Socialist Worker

Manchester LGBT+ demo AND Napier strike vote gets results AND Sheffield Deliveroo revolt

by Sarah Ensor, Martin Empson and Patrick Wakefield
Issue No. 2719

Solidarity protest

Solidarity protest (Pic: Martin Empson)

Manchester LGBT+ demo

Around 50 people joined a protest in Manchester last Sunday for LGBT+ rights.

The protest was called by a Polish LGBT+ activist living in Britain to express solidarity with LGBT+ people in Poland facing vicious bigotry and repression from its government.

The right wing Polish president Andrzej Duda used homophobia, racism and bigotry to win an election in April. This has emboldened homophobic politicians and far right activists.

Outside the Polish consulate in Manchester, protesters highlighted the case of activist Margot Szutowicz.

Margot has been held for two months awaiting trial for allegedly damaging a van that was carrying anti-LGBT+ propaganda.

Sarah Ensor and Martin Empson

Napier strike vote gets results

A university in Edinburgh has agreed to halt compulsory redundancies after union members voted overwhelmingly to strike.

Edinburgh Napier University had planned to impose job losses on individuals it selected.

But a ballot of Unison union members saw an 84 percent vote for strikes on a 68 percent turnout.

Unison Scotland says the ballot’s pressure and potential strikes during freshers’ week led to the agreement of a voluntary severance scheme instead.

Lorcan Mullen, Unison Scotland head of higher education, said, “Given the fact that so many Unison members were either working from home, furloughed or on annual leave during the ballot period, it is remarkable that the branch has comprehensively beaten the ballot thresholds mandated by anti-union legislation.”

Demanding better pay and respect

Demanding better pay and respect (Pic: Patrick Wakefield)

Sheffield Deliveroo revolt

Deliveroo workers in Sheffield took to the streets on Wednesday last week for a two-hour work stoppage. They are demanding higher pay and an end to unfair sackings.

These workers kept going through the worst of the pandemic. But as Dee Uddin, the chair of the Sheffield branch of the couriers’ IWGB union, put it, “The thank you we got was a deduction in pay.”

Later, when addressing the crowd of striking Deliveroo workers, he said that he was tired of Deliveroo’s contempt for workers and they had to stick together.

When Dee started at Deliveroo, he could earn £100 for an eight-hour shift. Now it would take up to 12 hours to make that same amount.

And they have had to face the pandemic with no sick pay.

Patrick Wakefield

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