Post Offices strike to save the People’s Post

Crown post offices are being privatised and franchised out into small areas in shops like WH Smiths – the latest bonkers idea from a Government who are destroying a post system that has lasted for 500 years. Postal workers have great ideas for modernising post offices and generating revenue – including turning them into “people’s banks” – but the Government are refusing to negotiate or talk, so postal workers have been forced into a 5 day strike (complete with reindeers, snow and Father Xmas). If crown post offices close in January, more strikes will follow – and maybe the rest of us need to think about occupying them to stop them closing.

Leading trade unionists sacked as London Met plans 395 job cuts

Anger is escalating over management’s decision to make David Hardman and Mark Campbell,  the UCU branch secretary and branch chair, compulsorily redundant – the only two redundancies to be made, and with plans afoot to cut a staggering 395 jobs in September. With a vice-chancellor one of the few in favour of the Government’s white paper on higher education, and a governing board chair who was UK managing director of notorious education privateers Pearsons, it’s clear that London Met is being softened up for privatisation. National demonstration to reinstate Mark and David: Sat July 23, 11:30am, London Met Holloway Road site to Highbury Fields.

Junior Doctors strike: March with teachers joined by Labour Party leaders

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell joined the joint doctors and teachers march in London yesterday, along with other public sector workers, on the first day of the junior doctors all out strike. The junior doctors are showing incredible determination and are prepared to do whatever it takes to save the NHS – meanwhile the bookies have Hunt at just 5/2 now to be the next minister to resign…

Lambeth College and Brixton Ritzy strikers fight for our future

96% yes vote for an all out indefinite strike against cuts to sick pay and holidays, and increased hours – so Lambeth college’s management run to the courts to get an injunction to stop them. This was already a local issue of national importance, with other colleges threatening similar attacks. Now Lambeth college principal Mark Silverman has turned it into an issue for the entire trade union movement by denying his employees their democratic right to protest.

lambeth college strikeThe changes to contracts will mean an extra 5 weeks work a year with no extra pay, and a cut in sick pay from 6 months on full pay and 6 months on half pay, to 4 months on full pay and 2 months on half pay. The only figure management can come up with for how much this will save the college is £20,000 for the cut in sick pay – a facility only used by workers in extremely difficult circumstances, for example cancer. So management are saying they are no longer prepared to support staff in such difficulties – but they are happy to spend £35,000 refurbishing an office for Silverman that he only uses for a maximum of one day a week. Meanwhile many lecturers report having to go to the stationers themselves to buy pens and paper for the students out of their own money.

This is all happening against a backdrop of management plans to shut down the 100 year old Brixton centre of the college, which is being sold off to make way for the Trinity Academy free school – a school run by people who are openly looking to attract children from the influx of rich white newcomers to Brixton.
Lecturers in the University and College Union (UCU) are now reballoting for all out indefinite strike action, and support workers in UNISON are doing the same.

lambeth college strike2Footage from the strike on Mayday, culminating in Lambeth college strikers marching with Brixton Ritzy strikers fighting for the London living wage. As resentment grows against the rapid gentrification of Lambeth and the fastest rising house prices in Britain, more and more locals are drawing a line in the sand and saying: Enough is enough.

Issue 40, Apr 2014

Reel News 40

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1: Massacre in Vitoria (Reel News) 36:43 ***PLAY***

1976, the Basque Country: a dying fascist state orders police to attack one of the greatest rank and file movements ever seen. 5 workers are murdered and over 100 seriously injured; 38 years on, the people of Vitoria are still fighting for justice.

 

2: SOAS cleaners strike (Reel News) 14:07

Cleaners at SOAS show how a picket line should be done in the fight to be brought back in-house.

 

3: Blacklisting Companies Meeting (Stewart Hume, electrician and UNITE activist) 3:50

EXCLUSIVE secret footage exposes the building firm bosses who blacklist.

 

4: Blacklisting: Citizens Arrest (Reel News) 5:31

The Blacklist Support Group serve an arrest warrant on Cullum McAlpine.

 

5: Leon Rosselson: Sixty Quid a Week (Reel News) 4:30

New song from Leon about an encounter with a homeless person.

 

6: NUT strike (Reel News) 10:28

First national strike by teachers since 2011 as the campaign to stop Gove destroying education hots up.

 

7: David Rovics – Landlord (Reel News) 6:10

Great song and a slice of US working class history.

 

8: Chicago University Strike (Labor Beat) 8:36

2 days strike by lecturers at the University of Illinois-Chicago – for virtually the same reasons that lecturers are striking in Britain.

 

9: London Met – FE Strike (Reel News) 5:47

Rally at London Met to push for further action in the dispute over pay.

 

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Reel News regular North London night starts April 10

ReelNews April poster for web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve finally found a venue to host a regular film night in North London – and hopefully reclaim a bit of Stoke Newington from the horrendous gentrification that’s happened in Church Street over the past twenty years. Come and join us every second Thursday of the month for films, discussion, music and drinks – FREE!

THIS MONTH: 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, PLUS TEACHERS STRIKE

2014 sees the 75th anniversary of the end of the Spanish civil war, when a fragile democracy was allowed to be overturned by the combined forces of European Fascist regimes. Much has been written about the atoricities committed as General Franco took power, but very little about the social movements that rose up in the 60s and 70s that brought an end to the fascist state.

MASSACRE IN VITORIA (36:00)
Tonight, we’ll be showing a new Reel News film telling the story of one of the greatest rank and file movements ever seen – an all out indefinite strike in 1976 of factory workers in Vitoria in the Basque Country, which culminated in a general strike of the entire city. The Spanish state, petrified by what seemed to be a soviet developing, ordered the police to open fire on a peaceful strikers’ assembly, murdering 5 workers and wounding over 100.

No-one has ever been brought to justice for this atrocity, as with many other atrocities from the late Franco era and the period of transition to “democracy”. Watch the full incredible story and then join in the discussion on how we can mark the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War by providing some international solidarity with the people of Vitoria’s struggle for justice.

PLUS: TEACHERS STRIKE (10:28)

As the campaign against Gove’s attempt to destroy education as we know it gets serious, we’ll be showing a video of the recent NUT strike and having a discussion with local teachers and parents about how to escalate the action and what form that should take.