Public Meeting: Trading with Trump, a Brexit nightmare?

Public meeting on Trump, Brexit and trade – MONDAY 22 JANUARY, 7PM

Brixton Community Base, Talma Road, Brixton SW2 1ASHelen Hayes  MP for Dulwich and West Norwood
Amelia Womack  Deputy leader of the Green Party
Nick Dearden  Director of Global Justice Now
Ruth Cashman, Branch Secretary of Lambeth UNISON

Fancy chowing down on some chlorinated chicken? Or private US healthcare companies taking chunks out of the NHS?
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Emergency motion to the Lambeth UNISON AGM – Picturehouse strikes

Support the Picturehouse Strikes!

Picturehouse workers are going to take strike action for over two weeks at the end of January. This is part of their campaign for the Living Wage, and also to get four colleagues re-instated who were sacked by Picturehouse for campaigning for the Living Wage. All four were trade union reps. Cineworld, who owns Picturehouse, made over £90 million profit last year, pays their Chief Executive £2.5 million a year and their directors over £1 million a year. Yet they continue to pay their workers poverty wages, and employ them with bad terms and conditions.

Picturehouse has responded to the strike by saying they will lock workers out of the Ritzy, even on days where there aren’t any strikes, to try and break the strike by denying them any wages at all. Previously they wrote to all the workers to say they would sack any workers taking strike action.

Lambeth UNISON has been a key organisation in supporting the Community Pickets outside the Ritzy cinema over the past nine months. This motion asks the AGM to support the workers in their two week strike and the strike fund that needs to raise £20,000 so workers on poverty wages can continue their strike.

The AGM resolves to:

  • Contribute £750 to the strike fund.
  • Continue Lambeth UNISON’s support of the Community Pickets.
  • Support demonstrations and pickets by the Picturehouse workers during the two week strike.
  • Support direct action taken by the community campaign to assist the striking workers.

 

Youth Offending Services (YOS) at risk in the face of more job cuts

The Youth Offending Service (YOS) in Lambeth Council is facing another restructure and more job losses. Currently there are 32 people in the service, only a short while ago it used to be 52, but staff report that the work load means it needs to be more like 70.

Lambeth has a serious problem with child poverty and gang violence. The YOS is on the front line dealing with children with complex needs. The cuts are further damaging the ability to provide the service that is so urgently needed.

In addition the number of agency workers has sky rocketed. Many members of staff only stay for brief periods meaning that vulnerable young people can be seen by as many as six different case workers in the space of a year.

Depleted staff teams has led to casework overload, with too many cases falling on fewer shoulders.

Now YOS faces yet another reorganisation with potentially eight members of staff at risk. This is happening even though there are job vacancies in the teams.

Staff are also concerned that the new structure means there is little chance to job or career progression and won’t make best use of the many skills on the team to deliver the right service. The Council haven’t listened to staff about how to improve the service, ignoring their suggestions and forging ahead with a damaging restructure that is impacting on an already underfunded and over stretched service.

UNISON is arguing for no compulsory redundancies and to ensure the service can not only survive but improve its important provision for young people.

As one UNISON member in YOS explained; “It’s very demoralising. There is work to be done, but these cuts and restructures are making it hard to do it. The Council is not bringing in skilled people to engage with the kids to help them take responsibility for themselves. In seems that some people are being forced out because their faces don’t fit.”