She was willing to defend that ideal with her life, as you also are.

Many hundreds of you have already given your lives defending it from those who are determined to destroy it.

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Defending the right to be accompanied – again!

scottish unemployed workers' network

18-03-04 Livingston Jobcentre

We have just sent the letter below to the manager of Livingston Jobcentre. Please let us know if your jobcentre is also depriving people of this basic right.

Dear Sir/Madam

We have been very concerned to learn that people attending your jobcentre are being made to leave friends and relations outside and go to their interview alone. Many people need some support in what can be a stressful and confusing situation, and reducing the stress can only be to the benefit of all concerned, including jobcentre workers. I have observed, from my own experience in accompanying people to interviews, both the huge relief and help this can give to interviewees, and how it can clarify complicated situations. Depriving people of this support is upsetting, unreasonable and unnecessary; it is also contrary to DWP guidance.

The DWP’s Working with Representatives guidance, clearly states:

‘Customers have the right to ask a representative to…

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Anna Campbell – Rest in Power Fellow Worker

From Bristol IWW

It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Fellow Worker Anna Campbell, killed by Turkish forces while fighting alongside Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in the defence of Afrin.

Anna was a dedicated feminist, social justice and environmental campaigner known to members for her activism around the student occupation movement, ecological and community outreach projects in Bristol and Sheffield. She was a key organiser in the IWW’s IWOC group, also being involved with the Empty Cages Collective, Smash IPP and Bristol ABC.

Anna travelled to Syria last May to participate in the grassroots feminist and socialist revolution that continues to grow in Rojava (the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria). Anna spent her first months in the country fighting in Deir ez-Zor, Isis’s last major stronghold. However when Turkey launched an assault on the city of Afrin in late January. Anna insisted that she be redeployed there. She gave her commanders an ultimatum, ‘Either I will go home and abandon the life as a revolutionary or you send me to Afrin. But I would never leave the revolution, so I will go to Afrin’.

A spokesperson from the YPJ said of Anna (who took the nom de guerre ‘Helîn’ in Rojava): “comrade Helîn will always be a symbol as a pioneering internationalist woman. We will live up to her hope and beliefs. We will forever pursue her aim to struggle for women, for oppressed communities.”

Our thoughts and condolences are with Anna’s family, friends and comrades at this time.

Rest in Power Fellow Worker.

For more information on how you can support the Kurdish struggle please see:
Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign / Bristol Kurdish Solidarity Network

Pregnant? – then you can wait for Universal Credit

scottish unemployed workers' network

baby's bottle_000001

When Jan was 32 weeks pregnant she was told to move from ESA to Universal Credit. As a result, due to the delayed first payment, for her final weeks of pregnancy and early weeks of motherhood she will be on short rations. When Jan told us this we thought we should find out what was going on, and how many other new mothers might be affected. This is what we have learnt.

If you live in a Universal Credit Full Service area, as here in Dundee, then every new claim for a means-tested working-age benefit will be in the Universal Credit system.

If you are pregnant and on JSA, then you will have no choice but to change benefit. When you start getting maternity pay you are no longer looking for work, so no longer entitled to JSA. In the past you could apply for Income support; now, if you…

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The 10th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair! 12th May 2018

Anarchy by the Sea!

City Academy, Russel Town Avenue, Bristol, BS5 9JH

We have seen the future, friends! It consists of a world where beasts of all shapes, sizes and colours happily roam the lands together, where creatures morph their bodies at will and freely celebrate their gender identity. Work is abolished on this world, and the ashes that formerly made up today’s prisons and banks are used to fertilise plants that grow vegan burgers and chips!

Right now it’s 2018 and capitalism continues to rage like the venomous monster it is, and everyday we are bombarded with tales of the carnage that it creates. Thankfully, amongst this carnage, amazing creatures all over the world are rearing their heads, defying the state and fighting the hierarchies that oppress them. Come to Bristol on May 12th for the 10th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair to hear about other beings’ struggles and gather the skills and knowledge needed…

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SYLVIA PANKHURST – Autonomy Film Show in Bridport Sunday 4th March

Wessex Solidarity

For several years Autonomy showed alternative films in Bridport on a monthly basis. We have come back together now because one of our group has been seriously ill triggering loss of earnings and expensive adaptations to his home for a wheelchair. This event is to raise funds to help with these costs.

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