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The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Lies, damned lies and unemployment statistics

According to the headlines, UK unemployment fell 88,000 in the three months to April this year to 2.43 million, the biggest drop since the summer of 2000. This was heralded as proof that the government’s policies are working, and that the private sector is creating more jobs than the 143,000 public sector positions slashed during the same period. But dig a little deeper and the spin unravels.

The Office for National Statistics is open that the fall “was mainly due to an increase of 80,000 in the number of students not active in the labour market.” This seems to have been due to them simply being reclassified, rather than them all suddenly finding jobs. So that leaves just 8,000 jobs ‘created’.

Report back from Oxford Strike Assembly

Friday the 17th of June saw the first Oxford 'Strike Assembly', meeting in advance of the strikes on June 30th to discuss, plan and organise.

We had public and private sector workers, unemployed, self-employed, students and NGO workers attending.

We are holding a morning rally which will go from picket to picket on the 30th: Meet at Gloucester Green at 7.30 am! Pickets are confirmed at Gloucester Green outside the Job Centre and at the Oxford and Cherwell and Valley College on Oxpens, so will be visiting there and other as yet unconfirmed pickets.

A Postmans experience

In our medium sized delivery office we are now in week five of our revision using the “new delivery methods” (NDM). Our office has been divided into three phases: phase one starting five weeks before phase two and ten weeks before phase three.

These are HCT (high capacity trolleys; one postie pushing up to 105kgs) and shared vans (two workers in a van taking post with them and using golf cart-type trolleys to deliver). All bikes will be scrapped. I'm neither for nor against bikes generally but our patch has decided that there will be no bikes no matter the reason even if they are more efficient, cost effective or better for the health of the workers. And what a shambles it is because of this as well.

Training Organisers in the Education Industry

In preparation for the upcoming June 30th strike, yesterday saw the North London Solidarity Federation host an organiser training specifically designed for workers and students in the education industry.

Coming out of a public meeting hosted by NLSF last month, militant education workers and radical students opted to have a training geared toward their specific issues. For SF it was the first time we attempted to tailor our training for students and all agreed it was a success. While the issues varied from participant to participant—from making sure June 30th is a success to planning occupations—everyone left the training with an increased sense of confidence and strategy to take back to their schools on Monday morning.

Message of Solidarity and Congratulations to the North London Posties

The North London Solidarity Federation wishes to congratulate our fellow postal workers in Islington on their successful three hour wildcat strike last week.

Unfortunately, Royal Mail's harassment of workers that refuse to cut corners is nothing new and, regrettably, keeps going on up and down the country on a daily basis. Unreasonable cuts to duties coupled lay-offs have created impossible workloads. Management's response to this situation—a situation they created—is to bully their workforce. Everyday at Royal Mail centres around the country, management try to make us work through our breaks, begin work before our shifts start, and stay on late without compensation. When we refuse—when we do our job properly—we are threatened with dismissal. 

Living Utopia (The Anarchists and the Spanish Revolution)

This is a fascinating documentary film about the Spanish revolution featuring personal testimonies from numerous anarcho-syndicalist militants who took part. Today, 75 years after it began, the lessons of the revolution - its successes and failures - remain as relevant as ever.

For more info on the 75th anniversary commemoration of the revolution, visit here (in Spanish).
 

June 30th strikes in Brighton

Teachers have voted overwhelmingly to strike on June 30th. They are expected to be joined by thousands of public sector workers and possibly also university staff. Could we also see wildcat strikes on the day?

On Monday, Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition are organising a public meeting on 'Striking to Defend Pensions, Jobs and Pay' at 19:30 in the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street. Come along to share plans for the day, and join us in the pub afterwards to plot solidarity and support.

Solidarity with Canadian Posties

Despite the geographical distance between us, the North London Solidarity Federation supports the struggle being waged by our fellow brother and sister workers in the Canadian Postal Service.  We applaud the inspiring wildcats and direct actions that took place in Edmonton.  While we know the next round of strikes will be "official", we hope the militancy and self-organisation witnessed in Edmonton will continue to be an integral part of workers' struggle in the Canada Post.

In London, too, posties are facing job cuts because of incompetent and greedy bosses. Your battles and are ours are interlinked in the global fight against the boss class and their state lackeys.

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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.





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