CWU Supporters: FIGHT against exploitative employers

The fight against exploitative employers, dodgy contracts and insecure work requires the support of every single community across the country.

Our recent vote for strike action in Royal Mail Group was secured by connecting with our membership in every corner of the UK – both online and on the ground.

Now we need your help to take our message to the public. By joining CWU Supporters you will be contacted with campaign materials and resources that will help us win this battle – and the others we are fighting

Be one of the first to join us by signing up below. Once you have joined us, don’t forget to hit share so that you can alert your social media networks to our new network.

Join CWU Supporters now

#VoteAgainstRacism

With hate crime and far-right terrorism continuing to rise, the stakes of keeping racism out of forthcoming General Election are incredibly high.

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s outrageous “bank robbers” and “letterbox” comments about women who choose to wear the niqab were followed by a 375 per cent increase in Islamophobic attacks in the following week. Nigel Farage’s “breaking point” poster during the EU referendum was reported to the police as a “blatant attempt to incite racial hatred”

As a general election approaches and Johnson competes for votes with Nigel Farage, we can expect this rhetoric to worsen. Meanwhile, the far-right UKIP will be targeting seats in their remaining strongholds by pursuing an even more extreme agenda.

To combat this, we have to mobilise the anti-racist majority and make sure racism can’t be used for electoral gain.

The first urgent step is a massive voter registration drive to make sure anti-racists are registered to vote. And when campaigning officially starts, we’ll be working with groups across the country to encourage candidates to sign up to a pledge to keep racism out of the election, and condemn any candidates or parties trying to use racism to win votes.

We can only do this with your support. Every penny you donate will go towards:

  • Leafleting as many areas as possible in the General Election to encourage people to #VoteAgainstRacism
  • Adverts in local press, to mobilise the anti-racist vote
  • A social media campaign condemning any candidates who try to use racism to win votes
  • Travel expenses for volunteers to campaign across the country

As well as donating, please make sure everyone you know is registered to vote!

You can register to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you’re not sure if you’re registered, find out at https://www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register

WAR ON WANT: McDonald’s workers are striking, 12 November!


McDonald’s workers are going on strike again! Join a group organising call with workers and Owen Jones to plan action in solidarity.

In the largest strike yet, workers from six stores in south London have been balloted and will take on their multinational employer in a strike on 12 November, as part of a global day of action for fast food rights.

The workers I’ve met are both nervous and excited. They’ve come together into a union to win the respect they deserve. Will you take action to show your solidarity?

Together with the TUC, we’ve organised a group call with War on Want patron Owen Jones, where the McDonald’s workers will share their plan to win and together we can build the biggest ever show of solidarity with fast food workers.

JOIN THE CALL

These brave workers are taking on the second largest private employer in the world to demand basic things that every worker should have: a wage they can live on, secure hours and a union so their employer has to listen to their concerns.

Workers have told me how the demonstrations of support from War on Want supporters like during previous McStrikes meant that when they walked back into their stores, they could hold their head up high.

Lewis, a McDonald’s worker in Crayford store told me that McDonald’s was telling the workers that the public wouldn’t support them, that they would be on their own. He said:

“Every message of support builds our confidence as we stand up to this bullying company and demand a fair wage and respect on the job.”

So let’s make this not only the biggest McStrike yet with the number of stores going on strike, but also the biggest show of solidarity with McDonald’s workers ever.

JOIN THE CALL

On 12 November, trade unions all around the world will be taking action to demand respect for fast food workers. McDonald’s is global, but so is our movement. Sign up now, join the call and let’s organise to win respect for McDonald’s and fast food workers all around the world.

When we win for McDonald’s workers, we win for everyone. That’s the meaning of solidarity.

Owen Espley
Labour rights campaigner
War on Want

Safe passage now… Stop the scapegoating, END THE ‘HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT’

A sombre, defiant and determined mood was the tone of a number of vigils across the country, including one in London on Thursday outside the Home Office, after the heart wrenching news of the deaths of 39 people who lost their lives in the back of a lorry tragically, in the hope of finding a better life.

The Stand Up To Racism vigils, in London called jointly with Safe Passage and Care4Calais, were demanding #SafePassageNow and saying #RefugeesWelcome #MigrantsWelcome and brought together hundreds resolving to also fight to #EndTheHostileEnvironment

Now more than ever we need to build the anti racist as broadly and widely as we can, so that a challenge to the ideas of division, hate and scapegoating is being raised in every community, in every workplace and in every college.

Join and share the UN Anti Racism Day demonstrations on 21 March 2020, taking place globally to send a clear message against the rise of racism, fascism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism via the Facebook event page for the #M21 #WorldAgainstRacism demonstrations here


At Stand Up To Racism, we are always looking for volunteers. If you would like to help as a volunteer for Stand Up To Racism please email us on info@standuptoracism.org.uk

And every day you can help build the anti racist movement by retweeting @AntiRacismDaysharing posts from our Facebook page promoting events and initiatives, and of course by inviting friends on social media to get involved. 

Lessons from a decade of failed austerity

New analysis published by the TUC this week has revealed just how much a decade of cuts has harmed millions of lives

We all need good schools and hospitals, safe neighbourhoods and a decent home. Parks, sports centres, libraries and colleges are important too – they help people flourish.

But new analysis published by the TUC this week has revealed just how much a decade of cuts has harmed millions of lives.

It also shows that working class families have lost most. Because when services are cut, only the wealthy can pay for private services instead. Working-class families simply lose out.

That’s why we’re calling on the government to rebuild and restore our public services, so that whatever your background you get a fair chance in life too.

Widening class gap

The new analysis by Landman Economics shows that the working classes have lost most from a decade of public services cuts.

The figures below are for England, and the services included in the analysis are health, schools, early years, social care, housing and police.

Impact on households

Families in the lower half of household earnings have lost services to the average value of £696 (annually), compared to £588 for those in the upper half.

The largest losses were for the lowest earning decile of households, at £829, closely followed by the second lowest decile at £794.

However, financial value alone does not tell the full story. Wealthier households can more easily absorb these losses by paying for services in the private sector. But low and middle-earning households are much less able to afford it.

The relative impact is shown more clearly when the losses are presented as a proportion of earnings, as in the chart below. For the lowest decile, the cuts are equivalent to almost a fifth (18%) of their earned income, compared to just 0.4% for the highest decile.

Impact on life chances

Cuts to services affect not only quality of life, but also future life chances.

High-quality provision of services like education, health, disability services and social care can make sure that everyone has a good childhood a decent quality of life. 

Other services allow people from working class families to gain experiences that only wealthier households can afford through private incomes – such as parks, recreation centres, youth clubs, libraries and cultural events.

Reverse the cuts

It’s clear that the last decade of services cuts are widening the class gap.

Everyone deserves to live near a good school or hospital, not just the wealthy. It’s time to reverse the cuts and rebuild our once proud public services.

Lessons from a decade of failed austerity

Full report here.

A decade on from the global financial crisis, the British economy faces increased risk of renewed recession. Alongside weak domestic growth, global economic growth is at its weakest since the crisis and the risk of a no-deal Brexit remains high.

Any preparation for recession must involve learning the lessons of the government response to the last one.

This paper shows how the cuts imposed after the last recession, both in the UK and in much of the developed world, harmed economic growth, with a heavy impact on workers’ pay.

Overall, pay growth has halved across OECD countries in the decade since the GFC. In real terms, annual pay growth has been below one per cent a year for two thirds of countries.

Policymakers and politicians wrongly attribute this entirely to ‘productivity’, despite a failure to find convincing supply-side explanations for the change in growth at a time when controversial policies are acting on demand.

Calls for government expenditure in the face of renewed recession are already widespread, but ‘austerity thinking’ still constrains the options for fiscal policy going forwards.

Recommendations

  • The government should ask for an independent review of how the Office for Budget Responsibility and Bank of England judge the impact of government expenditure on the economy, assessing the critical assumptions on multipliers, the output-gap and the ‘NAIRU’ given the international experience of the austerity decade.
  • Immediately deploy fiscal policy to support aggregate demand according to this changed view, expanding government (current) expenditure on public sector salaries and services.
  • Fast-track increases in public infrastructure spending to the OECD average of 3.5 per cent of GDP.
  • Increased expenditure should be financed by borrowing rather than increased taxation in the first instance. This is not equivalent to deficit spending, as a stronger economy will improve the public sector finances.
  • Use fiscal policy as part of a wider plan to deliver sustainable growth across the UK, including investing in the public services families rely on, the skills workers need for the future, a just transition to net zero carbon emissions, and giving workers a real voice at work. 

Vigil tomorrow: After 39 Tragic Deaths, Safe Passage Now

Today our thoughts and solidarity go to the 39 victims, found dead in a lorry in Essex and their families.

The 39 are the latest victims of Fortress Europe and this government’s “hostile environment” for refugees and migrants that sees people forced to turn to traffickers to escape poverty and war.

Thousands have died attempting to reach Europe, and thousands remain stranded while being denied their right to seek asylum in Britain.

Tomorrow we are holding a vigil with refugee groups Care4Calais and Safe Passage to commemorate the victims, demand safe passage for those fleeing poverty and war, and that the racist hostile environment must end.

Join us to send solidarity to the loved ones of those who died and demand immediate change to ensure such a tragedy does not happen again.

AFTER 39 TRAGIC DEATHS:
VIGIL: SAFE PASSAGE NOW

Thursday 24th October 6pm
Home Office, 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF
Click here to view the facebook event

PCS win London Living Wage at BEIS after months of indefinite strike action

ISS staff working at BEIS have won “gold standard” terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage after 3 months of indefinite strike action.

Porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have all taken rolling strike action in the long running dispute since ISS took over the contract in January this year.

And cleaners took the decision to take indefinite strike action for 3 months in order to win a just settlement.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) won better pay, sick pay and increased annual leave following the action.

Caterers working for Aramark who were also on indefinite strike won their dispute last month.

The protracted dispute saw huge picket lines, a foodbank being set up in the department because pay was so low and solidarity from across the trade union movement.

Reacting to the win by workers at BEIS, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This has been a heroic effort by our members from start to finish.

“They have shown the entire trade union movement that when you stick together and strike together, anything is possible.

“Our members who are mainly migrant workers, have endured immense hardship with the local branch having to set up a food bank to support workers due to pay being so low.

“ISS have been a very intransient employer and if wasn’t for the steadfastness of our striking members, they would not have won a just settlement.

“This whole episode underlines the clear need for all private contracted out staff in government departments to be immediately brought back in house and given civil service pay and conditions.”

Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union 

Don’t sack 12,000 Asda workers just before Christmas

Asda workers have been told to sign the contracts – which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays – or be sacked on November 2 in the run up the Christmas.

Asda workers have been protesting outside stores up and down the country, while more than 1,000 turned out for a protest in August.

Today we are back in the birth place of Asda – once a proud, family company – calling on bosses to respect workers and offer them a better deal.

Gary Carter, GMB National Officer

Latest company accounts show directors trousered a whopping £12million last year – and profits rocketed more than £92 million – at the same time Asda slashed 5,000 jobs

Gary Carter, GMB National Officer, said:

“Tens of thousands of members of the public are backing our Asda workers in their fight against these Draconian contracts.

“Contract 6 is shocking – the changes are forcing our members to choose between looking after their families, or being able to support them. It’s a disgrace.

“Today we are back in the birth place of Asda – once a proud, family company – calling on bosses to respect workers and offer them a better deal.”

Stand with Asda workers – sign our petition

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