F.W. Peter Ridpath, 1948 – 2018.

Peter Ridpath (centre) at home on the picket line.

When I heard last week that London Wobbly Peter Ridpath had passed away I wanted to write something for the blog but didn’t have enough biographical info to do him justice.

Here’s a proper obituary from his London Branch

and one from the Anarchist Communist Group

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of Peter’s company on numerous actions, demo’s, union events and bookfairs, and I liked him a lot.

I found him to be jolly, kind-hearted, interesting to talk to and militant as fuck. A dyed-in-the-wool revolutionary syndicalist and anarchist, he was a familiar face on picket lines across the capital, and argued quietly but persuasively against bureaucratic and centralising tendencies.

So long Peter, we’re going to miss you.

– Felix Sabot, Dorset IWW.

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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!

Bristol IWW Workshop for Workers of Migrant & Refugee background 25TH FEBRUARY 2017

iww-migrant-workshop-25-02-16-v02-page-001-678x381

Bristol IWW will be holding a

WORKSHOP FOR MIGRANT & REFUGEE WORKERS ON SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY AT 10.30-12.30 AT THE STATION, SILVER STREET, BS1 2AG (Triangle Room, 1st floor)

The workshop will consist of a short introduction to basic work rights in the UK with some practical tips on how to deal with issues in the workplace, either individually or with your colleagues. We will be talking about things like types of contracts, pay and national minimum wage, discrimination, how to submit a grievance. You will also have a chance to ask questions.

This workshop is open to anyone from a migrant/refugee background and will be in collaboration with the migrant initiative “One Day Without Us”, which will be taking place on Monday 20th February across the UK. For information on the Bristol event, check their Facebook event.

P.S.

We have been asked on social media to clarify whether this workshop will be safe for “undocumented” migrants working without permission. The answer is that it will be as safe as it can be for people in that situation to attend a public event open to anyone. We are not going to ask anyone to provide that kind of information.

As difficult as it would be to provide formal workplace support to someone in that situation, we certainly wouldn’t turn people away. So, if you are in that situation it may be best to contact us via email at bristol at iww.org.uk AND/OR you can also fill our online questionnaire “Rate Your Boss“. You can do this anonymously if you wish.

Whatever you decide, please know that you are not alone and forgotten. The IWW IS FOR ALL WORKERS, AND FIGHTS FOR ALL WORKERS. Stay strong.

Bristol Roo Riders: How We Win.

Please share our short video featuring Deliveroo riders from Bristol, who got organised and improved their working conditions.

Now, they need YOU to join them so that Deliveroo riders can speak to managers with one voice across Europe, and demand proper employment, better wages and conditions, and union recognition.

Riders: Go to http://deliverunion.com/ to see what unions are ready to help you organise in your area.

ALL WORKERS: Full time, part time, gig economy, unpaid or unemployed, retired – it doesn’t matter, you all have a place in the One Big Union.

Join the IWW today to join the fight for a better tomorrow

Thanks to:

Blenk, Owen, Paul, Fin and George & the rest of Bristol Roo Riders

Mat & Maff from Bristol IWW

Cameraman: Dean Ayotte

Editor: Badmouse Productions

Filmed at Roll for the Soul Cafe in Bristol

UVW Cleaners end City of London’s longest ever strike after 61 days

strike-111 AUG 2016 — BREAKING NEWS: STRIKE AT 100 WOOD STREET IS OVER!

After 61 days of strike action by the cleaners at 100 Wood Street, the cleaners union UVW (www.facebook.co/uvwunion) is pleased to be able to issue the following statement:

“The dispute at 100 Wood Street between the cleaners, members of United Voices of the World the union, and their employer, Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited, has now been resolved. As a result we are pleased to announce that all advertised protests have now been cancelled and the picket line at 100 Wood Street has now been lifted.”

“This was the longest strike in the history of the City of London and the longest strike by an entirely migrant workforce in the UK.

Thank you everyone for all your amazing support and solidarity! This wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Also, UVW are still trying to recover the costs we incurred in defending an injunction application in the High Court which sought to interfere with our human rights to strike and protest.

Consequently, our ability to carry on the vital work we undertake in supporting some of the most oppressed and unrepresented groups of workers in the UK who work for some of the most unscrupulous employers, has been undermined.

Please don’t let the cleaning contractors silence our union! Please follow the link below to donate via Paypal whatever you can afford to allow us to continue to give these workers the representation they need and deserve.

http://www.uvwunion.org.uk/emergency-appeal/

Alternatively you can transfer directly to our account but please contact us if you do so that we may personally thank you.

The Co-operative Bank
Account title: United Voices of the World
Sort code: 08-92-99
Account: 65755617

Many thanks again and all the best.”

Evening Standard article

United Voices of the World Union website

Unemployed People Will Not Scab! From IWW Cymru-Wales

picket

FW Karen:

‘Our Wobbly presence at RF Brookes did not go unnoticed. We stopped and engaged many claimants attending interview in conversation and informed them of their rights – that they shouldn’t be sanctioned for refusing to take a job vacancy thats arisen due to industrial action and also let them know to get in touch for support if that happened.

Workers came to chat with us as well as Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union organisers, we received support from visiting vehicles and a few other people stopped by and joined us in conversation during our stay.

RF Brookes were obviously not happy about the gathering outside their gates and after their miserable security guard grassed and revealed my identity (after he let me through their barrier and as I waited at reception) I was refused an interview.

Following their demands to explain what organisation I was from, what the picket was about and telling them in no uncertain terms that I was not happy about betraying workers involved in an industrial dispute, or about their union busting and scabbing which was met with ignorance… an attempt to pass the buck to the Job Centre was made. The DWP is to be informed that I presented for interview but that my views do not meet their requirements. The feeling is mutual!

I attended a meeting of the BFAWU this evening. They thank us for our picket and solidarity, we’ll be seeing them again soon 😉

wobbly love!”