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Manchester

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

Manchester SolFed support IWA days of action

We had hoped to support the CNT and the general strike in Spain only to find that the Spanish Consulate has been closed. On the 30th, we leafleted the Holland and Barret shop we were going to picket the following day and had a chat with the workers in the shop. We leafleted then went on to leaflet the shops close by again talking to workers. We then went on to leaflet shops round the centre of Manchester.

On 31 we picketed a Holland and Barret shop in the centre of Manchester. We gave out several hundred leaflets. The picket followed the usual routine: manager came out, asked us to leave, we refused. She then called police a bit of a heated exchange and so on. One person who had just finished a Warkfare programme stopped to have a go at the police and went into the shop to have a go at the manager.  

Adecco picket Manchester

The Manchester SF local organised a picket of the Adecco office in the centre of Manchester on 6/3/12. Management seemed prepared for the picket and issued a statement arguing they had no say as to what happened in Spain. We distributed several hundred leaflets and a number of people took leaflets to pin up in their workplaces. 

Direct Action Against The Cuts

Public Meeting: Saturday July 16th, 1:00pm at Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester

The aim of this meeting is bring together activists fighting the government’s cuts to discuss views of ‘direct action’ and how to apply it to the current struggle. There will be a number of speakers, including one from SF who will present an anarcho-syndicalist viewpoint:

There has been a lot of talk in the anti-cuts movement about the importance of ‘winning the argument’. This strategy holds that the best way to go about fighting attacks on wages, living conditions and services is to point out the flaws in the pro-cuts arguments and suggest alternative policies which would avoid the need for cuts.

Some even seem to think that if the argument is won, the government will see the error of its ways, stop the planned cuts and everyone can go home happy.

Manchester Education Workers’ Network Report, June 30th Strike

After the last UCU pensions strike in March, several rank & file union members, upset at the lack of inter-union unity, set up the Manchester University Staff Against the Cuts group (MUSAC). The group has been meeting regularly and consists of members of Unite, Unison and UCU. Members of Manchester EWN are also involved.

It has been good to meet with people whose criticisms of the existing unions match our own in many ways. The group has held a weekly stall in the University, giving out leaflets in support of various anti-cut campaigns.

Asbestos: from magic mineral to working-class killer

July 1st is Action Mesothelioma Day, an annual event in which awareness is raised about the continuing suffering caused by asbestos-related cancer. Here a member of Manchester Solidarity Federation and the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group talks about the destructive effect asbestos has had on the lives of thousands of workers.

Office Angels picket, Manchester, May 12

Manchester SF picketted Office Angels on New Market, Manchester city centre on Thursday May 12 as part of SF’s national week of action against the Office Angels agency in a dispute over unpaid wages. Although management were unavailable for discussion, there was a pre-prepared OA statement branding our campaign of “direct action” as lies and, of course, painting themselves purer than pure when it comes to treatment of temporary workers. As elsewhere, we had comments from passers-by, some of whom have had dealings with OA and other temping agencies. We will be back during the upcoming international week of action against OA – for further details, please get in touch.

Victory in campaign to save Levenshulme Baths

On 8 February Labour-run Manchester City Council was the first to announce its budget cuts - £109 million worth. Among community amenities being axed were several libraries, some advice centres and half a dozen fitness and leisure centres. The south Manchester neighbourhood of Levenshulme – ethnically and economically mixed with some pockets of severe deprivation was the worst affected – facing the loss of its leisure centre, Sure Start scheme and its historic swimming pools.

The baths were a contentious choice to cut by the council, which had spent more than £200,000 in 2010 upgrading the facilities  but was insisting full refurbishment was too expensive at more than £300,000 and the only viable option was to close it.

Multiculturalism, diversity and equality

Much has been said about David Cameron’s recent speech on the failure of multiculturalism. Predictably the left have condemned what was said and rushed to the defence of the multicultural society.  Trouble is there is a big difference between the realities of living in a society with various cultures and the concept of multiculturalism.
 

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