All entrances to the large Mile End campus were picketed by members of the participating unions, UNISON, UCU and UNITE, from 7am.
There is a strike in higher education on Thursday 31st October. All three big unions are walking out in fight foe decent pay.
A higher education worker and member of North London SolFed wrote a lealfet explaining what the strike is about and why solidarity both from workers and students is important.
If you work in higher education, or if you are a student, don't cross a picket line this Thursday. Stand on it. ALL OUT FOR THE 31 OCTOBER!
Trabajadores de Starbucks en Chile preparan para hacer huelga
La North London Solidarity Federation manda toda nuestra solidaridad a los trabajadores Chilenos de Starbucks que estan mobilizando para una huelga por asuntos de convenios.
Starbucks, aunque le gusta vestirse como un empresa responsable y social, es un ejemplo del sector global de servicios, cada vez mas precario y mal pagado. Organisandose y preparando por accion industrial, los trabajadores Chilenos de Starbucks hace un inspiracion a trabajadores de hosteleria del mundo.
A los trabajadores: solidaridad total del Reino Unido. Vuestra lucha es global.
North London Solidarity Federation sends out fullest solidarity and support to the workers at Curzon cinemas. Struggling against precarity, zero-hours contracts, management disrespect, and low wages, the workers at Curzon have been fighting to establish a union in their workplace.
Workers at over 8 cinemas across London have demanded a union. They submitted a petition with over 1500 supporter signatures and have framed their demands not only in terms of their own material interests, but in protecting the integrity of the independent film industry. In response, management has ignored workers' demands for collective meetings and set up a faux-employee representation program.
Members of North London SolFed were out in Hackney today with the ever-excellent Feminist Fightback to keep up the pressure on M&S over their non-payment of people doing jobs for the company as part of the Boycott Workfare week of action.
Given the boiling heat, an incredible effort was made by a samba band who turned up to lend a bit of noise and colour to the scene for most of an hour and we ran out of leaflets to hand out almost instantly. The public response was, as is usually the case when it comes to workfarer pickets, very supportive, with a number of people expressing their disgust at M&S's participation in it.
Some developments over the last few days are worth flagging up for anyone interested in or affected by Workfare - which show pretty comprehensively exactly who's being a bully and who's not.
Freeing the data
Most important is that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has lost its appeal to hide the names of companies and charities which are involved in using unemployed people as a source of free labour.
It had tried to block freedom of information requests after telling all and sundry that campaigners picketing shops and explaining why to their customers amounted to "intimidating" behaviour, meaning commercial companies should be protected from being outed as participants.
In the morning some of us went to the 1000 Mothers March against the benefit Changes in Tottenham with Haringey Solidarity Group. There was good turn out of 5-600 and a lively local march made its way from Tottenham green up the high street. We peeled off and headed down to Turnpike Lane to picket Poundland along with members of Solent Solfed, (who'd come down for the party later that evening) from 1pm onwards. We moved down to Homebase at about half 2, despite the rain, and the response at both stores was good. We had a lot of people taking leaflets, a few cheers from teenagers passing by and a few stopping for a chat about their experiences on the work programme. We packed up around 4 and headed home/to the café for a well earned cuppa.
North London SolFed and Haringey Solidarity Group picketed Homes for Haringey on Wednesday 10th April. It was our second picket there over the use of workfare by the council housing provider and a charity Groundwork. After sacking one third of their gardening staff two years ago, they are now forcing benefit claimants to do the work for no pay.
Despite the freezing temperatures and snow showers on Saturday 23rd March, members of Feminist Fightback, North London Solfed, Boycott Workfare and other local groups, residents and anti-workfare protesters picketed Argos in Leytonstone and Poundland in Wembley.
In Leytonstone, for a large demonstration the reception from the public was generally very positive, with residents driving past slowing down and opening windows asking for leaflets. Plenty of people stopped to chat despite the cold.
We picketed Argos as part of the Boycott Workfare week of action and we were originally going to picket Superdrug as well who pulled out a day before the demo; no doubt in part due to pressure from anti-workfare groups and campaigns across the country.
Yesterday North London Solidarity Federation picketed the Homes For Haringey offices in Wood Green and the depot for Groundwork, in Tottenham, who are employed by the Council to provide gardening and improvement services on estates in the area. The demonstration was against Groundwork's use of workfare; unemployed people are forced by Jobcentres to do the work. They are not being paid for it and they can't refuse or they would lose their benefits for two months.
There are over 6,500 people looking for work in Tottenham and this number keeps on increasing. The area has the highest unemployment in London. What is Haringey Council doing? Hundreds of people providing essential services have been made redundant and now they are being replaced by unpaid workers.
A solfed member visited Corrala Utopia, a block of flats in Seville squatted by evicted families who have lost their jobs due to the crisis.
The struggle against workfare continues. As a part of the national day of action members of the North London SolFed picketed several shops around Holloway.
As the stores coped with increased demand, Christmas season traditionally meant opportunities for temporary work in retail. This is changing. Under the guise of work experience, businesses increasingly take on benefit claimants instead. For today’s picket we chose shops where we heard this was happening. We started at Superdrug and later moved to Argos. We held pickets outside, where we engaged with customers. We also went to the shops and talked to staff – if we don't stop workfare together, it may replace their jobs too.
This article was written by a SolFed member and originally appeared in the "How do you build a movement?" column of the Occupied Times.
The article focuses on a practical approach to organising in which theory follows practice, is designed to appeal beyond a politicised core, and by which a movement is built by achieving concrete and escalating victories.
OT Issue 18 here.
The North London local of the Solidarity Federation would like to offer our sincerest congratulations and solidarity to the Counihan family who recently had their housing benefit reinstated by Brent Council. The fight you've led has been inspirational and militant. It serves as an example for the sort of struggles that are going to be needed if we're to win the to fight against the onslaught of cuts facing the working class.
We will be advertising your upcoming march and public meeting to our members and contacts. Congratulations again and please keep us informed of upcoming actions and campaign developments on northlondonsf (at) riseup.net
Leaflet about the campaign available here:
What: Pret a Manger communications blockade
When: Thur 29th November, 2:00 - 4:00pm
Call, email, and text Pret on the 29th November between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00pm demanding that Andrej be reinstated and that Pret stop victimising all union members.
See full article for email addresses and phone numbers.
You can get in touch with us via the contact form on this site.
Stuff Your Boss - North London
A re-written version of SolFed's national Stuff Your Boss leaflet. Include North London's contact details. (pdf)
Education Struggle are Our Struggles
Generic leaflet that can be given out to education workers, students, parents, or members of the public. (pdf)
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Three SolFed posters: Just saying Barcode At Work (pdf), (pdf), (pdf)
Workplace Organiser Training Leaflet
Leaflet and generic invitation for the Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training (pdf)
Don't Cross Picket Lines!
Short, generic double-sided A5 leaflet meant to be given out on picket lines or in the run-up to a strike. (pdf)
Office Angels Leaflet
"Office Devils" leaflet handed out at picket lines in support of a cheated agency worker. (pdf)
North London leaflet for March 26th
Obviously, this is a bit late, but the content of the leaflet still holds true. Please feel free to plagiarise if you think it will be useful. (pdf)