working class resistance

Day of action for sacked Peruvian garment workers

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation have held an informational picket outside Zara, in Liverpool One, and handed out leaflets to customers, staff, and passers-by.

Despite some attention from security guards, who informed us we couldn’t operate on private property, we were able to hand out all our leaflets and our action was generally well received. One woman even came over as we were packing away to inquire what we were up to, and offered her support when we explained what we had been doing and why.

This was part of international solidarity actions supported by the International Workers Association (IWA) for workers in Peru, in response to the sacking of 35 trade unionists. The union members were working in a factory for ‘Topy Top’, one of the major suppliers to high street store Zara, and also a supplier for Gap.

General strike 2010 – Barcelona

Two members of Liverpool SolFed recently visited Barcelona to show solidarity during the Spanish general strike of September 29th. They report:

During our stay in Barcelona we visited the Banesto building on Plaça de Catalunya which had been occupied for several days by anti-capitalists. They used the derelict space to celebrate resistance, as well as freely exchange information and radical ideas. However the building was later brutally repossessed by riot police.

On the day of the general strike, we joined a lively demonstration of several thousand organized by our sister organisation, the CNT, who put forward a much more militant message of resistance compared to that of the reformist trade unions.

Why workers need to look beyond the TUC

At the TUC’s annual conference, union delegates have backed joint industrial action if “attacks” on jobs, pensions and public services go ahead. The gathering backed a motion which included calls to build “a broad solidarity alliance of unions and communities under threat”.

However, we will not see “hundreds of thousands of workers take to the streets” under the TUC’s leadership.

The fact that trade unionists had to stage a protest outside the conference “lobbying” the TUC to call a national demonstration says it all. We need to be taking the initiative on the streets, not begging for piecemeal protests to be authorised from above.

Northampton Solfed visits Milton Keynes: and gets some backs up!

Members of Northampton Solfed set up a stall outside the MK shopping centre today with the aim of handing out 'Stuff Your Boss' and Catalyst, as well as a talking to passers by.

Within just 5 minutes of setting up the shopping centre security turned up to inform us that we were not allowed to be in this open and public space as it was, apparently, Private Property.  Eventually, we attracted the attention of two security guards, the centre manager and a Police Community Support Officer and were facing threats of having the police called to move us on.

Despite this attention, information was handed out to many, and conversations were had.

And it only rained on us briefly!

Editorial: The Green Shoots of Class Consciousness?

All predictions point to how the current crisis will hit Britain much harder than Brown and Darling care to admit. Understandably, working people are angry at the loss of security, livelihoods and, for some, even their homes. Beyond doubt, however, is the fact that this cost will rise even further in the years to come as the state tries to force us to pay for the billions it has borrowed and is still doling out to the rich and powerful.

Anarcho-syndicalism at work

There are political and economic assumptions in the way the existing, social democratic unions organise. They think workers and management have common interests, and that it is in their best interests to form partnerships. For example, to win the support of bosses in catering for the National Minimum Wage, in 1997 Labour allowed them to include workers’ tips in calculating it, in spite of the NMW being a key election manifesto point.

Top London restaurant pays migrant worker £1.50 per hour.

A top London restaurant paid only £1.50 an hour to a kitchen porter.

Cesare Copeta, a member of the Solidarity Federation's South London local, was employed by The Food Room, owners of The French Table restaurant in Surrey and the Tom Ilic restaurant in Battersea, which is currently listed in Time Out's Top 50 London restaurants.

He was employed as a kitchen porter at the Tom Ilic restaurant and had applied for the job through an advertisement in the Department of Work and Pension's Jobcentre Plus database.

He worked 50 hours over a 2 week shift, but was then paid only £75. Having been paid only £1.50 per hour, he walked out of the job in disgust.

Starbucks sacks CNT worker

On 24th of April, our comrade Mónica, a barista at the multinational Starbucks, was fired.

The district manager himself, Tomas Pinto, recognized the unfairness of the dismissal, and declared that her "profile was not suitable for what they were looking for". The surprising thing is that he drew that conclusion after she had been working for the company for a year and a half.

The fact is that Mónica was starting to organize the CNT Union Section at the company. She
did not notify her union membership and her position of Delegate of the Union Section, but during all her time in the company she fought for her rights and dignity as a worker. For example, during the Holy Week she refused to double her working shift because the shop manager did not tell her if it was going to be paid ovetime.

Demonstration for Sacked Colombian Cleaners

South London SolFed have involved with this campaign to reinstate five sacked Columbian cleaners.

More than forty people demonstrated outside the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Savoy Place on Wednesday 22nd,  in support of Colombian cleaners unfairly dismissed by the cleaning company Amey. There was a simultaneous demonstration in Bristol outside Amey’s offices there. 

One of the sacked cleaners and a former trade unionist in Colombia, Julio Mayor, said: