A lot of housing in the private rented sector is in an appalling state, and it's pretty hard for isolated tenants to get their landlord to make improvements. Here we publish the story of a tenant from a nearby town who contacted us during one of our Brighton housing disputes. It's a horror story in which the lettings agency forces the tenants to pay 6 months rent upfront, dismissing their complaints about unsafe living conditions with mental health slurs before dragging them to court for eviction. The account was written in the hope that it will encourage more tenants to come together to support one another, so we will no longer be isolated in the face of landlords who usually can count to have lettings agencies, lawyers, courts and often even councils on their side.
We are an anarcho-syndicalist union based in Brighton. We have ongoing campaigns in Hospitality and in Health & social care, but we aim to organise with workers of all industries and none.
Brighton hospitality worker gets £600 payout after demanding holiday pay for herself and her workmates
Holiday pay is a common problem faced by workers in the hospitality industry - especially those on zero-hour contracts who are often unaware of of their legal right to holiday pay. Recently we supported a waitress from a cafe in the North Laine who was demanding holiday pay for herself and her workmates - and who managed to get the £600 she was owed.
The recent strikes by conductors and train drivers - members of the RMT and ASLEF unions - have been the biggest railway strikes in decades.
As a local, Brighton SolFed has been supporting the local striking members. Our support has been through the attendance of pickets, and organising a benefit gig; to raise money for the local strike fund, and, most importantly, to show solidarity and get workers across industries together.
If you only read media reports, this would seem to be a simple dispute regarding who merely pushes a button to open the train doors.
Really, this is about our safety.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is the company that owns the privatised Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, and Thameslink railway operators.
If you regularly follow our activity probably you have realised that the housekeeper campaign is no longer active. This article aims to explain you what we tried to do, what we did and why the campaign is now on hold.
The housekeepers' campaign tried to expose the problems of workers in the tourist industry in Brighton through one of the hardest positions in the sector: those who clean every room in Brighton after a wild party, a family weekend or a romantic night. The idea of the campaign was to generate a discussion around working conditions in hostels, hotels and guest houses.
Another year, another book fair. We had the usual material with the usual positive responses. We distributed workers' and tenants' rights material to help give people the tools and knowledge to fight back for what we are entitled to.
The classic Abolish Restaurant’s zine was a favourite among many, alongside Bundschuhconspiracy’s t-shirts.
I worked a trial shift at the Ginger Dog pub. I was told that it would last for a 'couple' of hours. After three hours of working, I was told that it was going really well and that I had the job. In my experience, bosses in the hospitality sector will say this just to get people to work longer for free. I was asked to stay on and agreed to work for an extra three hours, meaning that I worked for six hours in total. I decided after this to not take the job and I contacted them the next day to tell them. I also requested payment for the full six hours worked. They did not respond to my email. I sent them another email and received no response again. I emailed them again and told them that if they didn't pay me, I would take action via Brighton SolFed, and I sent them some links to articles about previous cases.
No contracts, unsure of the terms of employment, working to the whim of management, sound familiar? We are currently in a dispute with Upper Crust Hove (no not the yellow chain everywhere) the one in West Hove’s golf club.
The worker came to Solfed for help after not being paid her full notice period pay, following having her hours changed upon them, which in effect forced them to leave employment.
This was not a mutual agreement; this was punishment for taking an agreed holiday which management forgot about.
Due to the fact nothing was laid out before hand, the ambiguity of terms and conditions leaves the power to management to do as they please. That is until workers start fighting for themselves.
Brighton SolFed has started a dispute against the Western road branch of the letting agency Leaders. The agency facilitated an eviction attempt against a tenant that failed after a court hearing. SolFed has been trying to find a settlement for the dispute the last couple of weeks. Along with SolFed, the tenant is fighting for compensation for loss of earnings and damage to her health.
Some workplaces in Brighton, including hospitality companies like pubs, restaurants and hotels, to hospitals, care agencies and the building trade, employers ask potential employees to come and work a 'trial shift' to see if they are up to the job.
Brighton SolFed started a dispute with Jimmy's Restaurant's Marina branch regarding wage theft. The Restaurant was part of a bigger scam and tax fraud involving different branch and companies.
It´s easy to forget...
On June 28th in the year 1969 the neighborhood of Greenwich Village burst with anger
A former housekeeper in The Amsterdam Hotel received the full payment of his holiday entitlement after joining a SolFed campaign against wages theft.
Last month, Cheese & Toast, a cafe in Lewes Road, paid one of its former workers after having been contacted by SolFed.
Talk and public discussion on June the 28th (Tuesday) at 6pm at The Cowley Club
From Brighton-SolFed, we want to support the French workers in their struggle against the Hollande government´s law aimed at reforming worker´s rights. Especially to the people facing police brutality and repression.
Nowadays in Europe, it is not unusual for governments to attack working conditions with the excuse of “deficit control” or the “competitiveness of the economy”. What is unusual (and amazing) in France, is the worker´s firm opposition.
This struggle concerns all of us. Their victory or their defeat will be ours, so we invite all of Brighton´s working class to show solidarity and join this event for the diffusion of information about these events and a discussion on our French comrades strikes.