Bristol IWW just Keeps on Winning!


workerspowerFollowing up from our double victory at Your Lifestyle (see here and here), we are delighted to announce another win for a Fellow Worker, this time in the Bar and Hospitality sector.

A Fellow Worker (FW) worked for 5 weeks in the kitchens of Beefeater restaurant, next to the Bear Pit in the centre of Bristol. After he left he didn’t get paid, and then spent weeks chasing the company for the £797 they owed him with no luck. So, he turned to his union for support.

We assigned a caseworker who had the same first language as the FW, who got the details of the case and then contacted the company on his behalf. They did not reply so the FW, accompanied by another IWW caseworker, carried out a ‘demand delivery’ – hand delivering a letter to the company making it clear that we would start demonstrating outside the restaurant until the money was paid.

After some further correspondence, Beefeater eventually made an offer close to the amount the FW was looking for, and he decided to accept. Victory to the Fellow Worker with the support of his union – the Fighting IWW!

The Fellow Worker writes:

“Acabo de recibir la transferencia de Beefeater. Mil gracias por vuestro apoyo, interés , empatía e implicación. Siempre os estaré agradecido por todo lo que habeís hecho por mi. Da mucha alegría ver que la acción sindical funciona en este país. Un abrazo a todos/as.”

I have just received the bank transfer from Beefeater. Thank you very much for your support, interest, empathy and involvement. I will be always be grateful to you for everything you have done for me. It’s uplifting to see that syndicalist action in this country works. Hugs to all.”

Have you had problems with your employer? Or do you want to help support those who have?

Join the IWW today, and join the fight for a better, fairer deal between workers and bosses! We can train you to be a workplace organiser and a union rep, and support other members in disputes with their employers.


WIN! Your Lifestyle training deductions

VICTORY! Fellow Worker recovers illegal deduction of wagesiww i will win

Following our Fellow Worker’s success against notorious social care company Your Lifestyle, we were contacted by another worker who had been frustrated by the company.

The IWW has campaigned against the spread of ‘trial shifts’, where people are forced to work for free to prove they can do the job, or receive initial training. The ACAS guideline is that this unpaid work should not be for more than one shift, but even this generous rule in the bosses favour is routinely broken.

However, we’ve never heard before of the kind of naked profiteering practised by Your Lifestyle.

Your Lifestyle (YL) have gained a reputation for misleading adverts for “social care work” that attract highly skilled migrants recruited from other countries to take jobs that are actually for support work. When new staff arrive they are told to attend mandatory training sessions with no pay.

But that’s not the worst of it. They then are told that if they leave within 1 year they will be forced to PAY £250 for the training (that they attended at no charge for the employer!) as a deduction from their final wage packet!

Spanish workers, disgusted at this unfair treatment, complained loudly to YL. In response ‘macho man’ Leo Bifulco emailed all Spanish staff to say that, in recognition of the distance they had travelled to take up the job, their £250 ‘punishment’ would be waived.

Mr Bifulco conveniently forgot that there were workers from other countries who had travelled much further (from Thailand for example!), and that his ‘royal pardon’ for Spanish staff was clearly discriminatory. So, he later sent an email to say that only Spaniards that had been recruited via the IGM agency qualified for the ‘reverse bonus’! Then the dodgy deal was later removed altogether.

During this self-inflicted confusion at YL (maybe similar to the ‘technically officially’ correct confusion over YL getting caught paying 16 workers under the National Minimum Wage last year!), a Spanish worker left the company.

When the worker left, they understood that the £250 ‘punishment payment’ would not be deducted from their wages, but it was. They emailed YL repeatedly over a period of 5 months to get the money returned, but their protests were belittled and ignored.

So, the worker contacted the IWW for support. Our expert caseworkers examined the situation, and found that his contract had been varied (by the clarifying email) after it had been terminated. So, we emailed the company to inform them that they had illegaly witheld the worker’s wages, and unless the money was paid within 7 days, we would begin protests outside their Gloucester HQ, along with commencing legal action to recover the owed wages.

Your Lifestyle was left with no choice but to pay the worker what they were owed, and the £250 was returned to them. VICTORY! The worker has now returned to Spain, where they are fighting on against IGM agency and others who advertise YL’s misleading vacancies.

Have you had problems with your employer? Or do you want to help support those who have?

Join the IWW today, and join the fight for a better, fairer deal between workers and bosses! We can train you to be a workplace organiser and a union rep, and support other members in disputes with their employers.


Solidarność z migrantami po Brexit

iww no borders

Solidarność bez granica!!

Jestem immigrantem a Europy. Mieszkam w Wielkiej Brytani od 10 lat; to jest moj drugi dom. Brexit bedzie mial ogromny wplyw na moje zycie. Nie wiem czy bede mogl/ mogla tu zostac, ani co bede musial/a zrobic by zostac. Byc moze bede musial/a przejsc proces ‘naturalizacji’. Od wynikow referendum czuje sie duzo bardziej wystaszony ale tez wkurzony.

Jako immigrant z Uni Europejskiej jestem w duzo lepszej pozycji niz wielu ludzi spoza Europy, na przyklad uchodzcy. Ale juz zaczeto mowic o zakazach, limitach itp. Nikt nie wie dokladnie jak to wszystko bedzie dzialac. Na razie mowi sie, ze proces wychodzenia z Uni zajmnie Wielkiej Brytani dwa lata. Dwa lata to bardzo duzo czasu. Read more


Solidarietà con migranti post-Brexit

iww no borders

Solidarietà senza frontiere / Unisciti al grande sindacato unico!

Sono una migrante dell’UE, vivo nel Regno Unito da 10 anni e considero questo paese la mia seconda casa. Il Brexit avrà un impatto considerevole sulla mia vita qui; non so se posso rimanere, cosa dovrò fare per rimanere, se dovrò fare domanda per un qualche tipo di “naturalizzazione” (parola che di per sé sa già di ideologia nazista). Da ieri mi sento molto più vulnerabile, impaurita ed arrabbiata.

Come migrante dell’UE sono comunque molto meno vulnerabile di migranti non UE, inclusi richiedenti asilo e rifugiati. Si parla già di blocchi, quote, etc. Nessuno sa esattamente come funzionerà; ci dicono che ci vorranno due anni perché il Regno Unito lasci ufficialmente l’UE, ma due anni sono lunghi.

Read more


Solidaridad con migrantes tras Brexit

iww no borders

Solidaridad sin fronteras – únete al gran sindicato!

Soy una inmigrante de la UE, y llevo viviendo en el Reino Unido desde hace más de 10 años, por lo que considero a este país mi segundo hogar. Ahora el “Brexit” va a tener un gran impacto en mi vida –no sé si podré quedarme, qué tendría que hacer para quedarme, si debería seguir algún proceso de “naturalización” (término que en sí mismo encierra cierto aroma a ideología nazi). Desde ayer me siento más vulnerable, asustada y enfadada en el Reino Unido.

Como inmigrante europea, soy mucho menos vulnerable que los inmigrantes de fuera de la UE, incluyendo a refugiados y solicitantes de asilo. Se habla de prohibiciones, cuotas, etc. pero nadie sabe a ciencia cierta cómo se va a gestionar. Nos dicen que llevará al menos 2 años el proceso de separación oficial del Reino Unido de la UE, y 2 años es mucho tiempo.

He seguido numerosas discusiones por internet. Hay mucha rabia hacia los medios por representar a la clase trabajadora blanca votando a favor del “Brexit” como si fuera una cuestión racista. Yo no creo que se trate necesariamente de un voto racista, pero es justo reconocer que se trata en gran medida de un voto anti-inmigración. Y cualquiera que sea la motivación del voto, su impacto en gente como yo no cambia. De la misma manera, sea o no sea un voto racista no cambia el hecho de que diversos grupos de extrema derecha lo van a sacar buen provecho de la situación. Read more

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