Pickets in London - Friday & Saturday

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Anonymous
Feb 2 2012 00:01
Pickets in London - Friday & Saturday

Friday morning starts with the sparks having called a mass walkout, picket at 7am outside Blackfriars:

http://www.facebook.com/events/360648107280478/

At 2pm in the afternoon there are two SolFed pickets outside Adecco offices in Kings Cross & London Bridge:

http://www.facebook.com/events/265994963470104/

Then in the evening the sparks are calling out the night shift as well so there is another picket at 7pm:

http://www.facebook.com/events/294379127286934/

Saturday has an IWW picket in solidarity with the Pizza Hut workers they're organising in Sheffield:

http://www.facebook.com/events/172395219535981/

So who's coming to what? I'm hoping to do the last three as I'm going out Thursday night and 7am is far too early to start.

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thegonzokid
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Feb 2 2012 10:01

Liverpool SF doing a Pizza Hut solidarity picket on Saturday. PM me for details if anyone's nearby.

Battlescarred
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Feb 2 2012 12:56

o" who's coming to what? I'm hoping to do the last three as I'm going out Thursday night and 7am is far too early to start."
Lightweight!

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 2 2012 14:44
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I'm hoping to do the last three as I'm going out Thursday night and 7am is far too early to start.

I gotta be up at 7 for work! sad

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Feb 3 2012 23:31

Went to the evening gathering. Not really a picket. It was cold and pretty gloomy. Only consolation was chatting to comrades of AF and Solfed. More leftists than electricians although there were a few of the latter. Confirms that the dynamic is ebbing away more and more, certainly in London, although in the discussion I had with him Can't Do Cartwheels argued that there is more potential in regions where there is a more regular workforce.
A big factor in the decline, however, is the continual union tactic of delays. It seems that there was a 66% vote for national strike action in the latest ballot (which is down from the previous vote which I think was 81%). But as before Balfour Beatty have called for an injunction and Unite is again saying we have to wait and see what the result of that is before organising the longed for national official strike. That means the date of 9 February talked about in Siteworker can be written off. The next 'big' event announced in the very short speech that closed proceedings was the demonstration in London on 15 Feb. I had a kind of discussion with one of the regular organisers, with Battlescarred and another comrade backing me up, over this question of putting demands on the national union vs workers organising themselves.
After about an hour most of us were heading home or to the pub.

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Choccy
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Feb 4 2012 08:17

Brum picket today too at Pizza Hut
http://www.facebook.com/events/350945024924105/

Harrison
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Feb 4 2012 09:36

Hull one at Pizza Hut today, will post up an account later on.

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Choccy
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Feb 4 2012 17:43

Brum one was well attended, lot of people turned away and quite a few people came up and said 'fair play'. A few went on in, the manager came out asked what it was about and took a photo but generally stayed away.

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Feb 4 2012 21:46

On reflection, perhaps the revolutionaries at the gathering on Friday need to think about how to play a more unified and active role in these events - how to seriously challenge the union's grip on the strike. The premises of solidarity have been laid down through the discussions and chats we have had at these protests, but I think it's time to move this onto the next level. That would need a proper discussion across the political divisions. This thread is as good a place as any.

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Feb 5 2012 03:19

hmmm. Call me a factionalist but I am quite against this 'left unity' line. TBH I feel that a lot of the sparks stuff has run counter to what SF are about and quite often when 'supporting' the sparks actions we have been acting like any other leftist group (handing out our prop, vying relevance). There has been more than one occasion at Blackfrars where I have felt bad for the workers that have had to battle through all the leftist fliers to get to work. But really, I don't feel it is becuase we are not 'unified' (there are good reasons why 'we' are not).

Fair enough. The question of 'solidarity' is a big one. But honestly, I don't see how SWP, ICC, SolFed united front are going to affect that one iota [insert SolFed industrial strategy here].

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Feb 5 2012 11:57

I wasn't thinking of the SWP, who are doing everything to reinforce illusions in the union. I am talking about unity between people who are critical of where the strike is going and above all the strategy of putting pressure on the union to act.

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Feb 5 2012 16:10

SF report on from the Pizza Hut picket in London:

http://solfed.org.uk/?q=london-supports-sheffield-pizza-hut-workers

Today saw members of North and South London SolFed join a picket in solidarity with Sheffield Pizza Hut workers. Organised by the IWW and targeting the busy Pizza Hut at the Strand, twenty picketers gave out leaflets to prospective customers and members of the public. The workers in Sheffield, who've organised with the Industrial Workers of the World, have been in a year-long dispute with the company over wage rates and holiday pay.

Despite the cold weather, the picketers were in high spirits and gave out hundreds of leaflets over the course of the afternoon. The picket was part of a national day of action against the pizza chain, with shops all around the country being picketed at the same time.

London SF would like to again extend our solidarity to the Sheffield Pizza Hut workers. For far too long highly profitable and hyper-exploitative fast food companies have gotten away with low wages, bad conditions, and management by bullying. By organising themselves, the workers in Sheffield have shown the power that workers have when they stick together. Our small act of participating in a London picket is the least we can do to support their struggle and, should the call go out, we'll be back outside Pizza Huts all around the country to demand respect and fair pay for its exploited workforce.

A write-up from the London IWW which also contains background on the dispute can be found here:

http://iww.org.uk/node/636

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Feb 7 2012 20:23

Is there any news about the London demonstration on the 15th? It's only a week's time.

Is anyone thinking about producing a statement on the way the strike is going?

baboon
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Feb 8 2012 21:20

I don't have a general overall impression on the possibility of a strike and it could be that the movement, a small but significant one of class struggle in Britain at this time, is one the wane. There's been a failure of the "pressurise the union" strategy and the electricians have explained themselves how the militant workers, taken on as full-timers, just become enmeshed in the machinery. As "Siteworker" put it: "We can only succeed with other trades and occupations reinforcing our ranks and standing alongside us in working class industrial solidarity, in a union or not, in common cause and purpose"

It looks like this month could be a crucial time for the struggle and I want to echo Alf's call above for a unified contribution to it from elements of the working class that see its importance. It doesn't mean aligning with the leftists (SWP et al), "left unity" or united-fronts but of putting forward the pressing needs of self-organisation. I think that the presence of the leftists shows all the more the need for a considered approach. A statement would be a good start.