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Manchester

Manchester SolFed is the local of the Solidarity Federation covering Greater Manchester.

Why the World Banks announcement that they are making $200 billion available to help fight climate change may not be such good news after all!

The World Bank announced this week that it is to make about $200bn available to fund action on climate change. In making the announcement,  Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, stated: “This is about putting countries and communities in charge of building a safer, more climate-resilient future.” The announcement has been greeted with universal approval with many arguing that the Bank is taking a strong lead and sending a strong signal to private sector financiers.

Kick The Fascists Off Our Streets!

 

The EDL are now planning to march in the centre of Manchester on Sat 20th October. After growing and widespread opposition across the city the EDL were forced to abandon their planned national march to 'shut down' Didsbury mosque. Instead, they now intend to march in the centre of Manchester.

Join the protest, stop the march meet at 12.30 Piccadilly Gardens on 20th Oct.

STAND UP TO MENCAP! STOP THEM DRIVING DOWN PAY!

The  Bristol Care Workers Network will be organising a protest against Mencap in Bristol at 12:00 on October 27th. Manchester SolFed will be organising a picket in support.

Mencap have gone to court to demand that the government overturns it’s recent ruling on pay for sleeping shifts. Because of Mencap, millions of low-paid workers will now be denied the minimum wage for their sleep shifts.

This has come at a time when non-payment of the minimum wage is at it’s worst ever level. The care sector is already one of the worst affected. Even for workers who are paid legally, studies have shown that it is almost impossible to make a living on the minimum wage. And now, Mencap want to make it even harder for workers to get the minimum wage.

SMASH IPP FUNDRAISER


The Smash IPP Benefit is only a few days away. The fun starts at 7.30pm in Manchester city centre, please call 07857 945846 on the day to find out the location.

Acts confirmed include:

Pasta Hull - psychedelic funk hip hop rock concoction and the most exciting up and coming band in Wales (https://pastahull.bandcamp.com)

Buff – anarcho space punk from Manchester (buff.bandcamp.com)

Ruff Trade – reggae straight outta Gorton (rufftradereggae.com)

Afshan D'souza-Lodhi - writer and activist (afshanlodhi.com)
Madz - beatbox street performer (https://youtu.be/-IYTTrIRv7E)

Plus bar, DJs, short films and a raffle with the chance to win some special prizes. Entry is by donation.

Workplace Organiser Training Day

The Solidarity Federation will be holding a workplace organiser training day in Manchester on November 24th. The training is based on a direct action approach to organising rather than looking to use employment laws to resolve workplace issues. No experience of workplace organising is necessary and the training takes place in a fun and friendly atmosphere. So if you are interested in organising your workplace, or just want to learn about the organising process, this course is a great way to make a start.

For more information, or if you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at training@solfed.org.uk
 

Manchester Solidarity Federation Concluded Its Dispute With Fortis Student Lettings

Manchester Solidarity Federation concluded its dispute with Fortis Student Lettings in July. The dispute ended positively with the four tenants involved receiving a total of £832.00 in compensation. We have delayed issuing this statement until after confirmation of the compensation payments.

Before our involvement, the four tenants' complaints had been ignored; they found themselves being passed from pillar to post; their efforts to speak directly to Fortis managers were invariably met with claims that the person was not available; in some cases, these overseas students were met with what could most kindly be described as insulting claims by Fortis staff that they cannot could not understand them.

Happy Valley Pride will be Celebrating LGBT+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas will be taking Place this year from August 6th to 12th August for more info go to https://happyvalleypride.com

SolFed will be going along to this year's Happy Valley Pride to celebrate. We have prepared the following statement for the event.

Valley Pride and the Politics of Revolution

It’s wonderful to see Valley Pride again, this year with the enticing theme of “revolution”. It’s an invitation to take stock of where we are and what challenges remain.

UNDEREMPLOYMENT, CASUALISATION AND THE FUTURE OF WORK

Underemployment is the term used for workers who get fewer hours than they want and need to live on. In the UK there are now at least 1.4 million workers on zero-hours contracts and 865,000 agency workers, many of whom struggle to get enough hours a week to survive on. Added to which, companies are increasingly employing people on a part-time basis, often on contracts of 10 hours or less. This leaves workers dependent on any extra hours management may choose to offer them. According to the Office for National Statistics, just under 10% of the working population or 3.3 million people want more hours; or to put it another way, are part unemployed.  To put this into context there are now twice as many people underemployed as there are unemployed.

THE PROTEST AGAINST FORTIS STUDENT LETTING AGENCY CONTINUES!

Monday 18 June saw Manchester Solidarity Federation join tenants in a protest outside Fortis Student Letting in Altrincham, Greater Manchester. The protest is the latest event in a long running campaign being organised by the tenants because of the appalling conditions in the Fortis run building, where they are living. Throughout their stay, Fortis have refused to carry out even the most basic maintenance of the building. The tenants went weeks without water, months without heating and had to live in rooms covered with mould.  On one occasion, water poured through a ceiling light fitting for weeks, with Fortis making no attempt to repair it. This was despite numerous complaints by tenants.

Fortis Student Lettings neglects tenants!

On Monday (June 4), Manchester Solidarity Federation demonstrated outside the head office of Fortis Student Lettings in Altrincham, near Manchester.

It was an action in solidarity with a group of tenants renting in Chester through this letting agency. Fortis had allowed unacceptable delays in carrying out basic maintenance resulting in tenants living, for example, with damp and mould, or without hot water for months: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ fortishorrorstories/posts/. The tenants are now asking Fortis for compensation and the agency keeps ignoring them or to engage in any attempt at mediation.

Northern Festival of Resisting Borders & Prisons May 19th

In Manchester, Empty Cages Collective, Manchester No Prisons, Smash IPP, & Unis Resist Border Controls felt the urgency of not only discussing and pushing against border regimes and the hostile environment policy, but also fighting prison injustice. As it was reported in Corporate Watch, the current Conservative government are pushing to build 6 mega prisons, one of which has already been built in Wrexham, North Wales. The crisis of violence and overcrowding inside prisons is causing huge damage to communities across the UK.

Corbyn’s Labour Party: Manchester a Reality Check

Cuddly Jeremy’s fight to turn the Labour Party into a red blooded socialist party has some way to go, if Manchester is anything to go by. The city is virtually a one party mini-state with Labour holding 95 of the 96 council seats, so the perfect place, you would have thought, to start the Labour fight back against austerity and inequality in the UK. Well…, not quite!

April 20128: new rates for the National Minimum Wage

The new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage from
April 2018 are set out below:

● £7.83 per hour for ages 25 and over
● £7.38 per hour for ages 21 to 24
● £5.90 per hour for ages 18 to 20
● £4.20 per hour for those under 18
● £3.70 per hour for apprentices.

National Minimum and Living Wage Increases April 2018

The new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage from April 2018 are set out below:

  • £7.83 per hour for ages 25 and over
  • £7.38 per hour for ages 21 to 24
  • £5.90 per hour for ages 18 to 20
  • £4.20 per hour for those under 18
  • £3.70 per hour for apprentices.

For your boss to pay the apprenticeship rate there must be a genuine apprenticeship agreement in place. This agreement must be based on training being the main purpose of the agreement, with working being secondary.

The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices aged:

Women who clean at home or at work face the same risk as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

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.

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