It has been a busy couple of weeks for Bristol IWW.
Today (Monday 10th December) half-a-dozen of us braved the cold and made an early morning trip to the South East Bristol Royal Mail Delivery Office, on Mead Street. This was to show our support and solidarity to the postal workers taking strike action there, in response to heavy workloads, breaches of working agreements and bullying from Royal Mail management. When we arrived there was a chill in the air, but the determination of the 40 or so strikers and their supporters gathered outside was clear to see. Around 100 posties are taking part in the 24-hour strike, which started at one minute past midnight. When balloted, around 80% of the workforce at the site voted in favour of strike action. Pickets were told that strike action could be repeated again next Monday, and possibly in the new year, if the issues were not resolved. All the best from Bristol IWW – we’re right behind you!
Previously, on Saturday 1st December, a number of our members joined over a thousand other unionists and NHS workers in the ‘We are one NHS’ march and rally in Bristol city centre. This was called to protest against the NHS pay cartel, local pay bargaining and the break up of the NHS in it’s current form. Afterwards speeches were heard from a number of unions and health workers. You can read BADACA’s leaflet given out on the day here.
And on Monday 3rd December, a discussion and film night was held at the Cube cinema, entitled ‘Resistance in the Age of Austerity,’ organised by Permanent Culture Now and Bristol Indymedia. Around 45 people attended the successful and informative event. The night started off with a short film on the situation over in Greece; how austerity measures are affecting the Greek working class, what is being done to oppose these measures and how ordinary people are stepping in to help each other out and fill the gaps in services that have been destroyed. After this, members of the panel spoke for around 5 minutes on their experiences of the cuts so far, what they’re involved with to oppose them and what they think the future brings. The panel included a representative from Bristol IWW, as well as the Anarchist Federation, Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance, Bristol Feminist Network, the Solidarity Federation and the Socialist Party. Interesting debate followed when the discussion was opened to the floor, covering everything from current trends in capitalist economics, how to oppose the cuts, the effectiveness of a 24-hour general strike and what will come next. The event was filmed, so we will post the video on here when it is available online.
In between the above events we’ve welcomed a number of new members on board, held a branch meeting, continued with some vital workplace organising and casework, arranged a social and a training day for the new year and have been promoting the new IWW leaflets for Starbucks workers, given the recent publicity and protests surrounding the company’s tax evasion.
For One Big Union – Bristol Industrial Workers of the World