Solidarity required! RMT & ITF picket Condor Ferries in Portsmouth 16:00 18th February 2014

Please support RMT / ITF demo 16.00 on Tuesday 18th February at Portsmouth Commercial Freight Gate, Prospect Road, Portsmouth, PO1. Facebook event

French Comrades are currently sitting in on a Condor vessel in St Malo, they have asked the UK unions to support them against ‘social dumping’ by Condor who, are paying Ukranian seafarers £29 a day for a 12hr day. This rogue ferry operator, using Portsmouth as its crew change over base, is avoiding UK legislation through dubious interpretation of immigration laws to exploit foreign workers and pay poverty wages. Bring your banners and whistles! We support our comrades in dispute with Condor and we are not going to accept exploitation of workers in a ‘Race to the Bottom’. SOLIDARITY will change the agenda.

RMT NEWS RELEASE February 17th 2014 Immediate:

RMT campaign over social dumping scandal in UK shipping industry returns to Portsmouth this week

A long running campaign against social dumping in the UK shipping industry will return to the south coast this week with a major protest targeting ferry-operator Condor in Portsmouth tomorrow.

The protest, supported by both RMT and the International Transport Federation, will take place at 16.00 on Tuesday 18th February at Portsmouth Commercial Freight Gate, Prospect Road, Portsmouth, PO1.

The RMT campaign to expose the scandal on Condor Ferries is specifically over the ‘social dumping’ of cheap, non-EU labour which makes a complete mockery of both UK and EU employment rights. Condor Ferries are able to duck around rules and regulations that are supposed to stop exploitation and as a result pay their seagoing staff £2.35 per hour well below the UK minimum wage. Condor operates a ferry service between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“The super-exploitation of foreign nationals in the British shipping industry is a massive scandal that the political elite want to keep quiet. That’s no surprise as it’s their wealthy mates running the shipping companies who benefit from this scam that dodges normal employment regulations while the European Union refuses to lift a finger.

“Social dumping is a mechanism seized on by some of the most rotten employers in the book to dry and batter down wages and conditions. RMT members and their supporters have the full support of the union for this weeks’ protest in Portsmouth as the union, alongside our colleagues in the ITF, steps up the fight against Condor Ferries and the ships of shame.”

RMT National Secretary Steve Todd said:

“The fight to stop the scandal of social dumping remains a national priority for RMT and we will continue to step up the campaign to turn the spotlight on the shameful practices that this ConDem government legitimises in the British shipping industry with the collusion of the EU.”

ENDS

Further information: Geoff Martin 07831 465 103;   0207 255 9146

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FTUC Acknowledges Support of International Union Movements

The FTUC wishes to acknowledge organisers of the campaign for the Fijian unionists who have now had charges against them withdrawn.

The campaign has been hailed a success and FTUC recognises the efforts and support shown by LabourStart, ITUC and TUC. We also wish to thank each and every participant for their participation and contribution towards the campaign.

Fiji still has a long way to go in relation to the abuse against workers’ rights and it is our humble request that our sister union movements from around the world will continue their much-needed support for the campaigns against the violation of our workers.

The ENI Decree for instance is one such legislation established by the Regime that violates Fiji workers’ rights to Collective Bargaining, a right that our union fathers fought to retrieve. We however have not lost faith and the success of this recent campaign is testament to the solidarity between us.

FTUC vows to keep fighting the good fight and encourages all its affiliates to contribute to every campaign as each and every success is a win for workers’ and human rights.

There’s a row going on down near Slough…

Anti-Fascist Network

berkshire

Today’s protests against the EDL in Slough were a pretty good start to 2014. Slough showed loud and clear that no one at all in the town had any sympathy with the EDL. The universal message was “you’re not wanted – go home”

The down-on-their-luck EDL only managed less than 200 for a ‘national’ demo following large numbers of splits, defections and internal arguments. This is looking like the ‘new normal’ for them – the die-hards who haven’t figured out yet the EDL is dying on its feet.

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Dear police: A Citizen.

Dear police

I’m pretty sure that, if you bothered to meet me, you’d quickly cast me as exactly the type of person you’d expect to stand politely in a pen while you march racists up and down the high street. A ‘white’ woman with a degree and no criminal record, not exactly what you would call physically imposing, more often laughing than not. If you randomly met me in a setting where you weren’t protecting fascists, you might think I seemed nice, and if someone told you I was an activist, you might object that surely, I was too nice for that. You wouldn’t be the first, and you know what, you are right. I am nice, and that is exactly why I am out there opposing that fascism you so happily protect, even though you have me at a disadvantage in nearly every way.

You are twice as big as me, you are trained in combat and shooting, you are armed and shielded to the teeth and you are even prepared to abuse dogs and horses in order to attack us. No wonder we terrify you, standing there with no other protection than the strength of our conviction that racism and fascism need to be fought.

It’s not hard to guess why you would protect the fascists and target us. They are authoritarian, we are not. Seeing as you fancy yourselves an authority — and I can understand why, what with all the weapons and state-sanctioned violence—it’s only logical that you’d protect them.

Still, I wonder, how does it feel when the crowd chants ‘Who protects the nazis? The police protect the nazis!’ Do you actually tell yourselves you’re enforcing ‘public order’, or are you perfectly aware of the kind of system you act as hired guns for in the hopes that your willingness to dispense violence at the drop of a word sets you enough apart from the rest of us that you will be protected?

But what am I saying, that is exactly what the system does. The system will always protect itself, and you know it. That’s where you find the courage to face your terrifying opponent, the citizen.

Do you realise that that works both ways? That when you cast us as your opponents, you cast yourselves as ours? I don’t need the fascists to harass me when I have you, pushing me, surrounding me, shouting threats at me, trying to ridicule me. Not to mention what you’ve been doing to my friends or the systematic unfounded arrests you’ve been making for the sole purpose of putting everyone into your databases.

You err on the side of brutality because you seem to think that is the best way of scaring the not-yet-hardened ones among us off the streets forever. I can see you doing your darnedest to force me out of any public space like the sheep you’d like me to be, and while it may seem on paper like I should be the easiest person in the world to intimidate into never, ever exercising her right to assembly, I am afraid it’s just not going that well, my dears. In fact, I am pretty sure at this point that any further radicalisation of yours truly that may occur will not even be because of the non-uniformed fascists. No, I lay that down at your feet.

Before you worry your pretty little helmeted heads too much over how this could have gone so wrong and why brute force and scare tactics haven’t shut me up yet, I’ll be happy to tell you straight up. You see, I never did respond well to bullies.

There. Now stick that into the file you have on me. It’s under C for Citizen.