The first issue of a new newsletter focussed on direct action solidarity - tackling grievances from bullying to wage theft.
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.
We have just published the first issue of a new newsletter focussed on direct action solidarity: tackling the little gripes and grievances from workplace bullying to wage theft to stolen deposits. Since mid-2011 the Brighton Local of the Solidarity Federation has been running a stall in locations around the city and more recently in Bognor.
Rather than the usual political stall about the big issues of government cuts and policy decisions we decided to use it to talk directly to people about their issues at work, with their landlords or at the Jobcentre. The aim has been to encourage the idea that these problems we face aren’t just something we are having difficulty with as individuals, but rather that they are part of a whole range of wider issues faced by the working class (those who rely on wages and/or benefits to make a living).
There was a great turnout for the short-notice picket of employment agency Adecco in Brighton today. Around 20 people stopped by, with picket numbers averaging 10-15 for the two hour picket. A division of Adecco has been hiring strike-breakers for the multinational corporation ABB and their contractor EULEN in Cordoba, Spain, where workers have been on indefiniate strike since November 28th. Around 400 copies of this leaflet were handed out. There were also pickets in Glasgow and London.
Workers at a Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) factory in Cordoba, Spain have been on indefinite strike since 28th November, camped out all day and night in front of the factory.
The strike was called in protest at plans to make workers redundant and replace them with non-union labour with no experience or qualifications, hired through EUROCEN - the logistics division of the ADECCO Group.
ADECCO is the largest employment agency in the world. Beside profiting on precarity and casualisation, ADECCO and other employment agencies are fast becoming the go-to source for scabs and strikebreakers. Case in point: At the Asea Brown Boveri factory in Cordoba, Spain workers have struck over pay and conditions.
Besides sacking nine of the twelve members of the strike committee, ABB has now begun hiring scab labour from ADECCO. This disgusting behaviour must stop. Employment agencies have exploited us long enough. It's time for us to fight back. A win for workers at ABB, a giant multinational that operates in over 100 countries, will not only improve working conditions for Spanish workers, it will let employment agencies like ADECCO know that workers are willing to fight back against their unscrupulous practices.
Brighton SolFed were out in force today for the public sector strikes, which saw a huge turnout of perhaps 10,000. Three feeder marches converged on Victoria Gardens in the city centre before marching around town and ending with a rally at the Level. A brief personal report and pictures are below:
Biggest march I've seen in Brighton, I'd guess 5-10,000. Couldn't see the back or the front of the march and it was overflowing the Level where it ended. Cops tried to randomly arrest a bystander and apparently some black bloc types dearrested them.
Bulletin for the November 30th public sector strike (2011)
Sir Ian Blair, ex Commissioner of the Met Police was meant to give a talk at Sussex university last night, but faced disruption from students - see the report below.
The big November 30 strike is drawing near. Rents and prices are rising, unemployment is going through the roof and at the same time wages are falling, benefits are slashed and people are being kicked out of their homes. The NHS is being sold-off while public services are decimated, schools and universities wrecked and the poor excluded. Officially these strikes are about pensions, but we all know it’s about a lot more than that.
We'll be keeping this post updated with plans for Brighton as we get them. So far:
On Saturday Brighton Solidarity Federation held a ‘Stuff Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Know’ stall and distribution in Brighton’s busy London Road shopping area. Pitching up at 10.30, we welcomed considerable interest from passing public as well as calling into businesses and workplaces, promoting the benefits of worker’s self-organisation and solidarity in response to issues such as low pay, poor conditions, lack of holiday and maternity entitlement and management harassment.
ATOS healthcare are the private IT company tasked with kicking sick and disabled claimants off benefits by classifying them as fit to work using an automated program. The Brighton Benefits Campaign and Disabled People Against Cuts organised the local contribution to the national day of action against ATOS, which saw around 25 people assemble in Brighton, street theatre depicting the computerised 'fit for work' assessment and a short march to the nearby ATOS building.
Today we heard that the trustees of Brighton's Community Base were meeting to push through privatisation plans and redundancies to the staff directly employed there (numbering two or three). Community Base is a charity providing a home for community and voluntary groups in Brighton and Hove and services to the local community. They use income from affordable services, including the provision of office space and the use of meeting rooms, to repay a mortgage on their centrally-located seven floor building.
In time for Freshers Fair, we've printed some of Ed Goddard's excellent pamphlet on student radicalism at Sussex. Ed Goddard is a former member of Brighton SF currently living in Italy, and an admin of the libcom.org website. Come see us on the Anarchist Society stall to get a copy, or download as a pdf here.
The first 45 minutes of last Thursday's talk in Brighton by a member of the Seattle Solidarity Network are now online. The talk covers the origins o SeaSol and the rationale behind it, as well as examples of their fights, their tactics and the anatomy of a typical struggle. After this, there was an hour's discussion of tactics, question and answers, and some more short films shown. We hope to edit together the lot into a video when we get the opportunity.