IWGB

Outsourced and directly employed workers unite at UCL

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:05

4 December will see a mass strike at University College London, as outsourced workers in the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) strike to demand direct employment and equality, alongside directly-employed workers in UCU, striking as part of the national dispute.

The two unions have worked well together locally, with UCU supporting the IWGB’s campaign, including a recent demonstration and its previous strike on 19 November. This unity is a model for elsewhere, with unions organising outsourced and directly-employed workers working together to coordinate action.

The ultimate aim

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 18:29
Author

Ollie Moore, Jay Dawkey

“Driver Only” dispute spreads

The announcement by rail union RMT of a sustained programme of strikes on West Midlands Trains and South Western Railway represents a significant escalation and expansion of the union’s protracted and hard-fought war against the imposition of “Driver Only Operation”.

On West Midlands Trains, guards struck on 16 November, with further strikes planned every Saturday up to 28 December. The strikes on West Midlands Trains are especially significant as this is first new Train Operating Company (TOC) to join the DOO strikes since they were spread to Arriva Rail North

Industrial news thumbnail reports

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:41
Author

Ollie Moore

UCL, LouLou’s, St Mary’s

Outsourced workers at University College London struck on 19 November, after voting for industrial action by a 98% majority.

The workers, who include cleaners, porters, and security guards, are members of the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), and are striking to demand equality with directly-employed staff.

IWGB members at “LouLou’s”, the exclusive celebrity members’ club in Mayfair, have also voted to strike. Their threat of industrial action has already secured two of their three demands – the reversal of outsourcing and the London living wage.

Working with the “micro-unions”

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:28
Author

John Moloney

PCS has been making efforts to develop links with United Voices of the World (UVW) and the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), small unions not affiliated to the TUC which organise mainly precarious and migrant workers.

Unlike some other TUC unions, we are not hostile to UVW and IWGB. We see them as an inspiration, and allies, rather a threat. They’ve done something the “mainstream” labour movement should have done, but hasn’t: organise precarious and outsourced workers and empower them to take direct action.

We fully support their disputes, and have been promoting them to PCS

Strikes at Virgin, West Midlands, South Western Railway

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:39
Author

Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Rail union RMT has called strikes on Virgin Trains, West Midlands Trains, and South Western Railway (SWR).

On the latter, the union has named a calendar of strikes throughout November and December, which will see walkouts on 16, 23, and 30 November, and 7, 14, 21, and 28 December. West Midlands Trains is the latest Train Operating Company to see its workers plan industrial action over the imposition of Driver Only Operation (DOO).

On Virgin Trains, train managers, a grade of customer-facing train crew, on the West Coast franchise will strike on 19 November to demand the reinstatement of an

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:31
Author

Gerry Bates, Dom Sztyber, Darren Bedford and Ollie Moore

The ballot for general secretary of the civil service union PCS will open on 7 November and close on 12 December.

For the first time in 18 years, the sitting general secretary, Mark Serwotka, faces a challenge from the left.

Bev Laidlaw, the Independent Left candidate, got 17 branch nominations, topping the number of 15 required to get on the ballot paper.

Serwotka got 62 nominations. The candidate backed by the Socialist Party, Marion Lloyd, got 39.

The SP was a dominant force in the union, closely allied with Serwotka, until about a year and a half ago.

In the Assistant General Secretary

Perspectives for the “tiny unions”

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:15
Author

Daniel Randall and Zack Muddle

A version of this article was discussed as a document at the Workers’ Liberty Industrial School held on 28 September. Workers’ Liberty organises such schools regularly for workplace activists to discuss political and strategic issues within the labour movement.

A relatively new feature on the landscape of the labour movement in Britain is the role of small trade unions, with a few thousand members at most, not affiliated to the TUC, organising mainly migrant and precarious workers, often in the so-called “gig economy”.

This document will refer to these unions as the “tiny unions”, and will

Royal Mail eCourier strike

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 09:04
Author

Zack, IWGB activist and Deliveroo courier

Couriers working for eCourier, a Royal Mail Group subsidiary, will strike on 10 and 11 October.

IWGB — the union they and I are in — demands the couriers be put on worker contracts, be paid the London Living Wage after costs and that the company enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the union.

For years, eCourier — like Deliveroo and many other courier companies — has been unlawfully classifying pushbike, motorbike and van couriers as independent contractors, denying them their most basic employment rights, including the right to a guaranteed minimum wage and the right to holiday

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 08:24
Author

Gerry Bates

Strikes in Bristol, Nottingham, Colchester, Newcastle and South London have continued the campaign by Deliveroo riders and the IWGB union, for better pay and conditions.

The Nottingham riders demands included reverting the fee change back to the previous minimum of £3.90 for cyclists and £4.15 for motorised vehicles and removing the vehicle priority which has seen cars and motorbikes get priority over bicycles.

In Bristol an ongoing issue is the safety of riders, particularly moped drivers who have found themselves attacked and victims of robbery while they go about their work.

In Brixton,

“Worker status” for couriers!

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 09:08
Author

Zack, Deliveroo courier activist, Bristol Couriers’ Network — IWGB

The California state legislature has passed a landmark “AB5” bill to tighten legislation in the so-called “gig economy”, extending basic workers’ rights to many who had been deprived them.

In the USA, as in the UK, companies such as Uber or Deliveroo falsely categorise most of their workers as “independent contractors”. This deprives us of basic workers’ rights such as minimum wage, holiday pay, a pension, and collective bargaining rights. The number of workers with such jobs has more than doubled in the last three years, to around one in ten working-age adults.

Companies, when attempting to

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