#SaveSouthendNHS statement on STP consultation

The South Essex Stirrer - Archive

The Mid and South Essex STP (Sustainability & Transformation Partnership a.k.a. Slash, Trash & Privatise) public consultation report was released this week. Below is the #SaveSouthendNHS campaign statement issued to the Echo by their secretary Mike Fieldhouse. Here’s the link to the full consultation report. The #SaveSouthendNHS will be meeting to plan the next steps of their fight to stop the destruction of our local NHS services.

“Anyone who attended either of the STP’s public consultation meetings in Southend would have to be completely deluded to claim, as this report does, that he public were “broadly backing the STP’s plans”. It is quite evident that the main purpose behind this proposed reorganisation is to cut costs and plug holes in services created by chronic underfunding, including a worsening staffing crisis in the NHS. Instead of tackling the root causes, these are desperate measures attempting to patch things up that will…

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Deliverave, Sundance strike, and cleaners breaking the bank: workplace news round-up for late May

The joys of precarious working (spoiler alert – there aren’t any!)

The South Essex Stirrer - Archive

I’ve been working solo on a door to door leaflet distribution job in what can best be described as an overspill town. The first two days were fine as the layout of the roads was working in my favour and I was knocking out over 200 deliveries an hour and at 4p per delivery, was earning over £8 per hour. Not brilliant but not bad for what is to all intents and purposes, beer money.

Anyway, as part of the deal with the agency who gave me the work to have a demographic spread, today (with help from a comrade) we worked on a 90s vintage private housing development. One which while it was a fairly high density, was laid out in such a way as to give residents as much privacy and security as possible. Also the housing was arranged in clusters separated by grassland and trees. All very…

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A preliminary summary of an IWW organising effort, winter 2017/18

Angry Workers of the World

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For PDF click here: IWW_west_London_review

Shift-changes, London’s western logistics corridor and the Wobblies A preliminary summary of an IWW organising effort, winter 2017/18

Dedication

This text is dedicated to our friend, comrade and fellow worker Peter Ridpath, who died on April 8th, 2018. Peter was a kind and dedicated member of the IWW London Branch and came out to support us in west London many times. Born in East London in 1948, Peter was a genuine working-class militant. He went from school into a series of factory and labouring jobs with spells of unemployment where he read voraciously, mainly on literature, history and politics. He became a bookseller and organised his co-workers. In his retirement Peter supported many strikes and pickets, especially the actions of the Sparks, a rank-and-file network of building workers.

Peter joined the IWW in 2009 and quickly became an indispensable part of the branch…

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How Universal Credit can muck up your holiday

scottish unemployed workers' network

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On first glance, Universal Credit rules look deceptively promising: you are able to be out of the country for as long as a month. BUT, there is no holiday from all the things you have committed to do. And, while you might be able to argue that you can search and apply for jobs on the computer wherever you are, you are expected to be able to attend a job interview immediately. This could be a problem even if you are only somewhere else in the UK.

This holiday rule includes people who are in low-paid work that pays less than the equivalent of 35 hours a week on the minimum wage, and who have to look for more or better paid work in order to qualify for help from Universal Credit. People have been  caught out after assuming that they are still entitled to their statutory holidays. One way…

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Mid-May round-up for workplace organising and upcoming events

Just another collection of problems

scottish unemployed workers' network

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Rona’s poor health meant that she missed too many college courses and lost her bursary. So she left college and signed on. But the DWP won’t give her any benefits because she hasn’t produced a letter from the college to say she is no longer a student. The jobcentre did ask her for a letter, but that was two days before she had an operation, and she had other things on her mind. So she was left to rely on her son for support. She will arrange for the letter, but she doesn’t feel strong enough to fight for any back payments. We suggested she ask the council for a Scottish Welfare Fund grant to help until her benefit is sorted.

John and Amy had had to get professional help to sort out another muddle due to the DWP using out of date information. They have been living separately for…

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Happy ending at the opera: cleaners and porters beat the Royal Opera House and Kier

Cautiously pessimistic

At the start of this year, cleaners and porters organising through the grassroots union CAIWU managed to win a substantial pay increase, taking them up to the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour. Shortly afterwards, five workers involved in union organising were sacked, with another being given a final written warning, sparking a lengthy dispute that continued throughout March and April. Cleaning contractors Kier have now totally caved into pressure from the workers and their supporters, and fully reinstated all five of the sacked workers, admitting that their actions were “unfair” and “disproportionately harsh.”

Below is a short comic by Spanish artist Yeyei Gomez, telling the story up to April:

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Tesco Workers Strike at Dagenham Distribution Centre

The South Essex Stirrer - Archive

This is a really thorough analysis from NOTES FROM BELOW about the strike at the Tesco distribution facility in Dagenham, the conditions workers have to endure and the potential for disruption if workers across the sector decide to get really militant.

By Achille Marotta

Warehouse operatives, drivers, and office workers at Tesco’s distribution centre in Dagenham were on strike for 24 hours from Thursday the 17th to Friday the 18th of May. The workers, organised in USDAW, are demanding a 15% pay increase against the company’s offer of 3%. Reps claim that the strike has had an effect on Tesco’s finances, as the warehouse is a central point in the distribution network of an enormous amount of necessary commodities. While the company could easily afford to give into the demanded £1.39 pay rise, it preferred to lose money re-organising its distribution network to prevent the Dagenham strike from becoming a…

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