“French unions have condemned a commando-style raid carried out by Brittany Ferries management to ‘liberate’ a ferry that had been occupied by dock workers in a pay dispute last month.
They are demanding an inquiry after the company’s chairman, Jean-Marc Roue, led a night time operation by 20 ‘shareholders’ to regain control of the Mont St Michel ferry to break a five-day strike by dock workers in the port of Ouistreham.
The vessel – which operates on Brittany’s Caen/Ouistreham-Portsmouth service – had been blocked by dockers working for a company controlled by the ferry firm in support of a 5% pay claim.
Brittany Ferries defended the action because the ship had been ‘held hostage due to the blackmail of a minority and the stoppage was causing ‘colossal’ losses. It described the pay claim as ‘unacceptable, given the very serious financial crisis the company has just been through’.
But dockers’ leader Michel Le Cavorzin said there should be an immediate investigation into the incident, claiming it could amount to an act of piracy. The management actions raised important questions – including potential breaches of port security and how the vessel had sailed to the port of Roscoff in the absence of most of the crew. The West France branch of the CGT maritime union has also expressed concern and has written to the transport and interior ministries demanding an explanation for the ‘unorthodox actions’ of the company.”
From the Nautilus Telegraph.
Taken from The Telegraph. This is great, would be good if they could be supported somehow.
Mandy-Laura Cool, 29, Charlotte Devaney, 34, Rachel Goodchild, 24, and Stephanie Pye, 30, are alleged to have enlisted the help of two male friends to recoup £42,000 owed to them by Curtis Woodman.
The women were hired to work as dancers in a room at the Embassy Club in Cheltenham during the four-day National Hunt horse racing festival in March last year.
It is understood that Mr Woodman, who runs a car sales business, had hired the room for use during the Festival.
But police raided the venue and closed it down, leaving Mr Woodman, 33, of Cheltenham, unable to pay the women the money they were owed, Gloucester crown court heard.
Six months later, on September 3, Mr Woodman was kidnapped, threatened and “subjected to various forms of violence” it is alleged. It is also said that he had a £4,650 Breitling watch and £60 stolen.
Prosecutor Martin Steen said: “There was, during race week of 2012, a premises in Cheltenham being used as a lap dancing club and some of the defendants were involved in the running of those premises.
“Unfortunately those premises came to close half way through the Festival.
“Some of the defendants were owed money by the victim. We say he was kidnapped and subjected to various forms of violence and threats. Items were taken from him in a robbery. It is not disputed by the Crown that the ladies in question were owed money by the victim.”
Cool, of Southampton, Devaney, of London, and Goodchild, of Southampton all pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnap, along with brothers Robert Morris, 26, and Alexander Morris, 22, of Southampton.
In addition, the Morris brothers denied robbing Mr Woodman of a Breitling watch and £60 in cash.
Alexander Morris also denied having a Stanley knife, in a public place – the Northway Trading Estate at Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, where Mr Woodman worked.
No charges were put to Stephanie Pye, of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. She was said to be taking legal action to recover the money owed and is asking for the case against her to be dropped.
Audrey Archer, representing Goodchild, said that she was also taking civil action against Mr Woodman to recover the money owed. The other women were already taking similar action, she added.
All six were granted bail. The case has been adjourned to Bristol Crown Court on a date to be fixed.
Afterwards, Devaney, a DJ, actress and model who apeared in the British film How to Lose Friends & Alienate People with Simon Pegg, released a statement.
She said: “On behalf of myself and the other girls involved in this case, I would like to state categorically that we are not guilty of this charge.
“In actual fact, we have been the wronged party and are confident the truth will come out.
“We are looking forward to going to court later this year to prove our innocence.”
There is a new communist project in London, check it out! You should also be able to read their new paper by clicking on the picture.
Angry Workers of the World – Circular #1 – May 2013
Esteemed Sisters and Brothers,
after a long and lost struggle with indesign cs6, we finally managed to print 2,000 copies of issue #1 of ‘Angry Workers of the World’ – you can find a .pdf-file here: AWW1_final
For the moment, given our modest capacities, we will try to develop a more or less regular presence of distribution and on the spot debates at following locations:
/// Warehouse/Industrial Area near Wembley (Tesco, TNT, UK Mail, plus warehouse where a friend of us works)
/// Stratford Commuter Hub
/// Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel (where a friend of us works)
/// Ocean Estate, Stepney (where a friend of us works)
This includes housing estates, big workplaces and urban commuter hubs, we hope that after a while we will find out how the differences between theses places of ‘proletarian concentration’ impact on distribution and organisational steps – it’s all trial and error. We will debate about the paper and about the why and how of distribution at the following meeting – come along for chat and pick up copies of of AWW #1:
Wednesday, 15th of May, 6 pm onwards, Larc, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel
If you cannot make it to the meeting, but would like to come to the distribution or if you want to pick up copies , just drop us a mail and we hook up.
Later in May or early June we will have some more meetings.
a) Meeting to discuss the second issue, focus on work in the ‘health sector’. We have written up a longer conversation with a hospital cleaner and will gather other reports and general material on changes and struggle in the sector. We will send out a first draft soon. If you work in the health sector or if you know friends who would be interested in a discussion, get in touch.
b) Meeting with friend from Liverpool, who will report about the current stage of anti-bedroom-tax struggle.
c) Discussion meeting on concept of ‘workers’ inquiry’ – reading material will be announced, suggestions welcome.
For date and time of meetings please check out this webblog or send us an email.
Around 100 members of the Unite union took part in a 24 hour strike last week, walking out from 06.00 on Friday 3 May until 06.00 on Saturday 4 May.
From Manchester Evening News.
Unite says staff are angry at MITIE’s plans to slash their hourly paid lunch break to half an hour, amounting to a cut of £69.50 a month. They are also fighting proposals to chop their £20-a-month attendance bonus and are urging MITIE bosses to meet union leaders over their concerns. Staff will join picket lines outside terminals one, two, and three.
Dave Kennedy, Unite regional officer, said: “Low-paid cleaners, who work so hard to keep Manchester Airport clean for the travelling public, certainly cannot afford to lose almost £70 a month.
“Unite has remained committed to resolving this dispute, yet despite Acas’ involvement the company is still not willing to take the concerns of its loyal workforce seriously.
“Strike action is always a measure of last resort but our members have had enough – they are determined to stop this attack on their livelihoods.
The Industrial Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) has been campaigning for respect and a Living Wage for cleaners at the Barbican Centre for the past 8 months. The cleaners earn poverty wages of £6.19 p/hour and have been racially abusded. and regularly insulted, threatened, and intimidated by MITIE’s aggressive management team.
MITIE, the cleaning contractor at the Barbican, and the Corporation of London (owner of the Barbican) have been unwilling to negotiate.
That’s why the cleaners held regular protests, organised the first strike in the history of the barbican on the 21st of March 2013, and that’s why they decided to occupy the Barbican on Saturday 27th April 2013.
They will continue to fight until justice is served!
Alexander Pavlovich Chekalin was born on March 25, 1925 in the Tula area of Russia. Following Hitler’s invasion, he became involved in partisan activities. These activities included burning warehouses and derailing trains, ‘Shura’ also notably took part in an ambush of German vehicles during the early days of November 1941 and destroyed one vehicle with a hand grenade.
Unfortunately, he then became ill and an unknown informant gave away his location to the Germans.
German soldiers broke into the house where he was staying at night. Alexander threw a grenade at his enemies but it failed to go off. He was then taken away and subjected to torture, although he did not give away any information, he was hanged in the central square on 6 November 1941. His body remained hanging for twenty days and only taken down when the area was liberated.
He was posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union on February 4, 1942. The town was renamed after him in 1944 and a monument has been erected in his name. A postage stamp was also issued in his honour and he also posthumously received the Order of Lenin.