Saturday, February 25, 2012

8pm, Tuesday, 28th February
Beechwood Hall Hotel, Wykeham Road, Worthing

Join us for news and discussion of anti-cuts and solidarity campaigns. Three main topics this month:

- SAVE OUR NHS: Defeat Lansley's Bill / National Demo 7th March / latest on fight to keep Southlands open.

- END WORKFARE! The government and major employers are on the run after just a few weeks of campaigning against their plans for free labour which undermines pay and conditions and cynically exploits the unemployed.  How can we keep up the pressure locally?

- STRIKE FOR FAIR PENSIONS FOR ALL. Almost one million public sector workers are set to strike again on March 28th against the government's pensions robbery. Come and hear the latest developments and discuss plans for community involvement in and support for the strike - the success or failure of the strikes will have an impact on everyone suffering from austerity.
We'll also look at how rank-and-file electricians have fought and won against a vicious group of construction employers - despite the recession!

See you there? All are very welcome.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

This Saturday, 11 February outside Poundland, Montague Street Worthing , WSN supporters and Occupy Worthing activists will join up to protest against cheap and free labour – why not come and join us!

As most people tighten their belts, Poundland have announced another year of record profits, raking in £31.7m, a whopping increase of 34%, in 2010/11, boasting of their ability to compete in 'turbulent economic conditions'.

It's little wonder that Poundland bosses find themselves in the role of cheerleaders for austerity. As times get harder for the rest of us, they make even more of a fortune out of selling cheap. And they have lots of practice at impoverishing their workers - company records show the average yearly wage in Poundland is an abysmal £10937.03.

The shameless scroungers who run Poundland already rely on the state to top up these miserable wages with tax credits and housing benefit, rather than doing it themselves from their ever-increasing profits. Now they have leapt to gobble up another handout, in the form of free labour from the government's workfare programmes.

Fortunately, there has been a backlash against Poundland's corporate welfare dependency, resulting in a lawsuit from Cait Reilly, a woman from Birmingham who was forced to abandon her volunteer work in a museum in order to stack shelves at Poundland for no pay.

Brighton Benefits Campaign calls on Poundland to stop their reprehensible exploitation of the unemployed and the poor. We will continue to campaign against Poundland until they abandon the use of workfare and instead employ people to do the work they need, on a proper wage.

“Poundland takes on disabled people in a deal with DWP via Mickey Mouse scheme. The claimant only works for 4 weeks including anti-social hours, stacking. The claimant is told at the beginning of the placement that there will be no job. My friend finished his placement and was immediately replaced by another disabled person. This is exploitation.”
(A former Poundland dole slave, speaking to Boycott Workfare)

Friday, February 03, 2012

WSN went to support the public meeting in Shoreham February 3 aimed at defending Southlands Hospital from the going under the knife and losing its Harness Block (which it is rumoured could be sold off to a housing developer). About 150 people attended, so the meeting had to be delayed whole a big enough room was found. There was great public anger at the Trust's proposals. Amid much patronising smoke-and-mirrors from the assembled overpaid NHS bigwigs about "community care", local people, Southlands workers and retired clinic staff got up one after another and demolished the arguments of the *public servants* in front of us, demanding that Southlands remains a local community hospital with much-needed in-patient beds. The issue of stress and low pay for hospital workers was raised too. When a WSN supporter said the cuts were taking place in the context of the Health & Social Welfare Bill and of a piece with the Tories' plans to cut and privatise the NHS, local MP Tim Loughton angrily responded that this was a "load of rubbish" and was "politically-motivated". Lots of people took WSN leaflets and signed up to the meeting organisers' contact list for further action in defence of Southlands.