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.
Mellal 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Report from a Bridport Wobbly.
On Saturday 13th August, members of Bridport UNITE Community Group, Labour Party and four striking local bus workers gave out about 400 leaflets (below) to the interested public in Bucky Doo Square. Bridport’s Cartoon Action Theatre performed a ‘Political Tug of War’ represented by a bus driver engaged in struggle with a First Bus capitalist. A collection was taken raising £253 in solidarity for the striking bus drivers and their families.
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.
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
Many thanks again and all the best.”