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.

Protest against privatisation of ambulance service Brighton

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.

“They think they can do whatever they want” - a tenant's story

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!

Imperial Hotel: First picket

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.

Imperial Hotel does not pay

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.

Proud Cabaret dispute closed

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.

Back to Dover to fight against fascism

On September the 12th, almost 200 people tried to stop a fascist march against refugees in the streets of Dover. The march was made up of more than 200 members from groups such as National Front, South East Alliance or BNP, with the objective of reaching Dover harbour to the cry of “refugees, go home!”. This triggered violent confrontations with the antifascists and the Police causing several injured people. It is the third fascist demonstration in the city of Dover this year.

Self-Education In Action

During a September Saturday Brighton SolFed held a network and skills day covering; the immigration act and healthcare, the attack on benefits, fighting wage theft and anarchists on austerity. This full day, including a mighty lunch prepared by members, maintained a constant level of debate and information, concluding in practical action points to continue agitating around Brighton and beyond.

Brighton SolFed goes on fighting against wage theft!

Summertime is proving to be a period of intense activity for Brighton-SolFed. We are constantly being contacted by hospitality workers who endure, amongst other forms of exploitation, wage and holiday theft. In some cases actions have followed suit given the impunity under which some employers operate in the city. Below are some brief notes on two of our most recent achievements.

Another worker got paid after organizing

Brighton Hospitality Workers was approached in May by a Kitchen Porter, at an upmarket and busy restaurant on the seafront, who had been laid off without 7 days’ notice period pay and with unpaid wages and holiday entitlement. An all-too-common situation in a city where bosses flagrantly breach employment law to squeeze as much from the workers as possible, in the full knowledge that the local authorities, trade bodies or established unions have no interest in challenging them.

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