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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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

New government attacks on independent union in Algeria

Published on IUF UITA IUL

New government attacks on independent union in Algeria
24 January 2018 Urgent Action

The government of Algeria has further escalated its attacks on the independent energy union SNATEGS, which organizers workers at the state energy company SONELGAZ. SNATEGS is affiliated to the IUF through its catering workers.In May 2017, the union had its legal status revoked and the Labour Ministry made the fabricated claim in December that the union had formally voted to dissolve itself. Hundreds of union members, delegates and officers have been dismissed, harassed and persecuted on bogus legal charges for exercising their fundamental rights. Union President Raouf Mellal was sentenced to 6 months in prison for exposing a long history of SONELGAZ fraudulently overcharging Algerians for their utility bills.

Now the government is inventing new charges to persecute Mellal and cripple the union. On November 28 the union president was sentenced in absentia to two months in prison and fined EUR 5,000 for allegedly defaming SONELGAZ. The court hearing will take place on January 30.

RaoufMellalMellal has learned that he was sentenced in absentia in January last year to 6 months in prison and a fine of EUR 2,000 in a suit brought by the director of a security agency following a complaint of sexual harassment by a women worker who was fired as a consequence. Mellal was sued for defamation after expressing his solidarity with the victim. Expressing solidarity with a victim of sexual harassment now risks imprisonment in Algeria…

And on January 17 2018 he was sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment and fined EUR 3,000 in yet another ‘defamation’ lawsuit brought by SONELGAZ. As a consequence of these absurd and arbitrary judicial decisions Raouf Mellal has been forbidden to leave the country.

The government of Algeria is waging war on basic human rights. If you have not yet had a chance to do so, please CLICK HERE to send a message to the authorities.
Source URL:

The IWW supports the call out for a general strike in Catalonia

Update 29/09/2017: we now have confirmation the regional CNT of Catalonia and Balearic Islands has voted to join the call out for a general strike on Wednesday 3rd October. The other big radical union in the Iberian peninsula – the CGT – has also called out for a general strike, and various smaller alternative unions have joined.

The IWW supports the call out coming from sister unions that we have connections and have been working with. We invite ourmembers in the UK to support the general strike through solidarity actions in your own cities, wherever possible outside embassies and consulates (info below).

Spanish Embassy in the UK (London):  location and details here.

Spanish General Consulate in London: info here

Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh: info here

The International Solidarity Department has received and is happy to share this statement from the CNT Catalonia & Balearic Islands:

“The CNT local unions from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands publicly state our support for the self-determination of the Catalan people.

As anarcho-syndicalists, we don’t think that political reforms within a capitalist framework can reflect our desire for social transformation, a change that would place production and consumption means in workers’ hands. Because of this, our daily struggles do not focus on creating new states or backing parliamentary initiatives.

However, we can’t look the other way when regular people are being attacked and repressed by any state. A state that has, in this case, removed its mask and revealed itself as an authoritarian rule, the true heir of the Franco regime. This is something that could be glimpsed before through many instances, such as labour law reforms, bank bail-outs, cuts on health and education, mass evictions of out-of-work families…many of which were implemented by the Catalan government itself.

CNT Catalonia and the Balearic greet this spirit of disobedience against a dictatorial state, a discriminatory and fascist state, and want to assert our strongest denunciation of repression against workers and of those who carry it out.

The men and women in CNT will stand as one to defend their neighbours and townsfolks, as couldn´t be otherwise with an anarcho-syndicalist, and henceforth revolutionary, organisation.”

You can also view the original statement published here in Catalan, Spanish and English.

We have been working closely with the CNT for the last year or so and consider them fellow travellers in the radical unionism’ journey leading to the abolition of the wage system.

More news to follow on how to support the CNT internationally, keep posted.

From the FAU: Next stop, new International

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A conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany, this past weekend to prepare a new international association of anarchosyndicalist and revolutionary unions. This was the third conference of its kind.

At the meeting it was decided to hold a constitutional congress in a year’s time. The long runup is needed to facilitate the grassroots decision-making processes of the unions involved. Over the coming months, every individual member of the unions will have the opportunity to make proposals about the makeup of the international. Afterwards, they will vote on the proposals.

The conference was attended by the unions CNT (Spain), USI (Italy), ESE (Greece), IP (Poland) and FAU (Germany), who have all committed to taking part in this project. The CNT-F (France) as well as the IWW for English- and German-speaking European countries took part as observers. The conference was also joined via a video chat by Rocinante (Greece), IWW (USA and Canada) and FORA (Argentinia). The FORA has also committed to joining the project. Stimulating discussions and a productive working atmosphere meant that contentious issues were dealt with that had prevented these like-minded unions from coming together in the past.

Although there is still a long way to go before the first congress, it was clear at the conference that the unions were already providing each other with solidarity and mutual aid as well as cooperating in their union work. For example, mutual aid in the form of help for earthquake victims in Italy, solidarity in the form of direct action in support of the CNT’s struggle against Ford, and union cooperation in the form of an international campaign for delivery workers. The fact that many of the basics tenets of “syndicalism” are already being practiced across national frontiers bodes well for the nascent international.

Message from Riseup: Single Invite.

Single Invite [en, de, pt, es, fr]

Because Riseup does not tie user account creation to a phone number or credit card information, many people attempt to obtain Riseup accounts for the purpose of sending spam or phishing email.

In the past, we asked people to write a short description of their activism in order to try to eliminate these scammers. Unfortunately, over the years, this has been excellent training for teaching scammers how to sound *exactly* like activists. It got to the point where if an account request sounded too inspiring and awesome, it was probably fake. This has been a huge problem for us.

Another problem is that whenever a Riseup bird leaves their cozy nest, someone always mentions that they tried to get a Riseup account and were rejected. Many apologies! We were not judging you. It is likely that you sounded too wonderful and therefore seemed like a scammer.

In light of this, we have made two changes:

(1) We have removed the ability to request a new account.

(2) We have simplified the process of creating a new account with an invite.

It now only requires a single invite in order to create an account, and every user is able to create more invites. In order to create an invite for someone, log in to https://account.riseup.net

To prevent abuse, new users are not immediately able to create invites. We are hopeful this will make life better for everyone.

Personally Encrypted Email Storage


After much effort, we are happy to announce a new feature! We have taken action to ensure that Riseup never again has access to a user’s stored email in plaintext. Now all new Riseup email accounts will feature personally encrypted storage on our servers, only accessible by you. In the near future, we will begin to migrate all existing accounts to use this new system.

To be absolutely clear, this type of encryption is not end-to-end message encryption. With Riseup’s new system, you still put faith in the server while you are logged in. For full end-to-end email encryption, as before, you must use a client that supports OpenPGP (and is not web-based).

We are working to roll out a more comprehensive end-to-end system in the coming year, but until that is ready, we are deploying personally encrypted storage. This new per-user encryption is on top of the system full disk encryption which we have done since 2001.

If this doesn’t really make sense, we’ve done our best to explain it more fully at:

WARNING: Once an account is using the new system, the ONLY way to reset your password is with a recovery code. One of the downsides of us not having your information is that we do not have your information. This means you MUST write down your recovery code and keep it in a safe place. If you lose your password and your recovery code, your email will be IRREVOCABLY LOST and it will be technically impossible for us to recover it.

New and Improved!


We’ve recently switched to new systems for account management and support. The old system was first started nearly 10 years ago, lacked some modern features, and was getting to be a burden to maintain. To adjust your account settings, you can now go to https://account.riseup.net
To file (and help answer!) support tickets, go to https://support.riseup.net

On a related note, we’ve answered as many of the help tickets from the old system as we could and turned it off. If you submitted a ticket there and still need help, please file a ticket in the new system.

Riseup Translators Are Awesome!


If you are reading this (or any Riseup web page) in a language other than English, you have the Riseup translators to thank! They do a great job of making sense of our tech jargon and English idiom-filled writing, translating not just words but modern concepts and politics. Thanks to all our translators!

We are not a Business


Riseup is not a business. We are not in this collective to make money. We do this because we believe in the project of supporting activists changing the world for the better. We believe in making better tools for you and you to communicate and organize with. We are not a business, and yet, and alas, we do need money to keep the machines working, to pay the bills. and to pay for the labor that keeps everything working all the time.

It’s been a while since we sent a newsletter out because we’ve been super busy creating new systems and technologies that we think will help all of you. Because of that, we’re behind on fundraising goals. Please donate today, if you can!

Last, We Love You


Thanks to everybody that has supported us during the recent changes with your ideas, code, words of support, money, trust. Thanks for all that you do in your struggles around the globe to advance social justice, resist fascism, and make the sunshine a little brighter.

With Love and solidarity,
Riseup, your friendly radical tech collective