Tuesday, 19 May 2020

A NEW LUCAS PLAN FOR POST-COVID SOCIALLY USEFUL JOBS?



A NEW LUCAS PLAN FOR POST-COVID SOCIALLY USEFUL JOBS? 

An online event on how worker-led industrial conversion to deal with the coronavirus pandemic is a model for the future. May 13 2020, 

The public health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has put into sharp focus the precarious nature of work and human lives upon which our neoliberal capitalist economies thrive. On the other hand, it has shown what type of work is essential to society such as work in health and social care, public transport and other public services, and in the food supply chain To ensure capital survives, the government has found a ‘magic money tree’ to stimulate the economy. Companies in the aerospace and defence sector are being called upon to repurpose their production lines for socially needed products such as ventilators or PPE. Whilst workers in some industries are already calling for conversion of their companies to produce socially useful products. In a few weeks, many things we were told were not possible, have become just that – possible. 

Many, even in the mainstream, say there will be no return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic is dealt with. We believe more radical changes are needed, and that socially useful production is the key idea for the future. This webinar will discuss how do we can learn from the Covid crisis to create workers and community plans for social and ecologically useful production as a way to address the pre-existing multiple crises of militarisation, climate change, and robotisation.

 Speakers include: Phil Asquith – former Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine member.
 Hilary Wainwright – founding editor Red Pepper, co-author, with Dave Elliott of ‘The Lucas Plan: a new trade unionism in the making’, fellow of the Transnational Institute’. 

 Representatives from Green Jobs Oshawa in Canada on their call to repurpose the former General Motors car plant to a public manufacturing facility

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Levellers Day 2020



Levellers Day 2020

 https://youtu.be/Yw08CZybpUc

236 views
17 May 2020



Contributors:John Rees – historian & political campaigner, Tracy Walsh – Red Learning Co-operative The Sea green singers,  Cathy Augustine – Co Vice-Chair, LRC,  Marie Walsh – Didcot Against Austerity Ciaran Walsh – Labour historian &; ranter, Jeremy Corbyn – Socialist &; MP for Islington North
Video of march Music from The Black Family and Attila The Stockbroker
Category
Licence

Saturday, 16 May 2020

No Going Back: Climate, Jobs and Justice in a time of Covid Crisis by Campaign against Climate Change


No Going Back: Climate, Jobs and Justice in a time of Covid Crisis

Mon, 25 May 2020

18:00 – 19:30 BST

Speakers include:
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
John McDonnell MP, former Shadow Chancellor
The coronavirus pandemic is not just a public health crisis but one of inequality. The fatal flaws it reveals in our system are the same ones driving the climate and ecological crisis.
During this public health crisis we have seen governments suddenly find the financial and political resources to bail out sectors of the economy - on a scale previously derided as impossible to deal with the climate crisis. The choices made now could push us deeper into crisis, worsening inequality globally, creating huge job losses and worsening the climate and ecological crisis through bailing out climate polluters in aviation and fossil fuel industries. Or we could seize this opportunity. In this webinar our speakers will discuss how we can mobilise for a just transformation of society, which has never been more urgent.
All welcome!

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

iwgb-to-sue-uk-government-over-its-failure-to-protect-precarious-workers








https://iwgb.org.uk/en/post/iwgb-to-sue-uk-government-over-its-failure-to-protect-precarious-workers

  • IWGB says statutory sick pay (SSP) arrangements discriminate against BAME workers, women and workers in the so-called “gig economy”.
  • 80% wage subsidies for employees further discriminate against “gig-economy” and self-employed workers who are excluded from the scheme.
  • Union has today launched a £20,000 crowdfunder to protect itself from potential legal costs. 23 March: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is taking legal action against the government over its failure to protect the wages and jobs of millions of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as its failure to ensure the health and safety of those still employed through proper sick pay. In a letter before action (1) being sent today, the union will argue that the current £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) arrangement discriminates against women, BAME workers and workers in the so-called “gig economy” for whom these payments are not enough to survive or in some cases not even available at all. (2) The union will further argue that the 80% wage subsidies offered by the government to businesses to keep people employed discriminates against “gig-economy” and other self-employed workers, who are not included in this scheme. (3) The current arrangements are not only discriminatory and risk driving millions of workers into deeper poverty, but are also a major threat to public health, since many workers are forced to continue working while sick or while they should be self-isolating in order to survive. Linda Arteaga, a cleaner and member of the IWGB’s Cleaners and Facilities branch said: “I work as a cleaner and I am a widowed single mother. As important as it may be to self-isolate, having to live for half a month on £94.25 per week would make my life impossible. I would have to choose between buying food for my family and following the Government’s health advice to protect the public.” Greg Howard, a Deliveroo rider and Secretary of the IWGB’s Couriers and Logistics branch said: “While other workers are being offered some assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a ‘gig economy’ worker I am being refused even the most basic protections. While the government expects workers such as myself to provide essential services during this crisis, if I am sick or if the company I work for has to downsize, I’ll be driven into deeper hardship. The law has to change so that it protects all workers.” IWGB General Secretary Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee said: "Many low paid and precarious workers are on the front lines of this crisis distributing food, delivering medical samples, cleaning buildings and looking after children in need, yet they have the least protection. Many who become sick or need to self-isolate will receive little or no sick pay. Others who are laid off will not receive wage subsidies from the Government because they are not employees. No one wants to be litigating right now, but we also cannot stand by while our members are exposed to unnecessary risk or driven into destitution." Kiran Daurka, the solicitor leading the Leigh Day team on the case alongside Anna Dews, said “The failure to protect the income of gig economy workers could see people having to work despite medical evidence to stay at home, it is an urgent omission that has to be addressed now.Many gig economy workers are not treated as being employed by their employers and as such may not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, or their pay may be so low that they do not reach the threshold for such pay. While some steps have been introduced by the government, these steps do not go far enough where employees are guaranteed 80% of their salary up to a cap of £2500 per month but gig economy workers do not have the same guarantees.” Solicitors from Leigh Day (4) and barristers from Old Square Chambers (5) are acting for the union and its members and its members. In order to protect itself from potential legal costs, the union has today launched a crowdfunder with an initial target of £8,000 and a stretch target of £20,000. The IWGB is the UK’s leading union for precarious workers and workers in the so-called ‘gig-economy’. It has previously taken strategic legal action against the UK government, Uber, Addison Lee, Deliveroo, eCourier, City Sprint, The Doctors Laboratory and The University of London. Last week the union sent a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding that he agree to 12 demands to protect the health, safety, and financial security of low paid precarious workers. -ENDS- For more information: press@iwgb.co.uk Notes: (1) A letter before action is the standard first step that is taken before the issuing of proceedings for a judicial review in the High Court. (2) Law around SSP is a case of indirect discirmination under the Equality Act 2010, because women and BAME employees are less likely to earn above the £118 weekly earnings threshold needed to qualify for SSP and because they are more likely to be on a low wage and have less of a financial cushion, and therefore are less likely to survive on such a low payment. It is also discriminatory under Article 14 (taken with Articles 8 nd Article 1, Protocol 1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) since it (or similar provisions) are denied to self-employed “gig economy” workers who are classed as either independent contractors or limb (b) workers. (3) The 80% wage subsidies are discriminatory against “gig economy” and self-employed workers under Article 14 (taken with Article 1, Protocol 1) of the ECHR. (4) Leigh Day Solicitors: Anna Dews, Kiran Daurka, Rosa Curling, Jamie Beagent and Benjamin Croft (5) Old Square Chambers Barristers: Ben Collins QC, Eleena Misra, Nadia Motraghi, and Rachel Owusu–Agyei.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Mapping a Just Transformation: The Plan


Mapping a Just Transformation: The Plan


Hosted by Campaign against Climate Change trade union group, a series of film screenings will explore the need for radical transformation in society, as exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the climate and ecological crisis which has not gone away. The film showings and discussion will be an opportunity to map what this Just Transformation could look like. We start with The Plan, taking inspiration for today's Just Transformation from visionary manufacturing workers and trade unionists from the 1970s.

‘THE PLAN that came from the bottom up’ is a thought-provoking film on the extraordinary story of Lucas Aerospace engineers. Forty years ago they responded to the threat of redundancy with their own plan of action, developing alternatives to the military products their company made, including wind turbines and hybrid cars.

There will be a Q&A with speakers Steve Sprung, the film’s director, and Danielle Paffard from Green New Deal UK, talking about the forthcoming national Build Back Better campaign.

Discussion will start at 6.30pm, and we'll provide links for you to view the film (either the half hour version or the longer version) before. Register here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mapping-a-just-transformation-the-plan-tickets-104547548532
and we'll email you details for how to join.

Please join us for this discussion when the need for a Just Transformation has never been so urgent.
All welcome!
Date:
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 18:30 to 19:30

Friday, 8 May 2020

Mugsborough Then & Now






Mugsborough Then & Now

📷The story of Robert Tressell and his book has been told and re-told by various authors, each account framed in accordance with their own perspective. His novel has also been the subject of academic scrutiny and literary criticism, but the approach adopted here is different. This new book focuses on the striking, not to say shocking parallels with modern day Britain, comparing Tressell’s descriptions of early 20th century Britain and with their 21st century counterparts.
Each subject is split into two parts, with the first section quoting examples from The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and in the second part evidence based modern-day equivalents are introduced.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Tell Boris Johnson: we need to work with Europe


From the start, the UK government's response to the coronavirus crisis has been clouded by the ideology of Brexit and isolationism. They've refused to take part in EU ventilator scheme, and they've ignored international advice on testing and lockdown.

At the moment, Boris Johnson's plan is not to extend the Brexit transition period beyond 31st December this year. This would be a disaster - walking away from Europe, with barely any time to negotiate a deal, just when we need to be working together. It would also mean losing access to vital European medical schemes. 
Tell Boris Johnson: we need to work with Europe
That's why we're launching a campaign to demand 3 things of the government: 
  1. Pause the Brexit transition period until a vaccine is available to everyone
  2. Keep Britain in the European Medicines Agency
  3. Ensure that Britain remains a member of the European Health Insurance Card scheme
You can write to Boris Johnson with just a couple of clicks by using this tool.

If you agree with us, and want to spread the word, give it a share on social media.

Thanks,

Michael
Another Europe