Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Workfare Week of Action retrospective: 18th-24th March

Taken from BARF's website:

Last week’s Week of Action against Workfare saw 11 demos around the country, and got off to a positively super start, as Superdrug announced their withdrawal from the scheme (get it? “Super”? As in “Super”drug? No? Ahh, forget it). Okay, it was on the Friday, not the beginning of the week, you pedant, but they pulled out all the same.

But as a reminder, what is Workfare? From the leaflet: “Unemployed people being forced to work for free for up to six months with no guarantee of a job afterwards, many of them for major high street companies, such as British Heart Foundation, Debenhams, Poundland, Superdrug, Tesco, WHS Smiths, and more.” So, yeah, modern slavery, but without the obligation to keep the slaves healthy, because this time there’s more than enough of us.

At the beginning of the week, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) put out a ‘myth buster’ in defence of Workfare – conveniently made up of mythology itself. The ERSA is the trade body for welfare-to-work companies like A4e and JHP Employability. Though they claim that the scheme is only used in limited ways, 163,000 people were on “Government training and employment support programs” in February 2013 – over 10% of JSA claimants – most of which were Work Experience Placements. They think that Work Programme providers wouldn’t force people to do something that won’t help them get work, because they won’t get paid if they don’t help find someone a job; which is a logical perspective if you have no basis in reality. They also allege that mandation is used only in a minority of circumstances and must benefit to the local community, ignoring how claimants are pressured into placements, or not properly informed about their mandatory nature, and how the so-called “benefit to the local community” often includes cleaning private homes. And one of their most naïve claims: placements organised via the Work Programme and Mandatory Work Activity programme are unpaid precisely so they do not displace paid workers. But it is patently obvious that access to a ready supply of unpaid workers does replace paid jobs and undermine wages, and the companies know it too: ASDA reduces overtime hours for staff; Argos replaced its Christmas temps with Workfare staff; JHP Employability cuntishly even advertised workfare as “free temporary staff for up to four weeks” on their site. It’s uncertain to what extent this impact is, as the govermint refuses to actually carry out any trials. The ERSA also claim the public don’t object to workfare, in the face of growing opposition, and to prove it they hark back to a March 2011 poll done for thinktank Policy Exchange – long before workfare hit the headlines.

Another factoid to consider in all this: incidence and severity of assaults on JCP staff are apparently on the up, with frustration and confusion about sanctions are cited as the cause.

On Tuesday, attention was turned to the Salvation Army, whose UK HQ was paid a surprise visit. Nevertheless, the media-savvy Sally’s showed how they’re happy to act as Iain Duncan Smith’s Workfare foot soldiers, as their heavy-handed response to a peaceful protest left one person temporarily arrested after being falsely accused of assault, until police realised they’d been lied to. Never content to just stop there, when questioned about how they “can morally take sick and disabled people and force them to work?”, the charity replied that they believe in “emancipation through employment” – just like at Auschwitz. Should you wish to let them know exactly you think about their use of forced labour, ring them on 02073 674500 (or e-mail them at: info@salvationarmy.org.uk) – and please spare a thought for their witless PR officer who is probably even now just entering the dole queue. ‘Arbeit macht frei’, indeed.

But the real shit in ya slippers was Duncan Sith’s Workfare bill getting itself enacted in Parliament. Aside from a few votes against, Miliband’s goons put the ‘Slave’ back into Labour as their abstention slipped the law through with ease. Not only did politicians enable a retroactive law to be enacted, they also deprived 225,000 people of justice, effectively robbing £130 million in welfare payments people were lawfully due. Neo-nazi IDS (who has grown fat off benefits via his unemployed albeit rich, wife, four child benefit-enriched children and his own periods of dole claims) had this particular wet dream extraordinarily rushed through, with the Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading all being scheduled for the same day. Which is nice. This spate of legal time travel now means that the govermint has ‘always complied’ with the court ruling, even though for two years it did not. Slavery is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, and Orwellian fiction becomes fact.

But then again, if Babyface Smith didn’t get his way, “If the Department cannot make these retrospective changes, then further reductions in benefits might be required in order to find the money to repay the sanctions.” Otherwise known as: “Fuck you, plebs!”

Wednesday seemed a bit of a quiet one, but saw Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group leafleting outside the local Job Centre, in solidarity with the day’s strike by the PCS union.

One highlight of the week, for what it’s worth, is on the Thursday when the govermint was forced to admit that jobcentres have been setting targets to sanction claimants, despite assurances by employment minister Mark Hoban in Parliament that this sort of thing doesn’t happen. According to a leaked e-mail, staff in Walthamstow were threatened with disciplinary action for being 95th out of 109 on the league tables, only punishing six of their 300 claimants a week, when they should be setting up 25 innocents for sanctions (the keywords staff were on the lookout for were: “Do not accept the same job search every week, do not accept ‘I dropped off CV to shops like Asda or Sainsbury’s', listen for telltale phrases ‘I pick up the kids’, ‘I look after my neighbours children/my grandchildren’ or just ‘I am busy’”). Bearing in mind that such a league table could only have been compiled based on data supplied by senior management; makes you wonder what the top prize is? The DWP is of course trying to blame this faux pas on a couple of middle management bad eggs, rather than admit a general culture of top-down institutional hatred for ordinary people; surprise surprise, but why be so naïve as to expect that honesty is the name of the game? So all we’ll get out of it is a bullshit inquiry distraction before they start screwing us harder, but at least they were caught lying.

On the Friday, seven activists from BARF held a modest afternoon demo to greet the new Poundland on Westgate Street. Despite the focus of the High Court judgement (where Cait Reilly – the Geology Graduate forced to give up voluntary work in a museum to work for nothing at Poundland – whose successful challenge led to the ruling declaring Workfare regulations unlawful), Poundland are still at it. Poundland have 30-hour ‘Work Experience’ placements across 71 of their stores, though allegedly not in Bath. 80% of placements do not even get offered any kind of job there; considering how Poundland’s profits rose by 27% to £40 million in the last financial year, they can probably afford to hand out a bit of wage. Though they claim that their scheme is completely voluntary, it does involve Job Centre Plus, so the threat of benefit cuts are still on the cards for those who refuse. The degree to which the scheme is genuinely voluntary is disputed though, as there are countless reports of lies and intimidation to force Jobseekers’ participation, and after one week the scheme becomes mandatory. Not only are placementees getting an effective £2 or so an hour (do we not have a minimum wage in this country anymore?), the scheme is also a direct attack on Poundland’s other workers – replacing paid jobs, holiday pay & ending temporary posts for students and others who rely on this type of work. Boycott Workfare have received various complaints from Poundland staff who have had their hours cut, because of the Workfare job destruction scheme.

The demo was met by overwhelming support from the passersby (at least those who have heard of Workfare, which is surprisingly few), with such classics as the posh elderly former Tory (“Well, the government are just a bunch of cunts aren’t they? Pardon my language”), the Tory-hating UKIP-enthusiast, and Red Army Faction tattoo guy coyly suggesting a much-needed bombing campaign – perhaps we’ve been aiming a bit low with our action? Well, maybe we will, once we work our way through the bag of donuts we got donated. Protests like these do add up; until Poundland gives in, help us in fighting this attack on all workers’ terms and conditions – Don’t Shop At Poundland.

Feedback form: http://www.poundland.co.uk/enquiry/customer-enquiry/
Press centre: poundland@bottlepr.co.uk
Chief Executive (Warburg Pincus – their US-based private equity fund owners): egustafson@warburgpincus.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Poundland
Twitter: https://twitter.com/poundland

Then on the Saturday, BARFers joined 50 or so Bristol Afed, Solfeders, Wobs and Socialist Partygoers and fiends for a rolling picket throughout Bristol centre, meeting at Castle Park at 2, and chaosing its way through Cabot Circus for Dorothy Perkins, then Poundland (where a worker bizarrely knifed the banner and stole a demonstrator’s camera), then Debenhams, then McDonalds and then into the Galleries for Greggs, where protesters were handed another donation of donuts, from an amused competitor (notice a pattern?). The day finished up inside the Marriot Hotel, just before everyone froze to death. Saturday also saw action in Kirkgate, Scotland;

So, who has pulled out of the sinking ship we call ‘Workfare’? Well, we have Holland and Barrett, the Red Cross, Capability Scotland, Sue Ryder, Scope, Superdug, PDSA and Cancer Research, just off the top of my head. The Children’s Society has also pledged not to use Workfare. Already before the latest withdrawals, the govermint complained how “The high profile withdrawal of placements from a number of larger charities meant a sharp reduction in placements.” British Heart Foundation, for its part, are also now “moving away”, whatever that means; recently they declared they had withdrawn from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme, but are still openly declaring on their website that they are participating in the Work Programme – despite the fact that, in December, the scheme was extended to give providers the power to force many sick and disabled claimants on Employment and Support Allowance to work for nothing, or face sanctions. Nah, bollocks, BHF’re still fair game! Contact them via phone (retail HQ tel: 01372 477300; head office tel: 02075 540000; customer service centre – 03003 303322) or e-mail (customerservice@bhf.org.uk).

Also fair game is the YMCA, who recently made a statement defending their use of forced unpaid workers, ignoring the fact they are responsible for pushing people into destitution and possible homelessness, through sanctions which can last up to three years. Uselessly, their president Bishop John Sentamu has spoken out against workfare in the past. They can be rung on 02071 869500 or their shops’ hotline: 08456 010728, and e-mailed on shop@ymca.org.uk and enquiries@ymca.org.uk, tweeted at @ymcaint and then Facebooked at www.facebook.com/ymcas. But remember whilst it’s well worth trying to speak to a manager if possible, bear in mind most people taking calls/e-mails will be low paid retail or admin and could even be on Workfare themselves.

For the number-crunchers out there, one in five people sent on Mandatory Work Activity in charity shops face benefit stoppages of three or six months. Alongside BHF and YMCA, charities like the RSPCA (head office tel: 03001 230100), the Papworth Trust (e-mail: info@papworth.org.uk; utilising disabled labour) and TCV (The Conservation ‘Volunteers’, formerly BCTV; head office tel: 01302 388883, e-mail: information@tcv.org.uk, www.btcv.org.uk/volunteer/index.html) are still involved – with the latter previously boasted of using 20,000 unpaid workers on various govermint schemes since the ’80s, and their current lucrative DWP contracts have forced at least 589 people into unpaid work.

Miscellaneous Rogues GallerFrom Boycott Workfare:

  • Asda has been at the heart of workfare in the UK, helping the government relaunch its “Work Experience” scheme last year. We have had reports that one of their stores in Manchester uses disabled people on workfare on the night shift.
  • A4e is one of the biggest beneficiaries of govermint welfare policy – in 2011 the company turnover was £180 million, 100% of which came from public coffers. Out of this the bosses shared out £11 million between them. A4e utterly fail to meet even the paltry minimum targets set by the DWP for finding people jobs on the Work Programme. Not content with just this scam, aided and abetted by their friends in government, there are numerous accusations of fraud against them, where records are apparently falsified, so that they can claim even more public money for not doing their job. They are further subsidised by the public by their use of mandatory unpaid labour within the company as well.
    customer services: customerservices@a4e.co.uk; freephone tel: 0800 345666
    head of communications: kmccrory@a4e.co.uk
    media relations manager: jkerr@a4e.co.uk
    head office fax number: 0114 275 4632; send free faxes via: www.freepopfax.com; many classic books are available as free PDFs online – perhaps A4e would like to read them?
    website complaints form: mya4e.com/contact-us/complaints-form
    Also, why not send a secure e-mail via: www.hushmail.com
  • Argos appears to be using six week placements from the Job Centre on a massive scale. Multiple reports of Argos using workfare placements so that paid staff hours are being reduced, and fewer Christmas temps employed have emerged.
    business e-mail: info@argos.co.uk
    corporate irresponsibility (HRG): gordon.bentley@homeretailgroup.com, corporate.responsibility@homeretailgroup.com
    media relations (HRG): media.relations@homeretailgroup.com
    managing director: john.walden@argos.co.uk
    head office tel: 01908 690333
    customer Services tel: 01785 710253
  • Debenhams has 165 stores across the UK and Ireland, and a turnover of £2.2 billion. They too have been taking advantage of wageless, rightless workers supplied by the DWP at the taxpayers’ expense. They’re very keen to insist that the scheme they’re involved in is voluntary, but DWP rules say if you don’t get take part you’re referred to a scheme which carries 3 year sanctions. So it’s only voluntary if you say ‘yes’.
    press office: press.office@debenhams.com
    customer services: customerrelations@debenhams.com
    company secretary (Paul Eardley): company.secretariat@debenhams.com
  • Tesco has committed to 3000 workfare placements, and so far 80% of the 1,500 people who have gone through their stores have not been given a job. Tesco’s profits last year were £1.7 billion. 1,500 eight- week, thirty hour placements would mean the company has so far profited from 360,000 hours of free labour on the schemes.
    head office e-mail: online@tesco.co.uk; tel: 08457 225533; Tesco Direct: 08456 004411
    customer service e-mail: customer.service@tesco.co.uk
    Phil Clarke, current CEO: philip.clarke@uk.tesco.com
Postscript: Now, at BARF we do like to point out what absolute vermin the Tories are (both the blue and yellow tie versions), but it would be remiss of us to let Neo-Labour off. It was Labour who brought in the so-called ‘New Deal’, and who re-energised the current vogue of hatred directed towards the unemployed, the disabled, etc. In fact, without Labour and their simpering Cheshire cat of a Blair, then the Tories would never have dared to muster the cojones to try all this shit. Nope, Labour are as bad as the rest of ‘em; so, when I say ‘Tory’, you say ‘Scum!’ Tory! Scum! Libdem! Scum! Labour! Scum! UKIP! Scum! BNP! Scum! Greens – well, I’m personally tentatively prepared to cut them slack, at this present time…

Workfare Doesn’t Help Find Work
Workfare Threatens Paid Work

Petitions don't solve everything, you know...

…but sometimes, they can be damn funny!

Taken from BARF's website:

This one has got 75,000 signatures in less than 12 hours, and is at over 465,000 now.

It calls for Iain Duncan Smith, the current Work and Pensions Secretary, to prove his claim of being able to live on £7.57 a day, or £53 a week.

On a recent Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader said that, after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary and all-round cunt Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.”

So the petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year. This would help realise the Conservative party`s current mantra that “We are all in this together”.

This would mean a 97% reduction in his current income, which is £1,581.02 a week or £225 a day after tax.

Mind you, if he was obliged to go onto benefits-level income, he may well feel obliged to burn six kids to death as part of a crazy scheme, because that’s apparently what all dole scroungers are up to, according to Osborne.

Take Action Against Homebase: Lets Stop Workfare in its Tracks

Taken from BARF's website:

UPDATE: Homebase are feeling the heat, and have put out the following statement today (Tuesday 9th) :While we review our local arrangements, we have decided to make no further commitment to the Job Centre work experience’. Whilst this shows we are all making an impact, is it really good enough? Have your say on this facebook poll.

BHGETJJCQAEZmqf.jpg large

Recently, sources including Tom Pride’s blog, revealed that Homebase had been recruiting unpaid workers via a ‘work experience program’. Even worse they were actually boasting about getting extra hours of work by exploiting job seekers and reducing their ‘payroll costs’.  A poster was spotted in a management office asking  ‘would 750 hours with no payroll costs benefit your store?‘.  Few companies are this brutally honest about their motivations!

Our first response was to ‘politely contact’ homebase online, and we were far from the only ones.  Angry comments on twitter & facebook were popping up faster than they could delete them. They managed to remove ours, only for a many of our facebook friends to repost it.  All these responses seemed to worry the management at Homebase and they quickly put out a couple of rushed statements including:

“[..] The company has not signed up to the workfare programme, but, on occasions, works with local organisations to help unemployed people into the workplace. A number of unemployed people have recently joined our Haringey store through JobCentre Plus in a short, voluntary programme, to gain work experience. They are entirely under no obligation to participate, nor will non participation affect any benefits. Colleagues at this store also have not been impacted by this programme in any reduction of hours.’ and ‘Some of our best colleagues have joined us having previously been unemployed [...]“

Even on a first read through these statements seem to be full of double speak and blatant lies. They start by saying they haven’t signed up to workfare but then describe a workfare scheme they have evidently signed up to! They move on to say it is voluntary even though it has been repeatedly revealed that the job centre forces people onto so-called ‘voluntary’ schemes, by threatening them with sanctions,  telling them the only alternative is an even worse mandatory scheme,  illegally giving inaccurate information and not explaining to them their right to refuse.

Next they say that the workfare scheme has not impacted staff or reduced over time hours, boycott workfare quickly exposed this as an outright lie with a staff member reporting massive reductions in overtime. They also revealed that Homebase isn’t offering any of their unpaid workers jobs, hardly surprising given the fact that only 4% of people on the work program end up with steady job. As for their claim that some people who got a job with them were unemployed before hand?  Well surely this is true anywhere, its quite common to be unemployed before you get a job!

We’re calling on individuals and groups around the country to join us in taking action against Homebase. (facebook event)

We propose that people keep up the contact and criticism via their Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, customer e-mail, media enquiries e-mail, post box,  and telephone. Then, if Homebase has not 100% officially backed out of all methods of exploiting unpaid workers at the expense of their paid staff, we call on people to hold protests at their local homebase store a week from now, on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of April. If there isn’t a Homebase close by, why not hold a protest at an Argos instead, seeing as it also uses workfare in the same way and is owned by the same parent company! If you are thinking of joining in with the national days of action against Homebase, we highly recommend you speak to the staff working in the shop before hand. If you work their yourself, or know someone that does, this is ideal. Even if you don’t it is worth going down before your protest and politely talking to staff in a relaxed way. Make it clear that your protest is not aimed at them, but at the management and owners of homebase. Explain how if this isn’t stopped it could negatively affect their jobs.  Encourage them to get together and talk to other members of staff at Homebase, and consider joining a workplace group or union to fight to protect and improve their pay and conditions (we would recommend the IWW or Solidarity Federation, but the choice will depend on the local situation).

We will be calling for a picket and protest at our local Homebase, in the mean time we have set up a Facebook Event to help people network, share ideas, and advertise their local events. We also suggest using the Boycott Workfare and UK Uncut websites to help network with other people in your area.
Additionally, this is the demand they have made of Homebase, what would be enough for you to call off your action may vary:

Release a binding statement that clearly states 1) you will never participate in any workfare schemes nationally or locally* 2) Homebase will stop all current involvement with all schemes (including the ‘work experience program’) that equate to people working for you for no money**  3) you apologise for the callous nature of the poster that was up in a management office (a picture of which is bellow) and will investigate the manager(s) responsible 4) You compensate anyone who has been on such a scheme with you, and if a paid position is available offer them a job should they decide they want one. Due to the circumstances of the job offer it should be completely acceptable for someone to refuse, Homebase should work with the job centre to ensure this in itself does not lead to sanctions. 
This absolutely must not impact on hours, overtime or pay for current staff members.

*with the definition of workfare being any scheme where unemployed people work for you without pay, including (but not limited to) so-called ‘work experience’ schemes operated by the job centre and private companies.

** Homebase will also ensure that no one suffers any sanctions due to the scheme ending, something they should actively pursue and check up on with the relevant job centres.

PS – Swindon Anarchists will be carrying out a demo on Friday night

Monday, 5 November 2012

There will be a 'Defend NHS Workers' demo in Bristol on Saturday the 1st December, leaving College Green at 11am. More details are to follow but, in the meantime, it would be great to get as many people out as possible.

There will also be a national day of action on Workfare before then, on the Saturday the 17th of this month. Bristol Anarchist Federation among others will be out taking action that day, but there should hopefully be action in Bath that day, too.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pro-NHS Demos

Lifted from Unison South West:
UNISON Members Fight for the Future of the NHS Across the South West

UNISON members are lobbying the board meetings of each of the twenty Trusts in the South West Pay Cartel, throughout September and October, and asking them to pull out of the cartel with immediate effect.
UNISON members are angry at proposals which may lead to 15% pay cuts, on the back of years of pay freezes and rising workloads.  They are demanding that Trusts involved, put their frequently stated commitment to patients and their staff into action by leaving the cartel immediately.

Most of the Pay Cartel Trusts, termed a Pay and Conditions Consortium by the Trusts involved, have board meetings and AGMs scheduled throughout September and October.

Joanne Kaye, UNISON South West Regional Secretary, said:

‘Our members are lobbying these Trust Boards now because the future of the NHS in the South West is in their hands.  We need to ensure that Trust Boards members are aware of the risks they are taking with the health service.

‘The members who make up each Trust Board are charged with upholding the integrity of the NHS and ensuring the best possible patient care.  Cutting pay, destroying morale, and forcing nurses, midwives, doctors and other healthcare workers to leave the area or find other jobs will harm patient care and undermine the Trust’s performance in every way.  Ultimately every one of us, whether we work in the NHS, have children or relatives who need the NHS, or whether we are patients ourselves, will lose.

‘NHS workers make the NHS the national treasure it is.  We know that many Trusts have only joined this Cartel because they are worried about the opinion of their counterparts in other Trusts.  They will make the ultimate decision at individual Trust level and they shouldn’t let themselves be bullied by a few hardliners.  UNISON is asking each and every Board Member to forget about what other Trust Boards will think.  We are asking them to recognise the true value of their staff and the services they provide.  We are asking them to remember that their duty is to their local people, communities and businesses by voting to pull out of the Cartel immediately.’

Joanne Kaye continued:

‘National negotiations are at a critical stage.  The Cartel are undermining these negotiations and moving too quickly, trying to force the next round of Trust Boards meetings into make rushed ill-informed decisions that will bring regional pay to the region.

‘Our members are prepared to fight the Cartel to safeguard their future and the future of the NHS.  There are a massive 20 lobbies of AGMs and Trust Board meetings taking place next week, and this lobbying action is part of a wider UNISON campaign against the cartel which includes a national petition, individual petitions, meeting MPs individually and parliamentary meetings.  UNISON’s campaign is gaining support all the time and recent reports* have provided clear evidence that introducing regional pay is wasteful and time consuming – which is why most national, multi-site companies in the private sector do not use it, preferring national pay structures with additions for London and the South East.’


Notes to Editor

South West Pay Cartel Background Information

Twenty South West Trusts have set up a South West regional pay consortium, also known as the ‘Pay Cartel’, to fix pay, terms and conditions and to create a regional pay system.  Each Trust has paid in £10,000 of public money to pay for consultants to look into plans to set up a regional pay structure.  This plan would take affected South West healthcare staff out of the nationally negotiated Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions.  Leaked documents show the Cartel are considering increasing working hours and cutting holiday entitlement; reducing pay; cutting sick pay; introduce performance related pay progression and reducing unsocial hours payments.  UNISON claims the consequences for the region will be disastrous and that skilled health workers will be driven out of the region, taking money out of the local economy and deepening the healthcare postcode lottery.

- More information is available on the UNISON South West’s Pay Cartel campaign webpages

- *Crowding Out – An independent report by Incomes Data Services.  For a copy of the report contact Jenn Gollings.

List of Lobbies taking place over the remainder of September

Wednesday 26 September
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust
Lobbying of Board meeting from 9am
Location:  RICE Centre, RUH

Lobbying of Annual Members’ meeting from 6pm
Location:  Assembly Room, Bath
Contact: Catriona Scott on 07506 292973

Thursday 27 September
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Lobbying of Board meeting starting at 9am
Location:  outside the Trust Headquarters, UBHT, Bristol
Contact: Jayne Jackson on 07508 080346

Thursday 27 September
North Bristol NHS Trust
Lobbying board meeting from 10am
Location:  Outside the Trust headquarters by the Tennis Courts, Frenchay Hospital, North Bristol Trust
Contact: Jayne Jackson on 07508 080346″

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Events for September and October

CARE NOT FOR SALE - Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance demo against planned closures to care homes in Bristol, at Bristol Council House, Tuesday the 18th September, at 5pm

BATH TRADES COUNCIL – the next meeting will on Thursday the 20th of September, at 7.45pm, at the Fire Station

FESTIVAL FOR A FUTURE THAT WORKS – taking place on Saturday the 22nd September, a festival from 1 til 6pm in Kingswood Park (http://www.bristolanticutsalliance.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Festival_for_a_Future_That_Works-1.pdf)

WORKFARE DEMO – Saturday the 29th September, meeting outside Bath Abbey at 12.30

NEXT BACA MEETING – our next meeting for this group will be on Tuesday the 2nd October, 8pm, upstairs at the Ram

DESTROYING THE R.U.H. - an awareness-raising event in Bath highlighting the planned attack on medical staff's pay and conditions at the Royal United Hospital. Saturday 6th October, 10.30am - 12.30,
outside the entrance to Green Park Station

TORY PARTY CONFERENCE – Sunday 7th October, at the ICC in Birmingham

TUC MARCH IN LONDON – on Saturday the 20th of October. Coaches will be leaving Laura Place, Newbridge Park and Ride, Trowbridge and Keynsham. Contact your own union for info OR trades council OR us!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Save Our Care Homes in Bristol

Dear BADACA Supporter

We are contacting you to appeal for your help in a very important campaign. Details are below. If you have any queries please email admin@bristolanticutsalliance.org.uk 

As you probably know, Bristol City Council is making drastic changes to its care services for the elderly and vulnerable involving closures and privatisation. The case against this is set out in our leaflet here

We are mounting our biggest campaign so far to stop this in conjunction with GMB, Unison and Unite trade unions. There already has been a very powerful lobby of the Council Cabinet meeting which took the decision (by 8 councillors out of 70) and we now wish to mount a much bigger lobby of the full Council meeting on 18th September in order to stop the care cuts programme.

To do this we now need your active help.

In the coming weeks we intend to:
  • lobby “consultation” meetings that Council officers are having with staff and service users (consultation after the decision has been taken)
  • obtain as many signatures as possible on a petition
  • distribute leaflets putting the case against the Council’s cuts in care.
This campaign is the most important BADACA has launched so far. The cuts in the care service represent the worst and cruellest aspect of the Coalition Government’s austerity programme, so enthusiastically implemented by Bristol’s LibDem council.

We can win this campaign. The LibDems in Bristol are weak; the Coalition is beginning to fall apart; resistance is growing. They were shaken by the strength of feeling of the lobby in July, a massive lobby in September could break their nerve.

BADACA has over 1000 contacts and supporters; we have held significant demonstrations. It is now time for everyone in this city who opposes the cuts in public services to:
  • support the lobby
  • help us through the petition and leaflet to mobilise the opposition in the next three weeks.

We will be leafleting and petitioning on Saturdays 1st, 8th & 15th September at the following places:

Tescos, Church St., St George
10.30am – 12.30pm
Outside Asda, East St., Bedminster
10.30am – 11.30am
Broadwalk, Knowle
10.00am – 12.00pm
Gloucester Rd (by Amnesty bookshop)
11.00am – 1.00pm
Southmead Library
11.00am – 12.00pm

Please come along to help at these dates/times/places. 

On Saturday 15th September we hope to have a very large presence in BroadmeadThere will also be activity on weekdays for those who are available. If you are able to offer additional help please email admin@bristolanticutsalliance.org.uk

The campaign will cost money and BADACA is running out of it. The unions are financing leaflets but we will need more. Please send what you can to: Mike Luff, BADACA Treasurer, 101, Rose Green Road, Bristol, BS 5 7UT. Cheques tshould be made out to Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance.