The independent union the Industrial Workers of the World has today served notice for strike action of cleaners at the John Lewis Partnership’s flagship Oxford Street store. This is the first strike in the history of the Partnership only recently hailed by Deputy Minister Nick Clegg as a model for the British economy.
The campaign of industrial action will commence on Friday 13th July 2012. If a settlement is not reached the IWW has made clear it will announce further strikes in July and August, including through the Olympic period.
Campaigners are claiming a major scalp in the fight against workfare after retailer Holland & Barrett announced they were pulling out of the scheme.
On hearing the news, Brighton Solidarity Federation tweeted "we've won an important battle against workfare, but the war is far from over." The announcement came just 24 hours before a planned national week of action against workfare organised by the Boycott Workfare Network.
SLSF Press release on week of action against workfare
FIGHTING AGAINST WORKFARE
South London Solidarity Federation will be joining a week of action against Holland and Barrett's involvement in workfare from 7th to 14th July. The week will see stores picketed all over the country and SLSF are calling protests outside several South London branches of the multinational-owned store.
On the back of a demonstration at Sainsbury's headquarters, Pay Up has recently emerged as the latest UK Uncut-style activist campaign. Its aim is to highlight the problem of "in work poverty" and push for a living wage - starting with Sainsbury's. As someone whose first experience of workplace struggle was in Sainsbury's, this immediately caught my attention. So I decided to have a closer look at the campaign, and its pitfalls.
According to its website, Pay Up is "a national network built on the model of UK Uncut." In essence, this means using protests and street theatre directed against high street chains in order to get its message across. It also appears to mean that it is a structureless entity, with no clue given to exactly who is behind it or how decisions are made.
The people who make our frozen pizzas are on strike.
Beginning on Friday, June 1st, 2012, approximately 120 workers at Palermo's, a frozen pizza factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, went on strike demanding that their union, the Palermo's Workers Union, be recognized so that they can obtain higher wages and benefits. At 8 am.
An account of working without much sleep and the dreams associated with this.
It is raining out side, but not too hard that I can’t ride my bike. I turn away from the front door and walk towards my room to find my rain gear. Of course this extra 5 minutes of getting all these extra layers on, means I will be 5 minutes late for work. I am tired, I have a sleep headache and the idea of being late for work, makes it worse.
Our friend Liberté Locke writes about what it’s like to work a ‘clopen’ in retail, to close the store late at night and get up early the next morning to open the store. Liberte’s story is the first in a series of stories we’re going to be running about work, sleep, and dreams. In their own way each of these stories gets at an important part of life under capitalism. Capitalists make their money by making us make products and perform services that the capitalists own. They don’t pay us the full value of what we add to those products and services. That’s key to capitalists’ profits. This is a kind of robbery. But there’s another kind of robbery...
I drag my broken jittery body home through the maze of late night construction New York City subways. I finally reach my quiet apartment where the only ones up are our three cats screaming for food and persistently walking just where I’m trying to walk. Tonight I manage to not step on them but usually, in this state, I can’t help it. I apologize with head-pettings and catnip.
Burp! Pepsi Vs Coke (1984) in the Ice Cold War traces the history of these brands against the backdrop of global politics
The second world war was the perfect vehicle for Coca-Cola distribution (including to the Nazis), bottling plants on frontlines paid for by the US war department. Nixon got Kremlin supremo, Khrushchev, to pose drinking Pepsi, which became the first US product made in the Soviet Union. In 1949, Mao kicked Coca-Cola out of China. President Carter got it back in 1978.
The labour movement in India is still under the control of bureaucratic leaders and political groups. However, as shown by a strike last year, among the workers of the country is gradually spreading the idea of self-organization and sovereign general assembly.
Up to 100 million workers were involved in a one-day strike in India on February 28. Strike, which affected a number of branches across the country, has been named one of the biggest strikes ever taken place in the world. It was announced 11 trade union centres (they first worked together since the declaration of independence) and 5000 smaller unions.