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.

Health and Social Care drop in surgeries

The Brighton Solfed Health and Social Care network holds monthly drop in surgeries, on the last Monday of each month. The next one will be on Monday 25th May, 7 - 9 pm at Saint Georges Inn, (33 Upper Sudeley Street, Kemp Town, BN2 1HE).
If you have any workplace issues that you would like to talk about with Solfed members working in health or in social care, then come along this Bank Holiday Monday.

A restaurant in The Lanes paid up!

In the hospitality sector in Brighton it is very common to find employers who do not pay the minimum wage or pay the holidays owed to their workers. This problem is more common for migrants who do not necessarily have a great command of language or a thorough knowledge of labor laws.

This was the case for an employee of a restaurant in The Lanes. His situation in the workplace was made more complicated by the fact the rest of the kitchen staff, like him, were migrants, so communication was very difficult. He was paid minimum wage, 6.5 pounds per hour, and last minute changes to the rota were quite common, sometimes reaching up to 50 hours per week.

Un restaurante en The Lanes (Brighton) paga lo adeudado a un trabajador

En el sector de la hostelería en Brighton es muy habitual encontrarse con empresarios que no pagan el salario mínimo o que intentan no pagar las vacaciones a sus trabajadores. Esta problemática es más común en los trabajadores migrantes que no tienen un gran dominio del idioma ni un conocimiento profundo de la legislación laboral.

Este el caso de un trabajador de un restaurante en The Lanes. El entorno en que se desarrollaba su trabajo era bastante complejo, el resto del personal de la cocina, como él, eran inmigrantes, por lo que la comunicación se hacía muy complicada. Su trabajo se abonaba con el mínimo posible, 6,5 libras por hora, y los cambios de horarios a última hora eran bastante habituales, alcanzando en algunos casos jornadas semanales de más de 50 horas.

Brighton May Day events

29 Wednesday - Syndicalism and Education Sussex Uni Fulton building 113 = 6−8pm

01 Friday - MayDay

02 Saturday - Syndicalism in Brighton at the Cowley Club = 4−6 pm

03 Sunday - Roast + Film and Discussion after at the Cowley Club = 1−6 pm

04 Monday - Demonstration 12 0’Clock from Old Steine + picnic

The Caffe Bar Italia dispute is resolved

The Caffe Bar Italia conflict is finally resolved after over 4 months of actions as the former worker has accepted an offer from the boss. This follows weekly pickets and a social media campaign during which we received increasing support & interest from locals & contacts, many of whom boycotted the cafe. The boss' behaviour became increasingly irrational & desperate and he recently admitted to the damage we were causing to his business, despite calling cops every time we picketed and trying to incite us. Brighton SolFed Hospitality Workers proved to bosses that we're in it for the long run & are capable of maintaining an extended high profile dispute. We would like to thank all supporters for their dedication and fighting spirit, and extend solidarity to the worker, who was strong throughout!

Homeless repression

Recently, Richard Siggs, a Police Sergeant from Brighton, has been communicating with several charity agencies. In the text, he explains his concern about the “intolerable level” the numbers of “very visible members of the Street Community” have reached in the streets of Brighton, and he asks the agencies to reinforce these three ideas while dealing with their clients:

"Brighton & Hove do not accept rough sleeping to be a valid life choice, it is dangerous and based on chaotic life style"
"There is nowhere in Brighton & Hove to street drink, would you like us to refer you to support for your addiction?"
"Any property left laying around on the streets will be removed by the local authority and may be destroyed"

Brighton pub pays up

On Tuesday March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, a group of around 10 people accompanied a former worker of the pub. The aim was to ask if the management had an answer to the demands that he, in conjunction with Brighton Solidarity Federation, had made the previous week.

The pub is located in the Western Road area and the worker was a kitchen porter for about a year before he was sacked without any notice. As usual, he was on minimum wage and a zero-hours contract, the worst conditions the law allows.

However, the company decided this wasn't enough and didn't pay him for holiday leave not taken and the one week notice period.

Solidarity Call Out with anarchists arrested in Spain

Last Monday the 30th of April there was a new repressive strike against the anarchist movement in Spain. Thirty eight people were arrested in a police operation under the name ”Operación Piñata”. Fifteen  of them are facing charges of terrorism and five are in preventive imprisonment. Private homes, social centers and squatted spaces were registered in Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia and Granada.

Raids were carried out in a very open way, trying to create social alarm. The media is publishing names of people and groups and presenting as facts fake accusations. They talk about “anarchist terrorism” and organisations with leaders, hierarchical infrastructures and varied recruitment methods.

Latest news about "Operación Piñata" in Spain

Judge Eloy Velasco freed a dozen of the arrested with charges, three from Barcelona and seven from Madrid. The Prosecutors requested admission in preventive imprisonment for five other people.

The morning of the 1st of April fifteen people who were arrested as part of Operation Piñata declared before the Audiencia Nacional. The two women and the men arrested in Barcelona were released that afternoon, but will to go to the closest court to sign periodically. Seven of those arrested people (in Madrid) face the same situation.

Caffe Bar Italia : frequently asked questions

For the past few weeks we've been holding weekly pickets of a cafe in Hove in support of a former worker who was not paid properly. We have talked to hundreds of people and here we are addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about the case.

Yolanda worked at Caffe Bar Italia from May until September 2014 on a 20hours/week contract at £6.50/hour. However the cafe management didn't pay her for the contracted 20 weekly hours as she was sent home whenever this suited the cafe - in violation of her legal contract. On top of that she wasn't paid her holiday entitlement. Yolanda then approached us for support.

In late November we went to Caffe Italia to hand over a letter explaining the situation, and to have a chat to find an amicable solution.  We acceeded to several of the cafe's requests to be given more time until a meeting was agreed in the presence of their solicitor for December. The cafe cancelled this with 2 hours notice, refusing to communicate further. At the same time the cafe put pressure on Yolanda through mutual friends. This left us with no option but to start our public campaign on 13. December, which we have maintained since. Soon after, Yolanda left the UK - if it's hard to live on a part-time minimum-wage  job, it becomes impossible when you don't get paid for nearly half your contracted hours.

At least 26 comrades arrested across Spain

From Brighton, we want to show our solidarity with the comrades who have been arrested. We reproduce a text explaining the events that took place in Spain on March 30th.

 

(What follows is the translation of an article from the media, reproduced from a government press release. We are already aware of at least one other arrest; the case is still very much open. Protests have been called for in various cities tonight. The arrests are connected to the recent Operation Pandora).

12 People Arrested by the Policia Nacional for belonging to the Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados (GAC)

Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia, Granada, 30/03/2015

The arrested have been accused of membership in a criminal organization with terrorist objectives, and of committing felonies relating to sabotage and the placing of explosive and incendiary artifacts.

Cafe Bar Italia is still refusing to pay!

In recent weeks, we have continued our public campaign against Caffe Bar Italia for unpaid holiday and unpaid contracted hours for a total of £1.264 to Yolanda, a former worker.

In February, Brighton SolFed decided to temporarily suspend the actions because what seemed an attempt by the management to solve the conflict and pay what the worker is owed. However, the company offered only a fraction of the amount owed, fully taking advantage of Yolanda's precarious situation.

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