Around 30 activists in Leeds shut down all three Vodafone stores in the city centre today, Thursday, in protest at the company’s legal tax dodge of £6 billion in tax.
The protest was called by Leeds Right to Work campaign.
Students, trade unionists and unemployed workers are furious at Vodafone’s tax shenanigans at a time when the government is making huge cuts to jobs and services. They gathered outside the shops and forced them to close.
Stephen Baker, a staff nurse at the Leeds General Infirmary and a Unison union steward, was one of those blockading the shops.
“I’m disgusted that the government has allowed Vodafone to get away with not paying £6 billion in tax while at the same time it’s taking housing benefit from people,” he told Socialist Worker.
“They’re basically letting a big corporation off while hurting the poorest.”
Protesters marched from one shop to the other to close them down. They leafletted passers-by about Vodafone's tax dodge – and got a great response.
'Nobody disagreed with us,' said one of the protesters.
Their leaflet said, 'We're told we're all in it together. Perhaps someone should tell Vodafone.
'The bosses expect us to suffer and for workers to pay for their crisis. We won't take it.'