AN OPEN LETTER – TO JD WETHERSPOON

This is going viral on social media, we have no connection with the author but thought it was worth sharing.

AN OPEN LETTER – TO JD WETHERSPOON

I have dined in your establishments many times but I write to inform you that I will never do so again and nor will any of my friends or family.

The reason for this is that my stepson has the misfortune to work in your Thomas Sheraton bar in Stockton and I am now aware of the basis upon which you operate and profit.

He is “employed” on a zero hours basis and earns barely enough to feed himself. Not long after joining your establishment he got into trouble with his rent due to the extremely low wages and was evicted from his home. I blame the basis of his employment with you for this. He now lives 2 miles away from your bar and is obliged to walk this distance to and from work as he does not earn enough to afford public transport. Yesterday my wife was obliged to buy him new shoes as he had worn holes in his existing ones. I think it is appalling that you do not provide your kitchen staff with appropriate footwear. If you feel that this communication is becoming a stream of negative comments then I urge you to read on as I have more to say. This 4 mile round trip trudge is sometimes made to attend a one hour shift. Unbelievable, a day’s work of just ONE HOUR. Furthermore, if he attends expecting a longer shift this is sometimes not the case as he is sent home if trade is slack. He, your employee takes all the risk, you the employer take none. You’ll note that I do not mention his name. This is for fear of reprisals. Before you scoff, let me tell you this: When he first joined you, after two months of working every single weekend he politely enquired if he might have a weekend off. He was given the weekend off but worked no other hours either. A genuine ZERO hours. This was clearly a reprisal and he has never asked for the weekend off again.

The only way he can survive on such grindingly low wages is by getting benefits top ups. In order to do this he must provide pay slips which you do not provide. He is obliged to download them and print them himself and given that he will never be able to afford a computer and printer so long as he works for you, he must go to the library. I put it to you that it takes him more effort to work for you for a pittance than it does me to fulfill a full time job.

Clearly your business model requires that the public purse subsidise your employee’s wages. This to my mind makes your firm and others like you one of the benefit scroungers we hear so much about these days.

Yours sincerely
STEVE THOMPSON

Leave a review on the Sheraton’s Farcebook page:

We will fight against exploitation in Amazon! from ZSP union.

amazondzwig10.5 hour shifts, one 30 minute unpaid break for lunch. Barely enough time to get to the canteen, eat something quick and get back to work. Not to mention that the food isn’t fresh. Half the time we work in the night, from 18:30-5 AM. Many of us travel more than one hour to work. Our bodies cannot adjust to the changing shifts. We miss spending the evenings with our families. We treat this job as something we are stuck with until something better comes along. Almost any job is better.

Work in the fulfillment center is stressful, we are always monitored. There is a lot of physical work. We are exhausted in the first few hours. We cannot take a break to rest our feet. When we get home, we can only collapse.

For all our hard work in the evenings and even on Sunday, we get no extra pay. Workers in Sady get paid more than workers in Bielany Wroclawskie for the same job.

In some countries, workers get more money for the evening shift and two paid 15-minute breaks. Not in Poland.

A lot of colleagues say the same: they thought they would have opportunities to work more, overtime, extra pay for night shifts. They feel misled by the agencies that recruited them. Nobody told anybody what the work would really look like. Some people might not have taken the job. A lot of us have no other choice.

There is a total mess with the payments. One colleague is not in the system and can’t get paid. Others claim they received too little payment. There are delays. People do not understand why their salaries are so low.

Some of our colleagues already quit and a lot where just hired til the end of the year. Some of us will stay on here, hoping that things will get better. But nothing will change if we let the bosses treat us like slaves. In Germany workers make 4 times more money for the same job and they still fight for better working conditions. We are being used to increase the profits of a company that earns enough to pay their workers decent wages.

ZSP union has taken action concerning payments through Manpower and Adecco. We will fight so that agency workers and better informed and paid correctly and on time!

In the long term, we want to see better working conditions in Amazon Poland and this means concretely a higher rate for evening and Sunday work, no pay discrimination and paid breaks.

Contact

So, We Were On Channel 4 News Tonight

Bristol Anarchist Federation

Loving this footage of someone trying to fight a police car by kicking it wither their trainers Loving this footage of someone trying to fight a police car by kicking it with their trainers

Rather briefly! It’s the first TV news interview Bristol AFed has agreed to, perhaps we felt more optimistic about the chances of some good coverage after a relatively successful summer interview with BBC Radio Bristol.  You can watch the segment that was broadcast today here, and a longer version of the interview on Channel 4’s website. Sadly we didn’t get as much on air time as DCI Andy Bevan, who they emotively interviewed at the site of a recent incident of arson.

The footage was taken from a much longer interview (about three quarters of an hour – not that we expected it would get shown in full!).  We’re glad they kept in part of our definition of anarchism but perhaps the world would have been a better place if channel…

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Fair play for Mike Haney! Communications blockade of Gwalia housing association.

Mike Haney has worked for Gwalia, a large housing association for 8 years, in July 2013 they changed his workplace without any consultation, increasing his annual mileage to and from work by 3,525 miles. In addition to fuel and vehicle maintenance costs he incurred extra insurance premiums. Gwalia have since cut Mike’s salary by £300 per month, making it financially impossible for him to continue. Mike has volunteered for redundancy but is being refused.

Mike has resorted to camping outside his work place at Brecon House, Llantarnam Industrial Park Cwmbran. Np44 3AB. Phone: 01633 833540 He’s camping out 22nd 23rd 29th & 30th Dec, then from 5th Jan he’s there from Monday-Thursday for as long as it takes!

Please support Mike Haney by contacting Gwalia Hierarchy telling them to give him redundancy he deserves otherwise the fight goes on! He’s on his own but with plenty of fighting spirit.

If you would like to go and support Mike in person get in touch first (as he might be working). We will will pass on any messages of support and solidarity to him.

Here’s Mike’s statement:

I have worked for Gwalia for 8 years.

Two years ago I took out a mortgage. I could afford this based on my salary at that time. I could not have anticipated a cut in salary as Gwalia had stated in their 2012 corporate report that they had increased surplus and that their finances were robust. Indeed they had factored in yearly wage rises.

In July 2013 they changed my workplace without any consultation. This increased my annual mileage to and from work by 3525 miles. It also put me over my insurance mileage limit and so incurred me further costs.

Increasing cost of living was also taking its toll, but by cutting back on every possible expense I was continuing to keep a roof over my head. Gwalia have now cut my salary by £300 per month.

There is no living expense I can cut now, except my home to work mileage. I now have no alternative but to pitch a tent outside the office premises during the working week.

Gwalia directors have shown complete contempt for my situation. I volunteered for redundancy but was refused. I believe that this was a deliberate effort by Gwalia to force me to leave the company with no recompense for the years of service and contribution to the company’s reputation that I have given.

The constant changes within my terms and conditions and pay means that I am being forced to leave my job. However, if I resign and cannot obtain immediate employment, then I am unable to either claim any benefits or claim on my mortgage protection. Hence my current situation.

Ironically I was a key member of a group who raised money for rough sleeper kits, including sleeping rough on one of the coldest nights of 2014. Gwalia were happy to make the most of the publicity this generated.

Pompey punx collective presents… 16th Jan 2015

ITbarn

Update to Bristol Solidarity Network action and communications blockade against rogue landlord.

BIG UPDATE 28/12/14: From Bristol Solidarity Network:

CEA have had enough, and have notified the landlord and the tenants that they have quit managing the property. We have called off a second picket and communications blockade of their offices, pending further confirmation.They have put the tenant in direct contact with the absentee landlord, watch this space for more information on how the landlord plans to handle things!

Rotting House, Rotten Landlord

 

The first protesters arrived outside CEA at 10am

On Monday 22nd December, 20 members and friends of Bristol Solidarity Network demonstrated at the offices of Central Estate Agents in Bristol. There was a great deal of interest and support for the picket from passers by, many of whom said they would tell others about the situation. This marks the beginning of a campaign to expose CEA’s shocking neglect and threats against tenants of a house in Easton, which will continue with a second demonstration on Friday the 2nd Of January.

CEA “manages” this property for an absentee landlord last seen by the tenants in 2007. The house is in an appalling state of disrepair, with a seriously leaky roof, huge cracks in walls and ceilings, broken doors, rotting window frames and intolerable mould, cold and damp. Four family members, including three children, have developed asthma as a result of these conditions they have been forced to live in by CEA and the landlord’s neglect. They are understandably angry.

CEA and the landlord they work for have consistently dodged their responsibilities and ignored the tenants’ repeated requests to carry out the necessary repairs. Even ignoring a legally binding improvement notice issued by Bristol City Council. The very few repairs that have been done have been cosmetic, minimal and ineffective. Unbelievably, the council claim they are satisfied the repairs have been done, without even examining the roof! We offered them a ladder so they could see the extent of the disrepair but they declined. Their “investigation” was clearly just about how they could shirk any responsibility or involvement. As is often the case, the tenants are very unlikely to get help from the council. Luckily, our boxes are not so easily ticked and we are not so easily brushed aside.

Protest against delapidated housing, Bristol, UK 22/12/14

On Monday 8th December Bristol Solidarity Network members accompanied one of the tenants to the offices of CEA to deliver a letter demanding the necessary repairs be done. Two days later Jabar Mohammed of CEA responded, not by agreeing to do the right thing and start the repairs, but by threatening the family with eviction. We will not allow this absentee landlord and his agents to bully a family out of their home just for wanting to live in decent conditions. This family are prepared to stand up against this shameful bad practice, and Bristol Solidarity Network will fight alongside them until we win. We know this family is not alone and this is part of a larger struggle for decent homes for people – rather than ever higher profits for landlords.

CEA have a clear list of the much needed repairs. We will not stop and the pressure will increase until these repairs are done. It seems they won’t listen to tenants or appeals to do the right thing. Let’s see if they’ll take notice of a high profile campaign to affect their profits. Money talks after all.

One of our next steps will be a demonstration at the offices of CEA on Friday January 2nd at 2pm: Central Estate Agents, 52-54 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BH. (Facebook).

At the same time, throughout the day on Friday January 2nd, we are calling for a communications blockade to give everyone a chance to let CEA know what they think.
If you can’t join the demonstration, please contact them to let them know what you think. Here are the company’s contact details:

Tel: 0117 98 92 150
Fax: 0117 94 21 882
Email: info@ceahomes.co.uk

Not quite as pretty as the pictures CEA choose to display in their windows!

Red and Black T.V. 2015 The Year Ahead (Paedo scandals, 2015 elections ect)