Cleaners success heralds a rebirth of industrial unionism

The dispute of cleaners at the John Lewis Partnership’s flagship at Oxford Street store has ended with significant success for the workers who took strike action in July.

Submitted by working class … on August 15, 2012

Press release, reproduced via - http://www.facebook.com/cleaners.branch/posts/398889790174882

The dispute of cleaners at the John Lewis Partnership’s flagship at Oxford Street store has ended with significant success for the workers who took strike action in July.

The members of the IWW Cleaners' Branch announced a resounding mandate from its members to take strike action, the strike ballot had an 80% turnout with 90% voting in favour of industrial action.

The cleaner took strike action on 13th July and on 20th July in protest at a planned cuts in jobs and hours, a further strike set for Thursday 26th July as the Olympic Torch passed the store was cancelled following fresh talks with the cleaning contractor ICM (Compass Group) and the facilities company MML hired by John Lewis Partnership.

Our union has reached an agreement with the employers that members have voted to accept that has halted the compulsory cuts in jobs and hours for the cleaners. Chris Ford Secretary of the cleaners union Industrial Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) said: ‘First 50% of cleaners hours were to be cut, then nearly a third of the work-force were to be made redundant, now after a courageous struggle not a single cleaner at John Lewis Oxford street will be forced to loose their job. In an age of austerity this is no small achievement’.

In addition to defending their jobs, the cleaners at John Lewis turned the situation of cuts around to one where they have secured a 10% pay increase backdated to the start of the contract in March 2012 with increased shift allowances. Hours of work have been re-organised to reduce the excessive shifts cleaners’ workers, some being available for work during unpaid breaks.

Whilst considering the pay and allowance increases a significant step forward from the £6.08 per-hour cleaners earned the IWGB consider it still a stepping-stone towards the London Living Wage of £8.30 per-hour set by the Greater London Authority. Defending jobs does not mean the Living Wage has ceased to be a key objective. In recent months, the IWGB has increased in membership of cleaners across the John Lewis stores and many workers are looking for real change. Cleaners now know they can win; the IWGB will be holding the John Lewis Partnership and its contractors to account in the coming months with regard to the ongoing discussions to lift the cleaners out of poverty pay.

The John Lewis Partnership and its sub-contractors need to take note of the widespread solidarity the cleaner gained from across the Labour Movement. Steve Hedley, Assistant General Secretary of RMT and Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary of the PCS both addressed pickets at John Lewis, Chris said: "The PCS fully supports the John Lewis workers' demand for the living wage. Employers who sub-contract poverty pay, like the government and John Lewis, need to be both exposed and taken on." Twenty-four MP’s signed an Early Day Motion 301 submitted by John McDonnell MP showing their support for the John Lewis Cleaners, many writing directly to Charlie Mayfield, John Lewis Chairman.

The IWGB extends heartfelt thanks to all the members of the labour movement who gave solidarity to the cleaners and the countless customers of John Lewis who wrote in support of the cleaners struggle.

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/commercial_sector/cs-news-and-events/solidarity-with-john-lewis-cleaners-fight-for-the-living-wage.cfm

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/a-new-dawn-john-lewis-cleaners-strike/

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/301

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/knowingly-underpaid-john-lewis-hit-by-cleaners-protest-7888976.html

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/a-new-dawn-john-lewis-cleaners-strike/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/video/2012/jul/13/john-lewis-cleaners-strike-video

INDUSTRIAL UNIONISM A NEW FORCE IN THE BRITISH LABOUR MOVEMENT

Building on its recent successes in a series of disputes with employers the IWW London Regional Committee has in conjunction with a range of other members of the labour movement taken the decision to re-launch as the Industrial Workers of the Great Britain. The IWGB was originally founded in January 1909 with the aim of creating a new force in the British labour movement the re-launched IWGB adheres to the same goals advanced then – ‘the immediate object of the Industrial Workers of Great Britain is to build up a militant Industrial Union’.

The IWGB sets as a goal organising the unorganised with its militant organising drive a springboard for future expansion.

The IWGB recognises we live in tough times - austerity policies are reducing our standard of living. Everywhere employers are seeking to maximise their profits by job cuts, making people work harder, longer and paying them as little as possible. But there is an alternative. Our union stands on the principle to get workplace justice. Solidarity wins!

IWGB is an independent union. We are a voluntary association of workers fighting only for the interests of workers. We are not in ‘partnership’ with bosses, held back by bureaucrats or pleasing establishment politicians.

WINNING A FUTURE FOR HUMANITY

Such is the scale of the problems we face today we cannot afford to address them separately - piecemeal solutions are not enough because these problems are a product of the system we live under. This dog eat dog system cannot work in the interests of the majority. Industrial unionism links the struggles of today with the need for a new society fit for human beings. This ideal has nothing in common with the totalitarian ‘communism’ proclaimed in Russia and China! Or even the old Labour Party model of state-ownership. We want more freedom and democracy not dominated by party bosses and state bureaucrats. We seek a co-operative, sustainable society that puts a decent life for people before profits, for democratic self-management and social ownership, instead of control of our lives by corporations and their politicians.

Despite the many problems working class people face, the potential to change things for the better is within our reach, but we can only do it if we organise together. Join the fighting union for the 21st century.

- END -

Press release, reproduced via - http://www.facebook.com/cleaners.branch/posts/398889790174882

Comments

no1

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 15, 2012

It's great news that the cleaners won the John Lewis struggle, and I wish them good luck.
But the 'rebirth' bit in the press release is a fraud IMO - going from "Industrial Workers of the World" to "Industrial Workers of Great Britain" seems like a step back. It'd be industrial unionism in one country, except it isn't industrial since they are organising cleaners by trade it seems.

eccarius

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by eccarius on August 15, 2012

Too bad the struggle of these workers isn't 'pure' enough you.
I take it you were against organising the cleaners, without organising the entire workforce of JLP, in which case you would have been against doing ANYTHING.
You can stuff your congratualtions.

syndicalist

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 16, 2012

Well, I won't offer congrats then as you'll ask me to stuff them as well....but I am confused here...is the IWGB different from the IWW (BIROC)? As I recall my history, the IWGB was like close to DeLeonism and the Delonist oriented "Detroit IWW".

OK, here's what Wiki says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Workers_of_Great_Britain

So, are there now two seperate and distinct organizations with "Industrial Workers of...." in their name?

syndicalist

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 16, 2012

So the IWGB is an attempt to form something different from BIROC, so it seems.

Juan Conatz

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on August 16, 2012

IWGB is a split from the UK IWW (BIRA). The reasons are unclear to me, and I don't know enough about the IWW in the UK to speculate. I've heard a couple different reasons based on who is telling the story.

redsdisease

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by redsdisease on August 16, 2012

eccarius

Too bad the struggle of these workers isn't 'pure' enough you.

I mean, it's not even about purity. It doesn't make sense to call yourself an industrial union if you clearly aren't.
eccarius

I take it you were against organising the cleaners, without organising the entire workforce of JLP, in which case you would have been against doing ANYTHING.

Sorry, but this is stupid. Nobody's saying they shouldn't organize at all unless they organize the entire workplace first and I think you know that. However, I think that most of us would expect that an industrial union would at least make the effort to expand organizing efforts beyond a single trade. But it seems unlikely that this would be the case since the Cleaners Branch wouldn't even admit other workers from their same workplace if they asked to join (if I'm wrong, say so but in that case they should probably change their name). Now I'll admit that maybe the John Lewis strike might be a special case, however it's not the only organizing effort that the Cleaners Branch has done along trade unionist lines.
eccarius

You can stuff your congratualtions.

So what, everybody has to uncritically accept everything that you do or their help or congratulations are null? Sorry, but that's bullshit. If you disagree with somebody's critique ignore it or respond and say why their critique is wrong. It almost feels like the people around the cleaners branch actively don't want other people's support.

sven_hagglund

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sven_hagglund on August 16, 2012

The "IWGB" is the IWW affiliate in Great Britain. iww.org links to iww.org.co.uk.

Juan Conatz

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on August 16, 2012

No, they split. It mentions it in this article.

plasmatelly

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 16, 2012

My head hurts! Is there any other wobs from britain who can clear this up?

Serge Forward

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 16, 2012

eccarius

Too bad the struggle of these workers isn't 'pure' enough you.
I take it you were against organising the cleaners, without organising the entire workforce of JLP, in which case you would have been against doing ANYTHING.
You can stuff your congratualtions.

Once you start off with the 'I take it you were against...' strawman nonsense and make allegations of others being 'too pure' even though you're actually the one who split from the parent organisation because it had a wider political remit than your own, then understandably, your credibility takes something of a nosedive.

klas batalo

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by klas batalo on August 16, 2012

definitely a split heard of it before it hit libcom

jimsnopes

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jimsnopes on August 16, 2012

Yawn, yawn. Too much keyboard and purity bothering here for me, so just a brief observation - isn't that the IWW logo on the banner the successful workers are holding?

Serge Forward

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 16, 2012

jimsnopes

isn't that the IWW logo on the banner the successful workers are holding?

Correct.

Harrison

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on August 16, 2012

AWL trolls posting on this thread

no1

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 16, 2012

eccarius

You can stuff your congratualtions.

So are you a cleaner? Seems like you feel entitled to speak for the cleaners for sure.

rothgard

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rothgard on August 16, 2012

Anyone notice that the only person this post quotes is Chris Ford? Chris isn't a cleaner, and it's unlikely that there actually was a vote to form a new union within the Cleaner's campaign. Chances are that Chris convinced the 1-2 other people who have been working as volunteer organizers in the campaign that they should split, and thinks that he has some right to tell the rank-and-file what to do. One thing is for sure- that kind of bureaucratic mentality has no place in the IWW. Chris can take his wannabe bureaucrat clown act and leave, but it's up to the members themselves to decide what union they would like to be in.

plasmatelly

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 16, 2012

I'm not a wob rothgard - but fucking well said!

jolasmo

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jolasmo on August 16, 2012

It almost feels like the people around the cleaners branch actively don't want other people's support.

No, they definitely want the support of reformist trade unions, liberal broadsheet newspapers, and politicians - it's just people with red and black flags that are a no-no, 'cos you know, it's not an anarchist union.

~J.

Awesome Dude

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Awesome Dude on August 16, 2012

This "momentous event" has been on the cards for over a year now. I personally think this is a healthy development for a variety of reasons. But first just to clarify a few facts:

1. The London Regional Committee has no legal standing in IWW-BIRA. In it's recent form it was literally a one man committee designed to let the main organiser of the cleaners branch basically do whatever he wanted. This included launching and editing an "official paper" without bothering to ask the wider membership what should go in and who should edit it.

2. IWW-BIRA was never invited to send delegates to attend as observers to witness the launch of the IWGB. So we have an organisation that would like IWW-BIRA tobe an affiliate without first bothering to demonstrate how it carries out it's basic decision making.

3. The new organisation has the IWW logo on it's joiners forms. Who in IWW-BIRA was approached by IWGB to reproduce the IWW's logo on it's material?

4. The vast majority of the cleaners have never met the wider IWW membership (this was intentionally engineered with the help of a well known Australian Trade Union full-timer). So when the 'leading' organising core criticise IWW-BIRA for not doing enough to support the cleaners branch, the majority of cleaners simply have no appreciation of what's being criticised.

5. The initial accusations by of 'not giving enough support by the 'leading' organising core of the cleaners branch first started with the London General Members Branch about this time last year. This lead to an interesting situation where BIRA heavily influenced by its national officers swung behind the cleaners branch. I suspect due to an unhealthy mix of romantic leftist workerism (e.g. give anything to the poor third world workers without criticism or expectation of collective accountability), excitement of finally having a militant branch with precarious workers and a serious misunderstanding of the mismatch between the prefered organising methods of the leading organisers in/helping the cleaners branch and BIRA-IWW's financial and human limitations.

The IWW Cleaners Branch has a history that long precedes it's current formation and there is much confusion about it's origins and how it actually operates. For those of you interested here are some articles about the formation of the cleaners movement. The first is an article written by a member of the Latin American Workers Association who has had ties with the branch since it's inception and the second a report from a talk given at a bookfair:

http://thecommune.co.uk/2009/11/20/latin-american-workers-in-unite-from-heroes-to-pariahs/

http://thecommune.co.uk/2010/11/14/precarious-work-and-solidarity

The Cleaners Branch (or movement) in it's various forms (LAWA's, UNITE or IWW) has achieved a hell of a lot. It single handidly established the feasibility of organising precarious 'out sourced' workers and giving them the space to militantly fight for serious improvements in working conditions and wages.

There's much that can be said about the cleaners branch/movement but the most important question mark remains over it's long term sustainability. There are about 3 to 5 main organisers (two of whom are not cleaners) who do most of the casework and campaign organising rather than the workers themselves taking on most of the organising details collectively. This has resulted in centralisation around the cleaners branches two most active organisers who both have exceptional but rare qualities not easily reproduced: one brilliant at motivating fellow cleaner workers around him and the other at with commanding knowledge of workplace law and an extensive contact list of leading trade unionists & parliamentarians.

Last year the cleaners branch resorted to 'aid' from a parliamentarian (John McDonnell MP) which has recently taken the form of an early day motion in the British Parliament:

Early day motion 301

This imo is the result of the cleaners branch having less effective industrial power to win disputes (a good example was the 'defeat' suffered at London Guildhall) unlike the tube or bus workers and so being forced to resort to methods beyond workers direct control like early day motions in Parliament. I think this is a tactical mistake in the long term if the ambition is proletarian revolution. When the accumulated weight of experience and perspectives of past workers movement (early revolutionary 20th century in particular) is taken into account it would be wise for any workers organisation to avoid utilising parliament and it's parliamentarians no matter what views or positions they hold towards the workers movement (the same applies to Trade Unionists even more!).

The issue of shop floor organisation and what is meant by workers control was imo the main reason behind an open letter sent from some members of London IWW General Members Branch to the rest of the Union. It basically asked the Union to seriously consider how it should go about it's organising with heavy preference given to the long held wobblie shop floor model of workers democracy. I think that with it's annual general conference round the corner IWW-BIRA should seriously discuss what it means by workplace democracy and how far it's willing to bend it's traditional preference for encouraging all members tobe organisers by self-organising their own workplaces with out resorting to supermen organisers from outside.

Chilli Sauce

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 16, 2012

Thanks for the AD.

JoeMaguire

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by JoeMaguire on August 17, 2012

eccarius

Too bad the struggle of these workers isn't 'pure' enough you.
I take it you were against organising the cleaners, without organising the entire workforce of JLP, in which case you would have been against doing ANYTHING.
You can stuff your congratualtions.

You are Chris Ford and I claim my five pounds...

syndicalist

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 17, 2012

Speaking of "Workers Liberty" (AWL):

John Lewis cleaners' battle forces concessions
Submitted on 15 August, 2012 - 12:55

A strike campaign by cleaning workers at John Lewis' flagship store in London's Oxford Street has forced bosses to back off from a cuts plan, as well as winning wage increases for workers.

Cleaning contractor ICM (part of the Compass Group) had been planning to make compulsory cuts to cleaning workers' hours, meaning a loss of pay, as well as making compulsory redundancies. The workers' strikes have succeeded in halting the cuts plan. Not a single worker will now face redundancy.

Although the key demand of the strike, to win a pay increase to the London Living Wage of £8.30 per hour, has not yet been met, the cleaners have won a 10% pay increase.

Their union, the Industrial Workers of Great Britain (an offshoot of the Industrial Workers of the World), says that winning the living wage remains "the key objective", and that the confidence and momentum gained from the victories over cuts will help galvanise an ongoing campaign against poverty pay.

eccarius

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by eccarius on August 17, 2012

[quote=JoeMaguire]eccarius

You are Chris Ford and I claim my five pounds...

No win. I'm Spartacus.

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night. He didn't look like you.

no1

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 17, 2012

Thanks AD. One important question remains though: will the IWGB be able to go on strike in future, or does the split mean that the cleaners branch is no longer part of a certified union? Maybe they are becoming part of another lefty trade union?

Boydell

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Boydell on August 17, 2012

First you have "Humanity" in your corner, and now Joe Hill is appropriated! You must be very well connected to make such grand claims!

I met 'the important organiser who is a cleaner' and was very impressed by him, lovely family, thought he was a good man. All the best to him, and the ex-Wobs who form the new IWGB.

Chris Ford - don't know him apart from what he's wrote. He seems desperate for a fight, which in my experience is a good reason not to give him one, and let him carry on scheming and plotting like a seething badger in the shadows instead.

The advertising by IWGB of any links to the IWW has to stop today tho, they are a different organisation with no right to ANY IWW imagery or to use any of our resources.

The BIRA has a shitload of business of its own to deal with at the moment. I recognise this is a big deal, with a personal angle, which must make it very difficult for Londoners, but for the rest of us its business as usual as far as I'm concerned.

Theft

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Theft on August 17, 2012

IWW have made this response
http://iww.org.uk/node/771

Rob Ray

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 17, 2012

The advertising by IWGB of any links to the IWW has to stop today tho, they are a different organisation with no right to ANY IWW imagery or to use any of our resources.

Actually regardless of what the IWGB does I think it's probably important for the IWW to make it clear the cleaners' branch is still within their legal aegis until matters have been cleared up and the cleaners themselves consulted fully on the situation and its ramifications - otherwise it could potentially open them to a counterattack from their bosses on the grounds they no longer have a legal bulwark for their activities. Seriously astonished that Ford and Durango would do something so stupid and potentially put their own members at risk.

Harrison

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on August 17, 2012

Yes this is really dangerous for those cleaners currently in organised in IWW shops.

I hope the IWW can make it clear to those cleaners to be careful about openly affiliating to the IWGB, which currently possesses no legal standing as a union, something it has been particularly quiet about.

Serge Forward

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 17, 2012

Aye. I hate to go all legalistic and kow-tow to the anti-union laws but they need to be aware that anything carried out under the name IWGB will most likely be classed as unprotected and therefore unlawful action.
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Chilli Sauce

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 17, 2012

I mean, if that's the course of action they want to go, that's pretty bad-ass and is very...ummm...anarchist.

However, given the history I doubt that's there strategy. My dislike of the (now) IWGB leadership aside, I can't imagine they haven't considered how they're going to maintain their trade union registration and protection--especially given their links to lefty trade union officials. I imagine we'll hear more soon...

I know when unions register, it's publicly available. Does anyone know where that information is kept online and has anyone had a look to see if the IWGB appears anywhere in that documentation?

plasmatelly

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 17, 2012

I mean, if that's the course of action they want to go, that's pretty bad-ass and is very...ummm...anarchist.

And hell we don't want that! :rb:

fingers malone

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fingers malone on August 17, 2012

Please be careful with those comments, remember the employer is probably reading this thread.

JoeMaguire

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by JoeMaguire on August 17, 2012

People being pessimistic about IWGB need to realise they probably have a few activistoid trots into this and that probably what pushed the schism on this one. The organisational method of some people involved was clearly, shall we say paternalistic, and has been for sometime.

Nate

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Nate on August 17, 2012

eccarius

I'm Spartacus. I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night. He didn't look like you.

When being clever, it's important to actually be clever, and funny.

That aside, for the folk in the UK responding to this, I'd be furious if I was there but I'd like to respectfully suggest that people keep calm and try to be friendly to a fault. And try to have/build friendly relationships with individual cleaners, relationships that aren't routed through the handful of volunteers who act in a staff and bottleneck role. This will blow over eventually. It will blow over faster if the dispute is as antagonism free as possible. In splits like this the units that leave often disagree and have friction internally. The more they have an antagonist to unite around (and not a boss, that doesn't provide the same kind of unity) the more those frictions and disagreements can be suppressed and unity maintained. Friendly relations deprive them of a unifying antagonist, then they have to run their own affairs and deal with the difficulties and consequences. And nearly all union full-timers, let alone volunteers doing that role, burn out eventually, leading to them leaving or getting less pleasant to work with (and so increasing internal friction).

Juan Conatz

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Juan Conatz on August 17, 2012

Super agree with Nate there. Also, with fingers malone. People should think about what they post because I guarentee the employers are reading this or will read this when future struggles happen. Also, very similar situations have happened in the US IWW in the recent past, and I think UK Wobs should contact people here who know about those things.

libcom

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by libcom on August 18, 2012

Employers' name removed from the thread title. Last thing the cleaners need is the bosses taking advantage of this.

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 19, 2012

I can inform you of a few things which will hopefully muffle the conceited fulminations of a few people commenting here and allow you to get back to some serious work:

1) The IWGB was democratically and legally re-constituted and will function as an independent, democratic, radical rank and file and voluntary union with or without the lofty permission of a few IWW bureaucrats who are totally unbeknown to to the several hundred members of the IWGB!

2) Though some of you must be unaware, you have expressed utter contempt for the members of the London Regional Committee and Cleaning & Allied Industries London Branch by insinuating that they were duped into voting for the IWGB.

3) The London Regional Committee and Cleaning & Allied Industries London Branch, which was the biggest IWW branch in the country, has received nothing more from the London GMB, or the rest of the Worldwide Wobblies than the odd groupie at the odd protest (sincerely appreciated however), and a few Facebook updates! Basically it has always been independent.

4) A few IWW bureaucrats broke the IWW constitution and inadvertently gave the bosses and big hand in their own class-war, and unforgivably jeopardised the well-being of several hundred workers across London, by publicising the suspension of you know who.

5) The so-called revolutionary industrial unionism of the London GMB (and as far as I know other IWW GMBs and branhces around the country) has never resulted in a single militant struggle or strike so any advice they have on militant organising would appear to be better spent on themselves.

6) It is unfortunate that with such serious issues to attend to in these portentous times of austerity, that some of you are distracting and defaming the IWGB with your impertinent allegations.

Please get over it and get organising!

Harrison

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on August 20, 2012

The IWW London GMB has always supported the cleaners, who many times i've seen in person thank those members of the London GMB who've done leg work for campaigns.

Toward the end of last year, Brunel IWW and SolFed activists successfully organised an IWW cleaners shop at Brunel university, and Sheffield GMB had a fair crack at organising at Pizza Hut. I'm sure there are other organising attempts that were not publicised in order to avoid victimisation.

I am not a member of IWW because i do not agree with apolitical syndicalism, but i have to stand up for those whose work to help the campaign is now being denied that it was ever done.

The fact that there are cleaners from the IWW Cleaners Branch who are openly saying that they were not informed of the 'decision' to cede to IWGB, is proof enough.

Enough said, don't feed the (chris ford) troll.

syndicalist

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 20, 2012

Prolly not my place, but I'll make it short.

Perhaps the best thing to do at this point is settle down, let the BRIA folks to sort stuff out, get the cleaning workers reorganized and let the splitters move on. If this was a political group, I'd prolly say let each go at. But there's a group of organized workers who are basically caught in the crossfire. Also, why give the bosses cause to intervene?

OK, I'll zip it at this point.

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 20, 2012

Harrison - Agreed. Give credit where credit is due. But God help us if The IWW/SolFed are celebrating as a militant struggle and victory the fact that they told some cleaners at Brunel University to assert their statutory rights and ask for a written contract!

In fact, that speaks volumes about the pretensions of certain so-called radical industrial unionists/anarcho-syndicalists today.

Furthermore, if you check out the last 2 years of news feed on iww.org.uk you'll see that 99.9% of all the cases of serious militant direct action struggles and victories came from the Cleaners Branch. It seems that the rest of the Wobblies were more interested in watching, debating and celebrating rather than actually participating.

Secondly, it should be pretty obvious that just because one or two bitter individuals with axes to grind don't agree with the democratic decision of the several hundred members of the former Cleaning & Allied Industries London Branch to reconstitute as the IWGB doesn't make the decision undemocratic.

blackened

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by blackened on August 20, 2012

If Ford and Durango really cared about the cleaners they would not have done this - they have put many cleaners in grave danger through this action. It reeks of personal political ambition.

Fortunately, the IWW considers any members of the cleaner's branch who joined the IWW (even if they've also joined the IWGB) to be members still, so they at least have some legal protection.

When the limited resources of London GMB were offered they were usually rebuffed by the leaders, I'm sure the membership never heard the offers.
London GMB was kept away (probably due to those anarcho types who sought worker empowerment - that threatens the leadership). Hell, Chris Ford even tried to set up his own GMB so he wouldn't have to work with them.

The frustration of those in London (especially those who originally worked with the cleaners branch to get them going) at being excluded is very strong. No member of the IWW I've ever met wanted to stymie the branch's efforts, they wanted to help however they could, but were never really allowed to (or even asked to, aside from supplying case workers - which became less easy as qualified members suffered burnout).

We'll see what BIRA has to say in due course I'm sure. In the mean time the rank and file in the branch need support more than ever. We cannot let the ambitions of a few destroy the livelihoods of the many.

Awesome Dude

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Awesome Dude on August 20, 2012

This is typical of the arrogant posturing many of us in London GMb and BIRA have had to live with until recently.

London GMB is not an industrial branch or movement. It's real task is to give solidarity when ever requested by workers and to provide a base for workers to try and organise in their workplaces. To that end we have been the most consistant group, apart from LAWA, over the past 3 years giving solidarity to the cleaners movement. This has been through a variety of ways, e.g. regularly turning up to demos and pickets, organising the cleaners branches training courses when it was still a new branch and providing material assistance with things like flag making and printing leaflets. London GMB has also regularly offered solidarity to the sparks and other groups of workers outside of the union. We are small and limited in resources but punch well above our weight.

It sickens me when the solidarity efforts of other workers are so cheaply dismissed...but just like an abused partner in a joyless marrage, it's what we though we just had to put up with.

Auto

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on August 20, 2012

Harrison - Agreed. Give credit where credit is due. But God help us if The IWW/SolFed are celebrating as a militant struggle and victory the fact that they told some cleaners at Brunel University to assert their statutory rights and ask for a written contract!

Just a quick point, it was the cleaners themselves that decided to take on the contract struggle, which Brunel IWW and SolFed were happy to support. We didn't tell them to do anything. It was not an easy thing to do in an atmosphere of management bullying but they won. Should the Brunel cleaners seek to take on more militant struggles, we'll be supporting them all the way. But it will always be their decision to make, not ours.

Mark.

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 20, 2012

Regicide

The IWGB was democratically and legally re-constituted and will function as an independent, democratic, radical rank and file and voluntary union

Genuine question for Regicide or other IWGB members:
Is the IWGB, as the name would imply, intending to organise workers other than the cleaners and organise nationally?

Mark.

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on August 20, 2012

Some comments from the cleaners facebook page

'IWGB is not a trade union is a political party (Bolshevik party)
why not asked me about the changes, why not asked other members?'

'I am a member of the cleaners branch and we all agreed to moved independent. This is a workers organization and the people who are there organising, representing are few but many want to have an opinion with out knowlege from insite.
Welcome IWGB'

'I am a member of the Cleaners Branch I agree with Chris, we all agree democratically to become IWGB. We are not a Political Party that is one of the reasons for us to become independent. We are a workers union fighting together for better conditions. We are proud to have the likes of Chris, Petros, Alberto and the rest of the people who sacrifice their time to help workers with out any interest. With out them we never have strike of John Lewis or the victories of St Jorge, Exchange Tower and the rest of the victories we had around London.'

'I am member of the cleaners branch I agree with marlene'

'I am a member of the IWW cleaners branch. I disagree with the decision! ask other members!'

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 20, 2012

Just a quick point, it was the cleaners themselves that decided to take on the contract struggle, which Brunel IWW and SolFed were happy to support. We didn't tell them to do anything. It was not an easy thing to do in an atmosphere of management bullying but they won. Should the Brunel cleaners seek to take on more militant struggles, we'll be supporting them all the way. But it will always be their decision to make, not ours.

Many workers, through no fault of their own, are unaware of their rights, and, importantly, power and possibilities. Encouraging workers to radicalise themselves and their goals by parting knowledge, experience and ideas is not "top-down dictation", an "impositon" or a "coersive" act, as implied in your comment.

In fact, if you're not encouraging workers to reach for the stars then maybe you'd be better placed at the TUC!

It sickens me when the solidarity efforts of other workers are so cheaply dismissed...but just like an abused partner in a joyless marrage, it's what we though we just had to put up with.


What a shameless, self-pitying fabrication. The Cleaners Branch, which for all intents and purposes was the IWW BIRA, consists of several hundred members that express great solidarity (outside of blogs and Facebook) for one another on a daily basis. What they've achieved is unbelievable and has involved considerbale sacrifice from all members on a scale which is clearly unknow to the IWW BIRA and people commenting here. None of the cleaners struggles have been fought or won due to the IWW BIRA. They have been fought and won by the solidarity and sacrifice of the members of Cleaners Branch.

If Ford and Durango really cared about the cleaners they would not have done this - they have put many cleaners in grave danger through this action

Nonsense. The members of the London Regional Committee and the Cleaners Branch democratically voted for the re-constitution of the IWGB. You must be unaware of your contempt for the members of the IWGB to suggest otherwise. The rights and radical struggles of the members of the former IWW Cleaners Branch will continue unabated despite the corrosive prattlings of so called "revolutionary syndicalists".

Friendly relations deprive them of a unifying antagonist

Very profound but complete twaddle divorced entirely from reality. The Cleaners Branch has, and the IWGB continues to foster strong fraternal relations with several radical groups and organisations.

Finally, whatever shortcomings some of you might think the IWGB suffers from, or the IWW Cleanes Branch suffered from, I'm sure it would welcome (beyond securing written contracts for cleaners!) some real (i.e material not rhetorical) examples to follow of some radical, rank and file, direct action from other "revolutionary syndicalists"/"industrial unionists" that actually challenges, and ultimately wrests the prerogatives and priviliges from bossses and bureaucrats.

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 20, 2012

Regicide

Finally, whatever shortcomings some of you might think the IWGB suffers from, or the IWW Cleanes Branch suffered from, I'm sure it would welcome (beyond securing written contracts for cleaners!) some real (i.e material not rhetorical) examples to follow of some radical, rank and file, direct action from other "revolutionary syndicalists"/"industrial unionists" that actually challenges, and ultimately wrests the prerogatives and priviliges from bossses and bureaucrats.

Wait, you want us to help the rank & file of your new pet hobby mutiny against, er, you?

no1

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by no1 on August 20, 2012

Troll :
One who posts deliberately provocative messages or distortions to a newsgroup or message board, trying to elicit an emotional response, with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 20, 2012

Caiman del Barrio - having had a cursory glance at your blog and seen your aptitude for soporific and sophomoric disquisitions I am bitterly disappointed for you to have so cravenly abstained from addressing any of the points I made, and instead resorted to such a hackneyed provaocation.

However, I may be disappointed, but I am not surprised. Unless I am mistaken, you are not aquainted with the memebrs of the IWGB; nor have you have ever fought alongside them or have any idea about the internal dynamics of the IWGB or its relationship to the IWW. You have therefore been left to base your groundless and conceited assumptions on whatever gratuitous tidbits you've picked up on the grapevine.

Please refraim from fulimnating and indulge the readers here with your tales from the trenches of class-warfare.

I am sure that members of the IWGB, and those joining it from the IWW, would be eager to learn from your experiences so that it may continue to grow both in numbers and militancy and one day reach the benchmark of successful rank and file radicalism set by you and your comrades.

plasmatelly

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 20, 2012

Regicide wrote -

having had a cursory glance at your blog and seen your aptitude for soporific and sophomoric disquisitions I am bitterly disappointed for you to have so cravenly abstained from addressing any of the points I made, and instead resorted to such a hackneyed provaocation.

When is it safe to x?
admin: no flaming

Uncreative

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Uncreative on August 20, 2012

Regicide

Please refraim from fulimnating and indulge the readers here with tales of your "revolutionary", rank and file direct actions which have successfully challenged the prerogatives and priviliges of bossses and bureaucrats.

Wait, im confused, if he did that would you then think his (or anyone else) criticisms had merit? Or are you just trying to shut down conversation by waving your cock everywhere?

Harrison

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on August 20, 2012

Chris, this is clearly an attempt to provoke some kind of emotional response, and anyone who does so is just allowing themselves to be taken for a fool.

As for Caiman, i believe he was a keen supporter of the early Guildhall organising efforts and wildcat strikes and attended a number of demos in support of them, which, as far as i am aware, was before you were involved in their struggles.

Lets not forget that the London GMB, syndicalists and anarchists welcomed the cleaners with open arms into the IWW, and worked hard to support them, around the time that Unite expelled them and "the labour movement" were demonising them for taking unofficial industrial action.

Chilli Sauce

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 20, 2012

Auto

Harrison - Agreed. Give credit where credit is due. But God help us if The IWW/SolFed are celebrating as a militant struggle and victory the fact that they told some cleaners at Brunel University to assert their statutory rights and ask for a written contract!

Just a quick point, it was the cleaners themselves that decided to take on the contract struggle, which Brunel IWW and SolFed were happy to support. We didn't tell them to do anything. It was not an easy thing to do in an atmosphere of management bullying but they won. Should the Brunel cleaners seek to take on more militant struggles, we'll be supporting them all the way. But it will always be their decision to make, not ours.

Also, lest we forget, they had a fucking work wildcat stoppage. Although the goal was quite a simple one, the means were undoubtedly militant.

To be honest, I have no doubt that a TUC union could have gotten the cleaners their contracts as well, but it would have been through legalistic, representative means. A wildcat strike with unmediated demands, however, is far more effective at building power and confidence in the workplace in preparation for further struggles.

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 20, 2012

Harrison - Chris has not commented here, and please kindly refrain from using names.

Rob Ray

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 20, 2012

(If you're not him) I doubt Chris is too bothered about being named, given that he's already slapped his moniker all over the statement at the top of the page, but hey, you do seem pretty intent on picking a fight so maybe you could try telling us how the anarchists never offered any support while simultaneously being such a regular presence as to require the banning of their flags again?

Also, could you try cutting down on the flowery insults a bit, all this "look how smart I am I can use really long words to tell you I hate you" is kind of irritating.

As a writer, the trick is to communicate efficiently, not play the peacock (eg. instead of "Soporific and sophomoric disquisitions" you could try "boring and shallow posts," which has the same intent and effect without coming across as if you're trying out what you've learned from your word-of-the-day loo roll).

I hope that's of some help in your future endeavours, I'd hate to think you weren't gaining anything from this conversation.

Harrison

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on August 20, 2012

Regicide

Harrison - Chris has not commented here, and please kindly refrain from using names.

Do you perhaps mean Chris is a little self conscious to admit that he signed up for an account on libcom in order to insult committed individuals who have supported the cleaners long before he was involved?

Is it at all possible that Chris would prefer to use sock puppet accounts to create the illusion of far greater support for his actions than he receives in reality?

You and him do share a remarkably verbose writing style after all.

I do not expect him to answer, but i would like to reiterate this point.
Rob Ray

maybe you could try telling us how the anarchists never offered any support while simultaneously being such a regular presence as to require the banning of their flags

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 20, 2012

Rob Ray - thank you for bequeathing the enigma of efficient communication! Tell me though, must you also condescend in order to communicate efficiently?

Regarding the so-called anarchists - Why don't you ask the members of the IWGB what kind of support they were offered by those professing to adhere to anarchist principles. I can tell you though that that question would most likely be met with bemusement.

Better still why don't you explain how a couple of people with a couple of flags who pop up at a couple of protests could have the gall to consider their "convictions" so sacrosanct that they subordinate the will of the workers themselves. There have been far more people with far less paraphernalia who have sacrificed far more, and far more modestly, in order to help the cleaners achieve what they have.

Furthermore, whilst a minority sect of hubristic anarchists were and continue to spit the dummy the serious task of organising did and does continue.

Rob Ray

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 20, 2012

Bequeathing means "giving to" - you probably mean solving. Nevertheless you're welcome. And yes, I think I probably had to, if only to "bequeath" the idea to you that you shouldn't give out what you can't take. Attempting to make people feel small by elaborately embellishing your prose to give yourself a veneer of intellectualism is shabby behaviour at the best of times, let alone when you're this bad at it. And especially when what you're being pulled up for in the first place is a series of unpleasant smears on the reputations, motivations and contributions of others that appear to have no evidence whatsoever.

Chilli Sauce

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 21, 2012

So I know I shouldn't feed the troll, but if the cleaners honestly feel solidarity wasn't offered, that's the fault of the branch leadership, not the wider IWW and certainly not UK anarchists.

I don't want to go into specifics, but I know of concrete examples when the cleaners approached anarchists who'd been actively supporting them /long/ before they even had any contact with the IWW. When certain individuals in the leadership heard of this they went apeshit.

So there you go: cleaners contact long-time comrades with a record of support for further help, the leadership condemns this, accusing the anarchists of meddling and interfering. And now we're the one who impeded solidarity?

There's only one group here who've used the cleaners as a political football. It wasn't the BIRA, it wasn't SolFed, and it wasn't the anarchists.

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 21, 2012

Regicide

Caiman del Barrio - having had a cursory glance at your blog and seen your aptitude for soporific and sophomoric disquisitions

Oh noez, byoorycrat no liky my blog... :cry:

Still, well done for finding all this time to tear yourself away from the redhot furnace of REAL CLASS WAR to write all these absurd posts here. I mean, I'm a massive fan of the English language so it's kinda nice to see someone flex their verbal dexterity. As an English teacher though, I sincerely hope you don't use these words when talking to your (predominantly Spanish-speaking) rank & file though, unless it's your intention to be misunderstood?

Also, some of the posters on here have tried to support IWW actions, only to be reprimanded for holding the wrong flag, etc, etc.

Whatever, not worth seriously engaging with this guy since he's either trolling or going through some sort of breakdown.

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 21, 2012

So tempted not to respond to your provocations and fulminations, but I’m getting paid to sit in an office for a tenner an hour and file invoices so may as well earn some money while I write this.

Rob Roy – you must be suffering from semantic dementia – probably caused by conceit. A “disquisition” is not the same as a “post”. The former connotes a formal and detailed inquiry into a topic and is often lengthy, while the latter could be someone simply publicising the fact that that they suffer from flatulence. Meanwhile, “soporific” is not the same as “boring”. In fact it could be the boring nature of something which makes it soporific. And “sophomoric” refers to someone who is overconfident and poorly informed. Not the same as “shallow”. Congratulations! You have just wrested the sophomoric crown from Caiman del Barrio, although I’m sure it would fit over both your heads if you wanted to share.

Also, sorry to burst your bubble as you clearly felt like you were on a role, but my intention of sardonically “thanking you for bequeathing the enigma of efficient writing” was not to suggest that you had “solved” anything, but that you had simply given up on trying to do so, as evidenced by your (sophomoric!!!!) blunders noted above, and chosen me to take over the quest. Besides, “bequeath” means to “pass on”, which, as I‘m sure you can appreciate, is different from “giving to”. Agreed that "pass on" would have sufficed but then I wouldn't have been able to parody your pedagogical presumptions. Sorry if that wasn’t communicated efficiently.

By the way, I would appreciate a copy of your home-made dictionary - approved and abridged by your Highness.

Furthermore, no one is being “pulled up” here. The only thing that’s being pulled at all is being pulled down, and that’s the rank and file of the IWGB. Why? Because of the reckless and divisive campaigns of defamation engineered by a few IWW bureaucrats and wannabe “revolutionaries” in “libcom” that think that solidarity and sacrifice for the Cleaners and other workers entails popping up at a protest every now and again armed with paraphernalia and pretensions.

Please publish an apology to the members of the IWGB who democratically voted for its re-constitution. All this talk of it being a “pet hobby” and “political football” not only shows your lofty detachment from what’s happening on the ground but stinks of contempt for the members of the IWGB.

As I said before, whilst you guys, bar a few, are spitting the dummy there is serious work that needs doing that requires serious sacrifices to be made. Instead, Rob Roy’s banging on about semantics; Chilli Sauce and Harrison are trying to vindicate their stances by harking back several years to when a cleaner once approached an anarchist; Caimen Del barrio is wasting time with sneers about how I communicate with the rank and file of the IWGB (which is predominantly in Spanish by the way), making unfounded accusations and meandering as much as possible; Blackened thinks BIRA’s gonna save the day; Awesome Dude is suffering from a serious dose of self-pity; Auto is bragging about helping a group cleaners assert their statutory rights a year ago by demanding a written contract - even if it was through a wildcat strike - which seems as absurd as robbing a cola bottle from a corner shop at gun point. Sorry if I missed anyone out.

It is a shame that you are not going to step down from your pedestals and engage with any serious points or serious work, and continue to make unfounded accusations. You are also most likely, and disappointingly, not going to take your heads out of your asses for long enough to see what actually has been done, needs to be done, and could be done to build a radical, rank and file industrial union. However, I hope that changes soon.

Uncreative

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Uncreative on August 21, 2012

Regicide

So tempted not to respond to your provocations and fulminations, but I’m getting paid to sit in an office for a tenner an hour and file invoices so may as well earn some money while I write this.

Shouldnt you be doing some SERIOUS ORGANISING and making SERIOUS SACRIFICES at wherever it is your working at?

Caiman del Barrio

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on August 21, 2012

Someone ban this boorish tankie already. He's not interested in genuine discussion or debate.

Rob Ray

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 21, 2012

Temper temper Regicide, I'm sure being this furious all the time isn't good for your blood pressure.

Of course not all words are precisely analogous, that's why I offered my suggestions in the context of improving the efficiency of your communication and not coming across as though you're desperately trying to shock and awe people with how many syllables you can cram in to your sentences. Naturally, if you were writing an academic treatise on "The life and works of Caiman del Barrio" you would be entirely correct to use the most precise language possible, but this is a bulletin board, not a BA submission. Write for your audience, not for your ego, as my (GCSE) English teacher used to say. Or indeed in the cause of intimidating your opponent.

Nice twisting about on your misuse of bequeath btw, not terribly convincing but I appreciate the effort ;).

As to the rest of it, I'm mostly gonna bow to others in their requests that the troll not be fed, but personally what I see on this thread is a great deal of concern that this new IWGB might put the cleaners in danger of reprisal and that the two prime movers behind it may not have been forthcoming in what is actually implied by splitting from the IWW, while also having acted, intentionally or no, as a block on solidarity from the wider union. Neither of which seem particularly unreasonable points of view, given the circumstances (and certainly don't amount to defamation, which as a legal term has rather a precise meaning which you don't seem to fully understand).

Serge Forward

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 21, 2012

So we've now got an IWGB breakaway whose spokesperson seems to have olympic gold in bellyaching and communicates like Stanley Unwin. Oh dear :wall:

Chilli Sauce

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 21, 2012

Wow, so one post with short personal snipes is your idea engaging with the variety of criticisms offered by two pages of posts. You're either intentionally ignorant or aware that you're arguments don't hold water so you're attempting intellectual one-upmanship and petty rudeness to cover for it. It's pretty sad in any case.

I am, however, also curious about the "bureaucrats" in BIRA. Having spent some time in and around BIRA, the only folks who were of a bureaucratic bent were those who wanted to make the IWW a 'real union'--the same people who condemned the anarchists for being naive, idealistic, and short-sighted. (Probably worth noting that at least some of these people were/are TUC full-timers, no less...)

So I don't think you can have it both ways: either IWW anarchists are meddling amateurs or they're scheming bureaucrats. Your attempt to paint them with both brushes at once only undermines your own pompous arrogance and hypocrisy.

Also--and I mean this as no disrespect to the cleaners who've pulled off some amazing struggles--do let me know when you finally come to understand what the term industrial unionism means.

Regicide

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Regicide on August 21, 2012

Wow! That was yet another impressive meander, Rob Ray. In light of your semantic dementia, I’ll let you off the fact that you have quarrelled with the correct use the word "defamation" regarding the IWW’s propaganda of the IWGB.

What do your politics mean to you [Rob Ray]? A great deal of time, effort, expense and thought for very little reward, mainly. On the plus side, I now have an amazing array of literature to confuse and anger visitors with.

And voilà.

Someone ban this boorish tankie already. He's not interested in genuine discussion or debate

Another craven deflection there, Caiman del Barrio. However, it would be an honour to be banned. Sincerely. It would be a fitting end to my crash course in the psyches of “libcom-ers” (this was my first venture into your world by the way – very scary), which has shown you to be a bunch of conceited, self-serving clowns, be you “anarcho-communists” “Libertarian Communists”, “anarcho-syndicalist media hacks”, “Libertarian-Socialists” or whatever other poncy label you want to slap on yourselves to excuse your ineptitude.

plasmatelly

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 21, 2012

NOW is it time to swear at this person? :wall:

working class …

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by working class … on August 21, 2012

Regicide - Why on earth are you being so obnoxious?

Rob Ray

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 21, 2012

Afaik the IWW's sole output on the subject has been this, which contains no defamatory statements whatsoever. Perhaps my "semantic dementia"* is merely blinding me to something your razor-sharp intellect has discovered, but I doubt it.

In fact I suspect you've not responded with evidence to back your case because you've got none. What's a bit sad here is you're still writing as though you've "won" despite presenting no evidence, presumably because you don't like being shown up. A more sensible course would probably have been silence.

-----
* please consider the criticism, even if you're unable to climb down from your high horse now it'll improve your writing no end in the long run, believe me, simply because your audience won't have to wade through an avalanche of tedious self-importance masquerading as intelligence to get at what you're trying to say.

Chilli Sauce

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 21, 2012

libcom-ers” (this was my first venture into your world by the way – very scary)

I love when the mentals get into the 'psychology of libcom'. It's a bit like when someone resorts to the Hitler argument and you know you've won the debate.

R, I have no idea if you're really CF or not, but if people like you are actually active in the cleaners branch (since I know you're not a cleaner yourself), those workers are going to need all the outside support and solidarity they can get.

georgestapleton

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by georgestapleton on August 21, 2012

I have no idea if you're really CF or not

He's not although CF has posted on this thread and claimed to be spartacus.

Steven.

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 21, 2012

Regicide, an admin note, you can argue about politics all you want but personal insults are contrary to the site guidelines so please desist.

Nate

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Nate on August 21, 2012

working class self organisation

Regicide - Why on earth are you being so obnoxious?

Poor people skills and/or trying to provoke a negative response which can be quoted out of context for political/rhetorical purposes.

Felix Frost

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Felix Frost on August 28, 2012

The IWGB is organising a protest tomorrow, Wednesday 29 August 2012, at 5 PM outside Societe Generale London office, 42 Tower Hill. For map and more info, see http://www.wherevent.com/detail/Cleaners-Branch-URGENT-PROTEST-Justice-for-Cleaners-at-Societe-Generale

Hopefully everyone here will still continue to support the struggling cleaners, whatever opinions people might have about the IWGB.

Chilli Sauce

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on August 29, 2012

I'll make sure I bring along my red and black ;)

syndicalist

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on August 29, 2012

Chilli Sauce

I'll make sure I bring along my red and black ;)

We have a large RED & BLACK banner.....sending it by expressed mail, please carry it as well. We stand in solidarity with the cleanering workers with a red & black new world in our hearts!

Felix Frost

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Felix Frost on September 4, 2012

Looks like the picket outside Societe Generale was postponed to this week. Here is the latest announcement from the IWGB:

Fellow workers,

IWGB called a protest in solidarity with our members employed as cleaners at Societe Generale by the contractor Initial Facilities on 29 August. Following an assurance by Societe Generale, eventually confirmed by Initial Facilities that their planned cuts were suspended we cancelled the protest and suspended our campaign. A meeting with Initial Facilities management has been finally arranged.

However, Initial Facilities management have since informed our members that the cuts will be going ahead in a few weeks, some cleaners were told to look at alternatives to working at Societe Generale.

Furthermore, despite Initial Facilities previously stating that the London Living Wage of £8.30 per-hour will be introduced from 3rd September 2012, repeated requests by the IWGB for assurances this will still be the case have been completely ignored. Confirming our view that the pay rise is conditional on an over 50% cut in hours, amounting to a wage cut.

Our union is appalled at the ongoing treatment of one of our young members who has been sacked by Initial Facilities in the most questionable of circumstances. We are demanding his immediate reinstatement.

Having considered this situation the IWGB can not see justification to continue the suspension of the campaign in the UK and other countries until we achieve a settlement of this dispute satisfactory to our members at Societe Generale.

We apologise to all those who heard at short notice of the cancellation of the previous protest, we urge all our members and the wider labour movement to support the protest on Thursday 6th September at 5:00 pm at Societe Generale London office in Tower Hill.

Yours in solidarity

T. L. Smith
Asst. General Secretary of the IWGB

AndrewStocker

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by AndrewStocker on January 16, 2014

sven_hagglund

The "IWGB" is the IWW affiliate in Great Britain. iww.org links to iww.org.co.uk.

This is true, although it seems the IWW had some branches in the UK around WW2. From my understanding these were branded as IWW rather than IWGB. This UK union timeline lists the IWW as a UK union so maybe the names were used synonymously?