Welcome to the page of Newcastle SolFed, the local group based in Newcastle. We also have members in North Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland. Most of our activity isn't publicised on these pages - much of which may deal with case work and so requires privacy. We hope to be able to give you an insight to the type of work we are engaged with. Please continue to Who We Are for more about our Local.
Newcastle Solidarity Federation
Newcastle SolFed is a diverse group of workers, students and unemployed. We believe in self-organisation, direct action and making our own decisions - this is why we formed our Local branch of SolFed.
Being a Local in Solidarity Federation means we are part of the International Workers Association, and as you can see by the news items we post, we are active in supporting international struggles as well as local. Some of our solidarity actions in and around Newcastle have seen people from other countries join in our pickets.
Please continue to What We Do for a better look at our activity.
Newcastle is a new Local within SolFed. Much of our work currently focuses on building new fighting unions as part the SolFed federation in the North East.
We believe in direct action - we aren't professional legal advisors and we aren't a charity. People who have approached us know that they must play an active role in their own struggle - we are there to help, not to provide a free service.
In our short existence, we have organised public meetings, pickets in support of workers in conflict, fought our own struggles and have given solid, practical advice to an increasing number of enquiries. We do not profess to have all the answers, we believe the best solutions can come from the workers themselves who are in conflict - this is the basis as to why we are different to other unions. We do not lead workplace struggles - even when our own members are in this situation. Given that SolFed uses direct action - action carried out and controlled by those in struggle, as opposed to using intermediaries and representatives - we believe the support we offer is more practical and democratic than that of reformist TUC unions.
We aim to build enough members to create small, fighting unions based around our Local and are keen to meet with other workers who are interested in organising, as well as continuing social actions - community support and educational work. If you or anyone you know needs support and wants to play an active role in their own fight-back, whether working, studying or unemployed, then why not give us a call?
Newcastle Local have launched a new campaign to both highlight workers rights at work and to fight alongside those who seek our help. We make no bones, our aim is to create small fighting workplace unions attached to our Local - but in order to find our feet and gain membership and experience, we feel this campaign is our best way forward.
If you want to be part of our campaign or if your boss owes you money - then why not contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org - or visit our new website at:
Its early days for Newcastle Local and things are moving very quickly. Why not give us a shout and be part of our anarchosyndicalist fightback!
Newcastle SolFed have won a substantial wage theft claim from a large call centre in Newcastle. The company in question has substantial relationships with the Unions and members of the Labour Party shadow cabinet. Worryingly we have uncovered illegal working conditions, dodgy apprenticeship schemes and dubious work practices. A fuller report will be published in the following days.
Newcastle Local are hosting a day and evening of talks and music on November 14th. From 2pm till 6pm, we have talks from Dave Douglass, Manchester SolFed and Brighton Hospitality Workers with a discussion panel to conclude. From 8pm we're having a social with music from bands and DJ's, including Grog-nose, Ship Canal and The Whippet Beans.
November 14th 2pm-6pm and 8pm till late
(Behind the Central Station)
Members of Newcastle Local once again headed for the hills for a day out in Northumberland, this time celebrating the July 19th victory over Franco's fascists in Barcelona.
July 19th 1936 saw our sister union in Spain, the CNT, in vicious street fighting around the Barcelona barracks. Successfully crushing the fascist uprising, the CNT went on to take control of the city and beyond, placing the running of all services, production and distribution firmly in the hands of the workers. The bravery of the actions of the CNT on July 19th 1936 has provided inspiration throughout generations since, showing another world is possible - one in which society can be run by the workers, for the workers, free from politicians and the State.
Newcastle SolFed have launched their Building Workers campaign with a lightening quick win. Faced with a site agent who repeatedly refused to provide adequate welfare facilities for a large building site in North Tyneside, SolFed contacted the company with a demand to repair and clean up the toilet block.
Within hours, the toilet block was repaired and cleaned up, and as an onsite SolFed member stated, were being used for the first time in months for what they were intended for.
Newcastle SolFed Building Workers want to speak with anyone who works in construction, building maintenance and engineering. Within these industries more and more workers are increasingly struggling with management abuses, pay freezes, zero hours contracts and especially prone to being stung for their wages from cowboy bosses.
A cracking day was had by members of Newcastle SolFed today in wildest Northumberland. We've collected a few names for the next walk (July) but there's always space (we hope!) for new people. if you are interested in getting to meet members of Newcastle SolFed in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere - give us a shout!
Newcastle SolFed are planning regular trips into the country. For those new or used to hiking, rambling or just casually strolling well away from the hustle of the cities and towns, this is a great way to meet members of Newcastle SolFed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Not all of us are outdoors types - some of us will have to be dragged kicking and screaming - so there are no pressures if you are a novice or unfit. People with any concerns regarding access or mobility should first contact us for further details.
We won't be advertising all of these events, and so are asking those interested to keep in touch, either by email or by phone - or better still by joining our email list.
Newcastle SolFed are holding their annual May Day Bash on Saturday 2nd May at The Telegraph pub, Orchard Street, Newcastle - doors open 7-30pm. This year we will be raising awareness and hopefully a few quid in support of anarchists arrested in Operation Pandora, a Spanish State anti-terrorist initiative that has been used as a represive measure against those opposed to the State and Capital, with dozens of anarchists arrested. Spain has a long and strong tradition of anarchist organising and this abuse of civil liberties supported throughout mainstream Spanish media is a potent reminder of the origins of May Day in 1886, where anarchists in Chicago were framed in the famous Haymarket massacre. The media fuelled the witch hunt against those anarchists, demanding the death sentence which saw 4 of the accused hung, only to be pardoned 7 years later.
As predicted, the static demo held by Pegida in Newcastle's Bigg Market was something of an embarrassment for the neo-nazis. Denied a march through town, and lacking anything like a fraction of the numbers that the hype and publicity accorded to them, the unveiling of the far-rights latest toy turned out to be broken. Dredging up all the old fascists from the past several decades for something that was supposed to be new and dynamic, was both tragic and comic, with reports of less than 300 them turning up. Outnumbered many times over - several estimates of anti-fascists are close to 2000 - just shows that for all of Pegida's effort, Newcastle was never going to be the city of the Fourth Reich.
Since starting our Better Call SolFed campaign at the end of 2014, we have seen a massive amount of effort being put into door-to-door leafleting publicising Newcastle SF as a small, radical union that fights on its own terms. The response has been fantastic - we have been as equally busy answering calls asking for advice and support from workers in the North East; we also kept in regular contact with someone as far away as Liverpool!
As well as regular contacts with disgruntled workers, we have also taken on new members in Teesside and Wearside. And with this new growth, we have began extending our door-to-door leafleting beyond Tyneside (here's a photo of some our members in Teesside today). Keep an eye out for coming newspaper ads!
Newcastle Local has closed the year in a much stronger position having gained new members, new contacts and developed a new direction for the Local. We’ve been involved in 3 successful workplace battles - one of which being the Santander conflict in Spain, that was in support of a sacked member of our Spanish sister union, the CNT; another being a week of international action against a company our German union, the FAU, were in conflict with; and closer to home a local pay theft case in North Tyneside, which won a four figured settlement. http://www.solfed.org.uk/newcastle/another-win-for-solfed-this-month
Newcastle Local have created our own campaign website and phone number to simplify our message and become easier to find. Already regularly advising workers in distress, we hope to increase this work as well as take on further case work as we build our Local. If you or anyone you know is in dispute with a boss, or wants advice on workplace rights and fighting back, contact us via our new site www.stuffyourboss.org.uk or ring 0191 3082354.
SolFed have been out in force in response to a sacked union organiser from our sister union in Spain, the CNT. Pickets were held in Brighton, Bristol, Newcastle and Middlesborough (see below). Santander have outsourced thousands of jobs in Spain, making it easier to control employees working in oppressive conditions - union organisers are targetted by the notoriously crooked family cartel run bank.
All pickets were well received, Santander having an already shoddy reputation in Britain, it was no suprise to those asking what the row was about to find that the bank is targetting union activists.
Newcastle SolFed were joined in Middlesborough by Teeside Solidarity Movement whose members eventually swelled the picket to envelope the bank and show the power of international solidarity.
There will be a Solidarity Federation Workplace Organiser Training Day on Saturday, June14th in Newcastle.
If you would like to attend, please email training[AT]solfed.org.uk
The Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training programme is designed to give workers the tools and confidence to organise in their workplaces, whether or not there's an existing union. Even if you've had training from another union, you may find the direct action based approach we adopt offers a fresh perspective.
Whether you've got a union or not, join us for a workshop on how to create strong organisation in your workplace.
Today's international day of action called by FORA saw Newcastle Local picketing the city-centre branch of HSBC, who provide finincial services to YPF the state-owned Argentinian oil company, making them complicit in the repression & persecution of Las Heras workers.
The absence of an Argentine consulate proved no barrier to Tyneside workers joining with IWA-AIT comrades in demanding the freedom of all Las Heras workers and the end of state-sponsored attacks on those fighting for their rights.
A warm, sunny day in Newcastle seemed appropriate weather to turn the heat up on Santander & shine a light on their slave labour policies and Union repression. We were joined by two comrades from USI as our banner was unfurled outside the Northumberland Street branch.
There was lots of interest from workers on their lunch-break for whom solidarity with our CNT comrades in Spain needed little explanation. Most people on Tyneside have friends or family who have suffered from outsourced labour practices & our presence today was well recieved.
An appearance by a flustered branch manager, who took some photos to 'pass on' our condemnation of Santander's abuse of workers' topped off an effective picket of this corrupt & criminal bank.