The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) is an international federation of Trade Unions uniting people who work in the food service, tourism and other industries. It comprises of 396 affiliated organisations in 126 countries, representing a combined membership of 12 million workers.
On May 7th 2014, the IUF wrote to the McDonald’s Corporation calling for an end to “abusive, precarious employment practices, mobile working hours and zero hours contracts” and to comply fully with the relevant labour laws in every country where they operate. The call was also made to engage with workers’ representatives to improve wages, terms and conditions. As yet, McDonalds have refused to accept this letter.
In light of the growing momentum and strength of feeling among those working in the fast-food industry, a global day of action has been arranged for May 15th 2014.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) is pleased to be standing alongside other organisations across the globe in action to end exploitation and low pay in the fast food industry. These hugely profitable companies need to understand that they have a social responsibility to the communities they operate in. This means paying a living wage and ending the use of zero hour contracts which offer nothing other than in-work poverty.
On May 15th, we will be organising events in towns and cities up and down the country to make the general public aware of the exploitation taking place on their high streets. We will be demanding better pay, better conditions and dignity in the workplace. It’s a fair aim that has already garnered the support of countless numbers of people of all ages, celebrities, bishops and Members of Parliament.
An event has been planned in Trafalgar Square at 4pm on the day that will include Union officials and MPs as well as workers in the industry.
We are confident that the collective strength of people will turn the tide and secure fair play for all those enduring exploitation and dehumanisation in this multi-billion pound industry.
Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union
Fast food strikes in 150 cities and protests in 30 countries planned for May 15
BFAWU website Fast Food Rights website Youth Fight for Jobs website
Come to the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery? We want our share! Fight Together for a Pay Rise! – Break the pay freeze, fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, fight for PAYE’. Leaflet – http://www.scribd.com/doc/221151679/NSSN-2014-conference-leaflet
It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan and Janice Godrich PCS President. Email us now if you want to come as well as if you want leaflets – [email protected].
If you want to put yourself forward for the NSSN steering committee, email us by 12noon on Thursday July 3rd
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter here
And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]
Support for Land Registry strike (9 May) – Our campaign to resist government attempts to privatise the Land Registry has been backed through messages of support sent to our striking members. Our members working for the Land Registry are holding a two-day strike next week – 14-15 May – against privatisation, job cuts and office closures read more
RMT News April / May 2014 Issue Now Available download here
Defend Mark Harding, drop the charges now, defend the right to picket (May 10) – With the strike action on the Tube on hold, it is important not to lose momentum in the campaign to defend Mark. He has been charged under Section 241 of the Trade and Labour Relations Act and could face a prison sentence. Mark was dragged off the picket line at Hammersmith by the police after a strikebreaking staff member got upset at being asked to respect the picket line. His trial is Friday 23rd May, at City of London Magistrates Court, 1 Queen Victoria Street, EC4N 4XY (nearest Tube Bank/Monument). Mark’s friends and supporters are meeting at The Fine Line, Monument St, EC3R 8BG (Monument Tube) at 9am from where we will make our way to the court download leaflet
First Great Western dispute called off after bosses ban zero hours contracts by Tim Lezard (9th May) – The RMT dispute with First Great Western has been called off after the company agreed to end using zero hours contracts – See more at: UnionNews
Occupational therapists to strike over ‘bullying culture’ at Greenwich council on 21 May (12 May) – Occupational therapists (OTs) at Greenwich council, fed up with an alleged ‘bullying culture’, have voted unanimously for strike action on Wednesday 21 May. The therapists, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will strike for 24 hours, with the focus of the action being at the Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ read more
Support EDF Energy workers – Brothers and Sisters, our members at EDF took the first of two days of strike action last week. The campaign is in support of our pay claim for 2013 which remains unresolved as well as the employers failure to fully implement the 2012 pay agreement. We will be taking further action and are therefore looking to build up a hardship fund. We are therefore appealing to branches for funds. Cheques can be made payable to Unite 0563 Branch and sent to me at the Unite 33-37 Moreland St, EC1V 8BB. This is the first strike action in this branch since at least 1992 and branch funds are very low. We have nearly 500 members involved in the action. Its vital that we win this big test of the union at EDF – we cannot allow employers to make pay agreements and then fail to pay out – then admit they only signed up in 2012 to avoid a strike! Please do consider a donation to branch funds so that we can make hardship payments in this important dispute – Onay Kasab Unite [email protected] NSSN photo
Doncaster Care UK workers have begun a further 14 days of strike action. 93 Unison members have refused to sign the new contracts that private care company Care UK are imposing on former NHS staff who provide Supported Living for Adults with Learning Difficulties. This service was privatised by the council last year leading to proposed 35% pay cuts. Workers have already taken 20 days of strike action over the last three months and intend to make the next two weeks strike really count
Send messages of support to [email protected] and donations/cheques made out to: “Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch” and sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ.
Balfour Beatty Wiltshire Protest (May 12) – Protest at Wiltshire Council on Tuesday 13th May over Balfour Beatty refusal to recognize GMB for 300 workers on council contract read more
Strike Ballot Majority Threshold (May 9) – On raising threshold for majority in strike ballot not a single MP got 50% share of those eligible to vote in last General Election read more
10 NEXT Protests On Living Wage (May 7) – GMB protests for Living Wage at Next AGM In Leicester on 15 May and at Next Stores with Paul Heaton during tour in 9 cities across Britain from 21 May. Public pressure needed to secure diverting £300m special payment to shareholders to longer hours for staff and living wage of £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London as it is time for NEXT to make work pay read more
Fair pay in FE: lobby the national talks on 16 May – Members are invited to support the campaign for fair pay in FE by joining a national lobby of the employers body, the Association of Colleges as they meet the unions for pay talks on 16 May at 9am at the Institute of Arbitrators in London and you can also join in by tweeting photos of supporters with our poster. #FairpayinFE @AoC_info
National demo in support of Lambeth College workers – Lambeth College UCU are in dispute over new contracts with less holiday, longer working hours and reduced sick pay. Help show support for Lambeth UCU: sign the petition here. Assemble Clapham Common (near tube station) at 11am, march at 12 noon to Brixton for rally in Windrush Square at 1pm – Speakers include: John McDonnell MP read more
Staff threaten strike ballot to fight job losses at Mid Cheshire College (9 May) – Members of UCU at Mid Cheshire College have said they will fight any plans for compulsory redundancies and haven’t ruled out balloting for strike action in a row over job cuts read more
Firefighters hoping for pensions settlement following latest three strikes and voluntary overtime ban (May 10) – A ban on voluntary overtime among firefighters in England, Wales and Scotland held as part of the Fire Brigades Union’s ongoing dispute with government over attacks on pensions ended on Friday at noon. At a meeting of the union’s executive council on Thursday, FBU officials agreed to seek further discussions with the government to ask whether any revised pension proposals were likely read more
Message from TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes to members striking at TfL (9 May) read more
Ritzy members lobby shareholders’ meeting (May 8) – Fight for living wage at cinema is taken to shareholders. BECTU members in dispute with the Ritzy over the London Living Wage today attended the annual shareholders’ meeting of Cineworld, which, via the Picturehouse chain, is the Brixton cinema’s ultimate owner read more
Clifford Chance: please write in support of our cleaners (May 9) – The IWGB are continuing to struggle against bullying, discrimination and the targeting of union activists at the headquarters of Clifford Chance, whose cleaning contract is run by the notorious Mitie. Help the cleaners by sending a letter of protest to: Chief Operating Office, 10 Upper Bank Street, City of London, Greater London E14 5JJ read more
IWGB Cleaners protest at Royal Opera House London (May 8) – Cleaners at the Royal Opera House held a noisy demonstration outside in the evening, shouting and banging drums. They demand recognition of their IWGB union and reinstatement for sacked workers, victimised for union activities or through nepotism read report and see photos of protest
Blacklisting & Victimisation
London May Day great video from Camden Unison beginning with the banners arriving in Trafalgar Square and then speeches from the plinth – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVy6oP2Li8k
International (also see Labourstart)
Philippines: Stop union-busting at NXP Semiconductors read more
Bahrain: Free Mahdi, imprisoned for defending teachers’ rights read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
24 National Anti-McNulty march and rally in Doncaster
21 “No to Austerity” demo at the BBC, 21st June….No More Austerity – Demand the Alternative National Demonstration + Free Festival, Sat 21 June 2014 – Assemble 1pm BBC HQ, Portland Place London W1 1AA Then march to Parliament
Hurrah for the Luddites: challenging the myths about Luddism – 2-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
The event is about seeing the Luddites in their proper historical context. Contrary to myth, they weren’t a bunch of head bangers. Luddism was a genuine social movement made up of normal working people fighting for justice. They had immense support, were well organised and for a time were immensely successful. Come along and hear more about the true Luddites!
Ken Rowley: Ken is a former Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers. He is a member of the Wakefield Socialist History Group. He has spoken widely on the Luddites and their West Yorkshire connections to both the University of the Third Age and to local history groups.
Shaun Cohen: Shaun is a member of the Ford-Maguire Society. The Society is named after two notable Leeds socialist pioneers Isabella Ford and Tom Maguire. Shaun’s particular interest is the radical history of Leeds. He has researched widely into the Luddite revolutionary tradition.
Admission to the event is free and there will be a free buffet.
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
12 Durham Miners Gala 2014 visit Durham Miners’ Association official website here
18-20 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – Tolpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset visit Tolpuddle Martyrs museum here
18 TUC demonstration in London – ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’. It will begin with a march through central London, culminating in a rally in Hyde Park read more here
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