Brighton

Does Brighton Council only care about PR?

UPDATE: since the publication of this article on the afternoon of Monday 10th July 2017, Larissa Reed, Executive Director for Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing at Brighton council has been in touch to arrange a meeting with Brighton SolFed and the Bobby Carver campaign within the next two weeks. We look forward to hearing how the issues raised below are going to be addressed, and about the changes the council is going to put in place to ensure 'the safest homes possible' for everyone...

 

Agency fuckups: sometimes it's enough just to ask

A prospective tenant contacted Brighton SolFed after she was poorly treated by an agency. The list of grievances will be sadly familiar to anyone who has or does rent in Brighton. For example, after the agency had received the £840 fee for the four tenants moving into the house, they: changed the length of the agreement from twelve to eleven months; gave the tenants misleading information about insurance and tried to pressure them into more expensive agreements; made absurd requests for the paperwork required by their guarantor; added additional fees for this paperwork; forced expensive insurance schemes on international tenants; went back on a promise to fix up the bathroom; were generally unresponsive and misleading when they could be contacted, and moved the moving in date back whilst still expecting the tenants to pay rent from the first date.

Smiles, Solidarity and Ephesus

Our dispute with Ephesus has come to an end with a victory; the worker has been paid all that was owed.

Solidarity from many people has been the key to attaining this result.

From the outset the worker, who is also involved in the Spanish Marea Granate movement, wanted to find a way to collectivise the dispute and try to improve the conditions for their fellow workmates even though they were leaving. As the notice period finished, the worker asked for all their holiday pay and if they were going to receive the money owed for minimum wage. All they were offered was a measly £150. Management hoped this would keep the worker quiet.

We delivered the demand letter as a group, including the worker. We were received with smiles and “yes yes yes.”  We left and awaited their response; we gave them a week before the deadline was up.

Precarious Mayday marks the start of dispute with Ephesus restaurant

This year's mayday was celebrated in Brighton with the coming together of different local unions and groups organising against casualised working conditions and the housing crisis. The demo soon headed for a local restaurant that has been underpaying one of our members, and demanding they be paid. The protest marks the start of a dispute, continuing our efforts over the past few years of trying to bring International Workers Day back to its roots in worker militancy and anarchist labour organising. 

Brighton: Precarious Mayday

We've been holding Mayday events for the past few years, trying to bring International Workers Day back to its roots in worker militancy and anarchist organising. This year, we're joining in the call from a coalition of local grassroots initiatives organising against casualised working conditions and the housing crisis. Meet 7pm Jubilee Square - A critical mass bike block will lead the (walking) demonstration - if you want to take part in that block, just bring a bike. The only way we’ll make our lives better is by fighting together!

School Dinner Discipline: a little bit of solidarity can go a long way

A dinner lady came to Brighton SolFed when there was nowhere left to go. They were facing a disciplinary hearing after being unfairly blamed for an incident, and they additionally were refused mainstream union representation. Brighton Hospitality Workers helped the worker prepare for the disciplinary and accompanied them to this stressful encounter. Solidarity means supporting your fellow workers, solidarity is what makes us strong.

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.