Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) – Crossrail

FACK Statement on the Prosecution of Crossrail construction companies 12 April 2017, Westminster Magistrates Court, 18 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5BR.

On 12th April at Westminster Magistrates Court, three companies are being prosecuted for the death of one worker and the injury of two others workers on Crossrail:  BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd, and Keir Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd. 1.

They are being prosecuted in relation to three incidents that took place during the construction of the new Crossrail railway tunnel construction, which runs east to west across London. 

All three companies will to face four charges each.  Two relating to the death of Rene Tka’cik on the 7 March 2014, and one each relating to injuries to Terrence Hughes on the 16 January, and Alex Vizitiu on 22 January 2015.  Rene Tka’cik died after he was crushed by falling concrete on the 7 March 2014 while working on the Fisher Street cross-over tunnel.

FACK stands in solidarity with the family of Rene Tka’cik, the injured workers, Terrence Hughes and Alex Vizitiu, the Construction Safety Campaign, CSC, and London Hazards in their silent vigil outside the magistrate’s court at 2pm wearing purple forget-me-knot ribbons.  Purple ribbons are the symbol of International Workers Memorial Day 28 April every year which is dedicated to ‘Remembering the Dead and Fighting for the Living’   because no one should ever go to work and be killed. 2

Almost all deaths and injuries at work are due to employers’ mismanagement and these three companies are being prosecuted for alleged breaches of health and safety law.

There have been many reports of health and safety mismanagement of companies working on Cross Rail from blacklisting for reporting health and safety issues that went on to seriously hurt other workers, for poor welfare facilities –workers having to walk miles for a toilet.. 

It is completely unacceptable in 2017 that large construction companies can neglect workers health, safety and welfare and all employers must be held to account for the sake of justice for those killed and harmed, their families, and for deterrence: to stop other employers corporate killing.

FACK families say:

“No-one we loved died from too much regulation and enforcement but from far too little. We believe everyone should be able to go work and come home safe every day as the law requires.  No employer should be able to flout the law and put anyone at risk.  Our hearts go out to Rene’s family and we hope they will get some justice, and that employers will stop hurting workers.”

More information contact FACK 0161 636 7557 or 07929800240

Stop the War AGM

stopwarStop the War AGM
Sat 22 April| 09:30-17:00
Arlington Conference Centre
220 Arlington Road
London
NW1 7HE
Register Here

This year’s national conference, which is Stop the War’s annual general meeting for members and delegates, is taking place against the background of a 16-year long war in the Middle East and a dangerous and bigoted new US President.

• US President Trump’s aggressive, belligerent and bigoted policies, including the travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, are galvanising millions of people to stand up against him.

• Britain continues to be militarily involved in at least seven countries both through bombing campaigns authorised by parliament and through covert military actions.

• The refugee crisis, largely a result of Western military interventions, is continuing to afflict millions of people.

• New threats are developing, including a bellicose stance of the Trump administration towards Iran and China.

Who’s coming?

Individual members

All individual members with up-to-date subscriptions can register for the conference.

The date for the new members to join and attend the conference has now passed.

We will be writing to all our members individually to invite them to the conference and remind them when their membership fees are due. Please call us on 02075614830 if you would like to discuss membership and registration.

Stop the War local groups

Local groups can nominate four delegates.

Affiliated groups

Trade union branches, trades councils, community and faith groups who have up to date affiliations can nominate two delegates.

Motions

Deadline: Saturday 8th April 2017

Local groups and affiliated organisations are permitted to submit one motion to be decided upon by Stop the War members and delegates.

Please submit motions to conference@stopwar.org.uk

Steering Committee Nominations

Deadline: Wednesday 15th April 2017

This is the fixed list of steering committee members from affiliated groups other than local groups. Existing steering committee members are listed on the Stop the War web site. The new list will be elected at the AGM.

Please submit nominations to conference@stopwar.org.uk

Delegates for local Stop the War groups are decided by local groups themselves so nominations are not required.

April Barnet TUC Meeting: Proposed Agenda

We will be meeting at the Greek Cypriot Centre in North Finchley this Thursday the 13th as usual.

Proposed agenda here:

7pm – Attendance and apologies
7.15pm – Minutes and matters arising
7.30pm – Education and the music night 22nd April
7.50pm – A brief word on good and bad news from London Underground
8pm – How the labour movement can unite with the anti-war movement in the wake of the renewed Syria bombings
8.15pm – AOB
To close 8.30pm
The Barnet Alliance for Public Services will be having their own meeting at 6.30pm beforehand.

Help us launch the London Renters Union!

We’re aiming to launch the London Renters Union before the end of 2017. Help us raise the final funds we need to hire a Project Coordinator!

We all know London’s housing system is broken. It is fuelling inequality and wrenching families and communities apart. It is delivering windfall gains to landlords and investors, while trapping millions of people in the insecure private rented sector, forcing them to live with the constant threat of rent hikes or eviction.
Sky-high house prices and a lack of social housing mean renterspowerthat by 2025, a majority of Londoners will be long-term private renters. London renters have higher rents and fewer rights than anywhere else in Europe, and rents are rising much faster than average wages – Londoners are now spending, on average, two-thirds of their earnings on rent.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Renters Power Project is in the early stages of setting up a union that will fight with and for private renters, a union that can build the power we need to secure a fairer deal for London’s renters.
Renters Power Project has arisen from cooperation between Generation Rent, Digs (Hackney Renters), Take Back The City, the Radical Housing Network and Advice4Renters. We’re working closely with organisations like Acorn and the New Economy Organisers Network. In January 2017 we held a launch event and we now have the support of over 50 housing and community groups from across the city. We plan to launch in affiliation with the national Renters Rising project.
But we need your help to take the next step. The project is growing every day, and we need to raise the funds to hire a paid Project Coordinator, two days a week.


We’re a third of the way towards our funding target, which would enable us to employ someone on Living Wage for two days a week for 6 months. Help us raise the rest!

Our ambitions for the project are huge, as is its potential. The Coordinator will take on vital administrative and development work for the project, helping us take the next step to setting up a fighting, member-led union that represents London’s renters in all their diversity.


We don’t just want your money – we need you to get involved!

A union that listens to and empowers London renters can only happen with your input. To get involved in developing our strategy and demands, or in our outreach, communications and fundraising working groups please contact renterspowerproject@gmail.com.
If you want to find out more about the Renters Power Project, or keep up with what we’re up to, like us, follow us and check out our website! You can sign-up to our mailing list here.
Website renterspowerproject.wordpress.com

Facebook @RentersPowerProject

Twitter @RentersPower

Greece Solidarity Campaign Marking 50 years since the Military Coup in Greece – 28th April

6c55655d-eae3-4bee-8727-4e69aaa72468Never Again! Marking 50 years since the Military Coup

Friday 28th April at 6pm at Unite the Union (Diskus Room), Holborn, London.

  • Speakers from Greece and from those who occupied the London Greek Embassy in solidarity with the Greek resistance to the military coup.
  • The Theodorakis songs banned under the dictatorship sung by Iris Mavraki
  • Greek food

More information on the Greece Solidarity website at http://greecesolidarity.org/?page_id=458 or find the event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1078080332297972/?notif_t=plan_edited&notif_id=1491426235340430

Greece Solidarity Fund-Raising Dinner

Friday May 13th 2016 7.30pm       

Fabulous buffet dinner, live bouzouki music, a raffle.  Reports from the latest GSC delegation to Athens.

Cypriot Centre, Earlham Grove, Wood Green N22 5HJ

Tickets £30.00.  Book your tickets now! Book a table  greecesolidarity@mail.com

Send cheques for ‘Medical Aid for Greece’, to Greece Solidarity Campaign, Housman’s Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX.

Pay direct: to Medical Aid for Greece A/C 20307259  Sort Code 60-83-01  

RMT announces victory for justice over Night Tube drivers’ career progression

T342rmtlogo-554UBE UNION RMT has called off strike action and heralded a victory for justice for Night Tube drivers as LUL agreed to end the practice of preventing them from moving into vacant full-time positions for a period of at least 18 months. All other staff, including part-time Night Tube Station Staff had been eligible to apply, but Night Tube Train Operators were not.

This policy had led to the union being in dispute with LUL with a whopping 96% voting for strike action and over 98% for action short of a strike. Strike action had been planned for April 8 and 9 and April 29 and 30.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“I want to congratulate our members for standing firm and delivering a massive vote in favour of strike action over this discriminatory policy. It forced London Underground to see sense and stop discriminating against Night Tube drivers over their career progression.

“It was a senseless and damaging policy that picked out one group of staff for negative treatment and of course the drivers were angry, which is why our members voted overwhelmingly for action.

“Now that the dispute has been resolved we have called off the strike action and instructed our members to work as normal.”

Migration of labour – History of Irish immigrants to Britain

historyThis event is hosted by the SERTUC (South East Regional Trades Union Congress) Race Relations Committee on Saturday 13th May 2017. In tribute to all the Migrant Workers, we enclose a photograph of Irish Women working in a British factory in the nineteenth century.

Time: Registering at 12 midday and starting the session at 1 pm

Date: Saturday 13th May 2017

Venue: Invision suite, TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3L. It is near the British Museum and the nearest tube station is Tottenham Court Road.

Migration of labour – History of Irish immigrants to Britain

We will be roughly starting at 1 pm and lasting for at least three hours, followed by a drinks reception in TUC Congress House. We may have a social in a pub with a band afterwards.

The theme of the meeting is to start the concept of a history month of the Irish immigrants to Britain of the last few centuries. Through their mass concentration of migrant labour, they managed to make Britain the most industrialised nation in the world. This date will be the day before the anniversary of “An Gorta mor” (Great Hunger) between 1845 and 1852 that killed over one million Irish people and forced at least another million and a half to emigrate. In reference to those who immigrated to London, a number died in the poverty stricken Parish of St. Giles known as the first recorded “Little Ireland!” Many Irish people lived in this part of London for nearly two centuries through squalor and a number died of typhus. Today, this parish is prosperous and includes the great buildings of TUC Congress House and the British Museum. Such prosperity is owed to the Irish Migrant workers who built much of London. This event is a lesson from history in the way we should welcome all migrant workers, today, at a time of the re – emerging racism fuelled by the “Brexit” referendum.

Guest speakers include the following:

  1. Austin Harney, Joint SERTUC Race Relations Secretary, to speak, generally, on the history of Irish migrant labour in Britain as well as its impact on the British Trade Union movement and the political transformation.
  2. Dr. Sonja Tiernan from Liverpool University who will speak on Eva Gore Booth, sister of Countess Markievicsz. Eva was involved with Esther Roper, Manchester trade unionists between the late nineteenth century and the earlier twentieth century, that set up trade unions for women workers as well as campaigning, successfully, against the legal ban on women working in bars. Both were, also, suffragettes.
  3. Phien O’Reachtigan, to speak on the history of the Parvee Community (Irish Travellers) in Britain.

One or two more speakers to follow.

Also, it must not be forgotten that 2017 will be 150 years since the Manchester Martyrs were executed and explosion of Clerkenwell Prison in London. The latter incident had a devastating impact on the Irish community in Britain. It delayed Ireland’s movement for Home Rule and, eventually, independence. Anti – Irish racism became rampant in Britain and the derogatory term “Mick” was, constantly, used along with the anti – Irish racist phrase, “Taking the Mick!” 2017 is a golden opportunity to build bridges between the Irish community groups in London and Manchester!

We encourage as many to attend this meeting in order to promote more forthcoming events of “Irish History Month” in the following years!

For further information, please contact:

Austin Harney, Joint Secretary of the SERTUC Race Relations Committee.

Email: au5tin67@yahoo.co.uk

Cuts to School Budgets

  • The Institute of Fiscal Studies reports every school will have cuts, as a result of the National Funding Formula currently being proposed.
  • The Department of Education reports a £3 billion overspend which is carried over to the new budgets.
  • For the last 2 years the National Audit Office reported to Parliament that they cannot approve the accounts of the Department for Education.
  • Academy schools are facing the same CUTS from successive years and CUTS from the proposed National Funding Formula still to come.

Barnet Academy schools are lobbying government. The co-ordinator told the TES (February 2017) “As professional managers we are already making savings, up to and including staffing cuts. We are not replacing staff who leave, cutting teaching and support provision, reducing spending on text books, and we will inevitably have to consider passing some of our costs onto parents.”

A Kent grammar, also in the national media is turning to parents to “fund the gap”. Parental charges for essential resources such as Teachers and text books is proposed as school fees for parents to pay.

Teacher redundancies equal larger class sizes. Teaching assistant redundancies undermine quality education. Cuts to teaching and Teaching Assistant jobs at a time when there is a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention is foolhardy to say the least.

Government can find money if it wants to fund the future of our children ’s education and the future of the teaching profession.

Government has allowed huge, unacceptable waste of the education budget for example 17 free schools have been funded lavishly and closed in the last 4 years.

There should be public information listing the land the DfE and Education Funding Agency has purchased for free schools out of our education budget  but there is not.

It is not at all clear who is holding the title deeds to all this land purchased and the land that left public ownership through academisation.

The reasons for the waste of money including the legal costs of academisation are not in any way connected to improving education and are ideological.

Barnet has 90 local authority primary schools of which 36 are rated by Ofsted as Outstanding.
Barnet Schools must be funded for current staffing levels or excellence cannot continue.
School fees are not an option for the provision of State Education and a National Education System.

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