Author Archives: liverpooliww

Liverpool IWW Brexit Statement – A Message to All Migrant workers on Merseyside

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The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union and welcomes all workers. In this country, we have members from many different parts of the world. We work together with those members, no matter where they were born.

The IWW believes that the working class has no country and that we are stronger when we fight together against the capitalist system. Capitalism exploits our work, skills and time. Capitalism causes endless wars over oil, water, land and markets. Capitalism degrades and pollutes our planet. We share a common interest in combating it, and uniting across all borders.

The EU does not, and never could, represent the kind of internationalism the IWW believes in. The freedom of movement the EU claims to promote is driven by the interests of big business; a hunger for cheap labour and an avoidance of investment in education and training. The proper, progressive and constructive response to the zero-hours, low-waged, neo-liberal economy it has promoted is stronger worker organisation, NOT restrictions on the freedom of workers to move across borders.

These are frightening and deeply unsettling times for migrant workers in this country, and Liverpool IWW wants to reach out and express our solidarity with you. We want to welcome you in to our union as our ‘fellow workers’ and to restate the following:

The IWW belongs to you too. It is truly a union for ALL workers, regardless of the work you do. Whatever the politicians eventually decide, we will stand by you and defend your rights to settle, live and work alongside us as equal members of our community. We invite you to join with us and to fight for our internationalist vision, which celebrates our humanity and common interests as working class people. We struggle for a world in which the needs of all are held in equal regard, and the division between a class that owns and a class that works is banished from the face of a globe with no borders.

If you would like to join us, or get in touch, email liverpool@iww.org.uk. You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LiverpoolIWW), and Twitter (@liverpool_iww).

How can we save Liverpool’s green spaces?

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Liverpool IWW held a second successful event in our ‘One Big Discussion’ series of events at Liverpool Central Library on Thursday, 21st April. A dozen people showed up to air their thoughts on the subject ‘How can we save Liverpool’s green spaces?’, and the talk lasted right up to the library’s kicking out time.

Liverpool’s green spaces are facing an unprecedented challenge, with Labour mayor responding to the council’s funding crisis by selling off public assets to big developers such as Redrow. He claims the city needs more housing, but in reality, there are enough empty houses to easily keep a roof over the head of every one of the area’s spiraling homeless population. Those places just need doing up. There’s absolutely no sense on tearing out the city’s lungs, at a time when there’s a huge public health crisis due to poor local air quality.

Perhaps the most important thing about the meeting was that people interested in the subject, many of whom had never met before, came together to learn from each other, feed of each other’s anger, and make connections which could bolster resistance to Mayor Anderson, Labour, and the whole local elite over the coming months and years.

The next One Big Discussion is ‘How can working class women improve their lives?’, and it will take place from 6pm on Wednesday, 16th May. The June talk will be on ‘How can benefits claimants defend their rights?’

Liverpool IWW Statement on the Hillsborough Verdicts

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The Liverpool branch of the Industrial Workers of the World union massively welcomes today’s announcement of the Hillsborough inquest verdict. Finally, ‘The Truth’ that working class people of Liverpool and all around the world have known for 27 years has been officially recognised – ultimately, the South Yorkshire Police killed 96 Liverpool football fans.

For many of us growing up, living and working in Liverpool and surrounding areas, the Hillsborough Disaster and the events that happened in its aftermath were of massive personal significance. Almost everyone on Merseyside knew someone who had been there. Many of those who were fortunate enough to come home physically unharmed still bear the psychological wounds to this day, and hopefully this verdict will give them some peace.

But if we may say so, today is as much about the final victory of working class people over the political establishment’s attempts to cover up the crimes of their armed wing – the police force. Crimes that took place in plain view of millions of people who saw the events unfold on television. But within minutes, the police, the Thatcher government, and the media were working together to shift the blame. They tried to shift it from their protectors in police uniforms – some of whom a few years earlier had been battering miners standing up for their livelihoods – and onto the backs of people from Liverpool – a city whose working class had given Thatcher many sleepless nights.

They tried to change ‘The Truth’ before our eyes. They tried to play on the worst anti-Scouse stereotypes (ultimately anti-poorest elements of working class stereotypes), to make us all out to be somehow less than human. But ‘The Truth’ is that in times of stress and chaos, working class people band together in solidarity. And that is a truth that the rich – then as now – fear more than anything else.

Solidarity with The Battle for Bootle!

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All of the HMRC offices in Bootle and Netherton – The Triad, Litherland House, St John’s House and Comben House – are set to close by or before 2020. This will result in job losses and devastate the local economy, putting many businesses particularly along Stanley Road who rely on HMRC staff custom to survive at risk of closure. Around 3,000 staff face a move to Liverpool.

The Battle For Bootle is a worker and community run campaign aimed at defending jobs and the local community.  They are currently building up support from local businesses, PCS and Unite unions, Stand up in Bootle group and well as the community in general. There is a planning meeting at 6pm at the Jawbone Tavern in Bootle this Wednesday 17th and a march through Bootle is organised for 16th March to coincide with Budget Day. IWW members are urged to attend.

There is also a petition on 38degrees

Via South London SolFed: Kinder, Pay Up

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Lydia worked 30 hours for Kinder Sports between the 6th and 22nd of October. Kinder Sports have repeatedly tried to weasel out of paying Lydia fairly and promptly for the work she undertook for them.

 

Lydia and South London Solidarity Federation are now calling for a communications blockade on Twitter against Kinder Sports for unpaid wages. Kinder Sports, run by Matt Longhurst, provide after-school sports activities and some school hours provision at locations around Dartford in Kent.

Lydia began working for Kinder Sports on October the 6th as a sports coach for children. The nature of the work meant that Lydia was often travelling for more than an hour each way in order to undertake a maximum of four hours work. Lydia was initially happy with this arrangement as she had been assured that she would be £12 per hour for her work. After working for a week and struggling with the travel costs Matt offered to pay £20 per week toward Lydia’s travel costs. Lydia continued working until the 22nd of October. After this date she was unable to get in contact with Matt Longhurst as he continually gave excuses as to why he was unable to respond to her questions about how much she would be paid and when for the work already undertaken. Lydia was offered no further work after this date. Lydia initially expected to be paid on the 30th of October for her work, when she did not receive her pay Matt Longhurst told her she would be paid on November 24th.
To date, with the exception of the money towards her travel costs, Lydia has not been paid for the 30 hours work she undertook for Kinder Sports.

Matt Longhurst ignored our initial communication regarding Lydia’s wages and when contacted by phone spun some more yarns about having agreed to pay Lydia £140 once she had returned a work uniform. We support Lydia in saying this by no means represents fair remuneration for her work. We ask Matt Longhurst to pay the full £360 for 30 hours worked at £12 per hour.

Join us and Lydia by tweeting at Matt Longhurst and his business associates demanding that Kinder Sports pay up the wages that are owed.

On Friday 29th January 2016 please tweet at
@SKFA2 Matt Longhurst, secetary of Kinder Sports https://twitter.com/SKFA2
@Groomys Sam Groombridge director of Kinder Sports https://twitter.com/groomys
@KinderSportsUK https://twitter.com/KinderSportsUK

Solidarity with Heathrow 13 activists.

Industrial Workers of the World Dorset

Among thirteen defendants threatened with incarceration are two members of our One Big Union. Fellow Workers  Ella Gilbert from Norwich and Bec Sanderson from Machynlleth. We express our solidarity and admiration for their courage.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

More information atPlane Stupid .

#Heathrow13 Trial Verdict – Press Release

Runway Occupation on Trial – Verdicts

Monday, January 20th, 2016, London – Today in Willesden Magistrates Court, the thirteen Plane Stupid activists who occupied Heathrow’s north runway for six hours on the 13th of July last year were all convicted of aggravated trespass and being airside without lawful authority. The Judge has asked them all to return in 3 weeks on the 24th February for sentencing and has advised all defendants to prepare for immediate custodial sentences.

The thirteen defendants released the following statement, in response to their convictions:

“Today’s judgement demonstrates that the legal system…

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Via Dorset IWW: This is the resolution of the workers of VIOME, to which we have added our name.

You can sign the resolution below by returning your details (name, organisation, location) to protbiometal@gmail.com, or even better, hand it in to the nearest Greek embassy or consulate demanding that it is transferred to the Greek Ministry of Labour. We welcome any international acts of solidarity, especially ones that involve non-violent direct action towards Greek embassies worldwide.

RESOLUTION:

After being abandoned by the employers, the Factory of VIOME has been operating for nearly 3 years under workers’ control, through self-management by the workers’ assembly. Today, it constitutes an internationally emblematic struggle, which demonstrates that the real response to the crisis that leaves millions in poverty and unemployment is  workers’ emancipation and a productive reconstruction based on society´s initiative and creativity.

The workers of VIOME, through the production of natural cleaning products in the premises of the occupied Factory, have proposed a new mode of production that responds to the needs of society, against exploitative labour relations and the drive for endless accumulation of capital.

Unfortunately, despite the promises of a series of governments to legitimise this important example of workers’ self-management, the workers of VIOME are now facing legal procedures that could lead to the liquidation of the factory premises and could threaten the continuation of the factory’s production.

We, the undersigned collectives and individuals, support the struggle of the workers of VIOME for employment, dignity and freedom against the judicial system that blindly serves the interests of the powerful.

We stand by their side in their decision to defend their productive endeavour by any means possible.

We warn the Greek authorities and the powerful business interests that oppose the VIOME struggle that an attack on VIOME is an attack on us all.

We demand that the Greek government stops the auction of the VIOME premises and that it offers a definitive solution by expropriating the land and granting it to the workers, on the condition that the factory keep operating under workers’ control and horizontal decision making.

We state clearly that we will not allow anyone to grab the factory from its legitimate owners, that is, the workers and the wider community. We will support this struggle in every step along the way.

The workers of VIOME will prevail, since they fight for the just cause of dignity and self-determination!

Source: This is the resolution of the workers of VIOME, to which we have added our name.

Liverpool IWW are proud to have signed this resolution and to stand in solidarity with the workers of VIOME

Victory as People Power Forces Liverpool Council Homeless Fines U-Turn

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Liverpool Industrial Workers of the World unreservedly welcomes the sensational decision of Liverpool City Council to scrap their consultation on plans to fine the homeless a whole eight days ahead of its planned conclusion. We are delighted that homeless people now no longer face this added threat of being penalised for the social crime of homelessness.

Like Oxford, Hackney and Wycombe authority before them, Mayor Joe Anderson’s council has floated the idea, hoping it will go through, only to be overwhelmed by the public backlash against it. In doing so, the council has shown the potential of mass working class action to make changes in the world. Anderson and Liverpool Labour have given way on this one issue, because it risked jeopardising the rest of their austerity agenda.

Only yesterday morning, Liverpool IWW started a Facebook event page proposing a demonstration against the homeless fines. Within hours, scores had pledged they would attend, hundreds of people had been invited, and many were leaving comments on the page. Some raised their own demands, such as Joe Anderson paying back the £89,000 of public money he received from the council for legal advice on a private matter (he’d been sacked by a school he did no work for).

The homeless fines threatened to be a ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’. When asked by the media for a reaction in response to Liverpool IWW’s press release, the council retreated a step. The council’s deployment of pro-cuts Councillor Rachael O’Byrne to the Facebook event page confirms this.

Liverpool Labour’s explanation for the whole affair beggars belief. According to Liverpool Confidential , “Anderson intervened to have the scheme scrapped after hearing about the proposals yesterday [Wednesday]”. Councillor Steve Munby went on, “The proposal was not a decision by the council cabinet, but was drawn up by officers following complaints from residents and the BID [Business Improvement District].”

If we are charitable to Anderson, it still looks devastatingly bad. He is the mayor of the city, he is paid a large salary, and he dines with the greedy business owners who were pushing this scheme on a very regular basis. If the official story is to be believed, he was somehow unaware of the council consultation nearly a month after it began on 9th October. He is therefore totally out of touch with the affairs of his own council, and totally incompetent.

The far more likely explanation, of course, is that Anderson, O’Byrne, Munby and colleagues are simply lying through their teeth.

Liverpool IWW will continue to fight for the interests of all working class people in the local area, so we can guarantee that this is not the last that Mayor Anderson and all his bloodsoaked poverty pimps will hear of us.

Press Release: Liverpool IWW Calls For Demonstration Against Fines for the Homeless

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Liverpool IWW condemns the council’s proposed “Public Space Protection Order, under which the homeless could be fined up to £1,000 for the ‘crime’ of begging. We call on the people of Liverpool to show their opposition, by demonstrating at St Luke’s bombed out church a week on Saturday (14th November) from 12 noon, and signing the Change.org petition, which already had nearly 7,000 signatures at the time of going to press.

It is shocking that we find ourselves in a position where we need to argue for the right of homeless people not to be fined for their poverty, but thanks to greedy mayor Joe Anderson this is exactly the situation we are in. No-one begs for the fun of it. People beg out of desperation, because our society has badly let them down. £1,000 would be a huge amount of money for any working class person, but for a homeless person it is almost unimaginable, and could never be paid.

If Liverpool Labour wanted people to stop begging, they would stop implementing policies which massively increase poverty in our city. Instead, they aim to criminalise deprivation, in order to create a corporate paradise in Liverpool One, the Central ‘Business Improvement District’, and beyond. While Joe Anderson claims that his hands are tied by the Tory government when he makes spending cuts, it is his anti-homeless crusade which really shows what kind of man he is. Not content with using the police to starve homeless people out of a former bank a few months back, he now seeks to use crushing fines to force homeless people out of the city where they may well have family and friends.

On a different note, we worry that the proposed ban on “erecting unauthorised structures in public places such as gazebos, tents, tables and chairs, stages, temporary shelters, boxes and crates” will mean an attack on the free expression of those who want to speak or perform publicly, or distribute information.

But it’s not too late for Anderson and co. to save face. We note that councils in Oxford, Hackney and Wycombe have proposed similar measures, only to abandon them when they’ve realised the depth of public opposition.

Our union, the Industrial Workers of the World, has a long history of both organising the homeless and fighting for free speech. We’ll continue to do so as long as there is breath in our bodies.

IWW Turkey and Greece joint statement about the latest Ankara massacre

The bombing on 10th of October 2015 was directly against the Kurdish liberation movement, the working class and all oppositions who resist against the dictatorship.

This massacre is another ring of the chain that extends from Armenian genocide to Dersim massacre, from May Day’77 to Maras Massacre’78, from Sirnak Massacre’92 to Diyarbakir and Suruç bombings that happened within this year. All these massacres have targeted the people who ask for Freedom, Democracy and Justice on Anatolia over the last 100 years. The offender side has always been fascist party militants, religious fundamentalists and occasionally governmental commissioners themselves.

This is not a coincidence, a mistake, a weakness, and not the latest fragment of a distant past. Quakes of the capitalist economy agitate regional and global competitions. The games, the power struggle between the states are becoming more complicated, more frantic, more shocking. All the problems, issues that capitalist system generates or taking over without resolving such as religions, nation-state, regional competitions, environmental issues, racism, sexism etc.., explodes almost like a volcano. The latest massacre in Ankara is a significant quake that intrinsically represents the brutality of the system. Like an epidemic disease, it passes from one country to another, like an earthquake shaking the people.

The one and the only alternative to those enormous quakes, to growing massacres, to increasing oppression is the re-shaping of the world through wiping out the borders, the religious and ethnic prejudices by the hands of the working classes. Our murdered friends set out with these ideas and these ideas will be inherit from them to us.

We will never forget! We will never tyrannize but we’ll never forgive!

An injury to One is an injury to All!

15th October 2015
IWW Istanbul – IWW Greece