Coronavirus: Your rights at home and at work

Information for workers and tenants to deal with the Covid-19 crisis

News

The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Sorry, the program of the Labour Party is just not that radical!

Given all the hype emanating from much of the left about the wonders of the Labour Manifesto, it is hard not to get carried away. After watching the latest uplifting interview with Labor’s John Mcdonnell you can suddenly find yourself unconsciously humming “oh Jeramy Corbyn” as you set about washing the dishes. Given all this hype, it is perhaps then worth having a bit of a reality check and assessing what the Labour Party is actually promising should they get elected.

Labour is promising to increase overall public spending from the current level of 38% of national income to 43.3%. Though billed as almost revolutionary, this increase is fairly moderate when compared with much of Europe, for example, in Sweden public spending amounts to 48.4%  of national income, Italy 48.8% and France a wapping 55.7%.

Company Targeted Low Income Elderly People to Mis-sell Funeral Plans

Staff at a call centre where customers were described as “gazelles” to be hunted have been subjecting, low income, elderly people, to dozens of calls a week to sell them expensive funeral packages. The company, Prosperous Life,  based in Stockport, Greater Manchester, sells more than 1,000 pre-paid funeral plans every month. Staff at the company report that they are put under pressure to push people to sign up for schemes with little regard for their income.

Prosperous Life runs a workplace culture inspired by The Wolf of Wall Street movie, as a means to pressurise staff into mis-selling funeral plans to vulnerable people. Staff were encouraged to refer to themselves as “lions” and potential customers as “gazelles”. A life-sized cardboard cutout of Leonardo DiCaprio as the disgraced fraudster Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street movie was placed in the office.

CJ Barbers: intimidation and histrionics fail to impress

CJ Barbers yet again resorted to violence against union members on Thursday as our campaign to get our member’s unpaid wages back continues.

In a remarkable demonstration of aggression, the owner Hamid Karam and the manager Cyrus Shabani smashed up their own wooden chairs in the middle of the road, wielded the remains at picketers, pushed and hit multiple people, and choked one member before throwing him across the street in front of traffic. They also snatched members’ phones out of their hands as they were filming the disgusting behaviour, smashing one phone in the process.

Cambridge SolFed at Strawberry Fair Saturday 1st June 2019

Cambridge Solidarity Federation will have a stall in Scarecrow Corner at this year's Strawberry Fair, 12noon onwards Saturday 1st June, Midsummer Common.

Strawberry Fair is the most popular free, entirely volunteer run, one day music & arts event in Cambridge (and probably across Europe!), attracting over 20,000 visitors throughout the day, running for over 40 years.

In between enjoying the music and the beer tent, call in and see us for some lighthearted anarcho-syndicalist banter.

We should also have info on local grassroots housing campaigns.

 

CJ Barbers Dispute: Business Threatens to Blacklist SolFed Member

As our dispute with CJ Barbers, which owes one of our members two months in unpaid wages, continues, and the owners still refuse to negotiate (we emailed them on May 4th, offering negotiations: they didn't reply), the son of one of the owners is publicly saying that they intend to illegally send images and personal details of the worker to “every business in Brighton”.

Kevin Karam, the son of Hamid Karam, has made multiple long and rambling posts about us on Facebook, calling SolFed a “gang”, making wildly contradictory statements about the worker’s status at CJ Barbers, referring to SolFed in general as a “bunch of benefit losers”, etc. It's nothing particularly remarkable - the usual smear campaigns that bosses and their friends try when they are backed into a corner.

Eastbourne tenant wins back £100 by challenging deposit deductions

A tenant in Eastbourne has won back £100 by challenging deductions to his deposit. The tenant’s landlord was attempting to make various deductions for replacement items that had been subject to fair wear and tear.

The tenant contacted Brighton SolFed for advice on what he could do in this situation, given that he had already moved out and was unable to gather his own evidence. After some brief discussion about the different ways that deposit theft can be challenged – such as by checking whether your landlord has correctly protected the deposit, and challenging your landlord to produce invoices for items that they allege needed replacing – the tenant opened correspondence with the landlord about the deductions. The landlord immediately agreed to return £100, which the tenant was happy to accept.

No Work Without Pay: Boycott CJ Barbers!

Brighton SolFed has started a public campaign against CJ Barbers, who owe one of our members over two months in unpaid wages. The worker was employed as an "apprentice" for no wages, with the promise of paid work after two months. Unfortunately, this kind of practice is common in the barbering industry in Brighton, so the worker decided to go along with it. After the two months were up, CJ Barbers paid him...£50 a week, for full time work! The worker left two weeks later.

During this so-called “apprenticeship” the worker was given no contract, no opportunity to work towards any qualification, and worked full time hours. This therefore does not meet the legal requirement of an  apprenticeship, which is why we are demanding that CJ Barbers pays our member the full legal minimum wage, holiday pay, and pension contributions for the hours he worked, which total £2821.63.

Guides for getting organised

The Stuff Your Boss doesn't want you to know Knowing about the main workplace rights is the first step to getting organised. Find out about your righs at work from here.
The Stuff Your Sexist Boss doesn't want you to know Sexism is present in most workplaces - find out how we can organise to fight back against it!
SF workplace training The Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training programme is designed to give workers the tools and confidence to organise in their workplaces. You may find the direct action based approach we adopt offers a fresh perspective.

Donations

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.