IWGB

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

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:45
Author

Sacha Ismail and Ollie Moore

Tube union RMT suspended strikes planned by drivers on London Underground’s Central and Victoria Lines on 3-4 September, after bosses made a number of concessions.

The issues at the heart of the dispute include authoritarian management culture on both lines, and driver numbers on the Central Line particularly.

The union remains in dispute and activists say strikes should be reinstated if management renege on agreements.

Plans for TUC congress

At the time of writing discussions are taking place among labour movement anti-coup people about activities at the 2019 TUC Congress (8-11 September, in

TDL couriers turn tide

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 08:29
Author

Alex Marshall, TDL courier and IWGB rep

Twelve months of negotiating. The IWGB’s “Rise of the precarious workers” demonstration descending on TDL’s headquarters doorstep. Demonstrating outside the company Christmas party they weren’t invited to. A two day strike that included a motorbike procession to prestigious clients in the Harley Street area and temporary occupation of the company loading bay. Amazing speakers on the picket line including Owen Jones, Dave “Blacklist” Smith and Dr Louise Irvine and support from clients, entrepreneurs and heavyweights like the ITF. And finally on Friday a breakthrough for the unionised medical

IWGB debates democracy

Published on: Wed, 19/06/2019 - 10:05
Author

Zack, delegate to IWGB AGM

This is the second part of a report on the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union’s AGM on 8 June (first part in Solidarity 510, see here).

The AGM committed IWGB working closely with – and trying to revitalise – the wider labour movement, but voted against changes which would have made the union significantly more democratic.

Submitted by a sympathiser of Workers’ Liberty, the first motion stated that “IWGB is part of the broad labour movement… direct coordination and links between unions, at rank-and-file level, is essential for developing workers’ struggles and building

IWGB surveys its work

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 08:27
Author

Zack, delegate to IWGB AGM

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), a seven-year-old small union of mostly low-paid, often precarious, and disproportionately migrant workers, had its union-wide AGM on Saturday 8 June.

The IWGB, with almost 5,000 members now, is known for a combative and creative approach to fighting for its members, with loud, disruptive and sometimes secret protests, flash-occupations, and the like. IWGB ‘s ten “branches” — what in many UK unions might be called “sections”, although with considerably greater autonomy from the central union — gave reports.

Some highlights:

The University of

TDL out again on 10 June

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 09:20
Author

Duncan Parker, TDL courier and IWGB union rep

The couriers at The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) went on strike for the very first time for a 48-hour period on 24 and 25 May.

After a year of negotiations over pay and terms and conditions, where TDL used delaying and intimidation tactics, the couriers had had enough and balloted for strike action. The final straw was an attempt by TDL to force couriers into PAYE contracts with another pay cut. The ballot was a complete success with 85% voting for industrial action. We had two stunning sunny days and a great turnout for the strike.

Nearly thirty motorbikes parked in front of TDL headquarters on

Courier fight widens

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 10:40
Author

Zack, IWGB National Deliveroo Committee Chair

Couriers and IWGB members at The Doctor’s Laboratory will strike for 48 hours from 7.30 a.m. on 23 May until 25 May, over better pay and terms and conditions and equality with non-courier staff. TDL have been trying to illegally intimidate couriers out of striking, but have not managed. Deliveroo couriers will be joining them in solidarity.

The second issue of Puncture, the IWGB Deliveroo bulletin, started being distributed on Thursday 16 May. We’ve had very good reception from the first one, and we had way too much content to fit into it — a good problem to have! It’s on A3 folded, with two

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