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Welcome to the website of the Solidarity Federation (also known as SolFed or SF-IWA). We are a revolutionary union initiative. Our ideas and activities are described in our magazine Direct Action, and our newspaper Catalyst. For a summary, see the Introduction to SolFed and What is Anarcho-syndicalism?. All members are affiliated to a Local Group and an Industrial Network, our Industrial Strategy and Constitution describe this in more detail.

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Office Angels - London pickets

Today, the 11th of May, three London locations of Office Angels had the the pleasure of a visit by members of South & North London Solidarity Federation along with other organisational support. The pickets were part of the week-long national campaign being orchestrated by the Solidarity Federation in support of Dan, a worker who's been cheated by the Office Angels employment agency.

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: Leeds

On the 11/05/11 West Yorkshire Solidarity Federation picketed the Leeds branch of Office Angels. We were joined by Leeds AF. Office Angels locked there doors (maybe thinking we where planning to storm the office) but didn't come out to see what we were doing. We gave out 300 leaflets, getting a good response. Some people came over... to ask for leaflets and at one point the whole of a bus queue outside of Office Angels where reading the leaflet.

We will continue to picket Office Angels until Dan has been paid in full! If you know of any similar problems with Office Angels (or other agencies) please get in touch. 

Solidarity with Shorefields College

On Wednesday 11th May, teachers at Shorefields College in the Dingle took strike action in response to plans to turn the college into an academy. Parents and teachers are opposed to the plans, but are not being listened to by the headteacher or board of governors.

The picket line outside the school saw a significant turnout of teachers as well as those such as the Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts and members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation who came to demonstrate support. There was a short march locally and a rally after the initial picket line, and reports are that spirits were high and support from people locally was strong.

National week of action against Atos: Liverpool

On Monday 9th May, Liverpool Solidarity Federation organised a picket of the offices of Atos Origin. This was as part of a national week of action against the company, being paid millions by the government to throw disabled people off benefits.

Atos's contact with the DWP to carry out "work capability assessments" is worth £300 million. Their system has previously provoked concern from the very doctors who carry them out, and over 8,000 appeals are heard every month for Employment and Support Allowance alone. Three people have even died as a result of having their support removed, and at the time of their death still awaiting the results of their appeal.

National week of action against ATOS: Brighton

This morning we got together with local benefits campaigners to picket ATOS Healthcare, the private company paid millions by the government to force people off sickness benefits by reclassifying them as 'fit for work'. They do this by using an automated system to over-ride the judgement human doctors, as part of the wider attacks on claimants and workers, which began under Labour and are currently being accellerated by the coalition government. Below is the text of the leaflet we distributed to passers-by, many of whom stopped to share experiences of friends and loved ones who've had their benefits cut arbitrarily.

ATOS Healthcare: Poverty pimps putting profit before the welfare of people with disabilities

National week of action against Office Angels: Brighton

As part of a national week of action against the Office Angels agency in a dispute over unpaid wages, members and supporters of Brighton SolFed today picketed the Brighton branch for the third time in a week. Management locked the doors, and when a passing member of the public went in to ask why they didn't pay their staff, they could only desparately claim we were "liars". The passer-by sharply pointed out we wouldn't be giving up our time to picket for the fun of it! And pickets will keep spreading until Dan gets paid.

The Global Chain Gang

Auto, a games industry worker and SolFed member, writes about the horrific working conditions of those at the other end of his industry's supply chain; workers in the infamous factories of Foxconn. He argues that despite being halfway around the world, we're not so different after all...

Last month I wrote an article about crunch time in the games industry; the large amounts of unpaid overtime that have become a common feature of the game development cycle. However, us tech workers in the west are simply the thin end of the wedge. If you want to see true horrors of exploitation, simply spin the globe and look at to the east. To China, Taiwan and all the other new darlings of the manufacturing industry.

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.

Coordinated strike action should be built from below

It is now a near certainty that we will see coordinated public sector strike action within the next couple of months. Solidarity Federation - which has members in the public sector unions which will be striking - stands in support of all workers acting to defend their jobs and the services those jobs provide to working class people.

UCU have already balloted. PCS is putting an emergency motion to its conference in May. The NUT sought permission to ballot at its recent conference. Even the moderate ATL already has a mandate to ask members for strike action. The only question now is how events unfold once the ball gets rolling.

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