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direct action casework

Smiles, Solidarity and Ephesus

Our dispute with Ephesus has come to an end with a victory; the worker has been paid all that was owed.

Solidarity from many people has been the key to attaining this result.

From the outset the worker, who is also involved in the Spanish Marea Granate movement, wanted to find a way to collectivise the dispute and try to improve the conditions for their fellow workmates even though they were leaving. As the notice period finished, the worker asked for all their holiday pay and if they were going to receive the money owed for minimum wage. All they were offered was a measly £150. Management hoped this would keep the worker quiet.

We delivered the demand letter as a group, including the worker. We were received with smiles and “yes yes yes.”  We left and awaited their response; we gave them a week before the deadline was up.

DISPUTE CLOSED WITH ALPHA CARE

Last Monday we reached an agreement with Alpha Care which satisfies the economic demands made by a former worker.

Kinder, Pay Up

Lydia worked 30 hours for Kinder Sports between the 6th and 22nd of October. Kinder Sports have repeatedly tried to weasel out of paying Lydia fairly and promptly for the work she undertook for them.

Lydia and South London Solidarity Federation are now calling for a communications blockade on Twitter against Kinder Sports for unpaid wages. Kinder Sports, run by Matt Longhurst, provide after-school sports activities and some school hours provision at locations around Dartford in Kent.

“They think they can do whatever they want” - a tenant's story

Earlier this month, we helped an international student get back her holding deposit from a lettings agency. Here is the tenant's story.

The agency were nice in the beginning, like every other agency. However they kept asking if I still wanted the flat. It made me feel quite pressured, so I paid the holding deposit of £650. I thought this was excessive, but the agency assured me that I would not lose the money as long as I proceeded with the tenancy application. Despite the deposit, the agency could still change whatever they wanted . They tried to postpone the advertised moving in date without my agreement, and referred to it being “subject to contract”. So if I said no, I would lose the deposit. How is it fair that they could hold my money against me and change the terms of tenancy in their favour!

Brighton SF opens a dispute against letting agent King & Chasemore

Brighton SolFed has started a dispute against the Hove branch of the letting agency King & Chasemore  The agency has stolen the holding deposit of a tenant. SolFed has been trying to find a settlement of the dispute the last coupld of weeks. The amount demanded from the agency is £425.

Brighton Solidarity - newsletter #3

Latest edition of our regular newsletter, including articles on hospitality workers conflicts, the radical bank project, state repression in Spain and workers' rights advice. For workers control and self-organisation, enjoy!

Caffe Bar Italia : frequently asked questions

For the past few weeks we've been holding weekly pickets of a cafe in Hove in support of a former worker who was not paid properly. We have talked to hundreds of people and here we are addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about the case.

Yolanda worked at Caffe Bar Italia from May until September 2014 on a 20hours/week contract at £6.50/hour. However the cafe management didn't pay her for the contracted 20 weekly hours as she was sent home whenever this suited the cafe - in violation of her legal contract. On top of that she wasn't paid her holiday entitlement. Yolanda then approached us for support.

In late November we went to Caffe Italia to hand over a letter explaining the situation, and to have a chat to find an amicable solution.  We acceeded to several of the cafe's requests to be given more time until a meeting was agreed in the presence of their solicitor for December. The cafe cancelled this with 2 hours notice, refusing to communicate further. At the same time the cafe put pressure on Yolanda through mutual friends. This left us with no option but to start our public campaign on 13. December, which we have maintained since. Soon after, Yolanda left the UK - if it's hard to live on a part-time minimum-wage  job, it becomes impossible when you don't get paid for nearly half your contracted hours.

Brighton Hospitality Workers: Dispute with Caffe Bar Italia enters second week

Brighton Solfed are continuing pickets of a rogue employer in Hove in solidarity with a former cafe worker, Yolanda, who is owed £1,264 in holiday pay and unpaid contracted hours. 

Over the past week, Brighton SolFed have proved to the pathetic boss of Caffe Bar Italia that this dispute will not disappear by pretending that nothing is happening. We have been very clear: we will not stop until Yolanda is paid the hours that she had guaranteed and her holiday entitlement.

Brighton Hospitality Workers: Carry on Picketing!

This summer, Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) took on one of the most uncompromising bosses we have faced. The owner (who shall henceforth be referred to as ‘V’) of a well-known local café had hired a worker with an agreement to pay her £6ph but when it came to payday, he only coughed up what amounted to £5ph and refused to pay her holiday pay. After V refused to pay her the remainder, the worker approached BHW, who agreed to support her in getting back her owed wages.

During the initial meeting with V, BHW delivered a letter outlining reasons for the conflict and the demands of the worker. The worker herself was too scared to face V. V was verbally and physically abusive, and refused to accept the letter (we left it on the premises anyway).

New Website for Newcastle

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.

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