RMT LGBT History Month – Special Benefit Screening of the Film ‘Pride’ in Bridgwater, 25th February 2016.

pride bridgwater

The National Union of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (Bristol branch) in association with Somerset Film will be screening ‘Pride’ the BAFTA award-winning comedy at The Engine Room, 52, High Street, Bridgwater TA6 3BL on February 25th 2016. David ‘Dai’ Donovan, whose story the film tells, will be there in person to introduce and answer questions after the screening. facebook event

Doors 7.30pm for 8pm start.Tickets £5 or £3 conc. from the Engine Room. 01278 433187 or Somerset Film

Somerset Film producer Deb Richardson said:

”We’re delighted to be showing ‘Pride’ as part of the RMT’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month. This screening is a special benefit for the Engine Room and the RMT’s Widows and Orphans Fund. The coming together of two different groups to benefit others reflects what the film is all about.”

It won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut and stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine.

Breaking the law: victory for Bridgwater wildcats!

Andrew Mootoo, (centre) with pickets

Andrew Mootoo, (centre) with pickets

When Bridgwater Royal Mail victimised a disabled worker, his colleagues walked out; no ballots, no bureaucracy, just solidarity.  Andrew Mootoo, is deaf and suffers from severe MS, and management have come up with a stream of ridiculous excuses for keeping him off work for 18 months against his will. He might get stuck in the bog, they said, and anyway they’ve commandeered his rest room for disciplinaries. When Andrew passed a fitness for work test, they changed the test, and used a faulty chair.

80 posties went on strike the day after the government’s anti-union bill received its second reading, showing their plans to chain the working class will come to nought so long as we stick together. The management have backed down and assured the workers that they will sit down with Mootoo and reach a resolution. Watch this space to make sure they do!

CWU rep Dave Chapple said it was remarkable that 98% of staff had walked out (without legal protection) in solidarity with someone they haven’t seen for 18 months, and that he has received over 200 emails of support from fellow trade unionists and disabled people. Royal Mail are now threatening to discipline him for breaking their rules – good luck with that.

So if the bosses are taking the piss, just get together and walk the fuck out – you don’t need a vote if you have consensus. Together we win!

Bridgwater Wildcat walkout for postman and MS Sufferer smashes Tory anti-union laws!

Wessex Solidarity wholeheartedly supports Bridgwater Wildcat Postal Strike in aid of worker sacked for his disability. Reinstate Andrew Mootoo immediately!


80 Royal Mail postmen and women at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset defied the Tory anti-union laws today when they walked out without a ballot to protest at Royal Mail’s refusal to reinstate Andrew Mootoo, a postman who suffers from MS/Multiple Sclerosis. Andrew has been waiting so long for Royal Mail to support his return to work that his pay has been stopped and he has to rely on benefits.

Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, said:

“Most decent employers would do their best to try and get a disabled worker like Andrew Mootoo off benefits and back to work on a properly adjusted duty. Instead, for 18 months, since MS was diagnosed, Royal Mail, nationally and locally, have tried every dirty trick in their book to get Andrew the sack and reduce him to a lifetime of benefits dependency. 18 months ago they tried to sack him. We stopped that by proving they would have acted illegally. Then Royal Mail tested Andrew back at work: when he passed this with flying colours, they invented a new test, which they ensured he would fail, for example, by deliberately using a faulty chair! The last straw is Royal Mail saying that Andrew has no rest room for his meal break, because it is in continuous use by managers for disciplinary purposes; and that his MS means he will get stuck in the toilet. What offensive rubbish from the country’s second largest employer! Justice for MS sufferers at work! Justice for Andrew Mootoo!”

Andrew, who is of Indo-Mauritian parents and who is also profoundly deaf, lives a full life: he drives a car, shops, goes to sport matches, goes shopping, walks down busy high streets, goes to the gym once a week, all without falling over, getting stuck in a toilet or endangering anyone else. All Andrew’ s friends at Bridgwater Delivery Office want, is for Royal Mail to sit down and give him a chance to come off the dole and work for his living, as he wants to do. The work is there. The CWU have even accepted that Andrew could return on a monitored trial basis. Every reasonable compromise CWU offer to Royal Mail has been spurned: every patient CWU plea to Royal Mail to give Andrew a chance has been ignored. 80 Bridgwater trades unionists are right now, a day after the Tory Anti-Union Bill passed the House of Commons, breaking these vicious laws to fight for workplace justice for a severely disabled and much respected colleague. They, and Andrew, deserve your support.

Please contact Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, on 077007 869 144,  e-mail davechapple@btinternet.com

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2015 report.

11745717_1088676911162230_4587814745909007065_n

Pic by courtesy DeGruchy photography

We pitched our tents on Friday as usual and our comrades from Sussex set up their Wob kitchen which fed our bloc, friends and guests excellent veggie food all weekend. The severed heads of Cameron, IDS, Gove, Farage and Osbourne adorned our camp. The evening’s entertainment was memorable for Funke and the two tone baby, and the Tuts, among others.

Bit of a surprise on Saturday when we took our stall to find, amongst the assorted lefties and worthies, like a log in a swimming pool, Bournemouth Action for Israel, who showed extraordinary chutzpah by promoting that rogue state and its genocidal behaviour during the first anniversary of the last Gaza massacre, in which it slaughtered two and a half thousand civilians of whom sixty percent were children. They were repeatedly taken to task by festival-goers, some of whom were in Gaza during the atrocity, and a steady stream of punters approached the organisers to complain. On Sunday morning the Zionists bowed to pressure and left peacefully. We fail to see what connection this group, which appears to be linked with a propaganda hub in the United States, and to be lavishly funded, has to do with working class culture or workers’ associations, it doesn’t even represent the working class of Israel, let alone that of Dorset. What it represents is the military-industrial hegemony of Western imperialism that has brought the entire region to ruin. A glance at their facebook page will reveal the disdain they have for our class; their mission was solely to counter the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Should we perhaps invite the hunt lobby to counter the sabs, the CBI to counter the anti-blacklist campaign, or fracking companies to counter Greenpeace? No doubt Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, G4S and Halliburtons would gladly fork out sixty quid for a stall.

It was great to see supporters of the Save Kingfisher and SCBU campaign, and Lesbians and Gay men Support the Miners on Sunday’s march. See you next year!

Open Letter to BBC South Today from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

Pic by Stef.

Pic by Stef.

Stop benefit sanctions, public meeting Bridgwater 14th April 2015

192726_n

Victory for Bridgwater Unite Refresco-Gerber Strikers!

The following message appears on Bridgwater Unite Community Facebook page:

GERBER STRIKE ENDS! SATURDAY’S RALLY CANCELLED!
Congratulations and solidarity to Bridgwater’s Gerber workers!

Please find below a message from the Unite Full-time Officer for Refresco-Gerber that celebrates a successful negotiated outcome to this long dispute. The March and Rally on Saturday 28th are now cancelled

“Hi Dave & Bridgwater Trades Union Council
The Strike at Refresco.Gerber has been called off. This is due to the Company agreeing in full to reinstate the Sick pay, remove the contentious shift pattern and reinstate the six months shift pay protection.
I thank you for all the time you have devoted to supporting the Industrial Action.
Thanks to all who gave their support!”
Roy

Bridgwater Gerber/Unite dispute: March & Rally Saturday 28th March.

Gerber poster

Download poster pdf