Manchester Solidarity Federation will be organising a picket of the Polish Consult on Friday 2nd March starting at 2pm. The Picket is in support of Polish postal workers who have been involved in a two year campaign aimed at improving pay and conditions supported by the ZSP-IWA union. As a result they are facing increasing repression. Following nation-wide protests, the government-owned postal office have sought to silence protesting workers and fired several of the organisers. In addition, they have brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA, who have supported the self-organised campaign of postal workers. SolFed-IWA is in solidarity with postal workers in Poland. Stop state repression of workers now! An injury to one is an injury to all!
Manchester SolFed is the local of the Solidarity Federation covering Greater Manchester.
Manchester Solidarity Federation organised a picket of Thornley Grove Letting Agency in support of a Brighton tenant. The tenant has been organising with Brighton SolFed after deductions were made from her joint tenancy deposit, despite the fact the tenants left the property in a clean condition. The deductions were unreasonable, not properly costed and, on top of this, service from the agency was poor throughout her tenancy.
Manchester Solfed organised the picket of Thorney Grove as it is a sister company of Brand Vaughan, the Brighton letting agency that had deducted £390 from the tenant’s deposit. Both companies are part of a UK capital investment company, Lomond Capital, which owns 34 UK letting agencies. In total Lomond Capital manages residential properties worth £2.7 billion and sells £600 million worth of property every year.
Friday the 26th January saw strikers from three disputes in Manchester stage a joint demo and rally. Hundreds of supporters joined the demonstration and attended the rally where strikers from Mears, First Buses and Fujitsu gave an update on their long running disputes.
The Mears dispute involves 180 building workers employed by Mears to undertake housing maintenance work on 12,000 properties in Manchester. The contract was tendered by Manchester council. The workers took 40 days of strike action last year over pay differentials of up to £3,500 and attacks on their terms and conditions. A further ballot saw an increased majority vote for further 49 days of action, due to end on February 8th.
As people may know the Solidarity Federation has been involved in numerous disputes involving wage theft. However just in case you were thinking that bosses stealing workers hard earned wages was just a British phenomenon we have just received the following request from our sister organisation in the International Workers Association Priama Akcia who organise in Slovakia.
Join the pickets at Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP (by Central Park Metrolink station) between 7-10am on strike days. We are particularly keen to maximise turnout on Wednesday 24 January – there will be activities people can do without standing around outside.
Join the joint strike rally with Mears / Manchester Working and First Bus Rusholme at 12:30 on Friday 26 January. It’s at the Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD (entrance on Major St)
Send a message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org or Unite the Union, Fujitsu MAN34, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP
Union members at Fujitsu have announced a series of strikes—as bosses dismissed victimised reps. The first walkout will begin on Wednesday 24 January. Management sacked two reps over the christmas with one of the reps being dismissed while he was on compassionate leave to attend a family funeral.
These are just the latest attacks in a long running dispute over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of a redundancy agreement. IT workers at Fujitsu in Manchester have already taken 27 days action in this long running campaign and plans further strikes on Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 January, Tuesday 30 January and Thursday 8 February – Wednesday 14 February. Union members are also taking part in action short of a strike and are working to rule.
Jion the smash IPP march and protest on the 14th February meeting outside 12 Minshull St, Manchester M1 3FR ( Probation Office ) This March is to get IPP sentences abolished retrospectively. The government have said its wrong yet 4000 prisoners still remain, including Ian Hartley, a prisoner at HMP Risley. His family need him home !
More than 4000 people are serving IPP (imprisonment for public protection) sentences in British prisons. Six years since the sentence was abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides and mental health problems. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free
Good old Sir Richard Branson has once again managed to get himself to the front of the queue for state handouts. Having spent years channelling public money into massive profits at Virgin Rail, he is now turning his attention to milking the NHS. Figures released in January 2018 show that his company, Virgin Care, won a record £1bn worth of NHS contracts in 2017. Added to already existing contracts, this means that Virgin Care now has over 400 separate NHS contracts. Funny how these arch free market capitalists, such as Branson, seem to be able to swallow their anti-state principles when it comes to claiming state subsidies. Good old Sir Richard even took this to the extent of suing the NHS in 2017 when Virgin Care lost an £82m contract. In the process he won an undisclosed sum that otherwise would have been wasted on treating sick people.
Thursday 22nd December saw another picket organized by First bus drivers at the Rusholme Depot in support of their ongoing dispute over pay. Drivers at First's Rushome depo are being paid up to £5000 a year less than colleagues working at the First’s Queen’s Road base just five miles away. The drivers at the Rusholme depo originally worked for Finglands Buses who were taken over by First Manchester in 2013. At the time of the takeover the Finglands drivers were promised parity but after repeated promises by First to harmonizes pay, drivers at Rusholme still find themselves being paid 23% less.
Manchester Solfed's guide for migrants coming to Manchester has been republished with a updated edition for November 2017.
The guide contains information to help new migrants settle in the city. While focusing on Manchester, much of the guide will be useful to people living anywhere in the UK.
Available in English and Spanish, the guide can be downloaded in pdf format from the links below, paper copies will also be distributed around the city.
We are currently working on a translation into Portugese and we are producing a version for smartphones.
The Migrants Guide is a work in progress and we welcome submissions and suggestions. Please contact the Manchester local if you have anything to contribute.
Don't forget next Saturday, December 2nd the Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair will be taking place. As well as book stalls there will be number of talks taking place on a wide range of subjects. In the evening there will be social with several bands appearing.
Manchester SF will be doing a talk on 21st Century Anarcho-Syndicalism
Cleaners have a vital role in society, yet their job is poorly paid and routinely dismissed as a job carried out mainly by women to earn a bit of extra cash; cleaning is not generally seen as a particularly physically hard or dangerous job, many people see it as involving a bit of dusting, mopping and hoovering.
My partner Joshua Mcrae is one of those prisoners still serving an IPP sentence. Joshua was just 17 at the time of his alleged offence and 18 when tried as an adult and given a tariff of 4 years.Joshua has spent 11 years in prison so far....
Ian Hartley is one of those prisoners still serving an IPP sentence. Originally given a tariff of 3 years and 2 months, he is still in prison 12 years on. Ian discribes the hell which is IPP as follows “I hate waking up in a morning and look forward to going to sleep at night. Prison is an awful corrupt place full of violence and abuse. I have served my time and just want to be in a loving family environment to live the rest of my life. The hell I am suffering within this place is indescribable and if it wasn’t for my partner and my family I would have ended my life by now." As part of the Smash IPP campign a petition has been organised.
You can sign the petition here: http://chn.ge/2yfxiDU
You can get more info here: https://www.change.org/p/free-ipp-prisoner-ian-hartley
As part of its national campaign to make over 1000 people redundant Fujitsu is targeting a number of reps at its factory in Manchester. The Manchester site has a long history of militancy and the 3 reps being target, Ian Allinson, Denis Morris and Lynne Hodge, have been active at Fujitsu for many years.
You can get more information about the dispute at: www.ouruniontest.wordpress.com
Send letters of protest to Duncan.Tait@uk.fujitsu.com