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.
SLSF Press release on week of action against workfare
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.
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...