Cleaners banned from Ferrari showroom after refusing to stop striking for a living wage

Sign petition here.

Freddy and Angelica – two Ecuadorian cleaners who have spent the last 12 years between them scrubbing and polishing the Ferrari and Maserati showrooms in South Kensington run by the world’s largest luxury car dealership, HR Owen, have been unlawfully suspended for the last month after voting to strike for the living wage.

The ground of their suspension have since been shown to be baseless. However, HR Owen have just banned them from returning to work at their showrooms.

The reason is because they were given a choice: promise not to strike at Ferrari and accept your poverty wage, or you can find work elsewhere.

Freddy and Angelica stood firm in the face of such vile and unlawful threats and rightly refused to relinquish their right to strike.

Consequently, Templewood, the cleaning company, told HR Owen who promptly banned them from working at their showrooms.

This is a gross attack on the fight of low paid migrant workers for dignity and a living wage, and an attack on the right of all workers to organise and strike.

Freddy and Angelica recently gave notice of their intention to strike on 11th November. There will be a mass protest in solidarity with them.

Their trade union United Voices of the World ( has already started legal proceedings against Templewood and HR Owen.

Ken Montague: Memorial for a Re-Founding Member of Barnet TUC

The Friends of Ken Montague invite you to a London commemoration meeting to celebrate Ken’s life as a socialist, writer and especially as an active campaigner against climate change.

This will take place on 10th February, from 7-10pm at the Lucas Arms, 245a, Grays inn Road, WC1X 8QY (near Kings X and Hamilton House).

Speakers will include: Jonathan Neale (coordinator of the 1m green jobs pamphlet) from the Campaign against Climate Change,Roger Cox (Brent SWP), Merilyn Moos (Vice-Chair, London Retired UCU branch) and Brendan Montague, Ken’s son,  who will be speaking about preparing and publishing Ken’s book on labour history.

At 8.30, there will be live music, played by Dilshini Sandhu.

There will also be a light buffet from 7pm, but drinks will have to be bought at the bar.

Admission: £10 (with concessions). Any profits from the evening will contribute to the completion  and production of Ken’s book. One of Ken’s last wishes was that the book should stand as his legacy.

Mary Quaile Activist, Agitator and Trades Unionist – Wednesday 18 January 2017

maryquaile-jan14Unlike the Pankhurst’s and Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Quaile’s life reflected the experience of many millions of working-class women at the beginning of the 20th century. Leaving school aged 12, she took up unskilled work as a domestic and cafe worker.

But she grew up at a time of great change for working-class women. Locally and nationally, the Suffragettes were breaking all the rules about how women should live their lives. A burgeoning trade union movement, with activists such as those striking at the Bryant and May Factory, were demanding equality and justice.

Mary Quaile was part of this new trade union movement, which saw a growing number of women refusing to accept low pay and poor conditions. She went on to become a prominent member of organisations such as the Manchester Trades Union Council and the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) and in the 1920’s she was elected to the General Council of the TUC, one of the first women to be elected to the Council.

SERTUC’s Women’s Rights Committee invite you to our meeting to be held on Wednesday 18 January 2017 our guest speaker will be Bernadette Hyland, a frequent contributor to the Morning star and co-author of ‘Dare to be free – women in trade unions’.

The meeting will be held at Congress House at 17:30 hours.

Information about the venue:

Congress House is a full accessible building.
Contact for further information:

John Burgess’ Tribute to Friend of Barnet TUC, Julian Silverman

15697487_10154671137521206_8631789649868738562_n“Our Libraries, Our NHS, Our Schools, Our homes, our Wardens, our streets, our land, our old, our young, our past, our future.”

“Hands off our Barnet”

Today I received sad news that Julian Silverman had passed away on Boxing Day. Julian may not so well known outside Barnet, but he was amongst the activist community here in Barnet. Julian one of the key people who organised and set up Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS).

I was present when Julian came up with the statement above which summed up what we were all about.

It seemed ambitious but back then we had a real energy in our community and no obstacle was too big.

It would be fair to say, Julian was very political and craved political debate over the issues we were fighting. He never missed an opportunity to try to engage with the Tory politicians who were hell bent on outsourcing all of the Council services. He knew he was unlikely to succeed but he did it anyway. I sat in many public council meeting where he took up his right to address council committees. Julian lived a breathed & activism and was always ready to take up a campaign in his community. He was heavily involved in some of the housing campaigns particularly in West Hendon.

I hadn’t known he was unwell until recently and I had been told he was on the mend.

I am glad and proud to have been able to work with Julian.

We need more comrades like Julian, who do more than just talk about activism, they just get on with it.

Rest In Peace comrade

John, member of Barnet Alliance for Public Services.

Best wishes

TSSA Conference 2016


This weekend, I was lucky enough to be delegated to this year’s conference of my union, the Transport Salaried Staff’s Association. The event was thoroughly upbeat as a result of a year in which the union has overcome some very serious challenges in adapting to the changing transport industry and has also played a very important role in the wider labour movement. Those of us from London could feel a particular satisfaction that the mayoral candidate we had been backing from the very start, Sadiq Khan, had just won a historic victory as we due to begin. Representation from all branches was the strongest it had been for years, with excellent delegations from TSSA’s recently and thoroughly revitalised sections in Scotland and Ireland.

Strong motions were passed on key campaigning strategies. The union resolved to combat the appalling misrepresentation of the movement in the media by supporting the Morning Star newspaper, to play a bigger role in the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and get involved in campaigns for social housing, green jobs and saving steel manufacturing in Britain. There was also a thorough debate on the forthcoming EU referendum: after speeches from both sides, conference adopted a “Remain” position with a set of demands for reform of the EU, as well as a motion for total opposition to the so-called “Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership” (TTIP).

International solidarity was also an important theme. We had a short film and presentation about the important work of Justice for Colombia, who fight for the rights of trade unionists who face some of the worst violence and repression against our movement in the world. This was followed by a very moving report from TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes and president Mick Carney about their participation in a trade union delegation to Palestine, about which they have both written about how urgently there needs to be action to support the rights of people in this occupied country. The union also put a statement of support for imprisoned Egyptian workers’ rights lawyer, Haitham Mohamedain.

In terms of guest speakers, we literally could not have asked for better. Shadow chancellor, John McDonell, spoke at fringe meeting before conference began. Leader of our sister transport union the RMT, Mick Cash, came and adressed us about the urgent need to work together to face new challenges such as technological and organisational change in our industry. But the universally acclaimed high point came at dinner on Sunday when we had keynote speeches from Shadow Rail Minister, Andy McDonald, and of course the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, a long-standing friend of the entire trade union movement.

Stop Press – Nazis no longer coming to Golders Green

Stop Press – Nazis no longer coming to Golders Green

Please see UAF Statement below

UAF Statement re today’s developments

 UAF is glad to hear of the decision to stop Neo Nazis attempting to intimidate the residents of Golders Green, in London, on Saturday, by a provocative demonstration of anti Semitic hated.
The attempt by fascists to intimidate and cause distress to this well known area, with a strong Jewish community, will not now take place. The fascists behind this have a history of anti Semitic violence, alongside homophobic and Islamophobic hate crimes.
Well done to all from the area, and beyond, who pledged to oppose the fascists on the day. 
UAF will be monitoring developments. Pls watch this space.