Later this year, teachers in the NUT and NASUWT will take part in a series of one-day strikes against attacks on their pay, pensions and conditions, not to mention a raft of pro-market, anti-pupil polices flying out from the DfE. Until now, the universally hated Mr Gove has been able to swan about the country opening academies, praising private involvement in education and pontificating on the future of the curriculum. Last week however, Mr Gove ran into a small obstacle.
This is the page for Bristol SolFed (formerly known as South West SolFed).
As part of co-ordinated action by the International Workers' Association across several countries, Indymedia and Bristol Solidarity Federation are hosting an evening of film and discussion on housing matters. Using film footage from the 1930s and 1970s, the struggles of ordinary people to live in a decent, affordable and secure home will be remembered. The talks and discussions will focus on the present day, providing: an overview of current national and local housing issues; an analysis of the expanding private rented sector; an insight into the tenants movement in Bristol; and a first hand account of DIY housing in the form of a local co-operative.
8pm sharp, Monday 13th May 2013, The Cube Cinema, Dove St South, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS2 8JD.
£3/£4 (but nobody turned away for lack of funds)
The May Day Rally in Bristol saw a large Red and Black presence leading the march through the centre.
Members of Solidarity Federation joined the Radical Workers' Block. The red and black flags flags waved and demands of "Fire to the bosses" cried out. Others in the block included members of the Anarchist Federation, the IWW and other local anarchists.
The rally ended in Castle Park, where Trade Union activists, made tired and boring speeches about the need for Leadership and putting pressure on the Labour Party. The Anarchist Federation stood by, holding a banner proclaiming TUC censorship, drawing attention to the Trades Council ban on anarchists on the platform and allowing any mention of the historic roots of May Day.
The continuing struggle against workfare was taken, by Bristol Anarchist Federation, to the door of shameless exploiters at Homebase. Bristol Solidarity Federation responded to the request for support and turned up to spread the clear message - "Workfare is Slavery"
After it was recently revealed that management at the Haringey branch of Homebase had it tapped into a seemingly endless source of free labour. It was clear that a new target of anti-workfare activists was emerging. The Haringey store bosses had been caught bragging about that it was getting 750 hours of free labour every week in their store.
Bristol Solidarity Federation were joined by Bristol Anarchist Federation and Bristol IWW to protest against Poundland's continuing participation in the Workfare Programme.
A clear message was relayed to the store management. "We will be back again and again until you formally withdraw from the scheme". When quizzed about the local use of Workfare, the store replied that anyone taken on under the scheme was treated exactly the same as anyone else employed by Poundland. So, we asked, do they get paid the minimum wage? "No they don't, they only get their benefits" Was all they could respond. Free labour for the shops, unemployment figures manipulated by the government and huge profits for the workfare placement providers like A4E.
Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation’s (Australia), call for action, saw Bristol SF picket the Domino's store on Whiteladies Road, Bristol. This solidarity action was in support of the campaign for wage justice for delivery drivers who have had their wages arbitrarily cut 19% by Domino's Pizza Enterprises management.
The Bristol Local members held the red and black banner across the door of the store and handed out leaflets to passers-by. We had taken time to explain to the workers inside the store the reasons for our solidarity action and gave them a copy of our leaflet. Our anger is against profiteers who steal from workers not other workers.
First we had the pay freeze, then came the pension cuts and re-banding of jobs. All the while we have also seen the privatisation aka ‘outsourcing’ of healthcare services and this continues abound. Now we have proposals for regional pay and changes to terms and conditions. Here in the South West, 20 NHS trusts have banded together to form a consortium designed to stitch us up further. Critics of the plans have described this consortium as a cartel. Their sinisterly named Project Initiation Document (PID) outlines the plans cooked up by senior health bureaucrats.
It would be a mistake to think that the Consortium’s proposals are out of step with pressure on existing national pay agreements. Under the Agenda for Change (AfC) national agreement that currently governs pay and conditions for NHS staff, proposals have already been mooted by employers in the following areas:
Dressed in prison garb Bristol Solidarity joined the 1st of May Group on their Workfare fashmob. The first action took place inside Primark, stunned shoppers were given leaflets as the Workfare Prisoners helped to stock shelves. Surprisingly security quickly bundled the workfare voulunteers out of the store. It would appear that having free-labour is only acceptable to them if the victims of this modern day slavery are hidden from the public eye.
Joining with actions across the country against Workfare, members of Bristol Solidarity Federation, Bristol Anarchist Federation, Bristol & District Anti Cuts Alliance, Youth Fight for Jobs, The IWW (union), Right to Work and others took to the streets as part of the fight-back against the Workfare providers.
Escorted by the police throughout, the 40 strong group headed straight for a Holland and Barrett's in the swanky Cabot Circus. Bemused shoppers were treated to punk classics from the wheeley-bin sound-system and gladly accepted a variety of literature outlining the perils of Workfare. Then the march headed-off to picket more of the cities Workfare poverty-peddlers. Primark, McDonalds, Greggs, Wilkinson's and another Holland and Barrett were targeted.
Bristol Solidarity Federation picketed a branch of giant employment agency and arch strike-breakers Adecco last week in solidarity with striking workers at the Asea Boveri Brown (ABB) factory in Cordoba, Spain. The strike was called in protest at ABB plans to make workers employed at the factory by subcontractors EULEN redundant and replace them with EUROCEN non-union labour with no experience or qualifications. EUROCEN is the logistics division of the ADECCO Group of companies. The dispute was fuelled by serious breaches of health and safety in the factory and by management's refusal to honour collective agreements. Adecco has been providing scab labour to try and break the strike.
Plans to have a twenty-four walkout by public sector workers have led to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude branding the protests as “stupid and wrong”. He also threatened tough new laws to make it harder to strike.
Bristol Solidarity Federation members will be joining and supporting the “Day of Action” from start to finish. We call on workers from all industries to also join the strike. Stop work, refuse to cross picket lines, support the striking workers anyway you can and join the rally from College Green. Join the picket lines that will be going on right up to midnight.
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.
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.
Bristol Solidarity Federation openly condemn the heavy-handed policing that provoked a brave resistance from Bristol's working class.
It seems difficult to fully understand what led to the night's event. Truth is the first casualty of war and this is another event in an ongoing class war. The police version of events will no doubt be accepted by the media and liberal minds. While the media are happy to focus on disgruntled anti-Tesco protesters. Yet underneath we easily observe a growing discontent with capitalism's gross iniquities, its market-led answers to the distribution of social goods alongside the state's willingness to enforce the wishes of the ruling class.
As the dust settles we are left with a feeling that this is the opening of a new battle, to enforce the rights of the property-owning classes and ensure the future profits of corporations.
Members of Bristol Solidarity Federation have been fighting about the casualisation of work for many years. We have therefore decided to support the campaign against Office Angels. We demand that the ex-employee at the centre of this campaign is payed in full for the work he did, we also go beyond that initial demand and wish to see a culture of solidarity so that agencies realise that they can't mistreat workers and get-away with it.
Temporary workers face unacceptable conditions every day. They work without sick pay or maternity leave, are ...vulnerable to unfair and instant dismissals and have no union support. Rising unemployment and a bleak economic climate will force even more of us to accept these precarious conditions - yet another example of working class people being exploited by an economic system that only benefits the rich.