Monthly Archives: October 2014

Liverpool ‘Walk of Rage’ Targets Workfare Exploiters

7Liverpool IWW held the first of what will be fortnightly ‘walks of rage’ against workfare yesterday afternoon. We targeted three employers who refuse to even pay minimum wage to their staff, instead insisting that taxpayers fund their profits (photo album here).

In practice, this meant standing outside the shop with our banner and placards, leafleting everyone who went in, and having conversations about what can be done with everyone about the government’s horrific scheme. But perhaps more importantly, we made sure we let the workers inside know what we were doing, and that we are on their side in the battle against the bosses. Our aim is to recruit staff – not alienate them.

We started off at the small Tesco on Bold Street, where very few customers decided to go in whilst we were there, and many of those who did also took our leaflets. We had relatively few leaflets for the small The Works stationers down the road, and these were soon gone. So we moved on to Poundland on Williamson Square, which has a huge number of people walking past. Around a hundred leaflets exposing Poundland were given out in about half an hour.

As Liverpool IWW, we take the position that not only is workfare really bad news for the workers who are put on it, it also has a hugely negative impact on the working class as a whole – pushing up unemployment and putting downward pressure on wages. So paid workers on the job, workfare employees on the job, and working class customers can and must unite to fight for their shared interests. And as the recent national week of action proved, we can get wins on workfare!

We will be building our campaign with another walk of rage at 11am on Saturday, 8th November, meeting at the bombed-out church (St Luke’s), Berry Street, Liverpool. The Facebook event page is here.

We’re making One Big Union to take on all Merseyside bosses and the dole! Join us here, Facebook us here, and tweet us here!

Help Sacked Sheffield IWW Member Tomasz This Friday!

steelcitywobs-copyThe following appeal for action has been posted by Sheffield IWW:

On Friday 10th October, IWW member Tomasz was fired from his job at the Greedy Greek Deli, in Sheffield, UK after challenging his boss’s physically aggressive behaviour.

Boss Dennis Mouzakis is a notorious local employer. Amongst other illegal practices, Dennis makes staff work unpaid trials of around 20 hours in order to get a job. He is involved in tax fraud, cutting corners where possible to maximise profits. He steals tips and short changes customers. He constantly shouts, insults and bullies his employees. When he has staff that do not speak what he deems to be a high enough level of english, he pays them well below the legal minimum wage.

We are demanding:

  1. That Dennis ends illegal unpaid trials and pays his staff the money they are owed for this unpaid labour.
  2. That Dennis shows respect to the staff that run his business. No more shouting, threats, insults, bulling or intimidation.
  3. That FW Tomasz is reinstated with pay backdated to his dismissal date.

Please contact Dennis to let him know that his behaviour and practices are unacceptable, and that he must meet our demands or else face further action.

Dennis: (International dialing code 0044) 7856666450

Greedy Greek Landline (please note that this is likely to be answered by staff, many of whom are sympathetic to the above demands. Take a moment to express your support for the picket and the demands.): International calls: (0044) 114 266 7719 UK calls: 0114 266 7719

Trip Advisor – tell Dennis what you think of his business: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186364-d2620616-Reviews-The_Greedy_Greek_Del-Sheffield_South_Yorkshire_England.html

Google Reviews – tell Dennis what you think of his business: https://www.google.co.uk/#q=greedy+greek+deli+email&lrd=lrd (click ‘Write a Review’ on right-hand side of google search under the big ‘Greedy Greek Deli’.)

Suggested message (feel free to use your own words):

I am contacting you to condemn the dismissal of employee Tomasz for raising concerns over the treatment of staff. I would like to voice my strongest support for the following demands:

  1. That Owner Dennis ends illegal unpaid trials and pays his staff the money they are owed for this unpaid labour.
  2. That Dennis shows respect to the staff that run his business. No more shouting, threats, insults, bulling or intimidation.
  3. That Tomasz is reinstated with pay backdated to his dismissal date.

Failure to meet these demands will invite further consequences.”

The Facebook event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1497564327163941/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Please feel free to share far and wide.

Please time the Coms Zap to coincide with the picket we are organising. This will be on Friday October 17th at 18.00-22.00 British Summer Time. (13.00-17.00 US Eastern Time Zone, 10.00-14.00 US Pacific Time Zone).

For the OBU!

Liverpool IWW Agrees Safer Spaces Policy

safe-spacesAt our branch meeting last week, Liverpool IWW agreed a safer spaces policy. In doing so, we’re declaring that we aim to make our online and real life spaces safer for all, and especially oppressed and marginalised sections of the working class. We are doing this because it is the decent thing to do, and also because we are conscious that discriminatory and oppressive behaviour works to exclude working class people we should be in solidarity with. In other words, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”.

We have taken this decision in the light of the motion put forward by FWs in the US, to get a safer spaces policy in the IWW constitution. Whether or not this policy passes in the global member referendum, we in Liverpool will aim to put into practice our own version, which only differs in terms of details specific to us.

The policy:

Liverpool IWW is committed to the emancipation of the working class. The working class is diverse and, as a branch, we realize that oppression is many-layered. As such, we strive to keep our common places* free from oppressive action, behavior and language.

These oppressive actions and words include but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any expression of disrespect and/or intolerance of size, gender identity, sexual identity/expression, (dis)ability, age, educational level, and cultural background. Because we want to learn from and educate each other, we will each be responsible for addressing these issues in ourselves and others. This policy is not about censorship, but rather opening a dialogue in a respectful way that can result in all members feeling safe and free to fully participate in their union’s activities.

If a member feels this policy is being / has been violated, the following steps should be taken:

1. Reference the policy to the whole group: for example, “In Liverpool IWW, we have a ‘Safer Spaces Policy’ which all members are mutually responsible to uphold. I feel this policy has been violated by talk of ‘[comments made].’ Please keep the Safer Space Policy in mind.”

2. If the policy is still being violated, the issue should be brought up to the person in violation directly and/or the chair, an officer, a delegate, or a member whom you would like to act as an advocate on your behalf so that an effective plan of action can be instituted [this ties in with survivor-led processes already incorporated into the IWW constitution].

3. If you have no allies locally and invoking the ‘Safer Space Policy’ fails, reach out to the Gender Equity Committee for assistance via GEC@IWW.org.

If a member feels like this policy is being violated and is uncomfortable bringing this up personally, they are encouraged to seek an ally of their choosing to advocate for them. In a meeting, a person can ask for a point of personal privilege to take a break and discuss this with the necessary parties. Meeting chairs, officers, delegates, and members should be conscious of this policy and address issues as they arise.

*this shall be defined as any meeting, event (including trainings, celebrations, social gatherings, etc.), and includes Liverpool IWW-linked online spaces