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!
Advertisements

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

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

[ca, de]

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.

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.

Sacramento Wobbly killed by Turkish state.

Michael Israel.

Michael Israel.

With great sadness we learn that on 29th of November 2016, Fellow Worker Michael Israel, a founder member of Sacramento IWW, and six other people, were killed in a bombing raid by Turkish air force north of Raqqa, Syria. Michael was serving his second tour as a volunteer with the YPG.

In his own words:

“I am back in Rojava again and will be here for the next several months to do my part in defending the revolution.

The Rojava struggle is the most dynamic and ground breaking revolutionary movement of our time. I am determined that it is the job of leftist allies and internationalists to rally behind this movement, to help build it up and learn from it. Things that we may have only dreamed of in theoretical writing are acted upon in Rojava, modified and adapted to their struggle and made real. Rojava is doing this all and reorganizing society despite the chaos and destruction of 5 years of civil war. The gains of the revolution under such austere and harsh conditions is truly remarkable.

Now that I am back in Rojava, I know all my needs will be met. Here I will never be in want of basic necessities for lack of money. I, like all others in Rojava, will never go without food and water, clothing or a place to rest my head at night. The movement takes care of people here.

That is not to say though that Rojava and the rest of Syria do not need help though.

I’m calling on all of my friends and comrades to learn about the Rojava revolution and how they have been leading the charge in the war against ISIS fascists. I’m calling on all of you who are able, to do your part in helping or sending donations so that this revolution may become stronger with the aid of the international community.”

– Michael Israel: via facebook 11th August 2016

We send our respect and condolences to his family, friends and Fellow Workers.