cleaners demonstrate for sick pay and holiday pay at SOAS

About seventy people demonstrated at SOAS on the 6th June, in the continuing battle for better conditions for cleaners in the London universities.
The cleaners at some universities have won the London Living Wage, but they have not given up and are demanding equal conditions of employment for all staff - fair sick pay, holiday pay and pension contributions. Some universities, like UCL, are refusing to make any increase in cleaners’ wages. Others, like at Senate House, have conceded the LLW but are now trying to impose speedup on the cleaners with an increase in workload.

London Solfed on Mayday: "You say Workfare, we say warfare!"

May 1st was, of course, Mayday, International Workers’ Day, held in memory of the six anarchists executed after the Haymarket riot, a protest in Chicago way back in 1886 over the 8 hour working day.  Despite it falling on a normal working day this year, both London SF branches called an anti-Workfare roving picket through central London, as well as attending an electricians’ picket and, least interestingly, the official, Trade Union Congress (TUC) march.

The electricians’ picket – called by the Sparks rank and file group – was in response to employers trying to block rank and file activists from even attending the ongoing negotiations over the JIB agreement. We braved the bleak, grey early morning for a couple of hours befire retreating to a
café for a break and a caffeine fix.

Kilburn Anti-Workfare picket a success

Last Saturday, the North London Solidarity Federation was joined by members of the Industrial Workers of the World and Boycott Workfare for a mid-day picket of the Holland and Barrett in Kilburn, North West London.

Picketers numbered over twenty in total and came prepared with flags, hi-vis jackets, and various banners decrying the exploitative nature of the government's various workfare schemes. Nearly 1000 leaflets were handed out over the course of the action and throughout the picket prospective customers were persuaded to do their shopping elsewhere.

Public response was overwhelmingly positive. One member of the public even stopped by for half and hour to help us do some leafleting. Others took the opportunity to go into the store and express their dissatisfaction directly to the Holland and Barrett manager on duty at the time.

Workfare demo, Islington

As part of Boycott Workfare's National day of action against the government,s divisive workfare program, members of NLSF met up In Islington to show their opposition. McDonalds on Chaple Market was our first port of call. Loads of leaflet were handed and some good conversations were struck up, mostly in support of our presence outside these exploitative and unscrupulous shops. Although couple of the market stallholders gave us a bit of verbal and the McDonald's manager couldn't understand why his shop was being targeted as "they had nothing to do with the program", Chaple Market was undeniably supportive. Moving on to Upper St, the manager at Holland & Barrett just didn't want us there at all. We didn't plan staying there too long as some wanted to go to the main event in central London.

London Supports Sheffield Pizza Hut Workers

Today saw members of North and South London SolFed join a picket in solidarity with Sheffield Pizza Hut workers. Organised by the IWW and targeting the busy Pizza Hut at the Strand, twenty picketers gave out leaflets to prospective customers and members of the public. The workers in Sheffield, who've organised with the Industrial Workers of the World, have been in a year-long dispute with the company over wage rates and holiday pay.

Despite the cold weather, the picketers were in high spirits and gave out hundreds of leaflets over the course of the afternoon. The picket was part of a national day of action against the pizza chain, with shops all around the country being picketed at the same time.

North London SolFed holds 2012 AGM

Topping off a successful week that included an all day picket of the union-busting employment agency ADECCO, yesterday the North London local of the Solidarity Federation held our 2012 annual general meeting. Attended by about two-thirds of our membership, the meeting included a mix of long-term members (including one who was in Direct Action Movement before it became the Solidarity Federation) and others who've only joined in the past few months.

Adecco Office at London Bridge Picketed against strike breaking

In solidarity with the sacked workers of EULEN-ABB in Spain, London locals of SolFed like our comrades in Brighton, took the streets today with a picket in front of Adecco’s London Bridge office. After a strike going on since last November, the Spanish employment agency EULEN fired all of the workers in the local strike committee, for the benefit of its contractor ABB. A global agency firm Adecco, a majority owner of numerous other brands in the industry, moved in supplying temp workers to scab the site -An attack against workers rights and an initiation rite for ABBs new program of union busting and a contract with Adecco’s local branch, EUROCEN.

SolFedders on the picket line to support National Gallery Strike

Today saw two members of the North London Solidarity Federation join striking gallery assistants and members of the public at a picket line rally at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The strike, over budget cuts and staffing levels, was scheduled to last only two hours and was planned to cause disruption during the Gallery's busiest time.

SolFed members in particular made an effort to flier potential patrons, explain the issues behind the strike, and request they refrain from entering the museum for the duration of the strike. After spending some time at the Gallery itself, the strikers led a short march to the to the Da Vinci exhibition which was taking place next door.

Picket against Whole Foods victimisations

Today saw the London Solidarity Federation hold a picket in support of a victimised Whole Foods worker. The action was held in conjunction with protests in Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Reno and San Francisco.

The demonstration had been called in defense of Natalia, a San Francisco Whole Foods worker who was sacked for speaking up in support of herself and her workmates and took place outside the Soho branch of Whole Foods in London.