Manchester SolFed is the local of the Solidarity Federation covering Greater Manchester.

Happy Valley Pride will be Celebrating LGBT+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas will be taking Place this year from August 6th to 12th August for more info go to https://happyvalleypride.com

SolFed will be going along to this year's Happy Valley Pride to celebrate. We have prepared the following statement for the event.

Valley Pride and the Politics of Revolution

It’s wonderful to see Valley Pride again, this year with the enticing theme of “revolution”. It’s an invitation to take stock of where we are and what challenges remain.

UNDEREMPLOYMENT, CASUALISATION AND THE FUTURE OF WORK

Underemployment is the term used for workers who get fewer hours than they want and need to live on. In the UK there are now at least 1.4 million workers on zero-hours contracts and 865,000 agency workers, many of whom struggle to get enough hours a week to survive on. Added to which, companies are increasingly employing people on a part-time basis, often on contracts of 10 hours or less. This leaves workers dependent on any extra hours management may choose to offer them. According to the Office for National Statistics, just under 10% of the working population or 3.3 million people want more hours; or to put it another way, are part unemployed.  To put this into context there are now twice as many people underemployed as there are unemployed.

THE PROTEST AGAINST FORTIS STUDENT LETTING AGENCY CONTINUES!

Monday 18 June saw Manchester Solidarity Federation join tenants in a protest outside Fortis Student Letting in Altrincham, Greater Manchester. The protest is the latest event in a long running campaign being organised by the tenants because of the appalling conditions in the Fortis run building, where they are living. Throughout their stay, Fortis have refused to carry out even the most basic maintenance of the building. The tenants went weeks without water, months without heating and had to live in rooms covered with mould.  On one occasion, water poured through a ceiling light fitting for weeks, with Fortis making no attempt to repair it. This was despite numerous complaints by tenants.

Fortis Student Lettings neglects tenants!

On Monday (June 4), Manchester Solidarity Federation demonstrated outside the head office of Fortis Student Lettings in Altrincham, near Manchester.

It was an action in solidarity with a group of tenants renting in Chester through this letting agency. Fortis had allowed unacceptable delays in carrying out basic maintenance resulting in tenants living, for example, with damp and mould, or without hot water for months: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ fortishorrorstories/posts/. The tenants are now asking Fortis for compensation and the agency keeps ignoring them or to engage in any attempt at mediation.

Northern Festival of Resisting Borders & Prisons May 19th

In Manchester, Empty Cages Collective, Manchester No Prisons, Smash IPP, & Unis Resist Border Controls felt the urgency of not only discussing and pushing against border regimes and the hostile environment policy, but also fighting prison injustice. As it was reported in Corporate Watch, the current Conservative government are pushing to build 6 mega prisons, one of which has already been built in Wrexham, North Wales. The crisis of violence and overcrowding inside prisons is causing huge damage to communities across the UK.

National Minimum and Living Wage Increases April 2018

The new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage from April 2018 are set out below:

  • £7.83 per hour for ages 25 and over
  • £7.38 per hour for ages 21 to 24
  • £5.90 per hour for ages 18 to 20
  • £4.20 per hour for those under 18
  • £3.70 per hour for apprentices.

For your boss to pay the apprenticeship rate there must be a genuine apprenticeship agreement in place. This agreement must be based on training being the main purpose of the agreement, with working being secondary.

The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices aged:

Women who clean at home or at work face the same risk as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

New research has again highlighted the dangers posed to health from the use of chemicals used in cleaning. Disturbingly, the research has found that the use of cleaning products has an impact on lung health comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. This latest evidence adds to the urgent need for a fundamental review of how, as a society, we carry out cleaning, not just in the workplace but also in the home. The research has also again highlighted the dangers faced by women in particular from the use of chemicals used in cleaning.

Manchester Solfed Picket Polish Consulate

Manchester Solidarity Federation held a picket outside the Polish Consulate in Manchester today. Our picket was in solidarity with self-organised Polish postal workers who have been involved in a two year campaign aimed at improving pay and conditions and are being supported by our Polish IWA sister-section the ZSP union.

Basic freedom of speech is under attack in Poland, especially for workers. The state-controlled Post Office is trying to criminalize workers who speak out about their working conditions. Protests by postal workers have led to harassment, threats against them and the unfair dismissal of three organisers: Klaudiusz Wieczorek, Rafal Czerski, and Zbigniew Trochimiak. In addition, the state has brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA.

Stop state repression of workers now!

Support the Polish Postal Workers Join the Picket in Manchester

Manchester Solidarity Federation will be organising a picket of the Polish Consult on Friday 2nd March starting at 2pm. The Picket is in support of Polish postal workers who have been involved in a two year campaign aimed at improving pay and conditions supported by the ZSP-IWA union. As a result they are facing increasing repression. Following nation-wide protests, the government-owned postal office have sought to silence protesting workers and fired several of the organisers. In addition, they have brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA, who have supported the self-organised campaign of postal workers. SolFed-IWA is in solidarity with postal workers in Poland. Stop state repression of workers now! An injury to one is an injury to all!

Manchester Picket in Support of Brighton Tenant

Manchester Solidarity Federation organised a picket of Thornley Grove Letting Agency in support of a Brighton tenant. The tenant has been organising with Brighton SolFed after deductions were made from her joint tenancy deposit, despite the fact the tenants left the property in a clean condition. The deductions were unreasonable, not properly costed and, on top of this, service from the agency was poor throughout her tenancy.

Manchester Solfed organised the picket of Thorney Grove as it is a sister company of Brand Vaughan, the Brighton letting agency that had deducted £390 from the tenant’s deposit. Both companies are part of a UK capital investment company, Lomond Capital, which owns 34 UK letting agencies. In total Lomond Capital manages residential properties worth £2.7 billion and sells £600 million worth of property every year.

Strikers from three disputes unite for a demo and rally in Manchester

Friday the 26th January saw strikers from three disputes in Manchester stage a joint demo and rally. Hundreds of supporters joined the demonstration and attended the rally where strikers from Mears, First Buses and Fujitsu  gave an update on their long running disputes.

Mears Dispute

The Mears dispute involves 180 building workers employed by Mears to undertake housing maintenance work on 12,000 properties in Manchester. The contract was tendered by Manchester council.  The workers took 40 days of strike action last year over pay differentials of up to £3,500 and attacks on their terms and conditions. A further ballot saw an increased majority vote for further 49 days of action, due to end on February 8th.

Support the Fight Against Wage Theft

As people may know the Solidarity Federation has been involved in numerous disputes involving wage theft. However just in case you were thinking that bosses stealing workers hard earned wages was just a British phenomenon we have just received the following request from our sister organisation in the International Workers Association Priama Akcia who organise in Slovakia.

Support the Fujitsu Strikes

Join the pickets at Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP (by Central Park Metrolink station) between 7-10am on strike days. We are particularly keen to maximise turnout on Wednesday 24 January – there will be activities people can do without standing around outside.

Join the joint strike rally with Mears / Manchester Working and First Bus Rusholme at 12:30 on Friday 26 January. It’s at the Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD (entrance on Major St)
Send a message of support to support@ourunion.org.uk or Unite the Union, Fujitsu MAN34, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP

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Our leaflets

flyer - Direct Action Against The Cuts
(pdf)