A company that owned two restaurants, both in busy areas of Brighton, decided to claim insolvency. All the workers were called to a meeting to announce that the company was going insolvent and the restaurants would close. Some of the employees were paid off, some were given contracts for a ‘new’ restaurant and some got nothing!
A Valentine's Day dispute leads to satisfaction for two workers. You quit your job and your former employer refuses to pay what he owes you? That sounds familiar. And it is exactly what happened to A. and D. who had been working in the kitchen of a Hanover pub.
Cuando volvió al trabajo después de unas vacaciones se encontró, para su sorpresa, a otra trabajadora en su lugar y, en lugar de finiquito, la frase "no vengas más: ya no te necesitamos". Sin aviso, sin indemnización... sin apenas excusa. Ella era una inmigrante española sin contrato escrito y con poco dominio del idioma o las leyes británicas y estas, la justicia, estaban del lado de aquellos que la habían humillado. Parecía que no hubiera nada que pudiera hacer.
Launch of the BHW campaign, migrant worker experience, hotel cleaner wage dispute, and your rights when starting a new job.
Fears are growing for the 72 immigrant workers detained by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) at Guy and St Thomas’ Hospital, London in Februrary. Very little is known of the whereabouts of the 72 disappeared, who had been contracted to work as ancillary staff in the hospital by Reed temp agency.
The only definitive update to emerge since the raid is that three of them have pleaded guilty to ‘fraud’, a charge levied against them for collecting their ‘illegal’ wages from the hospital (as if cleaning toilets for minimum wage wasn’t bad enough).
When the UK Border Agency (UKBA) carried out a raid on 6 January 2011 they did so under several pretexts. While immigration raids are carried out on a regular basis across London, the size and scale of the raid at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital suggests a concerted campaign to flush out a number of illegals who were working there under quite appalling conditions. These attacks on the migrant community have to be seen in light of NHS ‘reforms’ and the forcing of the unemployed into compulsory work and the low-pay economy.
The current “debate” about immigration focuses on economic arguments, with the bosses arguing that they need “skilled migrants” to fill gaps in the workforce. This is a partial truth, the other side of the coin is that migrant workers are also needed to do the low-status “unskilled” jobs as cleaners, security guards, agricultural labourers and workers in food processing plants which “native” workers can’t be dragooned into doing. However, the argument that immigration is “good for the economy” is not one we should adopt. “The economy” is the value of what the ruling class own, increased through our exploitation; anarcho-syndicalists reject the social democratic view that capitalism can be managed for the good of the working class.
September 10th marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Rocker, an occasion which prompted the Argentinian anarchist journal, La Protesta, to write: “With the passing of the old and dearly loved master the cycle of a brilliant generation of anarchist thinkers and militants is closed.” Here we look at some of Rocker’s contributions to the working class movement
The Early Years
The Living Wage Campaign at University College London (UCL) has claimed victory after the university agreed to pay cleaners the London Living Wage. The living wage is meant to be introduced over the next two years. The UCL Living Wage Campaign was formed two years ago and is an alliance of cleaners, students, academics, and staff.
For years London universities have been paying low wages to their cleaners. To date, thanks to pressure from various groups and campaigns, all London universities except University College London have been forced to pay their cleaners above the minimum wage and raise pay to at least the London Living Wage. The Campaign at UCL has vowed not to disband until the London Living Wage is fully implemented and all low-paid staff are well organised.
Minorities and immigrants have been hit by another wave of European racism and discrimination. French President Sarkozy’s expulsion of Roma and travellers’ camps met with international condemnation and demonstrations in the streets, but continues unabated now that the legal threat from the EU has been lifted.
Also in France, the proposed burqa ban, under the veil of being an education in republican values is a message to the muslim community - one that is echoed in Belgium, Holland and Switzerland.