From the IWW on Facebook:
IWW – Major Gains at Heron Tower Dispute
Following negotiations with the cleaning contractor LCC, who covers
contracts at the prestigious Heron Tower – the IWW Cleaners and Allied
Grades Branch has secured significant gains to the benefit of our
The IWW had launched a campaign to secure full payment of the living
wage £8.30 per-hour for, a resolution of staff shortages, issues of
unfair dismissal and anti-union conduct by management.
The IWW has reached an agreement which has secured full-payment of the
London Living Wage with back pay until May 2011, the staff shortage to
be filled and confirmation of the trade union rights of workers.
Further discussions are underway on a recognition agreement with the
As result the IWW Cleaners Branch and London Delegates Committee has
cancelled the demonstration called for tonight at the Heron Tower. We
thank all trade unionists and fellow workers for their solidarity and
Once again the independent workers union the IWW has shown that direct
action and solidarity of all union members in support of each other
achieves results in the interests of our members.
The message to cleaners across London is clear – don’t live in fear –
If you haven’t already checked out the Anarchist Media Project yet, now is the perfect time to do it. Our favourite rebel graphic designers are currently firing on all cylinders.
The biggest community response to the riots yet, the streets of Hackney and Haringey made it very clear who they thought the real culprits were.
Placards attacking every cause of what David Cameron called our “sick society” were on display; the IPCC, Rupert Mordoch, mass unemployment, police brutality, austerity/’the cuts’, cheating politicians, workplace exploitation and lack of social opportunites.
It was very telling that the Met didnt even dare deploy their own officers to police it for fear of their presence being too controversial. Instead, clueless-looking bobbies from Essex, Sussex and Norfolk (!!!) were present, looking sheepish and – to be quite honest – lost in the big smoke.
The nature of the demonstration was defiant, assertive but ultimately relaxed. There were tensions when it reached the police cordon around Stoke Newington Police Station – one of the most vile, racist and murderous police stations in the UK – but nothing became of it. For those of us who have had the misfortune to end up in the clutches of Stoke Newington Police, these grudges are hard to forget.
Is it any wonder the cops have gotten such a pasting over the past week?
It was also apalling to witness an officer from Essex with a camera, videoing all the participants of the demonstration. Have they no idea how provocative and tasteless that is?
All in all though, a success. Let’s hope this is just step one to us taking our power back in our communities.
Below is the text from the official flyer. You can see the ALARM! analysis of the riots in the blog post prior to this one.
We are responding to the events of the last few days, in particular the Tottenham protest over the killing of Mark Duggan and the disturbances that followed in Tottenham and Hackney.
By coming together and calling for unity we want to encourage all sections of our local communities, young and old, black and white, residents and workers, to work together to find solutions to some of our long-standing problems.
We know there are all kinds of strong feelings and differing views. We do not claim to represent the whole community, but merely seek to promote unity in the communities in which we live and work.
Simply labelling rioters as opportunistic criminals does little to relieve tensions and provides a poor explanation for the worst riots in decades. While the shooting of Mark Duggan provided the trigger, against a background of oppressive policing, especially towards ethnic minorities, the root causes are deeper.
Our communities have been blighted by high levels of deprivation, poverty and lack of opportunity for decades. Inequality is growing and recent funding cuts to local services, particularly youth facilities, along with rising unemployment, and cuts to EMA and benefits have exacerbated the conditions in which sections of frustrated young people turned to rioting, which unfortunately has resulted in people losing their homes and small/family businesses losing their livelihoods.
Britain is a wealthy country, but with deep inequality. The economic crisis created by greedy bankers and financial speculators is further impoverishing already poor areas like Tottenham and Hackney. The £390 billion of combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain should be redirected to fund the services we all need.
In the last few months we have seen mass local protests against cuts, student occupations to defend free education, a half-a-million strong demonstration on March 26th, and 800,000 public service workers out on strike on June 30th.
We need to build on these and other inspiring local and national struggles. Let’s work together for a decent society, based not on greed, inequality and poor conditions, but on justice, freedom, sharing and co-operation.
Since last Saturday, a situation has escalated around the UK, with eruptions of long-repressed anger in most major cities. Whilst this anger may have certainly, at times, taken on forms that we disapprove of, we all know where this anger comes from. We are all suffering at the moment. Trying to make ends meet can be a living nightmare – benefits, jobs and healthcare going down the drain whilst the cost of housing and living rises sharply. Not to mention systematic Police harassment on our streets, daily injustice and deaths in police custody. For those right at the bottom of the pile, the young and unemployed, it seems like everything they were brought up on was false. The promise of easy credit, easy access to consumer goods, an education and social support. All this just disappears into smoke when the rich decide we don’t deserve it anymore; when they are desperate to save their system from the consequences of their own greed.
* The police, the political elite and the media for creating an atmosphere of fear, justifying greater state repression.
* The opportunism of the EDL/BNP and other far right groups
We refuse to condemn:
* People who looted high street chain stores, pawn shops, betting shops, banks and other symbols of capitalism.
* People who attacked the police, police property, courts, probation services and other symbols of the state.
We are inspired by:
* All the people who stood up for each other in the face of attack by the police and other violent gangs
* The communities that stood outside preventing arson to neighbouring flats, houses and locally-owned businesses.
But whilst we are categorically against the arson of homes, the muggings and the burglaries, are we really surprised this is happening? Here is a whole generation brought up on Thatcherism and Blairism – two ideologies that totally glorify individualism and ruthless competition. That have gone out of their way to destroy working class solidarity and colonise our areas with wealthy young professionals. That place those who trample on their communities for their own personal gain up on pedestals. These ideologies have BRED gangster behaviour amongst the poor and the only way we can counter such behaviour is by rebuilding our community spirit NOW, in spite of these doctrines, out of the ashes of this rebellion.
We are also categorically against any notion that greater police powers are a remedy to this situation, that the violence of the state and of capitalism is somehow preferable to the violence of those in our communities. Even if it was preferable, it would solve nothing – the problem here is inequality and injustice. Only we can bring about equality and justice; working together to advance our collective interests. We believe that when we build strong communities, we have a better chance of fighting back and winning. When we assemble to support each other through the difficulties of recession, instead of hiding away in our homes. When we get on the streets to defend our communities from any kind of attack. When we strike against our bosses instead of taking it on the chin. When we allocate resources for the benefit of the many and not the few. When we organise to take back what is rightfully ours instead of submitting to the thieves in Westminster and the City. When we target the rich and the state and not each other.
Whilst the riots may have taken their toll on our communities, there is no turning back now. We cannot wish them away. The screams of our youth have been heard; its time we turned them into the battle cries of our class.
Against ALL attacks on our community! For EVERYONE against the system!
ALARM! – All London Anarchist Revolutionary Movement
The “Give our Kids a Future” demonstration that has been
organised by North London Unity is something ALARM!
encourages all members and supporters to attend tomorrow.
However, we would like to make two things VERY clear to those
who wish to join us on the demonstration:
(1) Community relations are, at present, still fragile in the
aftermath of the riots. These times have been very conflicting
for people in many communities. It is important that the focus
of our role in this demonstration is presenting an accessible analysis,
as sensitively as possible and showing solidarity with any attempt to
build a sense of community that is both inclusive and progressive.
(2) That on this demonstration, we set out only to confront the
existing order through our words and our ideas. That we
respect the community-orientated objectives of the demonstration
and assimilate into the demonstration. That is to
say, THIS IS NOT A BLACK BLOC.
Thanks, see you at 1PM, Gillett Square, Dalston E8.
From the IWW Facebook:
The IWW IU 640 Cleaners Branch Is fighting to get the living wage at Heron Tower. The cleaning company LCC agreed to pay it but is now bullying our members, reducing the working hours and increasing the work load.
Our position is clear any increase in salaries must be
real and not be offset by any reduction of working hours or increased work load.
FOR A REAL LIVING WAGE enjoy our protest.
To support the growth of rank-and-file militant unionism in this city, head down to:
London, United Kingdom
on Friday, August 19 @ 5:00pm – 8:00pm.
Solidarity, Tower Hamlets ALARM! Crew.