Bristol

Industry focus: NHS privatisation in the West Country

In 2009, the Labour Government launched its ‘Transforming Community Services’ policy for public healthcare. PCT boards were instructed to evaluate their provider services and consider a variety of models for future service delivery. One model much favoured by the current coalition Government is social enterprise, defined as ‘businesses established to address a social or environmental need’. 

Stokes Croft: after the storm

APRIL'S RIOT in Bristol’s Stokes Croft is fast fading from memory,  but for residents in the area the underlying issues have not been resolved. The flashpoint Tesco Express store  - opposed by many residents as out of character for the area - has reopened, although campaigners have been granted the right to a Judicial Review. But the resentment towards the police remains, as does the background tension of austerity measures.

As Colin, a nurse and Stokes Croft resident says, “even now it seems difficult to fully understand what led to the riots.”

“Would you really risk ten years in jail for violent disorder to ensure the area’s distinctive character survives? The anger was aimed at easily identifiable agents of the state, a state that is enforcing austerity on us all.”

Bristol: Police guard Office Angels Branch during picket

Bristol Solidarity Federation, with support from Bristol Anarchist Federation and Bristol IWW members, picketed Office Angels calling for the non-payment of wages to London temp, Dan.

The picket was surprised to find the local police had sent in advance two Community Support Officers. Why it was felt that the branch needed protecting was not explained to the picket.  A delegation were stopped from delivering a demand letter personally to the branch manager. Instead the police took this letter and a leaflet into the branch. The picket were forbidden from entering into any dialogue with staff from Office Angels.

Petty intimidation will not stop this campaign. The campaign for justice and payment in full for work done for Office Angels.

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.

Bristol Riot

Bristol Solidarity Federation openly condemn the heavy-handed policing that provoked a brave resistance from Bristol's working class.

It seems difficult to fully understand what led to the night's event. Truth is the first casualty of war and this is another event in an ongoing class war. The police version of events will no doubt be accepted by the media and liberal minds. While the media are happy to focus on disgruntled anti-Tesco protesters. Yet underneath we easily observe a growing discontent with capitalism's gross iniquities, its market-led answers to the distribution of social goods alongside the state's willingness to enforce the wishes of the ruling class.

As the dust settles we are left with a feeling that this is the opening of a new battle, to enforce the rights of the property-owning classes and ensure the future profits of corporations.

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.

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

The Bristol Local will be at this years Bookfair. Were we will be distributing material on Anarcho-syndicalism and hoping to meet other people interested building work-placed opposition to the state and capital.

During the last year the Bristol members of Solidarity Federation have been actively fighting against the governments cuts, have run work-place organising workshops and co-operating with other local groups committed to class struggle anarchism in the South West.

School's IN

Merrywood School in Bristol closed back in September. Despite the huge local opposition, the council expected people to accept its authority in riding roughshod over the local community. But no-one was about to let them get away with it.

The buildings have now been occupied by local community groups, determined to keep it for the community. Various initiatives have been set up, with decisions being made collectively. Amongst the activities are ‘Community Construction', a group of builders, a timber recycling group, and various self-run courses and social activities for children. There are plans for free playschemes to provide childcare for working parents, a young mothers' group for 13-18-year-olds and activities for people with learning difficulties. The idea is to integrate and positively include all sections of the community.

Friends of the Earth... but not of their workers?

In October, workers at Bristol's domestic recycling collection service owned by Avon Friends of the Earth started a campaign of industrial action. They are demanding an end to compulsory overtime, a standard 40-hour week and strong measures to deal with the hostile, duplicitous and uncooperative management at Resourcesaver. Talks between UNISON and Resourcesaver ground to a halt because of unacceptable preconditions demanded by Resourcesaver, namely dropping one of the key members of the UNISON negotiating team, who is an elected representative! As a response to this, Unison members voted unanimously to hold a further 2-day strike that began on the 6th November.