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The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Brighton hospitality worker gets paid after a single picket

A Brighton hospitality worker supported by SolFed has won a victory against the exploitative conditions prevalent in the local hospitality sector, as a restaurant paid £1,200 in response to pay demands made by the worker.

The public campaign in support of the worker ended after a single picket - and some back-and-forth emailing - with the worker receiving all the money she had asked for.

The worker's demand of £1200 was in relation to outstanding pay. Unusually, the worker had been told she would be paid a set weekly amount, depending on whether she worked 5 or 6 days. Her contract stipulated that she was employed and paid for 32 hours a week. However, since work days usually lasted around 11 hours, in reality she worked close to double what she had been contracted for.

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!

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:

Brighton Solidarity Federation concludes its campaign against G4Lets

Brighton Solidarity Federation has concluded its campaign against the student lettings agency G4Lets. The campaign was in support of two groups of tenants who had just over £3000 deducted from their deposits. One group of tenants had £2000 taken from their deposit for fire safety, redecoration, and pest control, in spite of an Environmental Health Report from the council informing G4Lets that these issues were their responsibility to resolve as part of landlords' general obligations to the properties they let out.

A hunger for unionisation: what's happening in the games industry?

The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco (more commonly known as GDC) is one of the highlights of the game industry calendar. An annual event drawing game developers of all stripes from around the globe, it is seen as one of the premier places for developers to network, companies to show off new tech, CEOs to mingle and business deals to be made. Yet the big discussion animating conference goers at this year's GDC was something very different. Namely the unionisation of the games industry.

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.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

It's snowing. Snow is fun, and lots of us will have a rare day off today to go sledging, have a snowball fight, watch daytime TV and generally do anything we like other than going to work.
However, some of us will have to go to work despite the weather. This is some potentially life-saving advice for anyone who finds themselves layering up and trudging in regardless.

1) Do not drive anywhere under any circumstances. Avon and Somerset Police have advised not to use any roads in the region. People have had serious incidents on the Bristol roads over the last 24 hours. Don't risk life and limb for a boss who would replace you in a few weeks if anything happened. There aren't any buses running currently either, so if you can't safely walk to work, don't go in.

Manchester Solfed Picket Polish Consulate

Manchester Solidarity Federation held a picket outside the Polish Consulate in Manchester today. Our picket was in solidarity with self-organised Polish postal workers who have been involved in a two year campaign aimed at improving pay and conditions and are being supported by our Polish IWA sister-section the ZSP union.

Basic freedom of speech is under attack in Poland, especially for workers. The state-controlled Post Office is trying to criminalize workers who speak out about their working conditions. Protests by postal workers have led to harassment, threats against them and the unfair dismissal of three organisers: Klaudiusz Wieczorek, Rafal Czerski, and Zbigniew Trochimiak. In addition, the state has brought a series of bogus criminal cases against members of our sister union, the ZSP-IWA.

Stop state repression of workers now!

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