Solidarity 328, 18 June 2014

Ritzy Living Wage campaign: “unleashing passion and creativity”

Submitted by AWL on 18 June, 2014 - 3:06

From the 2014 dispute. For the 2016-17 dispute, see here and here.

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A socialist who works at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton, South London spoke to Solidarity about the Ritzy workers' Living Wage struggle (in a personal capacity).

What's the nature of the workforce at the Ritzy?

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Submitted by AWL on Wed, 18/06/2014 - 15:08

The next Ritzy strike will be on Saturday 21 June. The workers will be rallying in Windrush Square next to the cinema, with a full program of activities and entertainment all day.

If you'd like to help organise email ritzylivingwage@gmail.com

Week of action in support of the Ritzy workers, with actions at Picturehouses (13-22 June)

Submitted by AWL on Tue, 24/06/2014 - 16:45

On 21 June, as workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton took their seventh day of strike action for the London Living Wage, we held a solidarity action outside the Greenwich Picturehouse.

We distributed Ritzy Living Wage literature and the Cinema Workers' Solidarity campaign leaflet explaining BECTU's call for a boycott of Picturehouses until their management caves. We had numerous conversations with customers. About 80 signed a petition in support of the Ritzy workers' strike and their Living Wage demand; dozens handed in a letter to management expressing their displeasure; quite a few said they would boycott Picturehouses in future; and a few turned around there and then.

We also spoke to several workers, some of whom said they were interested in joining the union.

We'll be back in Greenwich soon.

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 2:13

Tube cleaners in the RMT union have faced a lock-out as managers sent them home for refusing to use “biometric booking-on” machines.

The machines are intended to replace the existing system of booking on by signing in with station supervisors, and by phone. They require cleaners to enter a fingerprint.

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Boris's water cannon aimed at protests

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 1:51

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has bought three water cannons for the Metropolitan Police despite the use of these weapons not yet being authorised by the government.

Johnson claims that the use of water cannons could prevent disorder such as the London riots of 2011; it will allow the Met to counter-act any rioting this summer.

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Planning for May 2015

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 1:41

Solidarity and Workers’ Liberty activists will seek in the May 2015 general election to work with other socialists in the Labour Party and in the labour movement to create a clear socialist voice within the campaign to win a Labour government.

As against Ukip, the Tories, the Lib-Dems, possible Tory-Ukip or Tory/ Lib-Dem coalitions, or a possible Labour/ Lib-Dem coalition, we are in solidarity with the broad labour movement and its desire for a Labour government.

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Ukraine: talks and tanks

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 1:37

On 13 June newly-elected Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and Russian president Vladimir Putin spoke for the first time on the phone.

The Russian government has, for now, rejected calls from the pro-Russian separatists in control in Donetsk (eastern Ukraine) to send Russian troops into Ukraine.

Yet in several respects a negotiated settlement looks somewhat further away.

Russia has stopped gas supplies to Ukraine, citing unpaid bills. Ukraine has lodged a counter-claim for a refund on gas purchases for which, it says, it paid too high a price.

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NCAFC plans national demo

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 1:34

On 14-15 June, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts hosted two national meetings, Class[room] Struggle and the Free Education Meeting.

Speakers involved in the dispute at Lambeth College opened the first event. Discussions throughout the day ranged from looking at the class struggle from a gendered perspective, anti-racism campaigning and living wage struggles on campus.

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Nazis organising in universities

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 1:31

Warwick Anti-Racism Society, supported by Warwick University UCU, organised a demonstration on 12 June, in protest against the rising presence of far-right extremists on their campus.

Over 200 students and trade union activists attended to oppose National Action, a group who want to “ethnically cleanse the UK of Jews and non-whites”. They are targeting universities because, according to their strategy pack, if they cannot tap into this market then they cannot succeed at all.

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Miliband calls for a “proper” Orgreave investigation

Submitted by Matthew on 18 June, 2014 - 1:24

Ed Miliband has called for a “proper investigation” into police conduct during the bloody confrontation at Orgreave during the 1984-85 miners' strike.

The 'Battle of Orgreave' saw thousands of police violently confront picketing miners in South Yorkshire, leading to many injuries. Almost a hundred pickets were then arrested and charged with riot, unlawful assembly and other offences. However, when the cases came to trial, all collapsed and were dropped, undermined by fabricated or non-existent evidence.

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