casualisation

Sussex University outsourcing update

  • More demonstrations. Tuesday's demonstration happened despite Unison emailing its members saying the demo was cancelled.
  • University Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing bullshitted his way through open staff meetings (reports from staff: 1, 2). A student was physically removed by Head of Security Roger Morgan. Outside contractors were used for security, which suggests management know they've lost the trust of the in-house security staff they're outsourcing.

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.

Brighton Adecco picketed against strike-breaking

There was a great turnout for the short-notice picket of employment agency Adecco in Brighton today. Around 20 people stopped by, with picket numbers averaging 10-15 for the two hour picket. A division of Adecco has been hiring strike-breakers for the multinational corporation ABB and their contractor EULEN in Cordoba, Spain, where workers have been on indefiniate strike since November 28th. Around 400 copies of this leaflet were handed out. There were also pickets in Glasgow and London.

Poland: Roche dismisses union activist

On December 19, the pharmaceuticals company Roche Poland dismissed an activist of the anarcho-syndicalist ZSP without any reason. The orders came directly from corporate headquarters and he was asked to leave immediately. The company refused to give any reason in writing or any other documents.

The dismissal came one day after a large article with the comrade appeared in the main newspaper. Although no real reason was given, it is largely felt that this decision was related to his work in the union.

Shard: Full report

Today at the Shard site near London Bridge, around 200 site electricians protested against an attack by employers on their pay and conditions. The “Big Eight” of construction employers want to withdraw from the JIB (Joint Industry Board) agreement on pay, grading and seniority. They want to bring in new grades of semi­skilled electricians earning £10.50 and £14 an hour instead of the current hourly JIB rate of £16.25. It would also get rid of seniority, making it easier for employers to pick and choose who works on site.

As the recession has affected the building industry especially badly, the employers think this is a good time to take on the electricians, who are one of the strongest groups of workers in the building industry. If they win then they will attack pay and conditions across the board in construction.

Shard demo: Pics and an interview with the organiser

Solfed members were present at the Shard building site in King's Cross, London at silly-o-clock in the morning (well, 6.30am) to lend a bit of solidarity to electricians. Workers across the country are facing a concerted attempt from the "big eight" construction companies, Bailey Building Services, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Tommy Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, MJN Colston, SES and SPIE Matthew Hall, to knock 35% off wages in the industry.

Below are pictures from early on (it later grew to about 200 people) and a short interview with protest organiser Alan Keayes, full report to follow! For more information and updates, you can check the campaign blog: http://jibelectrician.blogspot.com.

2nd picket in 24 hours at Brighton Office Angels

We picketed the Brighton branch of Office Angels for the second time in 24 hours this morning to keep the pressure up in the dispute over unpaid wages. After running out of leaflets yesterday we printed another batch overnight to inform passers by and potential Office Angels workers of the details of the dispute, and to encourage them to get in touch if they've also been mistreated by Office Angels.

Office Angels pickets spread to Brighton

Brighton SolFed today answered the call for solidarity from South London SolFed, who have been organising pickets against employment agency Office Angels over a non-payment dispute at their Wimbledon branch. Dan worked for Office Angels for three days in December of last year. He was assured by the company that the lack of a time-sheet would 'not be a problem'. However, Office Angels are refusing to pay him the wages he is owed - falsely claiming he only worked for one day, despite them having called him at work on his third day. After completely ripping him off, they had the nerve to harass him for seeking advice on an internet discussion forum.

Northampton: Office Angels picket 28th April

Members of Northampton Solidarity Federation today picketed the local office of Office Angels in connection with the current dispute over non payment of wages.

We talked to many passers by about the bad practice and heard several stories of mistreatment at the hands of employment agencies, particularly of underpayment and summary dismissals. One worker in particular related instances where she had worked for long periods of time for agencies only to be laid off for one day's illness.

Comment & opinion

Crisis in care - Sam, Sheffield

I work as a support worker for a private company that provides social care for people in Sheffield for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. The company I work operates across the city. According to government officials, cuts to public spending will not harm front line services, workers, or service users. The reality of the situation is that working conditions are getting worse, day services are closing down, and those paying for the support services are being excluded from any of the decisions relating to care they supposedly direct and influence.