• Fired workers who joined Unite, the union
• Used threats of closing the business to get his way
• Accused workers of theft to cover up his own mismanagement
• Used the government’s workfare schemes for free labour
Police tried to cause trouble so they could make arrests yesterday as a group of about 50+ protesters broke away from the TUC to protest at the Tory Local Governemtn Conference to show the public what was going on. The TUC meekly hid away in City Square in Leeds, the breakaway (inc WYSF) moved to the edge of the square were people could see us. The police tried to stop this even claiming they'd "provided a space for us". They were informed they couldn't stop us so did a sort of weak kettle (stopping any group of people leaving or joining but not really individuals). Most of the cops tactics was intelligence gathering, which when disrupted "accidentally" with flags etc really seemed to piss them off. As far as we are aware there where no arrests.
Picket of the Tory Local Government Conference Queens Hotel, Leeds:
WYSF were joined by Leeds AFed, the Save REMPLOY Factories Campaign (GMB/Unite) and the SWP picketing the conference. Approx 20 of us took part (supported by even more police inc horses :) ). Had a great response from the public with busses, taxis, council workers, private workers and individuals all honking horns in support as they passed. Big thanks to all who turned out and prob see you all tomorrow for the TUC rally.
Today saw the start of the Royal College of GPs conference in Liverpool. Keep Our NHS Public held a protest outside the venue, the BT Convention Centre, as health minister Andrew Lansley was set to be the day's keynote speaker. Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation joined the action.
As the land was private property, the security had taken the trouble to set up a protest pen using steel barricades, in which the demonstrators were to be contained. Liverpool Solfed members and others were resistant to this, but too many of those who turned up complied willingly either by going inside or by keeping their distance from the centre whilst giving out leaflets. The minority who chose not to be caged - especially as there were no police present! - simply kept moving about so that they were never static enough to be herded back to the pen.
On Sunday 2nd October, members of Solidarity Federation were amongst those who descended on Manchester to demonstrate at the start of the Tory Party Conference. 30,000 people took part in the march, and there was an occupation of Albert Square which at the time of writing is still ongoing.
See Liverpool Solidarity Federation's pictures of the demo here.
This is a letter written by Liverpool SolFed and printed in the Liverpool Echo newspaper yesterday (6th July 2011).
The occupations and demonstrations that have rocked Spain in opposition to austerity, unemployment and party politics have reached Brighton. At least 30 people, mostly from Spain, were occupying part of the Old Steine in Brighton city centre tonight in solidarity with the movement in Spain. An assembly run on directly democratic lines, with a megaphone being passed around participants, discussed tactics and goals of the camp, with decisions made to stage further protests and put on a programme of workshops. The assembly also reiterated its independence from all political ideologies and parties.
According to a headline in the Chronicle and Echo, "THE LARGEST cuts faced by Northamptonshire County Council in years have been approved by the Conservative leaders of the authority, despite the politicians admitting it was the last thing they wanted to do."
The last thing they wanted to do?
I can think of at least one option they could have taken. Any councillor whose conscience was against the cuts could have taken the decision to resign their position. But they didn't.
There are two conclusions:
1. They actually did want to vote for the cuts, or
Joe Anderson, the leader of Liverpool City Council, is trying to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts rebel. On 29th January he joined an anti-cuts march in Liverpool, not long after he wrote to David Cameron to withdraw Liverpool from the Big Society, and now he is asking people to march against the cuts this Sunday. This is nothing more than cheap political opportunism, and it should be rejected.
He tells us that the council is "bracing itself" for the cuts. He "warns" us that compulsory redundancies in the council will come. He is "incensed" by Liberal Democrats accusing him of having a "politically motivated" approach to job cuts.
The “historic” decision by the RMT to allow Branches to financially support other parties has certainly upset the Labour party, which is dependent on union money for its survival. Given that it looks certain that Scottish RMT branches will vote to support the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) at the next election there is now every chance that the RMT - one of the founders of the Labour Party - will finally cut its links with Labour.
The decision has been welcomed by people across the union movement and will only fuel the groundswell of feeling amongst many unions to follow the RMT example. Here at Catalyst, we view unions paying funds to Labour as the equivalent to paying someone to beat you up. However, while we welcome moves to cut the link with Labour, we are concerned about where the union money will otherwise end up.