The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco (more commonly known as GDC) is one of the highlights of the game industry calendar. An annual event drawing game developers of all stripes from around the globe, it is seen as one of the premier places for developers to network, companies to show off new tech, CEOs to mingle and business deals to be made. Yet the big discussion animating conference goers at this year's GDC was something very different. Namely the unionisation of the games industry.
New research has again highlighted the dangers posed to health from the use of chemicals used in cleaning. Disturbingly, the research has found that the use of cleaning products has an impact on lung health comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. This latest evidence adds to the urgent need for a fundamental review of how, as a society, we carry out cleaning, not just in the workplace but also in the home. The research has also again highlighted the dangers faced by women in particular from the use of chemicals used in cleaning.
It's snowing. Snow is fun, and lots of us will have a rare day off today to go sledging, have a snowball fight, watch daytime TV and generally do anything we like other than going to work.
However, some of us will have to go to work despite the weather. This is some potentially life-saving advice for anyone who finds themselves layering up and trudging in regardless.
1) Do not drive anywhere under any circumstances. Avon and Somerset Police have advised not to use any roads in the region. People have had serious incidents on the Bristol roads over the last 24 hours. Don't risk life and limb for a boss who would replace you in a few weeks if anything happened. There aren't any buses running currently either, so if you can't safely walk to work, don't go in.
Manchester Solidarity Federation held a picket outside the Polish Consulate in Manchester today. Our picket was in solidarity with self-organised Polish postal workers who have been involved in a two year campaign aimed at improving pay and conditions and are being supported by our Polish IWA sister-section the ZSP union.
Basic freedom of speech is under attack in Poland, especially for workers. The state-controlled Post Office is trying to criminalize workers who speak out about their working conditions. Protests by postal workers have led to harassment, threats against them and the unfair dismissal of three organisers: Klaudiusz Wieczorek, Rafal Czerski, and Zbigniew Trochimiak. In addition, the state has brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA.
Stop state repression of workers now!
Brighton lettings agency Brand Vaughan is facing a growing campaign by Solidarity Federation, after the agency deducted £390 from the deposit of a student tenant for cleaning and redecoration. The tenant left her room clean, and the deductions made by the agency contain a number of problems, including not evidencing an attempt to procure the most reasonable deal, as they should, and not all of the deductions being sufficiently costed. Moreover, the tenant reported serious concerns regarding the behaviour of her housemates to the agency during her tenancy, which was pertinent to the issues that the agency claim require deposit deductions, and which was the source of a great deal of distress for the tenant, who had to move out because of them.
Manchester Solidarity Federation will be organising a picket of the Polish Consult on Friday 2nd March starting at 2pm. The Picket is in support of Polish postal workers who have been involved in a two year campaign aimed at improving pay and conditions supported by the ZSP-IWA union. As a result they are facing increasing repression. Following nation-wide protests, the government-owned postal office have sought to silence protesting workers and fired several of the organisers. In addition, they have brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA, who have supported the self-organised campaign of postal workers. SolFed-IWA is in solidarity with postal workers in Poland. Stop state repression of workers now! An injury to one is an injury to all!
In the coming days lecturers from 61 universities across the country are going on strike. In Liverpool, the UoL and the School of Tropical Medicine will be affected.
The strike action, called out by UCU, is in response to the newest attack to their working conditions. This time is about the pensions.
A campaign for better pay and working conditions by Polish postal workers supported by the ZSP-IWA union is facing increasing repression. Following nation-wide protests, the government-owned postal office have sought to silence protesting workers and fired several of the organisers. In addition, they have brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA, who have supported the self-organised campaign of postal workers.
In solidarity with postal workers in Poland, SolFed-IWA is calling for protests on Monday 26. February in London, Tuesday 27. February in Edinburgh, and Friday 2. March in Manchester. Stop state repression of workers now! An injury to one is an injury to all!
Guides for getting organised
If you would like to support us, you can donate to the Solidarity Federation. You can use your your debit/credit card, or a PayPal account if you have one. Donations will be used to support our work, including our free newspaper Catalyst and our workplace organiser training programme.