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)
SolFed responded to a call for international action after the sacking of a CNT member in Spain. Ana, a worker with Red Cross in Alicante, had suffered prolonged bullying by her works coordinator culminating in her wrongful sacking. Ana is a well respected substance abuse worker with years of experience. As a member of our sister union, the CNT, her sacking has initiated a campaign to see her reinstated. The sacking has thrown light on Red Cross and their vicious internal practices toward their workforce, high-lighting the fact that they are no different to any other cut-throat capitalist company.
SolFed locals responded with a communication blockade and pickets of Red Cross shops in Newcastle and Brighton.
Brighton's picket was part of a week of SolFed action, here's their report:
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.
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.
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.
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.