Update: Dorset Wobs at Boscombe Community Earth Day Festival, Sunday 22nd April

Dorset GMB had a great time over the weekend getting out there and explaining who we are and what it is we do alongside people who are dedicated to making the world a better place to live.

If you didn’t get a chance to speak to us you can do so via the ‘Get in touch!’ section above, or drop us a line at dorset@iww.org.uk

We plan to host more stalls across Dorset in the coming months… So watch this space!

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dorsetiww, (April 21, 2018 @ 13:07:32):

Dorset IWW will have a stall at Boscombe sovereign centre tomorrow (Sunday) come and say hello. facebook event

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Kevan Thakrar- Important Update

IWW member Kevan has been kept in solitary confinement for over 8 years. You can read more about his case here. The majority has been inside the UK’s Close Supervision Centres– prisons within prisons. He has now been moved to a segregation unit at HMP Long Lartin that has even worse conditions.

Since being moved to HMP Long Lartin, with no explanation or justification, FW Kevan has been kept in solitary confinement in the segregation wing. He has been given no indication as to when he will be moved to general population, as segregation is not meant to be used indefinitely. All this, in spite of recommendations from a psychologist that he should be moved to general population.

As well as being deprived of human contact, FW Kevan’s visits have been unofficially restricted to a closed visit behind a screen. He has no hot water in his cell, and no toilet seat, lid or privacy screen.

Please write to the governor at HMP Long Lartin the Independent Monitoring Board and HMIPS asking FW Kevan to be moved to general population.

The contact details you can use are as follows:

  • Write to the the Governor of HMP Long Lartin
    • Governor Clare Pearson, South Littleton, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8TZ
    • Or email them at: Clare.Pearson@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
    • Or call: 01386 295 100
    • Or Fax: 01386 295 101
  • Write to the Independent Monitoring Board and ask them to investigate FW Kevan’s treatment. Their contact details are:
    • 020 3334 3265 – If they ask, FW Kevan has submitted a form in his prison but needs more support and action.
  • Write to FW Kevan! He needs your support and solidarity. Send letters to:
    • Kevan Thakrar, A4907AE, HMP Long Lartin, South Littleton, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8TZ
    • You can also use emailaprisoner.com

Example letter template to adapt:

Re: Kevan Thakrar A4907AE

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you urgently, regarding the aforementioned inmate, Kevan Thakrar. I am asking you to make immediate plans for Kevan to be transferred to general population.

I am concerned about the ongoing treatment of Kevan, who has been kept in solitary confinement for over 8 years. The majority has been inside the UK’s Close Supervision Centres – prisons within prisons. He has now been moved to a segregation unit at HMP Long Lartin that has even worse conditions.

Since being moved to HMP Long Lartin, with no explanation or justification, Kevan has been kept in solitary confinement. He has been given no indication as to when he will be moved to general population, as segregation is not meant to be used indefinitely. All this, in spite of recommendations from a psychologist that he should be moved to general population.

As well as being deprived of human contact, Kevan’s visits have been unofficially restricted to a closed visit behind a screen. He has no hot water in his cell, and no toilet seat, lid or privacy screen.

I look forward to your response,

NAME

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!

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.
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Help find FW Gaia 18/11/17 at 12:00

Comrades,

Please come to Swanage tomorrow 18/11/17 at 12:00, there is going to be a line search of the area.

People are being asked to self-organise as much as possible.

Meeting points.

1) Durlston Country Park car park: BH19 2JL (South Swanage)

2) King George’s Playing Field car park (main beach car park): BH19 1PW (Swanage town centre)

3) Day’s Park car park: BH 19 1NN (North Swanage)

From the organisers:

“There will be at least one central organiser at each of these sites. We will have maps with a rough grid system. From there, we will be asking you to form long lines with approximately two feet between each person. We will then comb the area looking for any and every sign, clue, or piece of information we can find.”

We have every hope that Gaia is still with us, for the sake of her family and friends, we need to eliminate the alternatives.

AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL.