Kill the Bill, deportations, arms fairs and more: mid-August class struggle round-up

Cautiously pessimistic

The joint PCS/UVW strike action by outsourced workers demanding equal treatment at Royal Parks started on Monday the 16th and is set to run till the 30th August. You can donate to their strike fund here, and email their bosses in support of the strike using a tool here. In other PCS news, DVLA workers are striking over Covid safety through the whole of August. Another long-running strike continues in Bexley, where bin workers are still on strike over pay and victimisation issues, and have previously warned that the dispute could stretch out into October.

Also, pretty much all the health unions are running pay ballots of some kind at the moment, so those are important to vote in for anyone who works in that sector. See Health Workers United for more on that.

View post

We are proud of those who fought back against the police

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross - Prisoner Support

A statement by Bristol Anarchist Black Cross and Bristol Defendant Solidarity

On Friday 30th July, five people were sentenced to over 14 years between them. Four people were given sentences of over three years for riot.

These five people are the first to receive custodial sentences for the confrontation with the police outside Bridewell Police Station at the Kill the Bill demonstration on 21st March. However, over 75 people have been arrested, 28 of them have now been charged. Two people are currently on remand in Horfield prison.

The sentences are:

  • BL 3 years 11 months
  • KA 3 years 6 months
  • SQ 3 years 3 months
  • KS 3 years 6 months
  • YS 5 months

Click here to donate to our crowdfunder to support those who are in prison

What happened on 21st March was an outpouring of rage against the violence of the police. The crowd fought back after police…

View original post 696 more words

Discrimination at Whales English: Not on our watch

IWW WISE-RA

What would you call it if a language school refused to employ someone on the grounds that they spoke another language fluently, other than English? Discrimination? Racism? Native-speakerism? All of the above?

A teacher applied to Whales English, based in Beijing, for an online position teaching children, having more than the required experience and qualifications. She was unsuccessful. But one of the grounds of her refusal was because of a system of “keywords” used to automatically screen out applicants. The company admitted in writing that one of these is saying you are fluent in other languages as it “could fool the system/recruiters into thinking you are not a native speaker.”

Of course, the TEFL Workers’ Union simply does not accept that non-native speakers can be assumed to be poorer teachers. However, regardless of that, it is absurd to suggest that bilingual people cannot be native speakers. That an English language school fails to understand that is astonishing

Moreover, in the context of the English language in particular, large numbers of native English speakers are either born in countries such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia etc, where English is the first language of a very large number of citizens, or, as in this teacher’s case, are born, raised and educated in the UK, but learn other languages from their particular ethnic community. Discriminating against job applicants on that basis runs the risk of being guilty of race-based discrimination. To come up against such attitudes in 2021 is shocking and appalling.

The TEFL Workers’ Union demands that this practice is ended and that the worker concerned is compensated for the distress suffered! We will not tolerate discrimination in the ELT industry and we certainly won’t tolerate our members being denied jobs because of the bigotry and prejudice of dodgy language schools.

We’ve already raised the issue directly with Whales English who’ve neglected to respond.  Perhaps they think that will be the end of the matter.  They’re wrong. Watch this space to see how you can help put an end to discrimination at Whales English – and across English language teaching.

NHS pay dispute from below – Online newsletter no.2

Health Workers United

3% pay insult?! Time to fuck shit up!

Welcome to the second newsletter for a workers-led NHS pay dispute! The various trade unions are slowly starting to inform their members about the consultation – if you are a member, please vote to reject the 3% government pay ‘increase’ decision. Inflation is expected to rise to up to 4% – we might be in for another real wage cut. Here are a few things that we should bear in mind over the coming weeks – until the union consultation closes.

* As health workers we are between a rock and a hard place. The government won’t budge and improve the 3% pay ‘increase’. It will need a lot of pressure to get a better wage. The unions will have to do something to build this pressure, but they are not used to it. They are used to petitioning, symbolic protests, perhaps…

View original post 2,193 more words