Category Archives: Workers Rights

McDonald’s Workers call for McSolidarity on International Workers’ Day

https://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/

https://www.bfawu.org

Bakers Union campaign to get secure jobs and hours as well as a Living Wage for their members.

McStrike: McDonald’s Workers call for McSolidarity on International Workers’ Day

Striking McDonald’s workers are calling for McSolidarity on International Workers Day – May Day.

McDonald’s workers from five striking stores have called for the public to show McSolidarity in person and online to support the McStrike.

 

Timetable (times/locations pickets):

·        00:01 Midnight Picket       Manchester

·        0700 – 08:00                       Manchester Morning Picket.

·        0800 – 09:00                       Cambridge

·        0800 – 09:00                       Crayford

·        Midday – 13:30                   Watford Demonstration

 

Please send solidarity messages to the BFAWU

Donations sent to BFAWU strike fund: BFAWU Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA.  

Workers’ Memorial Day

The purpose behind Workers’ Memorial Day has always been to “remember the dead: fight for the living” and unions are asked to focus on both areas, by considering events or memorial to remember all those killed through work but at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.

That can best be done by building trade union organisation, and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health & safety laws.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.

In 2018 the theme for the day is Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces and will focus the huge difference that unions make in preventing deaths in the workplace. We will also be celebrating 40 years of union health and safety representatives.

Below is a list of some of the events that are happening up and down the country. Some of these events will also feature a minute’s silence at noon, or a suitable time. All are on 28th April unless indicated otherwise.

What you can do:

  • Find out what is happening in your area on 28 April. This website will list all the local activities we know about, but you can also ask your union branch or trades council;
  • If nothing is happening then get together with some of your workmates or others in the area where you work and organise something. It can be a commemorative rally, a workplace meeting or just a small get-together;
  • Organise a minute’s silence in your workplace on the day (because the 28th April is a Saturday, if your workplace is closed that day you may want to hold it on the Friday);
  • Ask your local council, or any other public body, to fly official flags at half-mast on the day. Remember that the day is officially recognised by the government;
  • Arrange an event such as planting a memorial tree in a public place, putting up a plaque, dedicating a sculpture, a piece of art, or a bench, to remember workers who have been killed at the workplace or in the community;
  • If you are planning any events for the day, or you want to raise awareness about Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April, then it is important you consider how you can best use local media both before and on the Day.
  • Ask local religious centres to include Workers’ Memorial Day in their worship on the day;
  • Distribute purple ‘forget-me-not’ ribbons, the symbol of Workers Memorial Day;
  • Let people know about anything that happened in your area on the day. use hashtag #IWMD18
  • For resources on Workers Memorial Day including ribbons and car stickers please contact the Greater Manchester Hazards centre at: mail@gmhazards.org.uk.

Joint Statement on Just Transition in the UK

Climate Justice March | London

It’s time for a Just Transition in the UK, moving to a modern low carbon economy in such a way as to protect workers’ livelihoods, create new industries and deliver a fairer society in all regions and devolved nations. The need for action to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, is urgent if we are to avert the environmental and economic costs of climate change.

We share a concern that the Government’s Industrial and Clean Growth strategies fail to reference the need for a Just Transition. This embodies the principles of consultation between all sections of society; investment in skills and jobs; the creation of decent work; and social protection for individuals and communities, particularly those reliant on fossil fuels. It is necessary to confront the danger facing our industries and power system as employment in traditional sectors declines. Workers, if losing their job in these sectors, should be able to retrain and redeploy to a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements, and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition.

Government must take a decisive lead with plans to transform key sectors, through publicly and community owned energy supply, transport infrastructure, investing in energy efficiency and sustainable heating in our homes and in industry. The speed and scale of Government action must be increased, as advised by the Committee on Climate Change. Where necessary to secure change at sufficient pace and scale, options for public and community ownership or partial stakes in flagship energy projects and enterprises should be pursued.

Employment and social benefits for communities most affected by industrial change should be secured through local investment in new jobs and skills, the creation of local supply chains, and ‘community benefit’ clauses in public contracts and local ownership. The principles of social justice and equity must be adopted to ensure no-one is left behind in the transition to economic and environmental sustainability.

Meanwhile, internationally, the government should support the strengthening of workers’ rights and environmental standards in the global supply chains for low carbon industries, such as solar panel and battery production.

We believe that all key stakeholders should be represented on consultation and implementation bodies linked to the industrial, skills and climate change strategies. This should include proposed industrial and sector bodies at national, regional and local levels

We therefore call on the UK government to:

  1. incorpo rate Just Transition principles within the UK’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement, including the UK’s Industrial and Clean Growth strategies.
  2. legislate for the right to appoint workplace environment representatives to help ensure workers’ views are fairly represented at local level. At company and sector level unions need the right to a voice in the economic restructuring decisions that will take place.
  3. establish a Just Transition Commission to develop a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead, along the lines of the welcome initiative of the Scottish Government to establish such a body.

 sponsoring organisations so far which include NEU. PCS AND NUS

Day of Public Campaigning for ❤UNIONS 2018

Join Barnet Trades Union Council this Saturday, February the 17th at 11am outside the Post Office 751 High Rd, London N12 8LF North Finchley for two absolutely great campaigns for this years’ event. Facebook event here.

One is a with our comrades from the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) – North Finchley post office is is under threat and we need the word out to the public to save it.

The second is a a historic struggle we’ve been supporting since day one: trade union rights for McDonald’s workers. McDonald’s European HQ is in Finchley and we can to take this fight straight to the business.

Solidarity with Afrin – Take Action Now

Urgent call for the people of UK, politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, democrats, intellectuals and all those who take sides with peace, freedom and justice to take immediate action to protest the bombing of Afrin.

Background
On Saturday, 20th January, Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. A ground operation has now begun with the support of the Free Syrian Army.

The Turkish government announced that the operation, cynically dubbed “Olive Branch”, targets the Syrian Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) and ISIS. In fact it is a war being waged on the people of Afrin and sabotages hopes for future peaceful co-existence between the Turks and the Kurds not just inside Turkey but also across the Middle East.

The Syrian government also denies being informed of the military operation targeting Afrin, despite a statement by the Turkish Government that “all parties involved were informed and the operation is being carried out with respect to Syria’s territorial integrity”.

A later statement said 108 targets belonging to Kurdish militants had been hit. The YPG said the strikes were being carried out indiscriminately, and have already killed 9 people, including 6 civilians, and wounded 13 (and rising).

The Turkish government is trying to justify this operation as being for the “protection of the border and security”. In fact, this is a wholly untrue justification of Turkey’s war on the Kurdish population. The real threat to the peoples of Turkey is not its Kurdish neighbours who fought against ISIS and other jihadist gangs in northern Syria and Rojava and built democratic regimes with other peoples of the region.

It is clear that these attacks are not aimed at protecting the security of Turkey because Turkey’s border security is not endangered. Afrin has been the calmest region in the whole Syrian civil war.

Turkey has been waging a war against the Kurdish population in Turkey and has launched these attacks to destroy the Kurdish democratic formations in Northern Syria, considering them as a “bad example”.

The responsibility of the killings lies with Turkey’s ruling AKP government, its leader Erdogan, and those imperialist powers who consent to the attacks. We will not be part of it.

Turkey was placed back on the European Union Human Rights watchlist in April 2017 and has consistently breached Human Rights both within and outside its own jurisdiction. We oppose the UK government’s involvement in arms deals with Turkey and call on our Government to put a stop to these sales.

Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) calls on the people of the UK, including politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, democrats, intellectuals and all those who take sides with peace, freedom and justice to take immediate action against these attacks.

Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT)

**

http://spotturkey.co.uk/2018/01/21/solidarity-with-afrin/

___________________________
Send a message of protest to the Turkish Government using the email addresses below.
bimer@basbakanlik.gov.tr
embassy.london@mfa.gov.tr

You can also send a letter to your local MP. If you are unsure what to write, you use the letter below. Also you can also find your MP here: https://www.writetothem.com/

Dear MP,

On Saturday, 20th January, Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. This was followed by ground attacks on Sunday with civilian casualties already being reported. We urgently need you, as a Member of Parliament, to take some action to put an end to this bloodshed.

This act of unprovoked warfare by the Turkish state threatens to destablise one of the calmest regions throughout the whole Syrian civil war. Afrin has been a crucial safe haven for people fleeing ISIS in the region, and it must stay that way!

It is clear that the Turkish government’s claim that this war is to protect Turkey’s border and security is simply untrue, and it will have devastating consequences for not just the Kurdish people who will pay with their lives but also the people of Turkey and of the broader region.

The responsibility of the killings lie with Turkey’s ruling AKP government, its leader Erdogan, and those powers who fail to oppose these attacks and take action to influence Turkey to cease its attacks on Afrin with immediate effect.

As a resident of your constituency, I am calling on you to:

raise this issue as a priority with the UK Government,
call for an end to all UK arms sales to Turkey,
publically condemn Turkey’s aggression on the Kurdish regions, and
take any other necessary action to end the bloodshed in Afrin.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Your name..

SERTUC: Changing the Narrative and Establishing Our Vision of the Future

Today’s meeting of South East Region Trades Union Congress (soon to be renamed TUC in London, East and South England, LESE) was made two exceptionally good addresses from Labour politicians.

The first talk was from Emma Dent Coad MP, who last year went from the elation of winning a shock election victory for Labour in the constituency of Kensington & Chelsea to the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire. Emma, a lifelong resident of the borough, a student of architecture and a Labour councillor for twelve years could not be a better person to take on the K&C Tories. The high-handedness of their council administration was almost comically awful long before the tragedy of Grenfell. This was a council that accused Labour of virtue-signalling when they proposed letting a food-bank have the use of a council property, and then praised food banks as being superior to the welfare state. They were enthusiasts for the most extreme rightwing think tanks that permanently label working-class communities as “broken” by “dependency culture” and propose to fix them through means of pure social cleansing, with madcap plans to relocate Londoners to places as far afield as Hastings and Peterborough, places that they would feel completely lost in.

Emma argued that the ideological assault of the Tories cannot be fought on its own terms, which she likened to a sort of rightwing bullshit bingo. “We must challenge the social determinism of the elites… Keeping us debating in a middle ground does not help those we want to represent… We must change the narrative against the monetisation of housing and use our own language, not the language of the Tories.”. During the discussion, numerous delegates raised the ideological attacks that have come from the media, both against Emma and Labour and, horribly, the Grenfell survivors themselves, who are falsely presented as having in some way benefited from the fire. Emma said that this was part of the ideological offensive, and definitely something that is hardening up right now.

After Emma Dent Coad, we were treated to the first adress to SERTUC by Labour Shadow Chancellor for decades, John McDonnell. John informed us that had had the very great pleasure of speaking to City of London asset managers, and telling them he was absolutely in favour of investment from all investors that pay taxes and recognise unions. What he wanted to talk to us about, though, was PFI and the fallout of the Carillion collapse.

For 20 years, Jeremy and I campaigned against PFI in public services… which is all about making money by ‘sweating the assets’, which means cutting wages and spending.” He explained that the figures, which many people refuse to believe even when presented to them, that the private sector has made services anywhere between 40 and 70% more expensive. He said he had earlier in the week, he’d been discussing Carillion with Royston Bentham, a heroic worker blacklisted by that company for fighting for health and safety at work, just one example of a person who knows only too well working under these conditions are like.

Labour is going to sieze the opportunity presented by this emergency to finally end PFI. Not only will there be no more PFI contracts, but John pledged to bring services back in-house and “re-establish the credentials of direct labour and

Defaced branding is seen outside Carillion’s Royal Liverpool Hospital site in Liverpool, Britain, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

services. We will end privatisation, full stop.”. The bigger ideas for reforming industry and work included:

  • There will be reform of the financial auditors to put an end to the tax avoidance industry
  • Workers will not just get onto company boards, but there will be a workers’ right to buy to enable people to take ownership of businesses they work in
  • Trade union rights will be fully restored, with the Tory anti-union laws repealed within the first 100 days of the Labour government
  • A ministry of labour will be established that will enable and enforce sectoral bargaining

McDonnell emphasised, particularly in response to discussion from the floor, that a radical Labour government will only succeed if we rebuild the mass labour movement to allow it to survive, and that we need to set ourselves the target of doubling the size of our trade union membership. He rounded up by saying that Labour is holding a potentially ground breaking conference on alternative models of ownership on February the 10th that he urged people to attend, and left us with these words: “We’ve spent a lifetime working towards this, lets sieze the moment!”

Blacklist Support Group statement on Carillion

Carillon admitted in the High Court that they blacklisted workers who complained about safety on their building sites, while at the same time milking public sector contracts for millions. Workers on projects run by Carillon need to be paid and are entitled to their pensions but no more public money should be given to the bosses of the disgraced company. In any civilized society, these people would be facing criminal charges.

When you invite blacklisting human rights abusers to run the NHS and school meals, don’t be surprised when vampire capitalism attempts to suck the taxpayer dry. The government should bail out the NHS not Carillon or their bankers. The government should nationalise Carillon now at the current market value of their shares (nothing) and go further by banning all of the construction companies involved in the blacklisting human rights conspiracy from any publicly funded contracts.

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