Last Saturday several actions took place in different countries against the Jails for Migrants (AKA detention centres). Brighton Migrant Solidarity organised a coach to protest outside the two centres in Gatwick.
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.
Last weekend, Brighton-SolFed organised different activities to commemorate May Day, the International Workers Day.
Although the Working Class has not so much to celebrate these days, we used this opportunity for discussion, to give visibility to our struggles, and to invite our members and collaborators to have a good time together.
Anarcho-syndicalism in Brighton: talk and social
Saturday 30th April, 6pm at the Cowley Club
Day of action against exploitation
Sunday 1st May, 3pm at the Clock Tower
The University of Brighton wants to close its campus in Hastings. The closure of the campus would likely mean job losses, and it would be damaging to the town, and to access to Higher Education in the town and surrounding area. Brighton Solidarity Federation will be supporting the demonstration against the closure of the campus this Wednesday 13th April, meeting at the Level at 1pm.
After three weeks of action, Jimmy's Restaurant (on the Brighton Marina) is still avoiding their responsibilities. Three former workers are still campaigning to get their holiday pay and their P45 documents and we keep receiving contacts of workers facing the same situation.
From the beginning, the management of the restaurant has been denying any responsibility and addressing us to the “Head Office” who, curiously enough, never answer the phone or emails.
Moreover, last week we found out that the workers, having received their payslips with their tax deductions, are not in the records of the HMRC as having worked for Jimmy's. No explanation has been given by Jimmy's but we do hope that this is a misunderstanding.
Jimmy's restaurant continues to refuse to repay its former workers over £1500 in stolen holiday pay, nor return their P45s. After contact with the initial three workers, and their friends who either have worked for or continue to work for the restaurant, we can see that their case is all but unique. Jimmy's is refusing to treat its employees with respect and we will keep fighting until they do so.
At the end of January some of our members joined a demonstration against the privitisation of another NHS service; patient transport. This ambulance service is being privitised to cut costs by the joint Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s), who decide how to spend the health budget locally. The demonstration was timed before a CCG meeting to show anger at the imminent sell-off.
Not only is this another dismantling of the NHS and introducing profiteering into healthcare; there are potentially large job losses, changes to terms and conditions for those transferred, changes of criteria for patients eligible for the services and no guarantee of the same standards of care, as a company runs dispatch and then sub contracts the transportation.
Earlier this month, we helped an international student get back her holding deposit from a lettings agency. Here is the tenant's story.
The agency were nice in the beginning, like every other agency. However they kept asking if I still wanted the flat. It made me feel quite pressured, so I paid the holding deposit of £650. I thought this was excessive, but the agency assured me that I would not lose the money as long as I proceeded with the tenancy application. Despite the deposit, the agency could still change whatever they wanted . They tried to postpone the advertised moving in date without my agreement, and referred to it being “subject to contract”. So if I said no, I would lose the deposit. How is it fair that they could hold my money against me and change the terms of tenancy in their favour!
Last month, the cleaning company Emprise paid one of its former workers after having been contacted by SolFed.
A lettings agency is facing a growing campaign by an aggrieved tenant supported by Brighton Solfed after refusing to pay back a holding deposit. This Saturday saw Solfed redouble our efforts in a campaign aiming to get a tenant what she's owed – and show that ordinary people don't have to accept being ripped off by lettings agencies.
Last Saturday 16th November we started the public campaign against Imperial Hotel. The worker, Francesco, contacted Brighton Solfed regarding a serious case of wage theft: this hotel owes him part of his wages, including his notice pay, holiday entitlement, money stolen from this pay, and sick pay. As the company has ignored every attempt from Brighton Solfed to contact them we had no other choice but to start direct action.
Brighton SolFed has started a dispute against the Hove branch of the letting agency King & Chasemore The agency has stolen the holding deposit of a tenant. SolFed has been trying to find a settlement of the dispute the last coupld of weeks. The amount demanded from the agency is £425.
A few weeks ago, a worker came to us with a dispute over an employer withholding Statutory Sick Pay, notice period pay and outstanding holiday entitlement owed to her.
Brighton SolFed has started a public campaign against Imperial Hotel. This hotel owes a former worker part of his wages, including his notice pay, holiday entitlement, money stolen from his pay, and sick pay. While he was working in another hotel, which is also owned by the owner of Imperial, on what should have been his day off, the worker sustained an injury to his finger. As a result, he stayed off sick for one month. He did not receive any sick pay or compensation. The manager told him that he could not claim anything because he had been working for less than one month when it happened and because it was his fault.
The end of the dispute held with Brighton Proud Cabaret after an economical agreement. As we have informed previously, a former chef terminated his employment after being pressured by his manager to go to work when he was sick, which resulted in him being removed from the work rota and the payroll system. Then, the worker was owed part of his wage including unpaid hours, holiday entitlement and notice pay. However, he decided to renounce his notice pay as he was a bit unclear and in debt, in order to facilitate a fast solution.