Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Barts Hospital Workers Strike

Barts Hospital Workers Strike

The cleaners, porters and other SERCO workers at Barts Health, including Whipps Cross Hospital, are involved in an historic dispute. They are striking again this week to improve working conditions and to get a pay rise from £9.70 to £10 an hour.
The next round of strike days begins on Tuesday July 11th and runs until Tuesday July 18th at 6am

Solidarity demo

Unite the Union demonstration
Saturday 15 July, 12 noon, the Royal London (Whitechapel) to Mile End hospital
Meet on Turner Street, E1 2AD.
The branch banner will be on the demonstration, please join us if you can.
 


Statement from UNITE:

We the cleaners, porters, and security who are members of Unite the Union at the St Barts NHS Trust are going on strike to defend our jobs and the integrity of our work. Since December 2016 – ‘soft services’ (catering, cleaning, security and portering) SERCO has been given the privatised contract so we work for the private sector not the NHS.
This is a deal that will cost taxpayers £600m and lead to Serco making large profits from our hard work. Since Serco have taken over they have:
1) Planned job cuts at Whipps Cross Hospital.
2) Attempted to abolish tea breaks for hard-pressed workers at the Royal London Hospital.
3) Increased the workload to unsustainable levels affecting workers physical and mental well-being.
4) Continued zero-hours contracts despite a commitment not to.
Serco profits from our NHS. Their CEO alone earns almost £2m a year. A cleaner would have to work for almost 100 years to receive this sum.
Unite members have called for:
1) A pay rise of a 30p per hour to cover rising costs in London.
2) An end to proposed job cuts.
3) An end of an ever increasing workload that is affecting our health.
Serco have refused to listen. We have now been forced into taking
industrial action. From the 4th of July we will be on strike. This is
a last resort for us and we hope that both Serco and the Barts NHS
Trust do the right thing.

Friday, 7 July 2017

"gig economy"

IER News Brief 07/07/17

news brief
Friday 07th July 2017

New, damning evidence from several sources has been released on the gig economy this week, just ahead of the expected publication of the Taylor Review.

Yesterday, former Committee Chair for Work and Pensions Frank Field released a report that contained interviews with "gig economy" workers at Parcelforce, DPD and British Car Auctions. He found that workers were being paid less than £2.50 per hour and getting fined hundreds of pounds for being ill.

A quote from a DPD driver republished by the Guardian said: "This isn't self-employment, or employment either. It's a living hell, a nightmare scenario and the government needs to bring in legislation to stop these crooks from ripping off vulnerable people."

Both Taylor and government sources have come out in support of the gig economy by saying that many workers enjoy the "flexibility" it offers them, but further evidence of exploitation this week puts this argument into question.

One study found that people on zero-hours contracts and shift workers are at a greater risk of mental health problems than their peers in stable employment.

Meanwhile, ACAS reported that zero-hours contracts are being used to silence workers who might otherwise assert their rights, and many have been forced onto the contracts rather than choosing insecure work.

The government itself has also been accused of attempting to silence workers this week, as the Justice Secretary applied to the High Court to permanently ban prison officers from industrial actions.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

For the Many Gig– A Celebration 6:30pm, Thursday 6 July, O2 Forum, Kentish Town

The last few months have been a rollercoaster. The election campaign was dominated by anti-austerity politics. Theresa May and the Conservative party lost the trust of the population. The anti-austerity movement is alive, kicking and growing as we saw on Saturday’s 100,000 strong Not One Day More Demonstration. While there are many struggles ahead it’s time to celebrate too. Come and join us on Thursday to do just that.
 
For the Many Gig– A Celebration 
6:30pmThursday 6 July, O2 Forum, Kentish Town

Sam Fairbairn, People’s Assembly National Secretary with be joining the brilliant line-up of comedy, music, poetry & speeches including:
Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Paul Mason, Tariq Ali, Dave Ward, Jeremy Hardy, Robin Ince, Shappi Khorsandi and Francesca Martinez.
Next it’s time to start building the mother of all demonstrations in Manchester.   
Saturday 30 September - Wednesday 4 October.
Join us this autumn in Manchester for a huge political and cultural festival to coincide with the Tory Party conference. 
We'll be holding a series of gigs, parties, rallies, meetings, screenings, comedy nights, educational events, and a National Demonstration on Sunday 1 October, in the city to let them know that we won't rest until we have chased them out of office.

Let's party this Thursday, and then start building to make Manchester massive!

See you there.  

The People's Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The People's Assembly Against Austerity: See you in Manchester!

This Saturday we served Theresa May notice... it's time for her to step aside. Her coalition of chaos must end now. Over 100,000 people joined us in central London called with only three weeks notice. 

Thank you to all those who spent hours leafleting, organising and networking to get people there. Thank you to all the Unions & campaigns who supported and donated to make sure it could happen. Thank you to all the volunteers on the day. Thank you to the speakers and performers. Thank you to everyone who came! 

Check out this fantastic video of the day which gives a great feel for the positive energy and political anger that was palpable on the day. 


(Video by Eugen)

Click here to play

We were joined by a fantastic line up of speakers and artists, including, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Diane Abbott MP, Sian Berry, Mark Serwotka, Len McCluskey, Shy FX, Captain Ska, Wolf Alice, Get Cape. Wear Cape Fly, Peace, Sink the Pink and so much more... This is what we can do with only three weeks to organise, just think what we'll be able to pull off for our week of action during the Tory Party Conference in Manchester this coming October. 

What is Next?
  

We now have to shift our attention on to the Conservative Party conference Saturday 30th September - Wednesday 4th October in Manchester.
We're planning on a week of politics, culture and protest like nothing we've ever done before, including a massive National demonstration on Sunday 1 October, the day the Tory Party conference starts. In 2015 we held 'Take Back Manchester' which brought in thousands from all over the country... this time we need to build on that, and make sure they know they're politics of austerity, racism and war mongering are not welcome there.

We'll be mobilising from across the country to get people there. If you're in or around the Manchester area we're holding an open planning meeting for the week of action on 18 July, please do come along to get involved. Details here

Look out for updates coming soon. 

To do this we need your help

It's become clear that the Tories are weaker and weaker, unable to pursue the vicious policies they put forward in their Manifesto of Misery. This is because of enormous political pressure, both from the opposition in parliament and public opinion. It's our responsibility to continue to make sure that opposition on the streets is felt, the big mobilisations have a huge impact on national politics right now. 

To continue to do this we need to raise as much money as possible - we're asking everyone to donate whatever you feel you can each month so we can put on more events and actions like we did last Saturday. However small or large an amount you can afford, it all makes a huge difference to what we can achieve. 

Click here to set up a donation to the People's Assembly Against Austerity

See you in Manchester! 

The People's Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

Monday, 3 July 2017

Interrogating Digital Capitalism: a series of events organised by Breaking the Frame

Interrogating Digital Capitalism: a series of events organised by Breaking the Frame

Digital technology powers neoliberal capitalism: it is central to globalisation, financialisation, the ‘flexible economy’, ongoing waves of automation and now, ‘big data capitalism’.  Liberals and many leftists assume that, the problem is not the technology but its abuse by corporations, the military and the state.  But what if we are in a techno-social regime, in which technology is shaped by those interests and it, in turn, shapes capitalism in a way that reinforces itself?  What if we are in a digital technocracy in which cybernetic principles of information capture and flexible control are becoming embedded throughout society? What if – in short – it is not just a matter of ‘rescuing the digital baby from the capitalist bathwater’?

This series of monthly events will look at current challenges raised by digital capitalism.  It will question liberal ideas of progress through technology that inform the mainstream debate.

Event 1:  Digital Technology and Neoliberalism – the Basics

July 6th 2017, 7.15pm.  Apple Tree pub function room. 45 Mount Pleasant, Clerkenwell, London WC1X 0AE
How does digital technology function in and shape neoliberal capitalism?  Is it just a question of corporations using technology to their advantage or has digital technology fundamentally reshaped the whole system?  Are we already, as a key anarchist critique, The Cybernetic Hypothesis suggests, enmeshed in a control system in which conventional resistance just strengthens the system?

Ursula Huws (University of Hertfordshire) will describe the nuts and bolts of how digital capitalism works.
Richard Hall of De Montfort University will look at a critique of digital capitalism developed by French anarchists in the 1990s.

Free/donation.
7.15pmJuly 6th 2017
Apple Tree pub function room. 45 Mount Pleasant, Clerkenwell, London WC1X 0AE.  We apologise that this venue has no wheelchair access. Other events will be at accessible venues.
For more information contact info@breakingtheframe.org.uk, or visit Events at http://breakingtheframe.org.uk

Event 2: Digital Technology as Heavy Industrial Technology: iSlavery and Environmental Destruction
September 6th 2017, 7.15pm. Feminist Library meeting room, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW

Digital technology is often seen as ‘immaterial’ and ‘smart’, defining a new industrial and social paradigm.  Yet digital gadgets are produced within an ‘old-fashioned’ highly exploitative regime that has been likened to slavery, whilst the industry creates massive environmental destruction and makes a major contribution to climate change.

Jack Linchuan Qiu, (Hong Kong University) author of Goodbye iSlave will describe the conditions in Chinese electronics factories, such as Foxconn, which were brought to international attention by a wave of worker suicides in 2010.
TBC will look at the environmental impacts of digital technology and its role in causing conflicts.

Free/donation.
7.15pmSeptember 6th
Feminist Library meeting room, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW. Venue is accessible, we would advise wheelchair users to contact us in advance if possible.
For more information contact info@breakingtheframe.org.uk, or visit Events at http://breakingtheframe.org.uk

For later events in the series, on:
  • Digital technology and automation: the end of capitalism or a new Lucas Plan
  • Race, Gender and Digital Capitalism
  • Big data: state, corporate and social surveillance

Monday, 26 June 2017

UCU London Region Solidarity

UCU  London Region Solidarity to 

Lewisham & Southwark, 

College of  NW London
Ealing Ham W London

No Job Cuts! No TU Victimisation

Please support the London Region UCU Day of Action this Wednesday 28th June  to show solidarity with all those branches in the region who are in dispute.

Ø Support College of North West London – on strike THIS WEDNESDAY to Defend sacked UCU Rep Indro Sen!

Ø Support Lewisham and Southwark College – lunchtime protest THIS WEDNESDAY against massive job cuts!

Ø Support Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College - on strike THIS THURSDAY against redundancies!


What you can do:

·      Visit picket lines, send delegations and banners to branch protests – all dates, times and addresses below

·      Send messages of support to CNWL: Colin.Purkey@cnwl.ac.uk,   Lewisham & Southwark: Pascale.Herreman@lscollege.ac.uk and Ruth FishmanRuth.Fishman@lscollege.ac.uk, EHWLC:  Matthew Cookson m.cookson@wlc.ac.uk


Full details of disputes:

College of North West London

  • You will recall Sen addressed the UCU congress and informed you then that the Branch was then in the middle of an ERS ballot. We are happy to inform you that following a favourable ballot with 83% prepared to take strike action under the new draconian law, union has called our branch for two days strike action in support of Sen. This is despite our members having to face uncertainties over their jobs due to the impending merger planned to take place on 1 August 2017, subject to ministerial approval. 

  • We will be striking on Wednesday 28th  June 2017 and Saturday ( enrolment day) 1 July 2017. The addresses for picket lines on the 28 June are College of North West London, Brent NW10 2XD ( nearest tube Dollis Hill Lane ( main campus) and at wembley Park , HA9 8HP. For 1 July picket will only be at Willesden Campus.  

  • This will be the third and fourth day of strike action that members have been called on to take strike action in support of Sen. Members remain resolute despite receiving threatening and intimidating letter from our Principal Andy Cole.

  • Following Sen's address to Congress, we would like to thank all those Congress delegates who has supported our campaign by signing our petition and making donations at the conference which was over £500.

You can support us further by: 

·        Signing the petition, which is now 1238  strong at : https://www.change.org/p/college-of-north-west-london
·        Sending messages of Support to our branch Chair Colin Purkey, at:Colin.Purkey@cnwl.ac.uk
·        Donations from your branches can be made at : https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/isabelle-rah-1
·        Sending messages of Protest to : the Principal,  Andy.Cole@cnwl.ac.uk and copying it to Sen at senkingsland@hotmail.com and Colin at Colin.Purkey@cnwl.ac.uk You may find some of the comments put down by the petitioners useful in deciding what to write. 
·        Hold lunch time demonstration in support of our fight and send us pictures that we can then pass on to our members. 
·        Send delegates to our picket lines on the strike days to College of North West London Brent NW10 2XD and let Colin Purkey know if you can send a delegate on either of the days.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Brighton People's Assembly June/July 17 newsletter.

June/July 17 post election edition
View this email in your browser
Hello Friends,

Welcome to the Brighton People's Assembly June/July 17 newsletter.
Good news, the General Election result was devastating for Theresa May and the Conservatives. She called it to gain a bigger majority in Parliament, and despite massive media bias in her favour, she failed spectacularly to deliver on that. Now the Conservative Party are in chaos, forced to try to prop up a Government with the deeply conservative and regressive DUP. Even if they can get a Queens Speech through Parliament this arrangement is unsustainable, it won't last for long.

Thanks to the thousands of you who came out on the doorstep to campaign for the Greens and Labour party to secure victories in the three Brighton and Hove constituencies of Kemptown, Pavilion and Hove & Portslade. We are proud pf the people of this city who worked together to oppose austerity. Long may it last. 

The election result represents a rejection of Tory policies. They know they have no mandate; already the Government has suggested they may have to ease their austerity plans because of huge opposition. We need to make sure the full force of that opposition is felt. If we continue to mobilise in huge numbers we can deepen the crisis for the Conservatives and force big concessions on the NHS, education, housing and jobs. There is already talk of another General Election in the next few months which would likely see the Tories loose further support and be unable to form a Government. So the work carries on.

This Newsletter contains details for:
  • 'Not One Day more'. the  Peoples Assembly demonstration on Saturday 1 July - its going to be big!!!
  • The Brighton and Hove People's Assembly Demonstration this Saturday 24 July
  • The next Brighton and Hove People's Assembly Meeting on Wednesday 12 July 
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at our next meeting on the 12 July.
'Not One Day More'.  Oon Saturday 1 July we are working with Sussex Defend the NHS to invite everyone - from campaigns and community groups , from the trade unions, from political parties, and any individual - to come together in one massive show of strength. We're marching against another 5 years of a Tory Government committed to austerity, cuts and privatisation. And we're marching for a decent health service, education system, housing, jobs and living standards for all. Join us, bring your friends and spread the word. 
Meet Brighton Station for the 10:18 train to Victoria.
100 Subsidised tickets are available at Brighton Station concourse from 08:30 on a 'pay what you can afford' basis.
Bring placards, whistles, bells, drums and also your friends and family.
It's going to be massive!
Local Demonstration - Saturday 24 June.  Meet at The Level, Brighton at 1pm
 

Join friends from anti austerity campaigns, trade unions, neighbourhood and community groups across Brighton and Hove to show what we think of the proposed Tory arrangements with the DUP and demonstrate our support for those who lost their lives and those that are still suffering as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The next meeting of the Brighton People's Assembly
Wednesday 12 July 7:30 pm
Upstairs at The Eagle - 
125 Gloucester Rd, Brighton BN1 4AF
All are welcome to join us at our next meeting.
The atmosphere is friendly and informal and your voice and ideas count.


Local campaigns and events
Fantastic events leading up to the election to get involved with:
Tuesday 4 July
Brighton& Hove Clinical Commissioning Group:
‘Big Health and Care Conversation’
Public meeting to discuss Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STP)
10 -1pm Dome foyer café. Brighton. Event is free but ticketed.

Wednesday  5 July
69th Birthday of the NHS!
Look out for local and national activities.


Tuesday 11 July
Defend NHS Organising Meeting
7 – 9pm. Dorset gardens Methodist Church


For more info visit the Sussex Defend the NHS Website
Brighton and Hove Stand Up to Racism
Funds raised are for the Sussex Syrian Community Hardship Fund, and Brighton & Hove Stand Up to Racism.
There will also be delicious Syrian food provided by the community.
Entry is £6 - all funds to above causes

For other news please look at Brighton and Hove stand up to racism's facebook page.
This open and frank discussion with Professor of Economics John Weeks and BPA's Sam Coombes strips Tory economic ideology and debunks the propaganda often heard in the main stream media.  Professor Weeks is an extremely accomplished economist and widely respected.He is an author of many books, most recent of which is titled Economics of the 1%.
'Love Kitchen' is still being set up every Sunday where possible. The kitchen is now a collaboration of Love Activists and Sussex Economic Support group. See the facebook page for details. Donations of food and equipment welcome. No cash donations accepted.  If you would like to be part of the Love Kitchen Crews or coordinate please email loveactivists@riseup.net
To help those living on
the streets. Please drop off at the Love Kitchen or email to arrange:
  • Self inflating roll mats
  • Sleeping bags (season 4)
  • Bivvy bags (they help to keep sleeping bags dry)
  • Sun Cream
    Caps/Summer hats
    Bottles of water
  • Waterproof trousers/jackets
  • Thermos flasks
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