workers' rights

Office Angels Picket - Bristol

Bristol solidarity Federation will be continuing with their support of the Office Angels temp who has never been payed in full for the three days work he did last year.

As part of the national week of action called by SF-IWA we are planning a picket of the Office Angels branch, 35-38 High Street, Bristol. This will commence at 11.00am on Thursday, 12th May. We urge anyone free to come down and support this campaign. Members of Bristol SF have been involved in the struggle against the casualisation of work for many years. This initiative is part of on-going work to ensure that workers are not robbed of their pay, their rights and their safety.

We demand that Dan is paid in full for the work he has done.

Office Angels Picket - Leeds (23/04/11)


Members of WYSF (along with AF) picketed Office Angels in Leeds and handed out over 200 hundred leaflets.  We had a very positive response including one person who wanted more information and is going to look at the National website to see what we do.  We also spoke to someone who was posting her CV to Office Angels who was very interested in the leaflet and the information it contained.

Office Angels mistreating workers

Members of Bristol Solidarity Federation have been fighting about the casualisation of work for many years. We have therefore decided to support the campaign against Office Angels. We demand that the ex-employee at the centre of this campaign is payed in full for the work he did, we also go beyond that initial demand and wish to see a culture of solidarity so that agencies realise that they can't mistreat workers and get-away with it.

Temporary workers face unacceptable conditions every day. They work without sick pay or maternity leave, are ...vulnerable to unfair and instant dismissals and have no union support. Rising unemployment and a bleak economic climate will force even more of us to accept these precarious conditions - yet another example of working class people being exploited by an economic system that only benefits the rich.

Workplace rights drive visits Brighton retailers

With workers facing across-the-board cutbacks, members of Brighton SolFed today hit the streets to talk to retail staff about their rights. After the UKUncut protests have shifted attention to the multi-million pound tax dodging of several high street names, we went to talk to retail workers, encouraging them to get organised to prevent bosses cutting costs by cutting their conditions. We’ll be back again in a couple of weeks to keep the issue topical, and keep local bosses on notice that attacks on workers’ conditions won’t go unnoticed!

You can download a copy of SolFed’s basic workplace rights leaflet, 'the Stuff Your Boss doesn’t want you to know' here.

Know Your Rights: Redundancy

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have predicted that 725,000 public sector jobs and up to 900,000 private sector jobs will go in the next five years, as a result of spending cuts and the VAT increase. While some will go through retirement and natural wastage, a lot more workers will be facing redundancy. Here is a brief guide to the law around it.

Redundancy happens when an employer ceases to carry on its business, or stops or diminishes some part of its business. The law covers England, Scotland and Wales, with different legislation in Northern Ireland, though its provisions are similar.

For a worker to be made redundant, their dismissal has to be attributable to the reduction in employees. It doesn’t need to be motivated by a company in difficulties, any reorganisation that results in fewer staff will be a redundancy.

Problems at work No.1: Can the boss keep ignoring us?

I work in a textile factory that employs around 30 workers. We have complained to management about low temperatures, the lack of heating and poor ventilation but they ignore us and have threatened to victimise some workers. Some of us are members of a union, but there is no recognition. What are our options?

Whether you are in a recognised union or not, the first step for dealing with a health and safety issue is to establish what the problem is and how it is affecting workers. The best way to do this is for as many workers as possible to meet together to talk about the problems. The boss may immediately try and victimise any workers involved. Decide what, where and how to meet to get organised. Consider what contact you want with the union, if any.

Problems at work No.3 How can you secure your right to 4 weeks working holiday?

Election time and Labour is on a spending spree, using our money in order to advertise the many benefits workers have won under Labour. The expensive gloss includes an advert advising us of our new rights to four weeks paid holiday. Before rushing into management to claim your new holiday entitlement, we would urge a note of caution. In deregulated Britain job insecurity is widespread, and still spreading wildly. In such times, claiming your rights may just end up with you taking a permanent holiday - sacked and on the dole.

Voluntary exploitation

Over the past few years, as councils have hived off their duties to the private sector, there has been a substantial growth in the voluntary, charity and community sector. These groups can cover a range of jobs from housing to care, urban regeneration to environmental concerns.

Often, employment depends on the acquisition of grants from various funds. This means that jobs are offered on shortterm contracts rarely going beyond three years. It also means that many jobs are part-time. Often, part of the job description is to seek further funding for your own employment. The catch is that, if you do succeed, you may well have to re-apply again as it may have a slightly different job description. This puts all the power in the hands of any management committee you have to work under.

Problems at work - No.6: Legal update

In August, new European regulations came into force to clarify and strengthen the Working Time Regulations (WTR). These introduced limits on working hours for the first time in the UK.

The WTR gave most UK workers seven basic rights, including rights to paid holidays and a ceiling on the maximum average working week. But the initial legislation allowed some temporary exemptions where employers in certain sectors argued that they needed time to comply with the law. It has also left an opt-out clause that gives workers the .choice. to work longer hours.

The basic rights and protections that the Regulations provide are: