Sunday, 21 August 2016

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC activities and news

New book The Burston School Strike

The third book in our series on the history of labour movement struggles in the Region will be available from 5 September. 60 pages, written by Peta Steel, price £2. Send cash or cheque (payable to SERTUC) to Joanne Williams, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Burston Strike School Rally

Sunday 4 September with Mick Whelan ASLEF, Attila the Stockbroker, Steve White and the Protest Family, NASUWT Brass Band, Red Flag, Grace Petrie, Banner Theatre 1st May Band and John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor

Cable Street 80 Sunday 9 October

Rally in Altab Ali park, march, rally in St George’s Gardens plus many other community and political events

Retrospect Opera The Boatswain’s Mate by Ethel Smyth

SERTUC sponsored the recording of this opera by Ethel Smyth (who wrote The March of the Women, anthem of the suffragette movement). The recording is available to buy here

Celebrating 50 years of the 1967 Abortion Act

SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee is supporting Abortion Rights’ events January 2017 to October 2018.

19 disabled people murdered in Sagamihara Japan

SERTUC International Committee asks you to support and contribute to the Book of Condolence established by Inclusion London, Disabled People Against the Cuts and People First Advocacy

Trade union actions

NUT World Teachers’ Day Wednesday 5 October

With Amnesty International and Day-Mer 6pm London. Free, info here


Fund our NHS campaign

See Matt Dykes from the TUC’s blog here with links to actions and also much info here

Midland Region TUC demo

Demonstration at the Conservative Party conference Sunday 2 October, Birmingham with Dave Prentis Unison, Tom Roache GMB, Owen Jones writer

Trades Council actions

Battersea & Wandsworth trades council

North Battersea Alliance against the Bridge family fun day Saturday 10 September 11am to 4pm

Barnsley trades council Festival of Labour

Other actions/events

Lewisham Pensioners Forum

The LPF is looking for Lewisham trade union activists, 55 years plus, who are no longer in full time employment but want to use their union experience, skills and connections to campaign for a better society or call Doris Smith on 020 8698 9062

NPC conference and lobby

·         Conference The future of public transport Thursday 22 September 11am London. £5 including lunch
·         Lobby of parliament Wednesday 2 November 12 noon plus rally in parliament

Marx Memorial Library events

·         Membership Volunteer wanted (with IT skills) for half a day a week. Contact for more info
·         17-30 October Remembering the International Brigades, two week festival
·         Fundraising evening with socialist magician Ian Saville at the Harrison Pub Wednesday 21 September 7pm 

Poetry on the picket line

To add to this newsletter contact

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Grunwick strike began 40 years ago today: 'WE ARE THOSE LIONS' - commemoration events

Saturday, 20 August 2016


From Grunwick40
It's an important day.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moments of the Grunwick strike – and we're proud to announce our plans to commemorate it. 

We'll be running a series of inspiring, thought-provoking events exploring Grunwick and its legacy, launching with Grunwick Memories on Saturday 27 August.

Grunwick Memories is a free event, giving you the opportunity to explore and contribute to the Grunwick archive held by Brent Museum and Archives. Come along and take part in a story sharing session and add your memories and experiences of the strike to the Archive. You will also get an exclusive look at some of the materials that will feature in the upcoming exhibition.

Grunwick Memories will take place at Brent Archive, on the second floor of The Library at Willesden Green, Willesden High Road NW10 2SF, from 2-4 pm on Saturday 27 August. Please join us!Email or call 020 8937 3600 for more information.

Other upcoming events:
• We are those lions: The story of the Grunwick strike 1976-78 exhibition, launching October 2016 at The Library at Willesden Green. Look out for the launch date – coming soon.
• The Great Grunwick Mural unveiling, Chapter Road, NW10. Be the first to see our amazing murals in place near the original Grunwick site. The design and unveiling details are still under wraps, but we'll be revealing details over the next few weeks, along with the names of our special guests, who'll be providing music and entertainment.
• Explore Grunwick in more detail at our November events, a film screening and discussion on “Race and the Unions” at SOAS, November 2nd, and Grunwick 40: The Conference, The Library at Willesden Green, November 26th – booking for these events will open in October.

Yours in solidarity,

Grunwick 40

PS: Don't miss out on the reissued anniversary edition of Grunwick: The Workers’ Story, by Jack Dromey and Graham Taylor, with an updated introduction – due out in late September.

acknowledgements to Martin Francis

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Grunwick Changed Me

Grunwick Changed Me

Maya Amin-Smith explores the impact of the Grunwick dispute, which began in August 1976, and finds out how members of her family became involved, and how they look back on it now.
The Grunwick dispute, at a film processing plant in north west London, is widely regarded as a landmark in British trade union history. For the first time, a high-profile strike involved women from South Asian immigrant communities, many of whom were fairly recent arrivals in the UK. Few if any had experience of industrial action - and the press at the time quickly noticed what they called 'strikers in saris', an image which challenged the perception that strikes were largely led by white men.
But aside from the public legacy of the Grunwick dispute, what was the personal impact on the people involved?
Maya Amin-Smith was born fifteen years after the strike was abandoned, into an Indian family of East-African immigrants. Her family had settled in the Chapter Road area of Dollis Hill where the Grunwick factory was situated. Indeed, two of her great aunts worked at the film processing plant themselves.
There's little sign now in the narrow streets of Dollis Hill that this was once the site of a long and bitter struggle, but now that the dust has settled, Maya explores the impact that this industrial action has had not only on her family, but on families like hers within the South Asian immigrant community, and how it's remembered now.

UNISON members at Portsmouth shipping company MMD Ltd have today (Wednesday) voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action over the company’s decision to impose new contracts.

MMD is wholly owned by Portsmouth City Council, and the changes include
increasing the number of shifts per week, increasing the length of shifts,
flexible start times (where the flexibility is all on the management side,
at short notice) and reduction in pay rates, overtime rates and sick pay.

The local paper (always keen to push the local Tory line) has been
softening us up for this with a series of pieces on "Isn't it incredible
how much council tax-payers money has been spent on MMD" prior to the
imposition of the new terms.  Poor business decisions by the council are no
excuse for cutting the wages of its citizens.

We now have a City Council run by the Tories (largest minority) due to UKIP
and Labour uniting to vote for a 100% Tory cabinet because they both hate
the LibDems (2nd largest minority).  Portsmouth politics is f*cking weird.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Why you should support the #DeliverooStrike

Why you should support the #DeliverooStrike

Freedom and flexibility: the new On-Demand platform economy. Drivers, couriers, cleaners and handymen are now at your beck and call thanks to a host of apps. But what’s it like to work for an On-Demand service?
For scooter drivers and cyclists at Deliveroo “freedom and flexibility” means exploitation and exhaustion. And they’ve had enough of it.
This week Deliveroo drivers organised a strike over changes to their pay. Currently drivers earn less than the London Living Wage at £7/hour + £1/delivery. But Deliveroo want to ditch the hourly rate, and move to zero hours contracts, where drivers would earn a mere £3.75/delivery. Many drivers already work 60 hours or more per week to make ends meet.
Their employment contracts are already desperately precarious, offering no job security, no sick pay, no paid holidays and no guaranteed hours - the epitome of the deregulated workplace. The new terms could mean drivers work whole days for nothing. This strike represents a stand against this move to calculated and maximised exploitation.
The strike started on Wednesday, as hundreds of drivers gathered outside the Deliveroo Head Office on Torrington Place, WC1. Drivers are striking for a fairer hourly rate at the London Living Wage of £9.40 plus petrol costs, plus tips, plus £1/per delivery. When drivers sought to negotiate, Deliveroo responded by sacking them.
This is the true face of Deliveroo and of zero-hours contract Britain. But this strike could change everything.
The Deliveroo strike continues, and they need our help.
Every hour on strike for fairer pay is an hour of lost pay. By raising a strike fund to cover lost pay we can help drivers win the London Living Wage and begin to transform the economy from the bottom up. Please give whatever you can afford.
Find out more about the Deliveroo strike and updates, here.
Follow the strike on Twitter via @IWGB_CLB #DeliverooStrike #Slaveroo
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Jungle Kids’ Café in the refugee camp in Calais,

Appeal from Alan Gibbons, children’s author

Emergency Appeal:

Following our letter in the Guardian,  about the eviction of the Jungle Kids’ Café in the refugee camp in Calais, there will be a lobby and teach in of the French embassy, calling for both the French and UK govenments to enforce the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Please do your best to support:Friday, 12th August 6pm

French embassy.

58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT

Supported by Stand up to Racism.

“There are seven hundred children in the Jungle camp in Calais. 78% are alone. This is a basic humanitarian issue. Vulnerable children are lonely, hungry and could become victims of trafficking if they are abandoned. The eviction of children from the Jungle Kids’ Café could be catastrophic for these children. The French and UK governments have a duty to enforce the United Nations Convention On the Rights of the Child. No human being is illegal, least of all children.”

Alan Gibbons, Author

Please sign the petition:

Monday, 8 August 2016

PAAA will be holding a major conference and a national demonstration at Theresa May's first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister.

The People's Assembly will be holding a major conference and a national demonstration at Theresa May's first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister. These events will take place over 1st and 2nd October demanding an alternative to 'Austerity Britain'.

Saturday 1 OctoberThe People's Conference: Our Alternative To Austerity

@ Birmingham Town Hall >> Register your place

Sunday 2 OctoberNational Demonstration: Tories Out - Austerity Has Failed

@ Victoria Square, Birmingham >> Please invite and share on Facebook
We face insecure employment, low pay, and a drive to privatise our public services. There’s a growing housing crisis, our NHS is going through the biggest funding squeeze since it’s foundation, and our Education system is over-stretched. Local services have been shut down as huge budget cuts are forced on councils.

Big business, corporations and the richest are squireling away money in offshore tax havens, awarding themselves bonuses, while immigrants are blamed for problems they had no hand in creating. And everyone else is told to tighten their belts.

Austerity has clearly failed the majority but what is the alternative? At the conference we will explore and discuss how it's possible to achieve a society where everyone has secure housing, jobs and decent education. It will counter the lies that will come out of the Tory Conference over the following days, and will propose a series of actions over the coming weeks and months that can create a movement that stops austerity in it's tracks. The demonstration will be a visible display of mass opposition and intervene in the mainstream debate when all we'll hear in the media is the austerity obsessed narrative coming out of their conference.

See you in Birmingham!

The People's Assembly Against Austerity