Sunday, 21 August 2016

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC activities and news

New book The Burston School Strike

The third book in our series on the history of labour movement struggles in the Region will be available from 5 September. 60 pages, written by Peta Steel, price £2. Send cash or cheque (payable to SERTUC) to Joanne Williams, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Burston Strike School Rally

Sunday 4 September with Mick Whelan ASLEF, Attila the Stockbroker, Steve White and the Protest Family, NASUWT Brass Band, Red Flag, Grace Petrie, Banner Theatre 1st May Band and John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor

Cable Street 80 Sunday 9 October

Rally in Altab Ali park, march, rally in St George’s Gardens plus many other community and political events

Retrospect Opera The Boatswain’s Mate by Ethel Smyth

SERTUC sponsored the recording of this opera by Ethel Smyth (who wrote The March of the Women, anthem of the suffragette movement). The recording is available to buy here

Celebrating 50 years of the 1967 Abortion Act

SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee is supporting Abortion Rights’ events January 2017 to October 2018.

19 disabled people murdered in Sagamihara Japan

SERTUC International Committee asks you to support and contribute to the Book of Condolence established by Inclusion London, Disabled People Against the Cuts and People First Advocacy

Trade union actions

NUT World Teachers’ Day Wednesday 5 October

With Amnesty International and Day-Mer 6pm London. Free, info here


Fund our NHS campaign

See Matt Dykes from the TUC’s blog here with links to actions and also much info here

Midland Region TUC demo

Demonstration at the Conservative Party conference Sunday 2 October, Birmingham with Dave Prentis Unison, Tom Roache GMB, Owen Jones writer

Trades Council actions

Battersea & Wandsworth trades council

North Battersea Alliance against the Bridge family fun day Saturday 10 September 11am to 4pm

Barnsley trades council Festival of Labour

Other actions/events

Lewisham Pensioners Forum

The LPF is looking for Lewisham trade union activists, 55 years plus, who are no longer in full time employment but want to use their union experience, skills and connections to campaign for a better society or call Doris Smith on 020 8698 9062

NPC conference and lobby

·         Conference The future of public transport Thursday 22 September 11am London. £5 including lunch
·         Lobby of parliament Wednesday 2 November 12 noon plus rally in parliament

Marx Memorial Library events

·         Membership Volunteer wanted (with IT skills) for half a day a week. Contact for more info
·         17-30 October Remembering the International Brigades, two week festival
·         Fundraising evening with socialist magician Ian Saville at the Harrison Pub Wednesday 21 September 7pm 

Poetry on the picket line

To add to this newsletter contact

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Grunwick strike began 40 years ago today: 'WE ARE THOSE LIONS' - commemoration events

Saturday, 20 August 2016 


From Grunwick40
It's an important day.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moments of the Grunwick strike – and we're proud to announce our plans to commemorate it. 

We'll be running a series of inspiring, thought-provoking events exploring Grunwick and its legacy, launching with Grunwick Memories on Saturday 27 August.

Grunwick Memories is a free event, giving you the opportunity to explore and contribute to the Grunwick archive held by Brent Museum and Archives. Come along and take part in a story sharing session and add your memories and experiences of the strike to the Archive. You will also get an exclusive look at some of the materials that will feature in the upcoming exhibition.

Grunwick Memories will take place at Brent Archive, on the second floor of The Library at Willesden Green, Willesden High Road NW10 2SF, from 2-4 pm on Saturday 27 August. Please join us!Email or call 020 8937 3600 for more information.

Other upcoming events:
• We are those lions: The story of the Grunwick strike 1976-78 exhibition, launching October 2016 at The Library at Willesden Green. Look out for the launch date – coming soon.
• The Great Grunwick Mural unveiling, Chapter Road, NW10. Be the first to see our amazing murals in place near the original Grunwick site. The design and unveiling details are still under wraps, but we'll be revealing details over the next few weeks, along with the names of our special guests, who'll be providing music and entertainment.
• Explore Grunwick in more detail at our November events, a film screening and discussion on “Race and the Unions” at SOAS, November 2nd, and Grunwick 40: The Conference, The Library at Willesden Green, November 26th – booking for these events will open in October.

Yours in solidarity,

Grunwick 40

PS: Don't miss out on the reissued anniversary edition of Grunwick: The Workers’ Story, by Jack Dromey and Graham Taylor, with an updated introduction – due out in late September.

acknowledgements to Martin Francis

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Grunwick Changed Me

Grunwick Changed Me

Maya Amin-Smith explores the impact of the Grunwick dispute, which began in August 1976, and finds out how members of her family became involved, and how they look back on it now.
The Grunwick dispute, at a film processing plant in north west London, is widely regarded as a landmark in British trade union history. For the first time, a high-profile strike involved women from South Asian immigrant communities, many of whom were fairly recent arrivals in the UK. Few if any had experience of industrial action - and the press at the time quickly noticed what they called 'strikers in saris', an image which challenged the perception that strikes were largely led by white men.
But aside from the public legacy of the Grunwick dispute, what was the personal impact on the people involved?
Maya Amin-Smith was born fifteen years after the strike was abandoned, into an Indian family of East-African immigrants. Her family had settled in the Chapter Road area of Dollis Hill where the Grunwick factory was situated. Indeed, two of her great aunts worked at the film processing plant themselves.
There's little sign now in the narrow streets of Dollis Hill that this was once the site of a long and bitter struggle, but now that the dust has settled, Maya explores the impact that this industrial action has had not only on her family, but on families like hers within the South Asian immigrant community, and how it's remembered now.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Why you should support the #DeliverooStrike

Why you should support the #DeliverooStrike

Freedom and flexibility: the new On-Demand platform economy. Drivers, couriers, cleaners and handymen are now at your beck and call thanks to a host of apps. But what’s it like to work for an On-Demand service?
For scooter drivers and cyclists at Deliveroo “freedom and flexibility” means exploitation and exhaustion. And they’ve had enough of it.
This week Deliveroo drivers organised a strike over changes to their pay. Currently drivers earn less than the London Living Wage at £7/hour + £1/delivery. But Deliveroo want to ditch the hourly rate, and move to zero hours contracts, where drivers would earn a mere £3.75/delivery. Many drivers already work 60 hours or more per week to make ends meet.
Their employment contracts are already desperately precarious, offering no job security, no sick pay, no paid holidays and no guaranteed hours - the epitome of the deregulated workplace. The new terms could mean drivers work whole days for nothing. This strike represents a stand against this move to calculated and maximised exploitation.
The strike started on Wednesday, as hundreds of drivers gathered outside the Deliveroo Head Office on Torrington Place, WC1. Drivers are striking for a fairer hourly rate at the London Living Wage of £9.40 plus petrol costs, plus tips, plus £1/per delivery. When drivers sought to negotiate, Deliveroo responded by sacking them.
This is the true face of Deliveroo and of zero-hours contract Britain. But this strike could change everything.
The Deliveroo strike continues, and they need our help.
Every hour on strike for fairer pay is an hour of lost pay. By raising a strike fund to cover lost pay we can help drivers win the London Living Wage and begin to transform the economy from the bottom up. Please give whatever you can afford.
Find out more about the Deliveroo strike and updates, here.
Follow the strike on Twitter via @IWGB_CLB #DeliverooStrike #Slaveroo
Your information will be held securely and privately. By donating, you agree to receive updates from this campaign and Crowdpac, and consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy. You can opt out at any time.

Monday, 8 August 2016

The People's Assembly will be holding a major conference and a national demonstration at Theresa May's first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister.

The People's Assembly will be holding a major conference and a national demonstration at Theresa May's first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister. These events will take place over 1st and 2nd October demanding an alternative to 'Austerity Britain'.

Saturday 1 OctoberThe People's Conference: Our Alternative To Austerity

@ Birmingham Town Hall >> Register your place

Sunday 2 OctoberNational Demonstration: Tories Out - Austerity Has Failed

@ Victoria Square, Birmingham >> Please invite and share on Facebook
We face insecure employment, low pay, and a drive to privatise our public services. There’s a growing housing crisis, our NHS is going through the biggest funding squeeze since it’s foundation, and our Education system is over-stretched. Local services have been shut down as huge budget cuts are forced on councils.

Big business, corporations and the richest are squireling away money in offshore tax havens, awarding themselves bonuses, while immigrants are blamed for problems they had no hand in creating. And everyone else is told to tighten their belts.

Austerity has clearly failed the majority but what is the alternative? At the conference we will explore and discuss how it's possible to achieve a society where everyone has secure housing, jobs and decent education. It will counter the lies that will come out of the Tory Conference over the following days, and will propose a series of actions over the coming weeks and months that can create a movement that stops austerity in it's tracks. The demonstration will be a visible display of mass opposition and intervene in the mainstream debate when all we'll hear in the media is the austerity obsessed narrative coming out of their conference.

See you in Birmingham!

The People's Assembly Against Austerity

Friday, 29 July 2016

Michaela Secondary Free School punishes children for having hard-up parents

Friday, 29 July 2016

Michaela Secondary Free School punishes children for having hard-up parents

I suspect not many of my readers also read the Daily Mail so here is a brief summary of an on-line story carried by the Mail LINK.

Katharine Birbalsingh who hit the headlines when she became Michael Gove's darling after she told a Tory Conference that the education system was broken based on her experience at a London secondary school, is head of Michaela Secondary Free School in Wembley Park.  The school advertises its strict discipline policy and 'private school ethos' and has a laudatory comment from Boris Johnson hanging on its exterior.

The Mail story is not about the school's strict umbrella code (black or navy blue only) or its service to parents whereby they can text pictures of school shoes they are about to buy for approval LINK, but about its attitude towards the children of hard-up families.

The Mail reveals that children whose parents are behind with meal payments are put in lunch isolation, being made to sit on their own for the whole lunch hour, and are given a sandwich instead of a hot meal with dessert.

The Mail quotes a letter from the deputy headteacher, Barry Smith, to unemployed care worker Dionne Kelly. Dione had paid by the time she received the letter but her child was punished anyway:
The deadline for this term's lunch payment was 1st June 2016. You are currently £75 overdue. If this full amount is not received within this week your child will be placed into Lunch isolation.

They will receive a sandwich and a piece of fruit only. Only when the outstanding sum is paid in full will they be allowed to eat lunch with their classmates.
Birbalsingh told the Mail that the letter was sent in an attempt to encourage the parent to change her ways and support her son by paying for his food.

Sam Royston of the Children's Society said, 'No school should punish and potentially stigmatise a child because a parent has not paid for, or is unable to afford, school meals.'

Monday, 11 July 2016

SERTUC activities and news

Burston Strike School Rally

Sunday 4 September with Mick Whelan ASLEF, TUC President Liz Snape, Attila the Stockbroker, Steve White and the Protest Family, NASUWT Brass Band, Red Flag, Grace Petrie, Banner Theatre 1st May Band and John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor

SERTUC Education courses from September 2016

Trade union actions

Fire Brigades Union video on cuts

Unite Community Southampton

LeftFest Saturday 23 July 11am A celebration of local left and progressive activism

Unite Bromley march to save our services

Saturday 23 July 11am contact 07771 818 637


TUC national action plan after the European Referendum

Petition your MP on workers’ rights

Midland Region TUC demo

Demonstration at the Conservative Party conference Sunday 2 October, Birmingham with Dave Prentis Unison, Tom Roache GMB, Owen Jones writer

Trades Council actions

Lambeth at the Lambeth Country Show

16 and 17 July Lambeth trades council will be having their usual trades union marquee. Included are the Lambeth & Wandsworth Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Greenwich and Bexley street stall

Saturday 23 July at Charlton Community Day contact

West Surrey trades council

Next meeting Thursday 14 July 6.30pm

Battersea & Wandsworth celebration

·         John Burns’ Battersea Saturday 23 July 4pm
·         No to the vanity bridge! Public meeting Tuesday 26 July 7pm

Barking, Dagenham and Havering is going to Tolpuddle

Free coach leaving Dagenham at 7.45am on Sunday 17 July, leaving Tolpuddle at 5.45pm. £5 returnable deposit will be returned on the coach. Contact

Brent commemorates Grunwick 40

It’s 40 years since the Grunwick strike

Thanet trades council meeting

Next meeting Wednesday 20 July 7.30pm Broadstairs

GLATUC briefing

All London trades council officers and delegates welcome Tuesday 19 July 7pm contact

Other actions/events

Morning Star @ 50 celebration

Saturday 23 July 12.30pm till late. Free. Marx Memorial Library

NPC conference and lobby

·         Conference The future of public transport Thursday 22 September 11am London. £5 including lunch
·         Lobby of parliament Wednesday 2 November 12 noon plus rally in parliament

Norwich Pride Saturday 30 July

Day of Action against Personal Independence Payments

Wednesday 13 July Ipswich action 11.30am

Grunwick film Wednesday 20 July

Film, panel discussion, social £5/£3

Hackney Unites #moreincommon

Palestine Youth Orchestra UK tour

Royal Festival Hall London Monday 1 August 7.30pm

Redbridge Forest Farm Peace Garden

Sunday 10 July World Music Day, free and family friendly, 12 noon to 5pm

Cuba Solidarity Campaign

CND Stop Trident lobby Wednesday 13 July

·         12 noon onwards
·         publication Trident and jobs

Thanet Labour Councillors public meeting

On WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality Saturday 9 July Ramsgate, more info

Tolpuddle Festival

15 to 17 July 2016 the annual event commemorating the contribution of the Tolpuddle Martyrs

Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Lecture

Saturday 13 August 7pm at Wortley Hall, near Sheffield. Lecture by Ruth Taillon “Socialism, Feminism and the Women of 1916”

Marx Memorial Library events

·         NOW: Exhibition: Socialist Opposition to World War 1 will be at Congress House 25 June to 11 July
·         17-30 October Remembering the International Brigades, two week festival
·         Appeal for a plans chest for posters
·         Socialist Opposition to World War One exhibition At Congress House 25 June to 11 July

Send a piano to Cuba

Ada Salter Day

Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July Many events to celebrate this outstanding campaigner. Bermondsey

To add to this newsletter contact

The information in this email is intended only for the named recipient(s) and may be privileged or confidential.If you are not the intended recipient please notify us on +44 (0) 20 7636 4030 and delete it from your system. Do not copy, distribute or take action based on the mis-directed email. If the email is marked 'Personal' the TUC is not liable in any way for its contents.
If you want to know more about the TUC, visit us at