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Reports round up: United Families and Friends protest for justice

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Issue 2678
On the streets for justice
On the streets for justice (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Over 200 people joined the United Families and Friends march in central London last Saturday.

The annual march brought together relatives, friends and supporters of those who have died in police or state custody.

As people marched from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street, they chanted, “Six, six, six is the number of the beast—turn it around and you get the police.”

Mohammed Yaqub told the rally that his son Yassar was “assassinated by police” when he “went out for a meal” in West Yorkshire in January 2017. Yassar’s parents delivered a letter to Boris Johnson demanding justice for their son.

Kadija is a cousin of Sheku Bayoh, a 31 year old man who died in police custody minutes after being restrained by police in Kirkcaldy in Scotland.

She told Socialist Worker that “there is still no resolution” to Sheku’s case with “police still trying to get off”.

“UFFC is supporting families across the country,” she added.

Strikes on menu at six McDonald’s sites

McDonald’s fast food workers who are members of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ union (Bfawu) are set to strike at six stores across London on 12 November.

Workers are demanding a wage of £15 an hour, as well as an end to “youth pay rates”, and job security.

Melissa Evans, a worker at the Wandsworth Town store, said, “We are coming together to tackle poverty pay, insecurity of hours and lack of respect which has gone on at McDonald’s for too long.”

The strike will take place as part of a global day of action for fast food workers’ rights. It will see action in countries including Brazil, Chile, France and Belgium.

Lewis Baker, a McStriker, from Crayford, who will go on strike for the fourth time said, “McDonald’s can afford to pay us £15 an hour.

“It’s a reasonable request for a corporation that earns millions every day.But instead of listening to what we’ve been demanding, McDonald’s has tried to dismiss us.

“McDonald’s workers everywhere face the same issues of poverty pay, insecure hours and a lack of basic respect.

“We are growing bigger with every strike. It’s time for McDonald’s to give its workers a New Deal.”

The sites affected are Wandsworth Town, Downham, Balham, Deptford, Catford and Crayford—all in London

Join ‘Stop the hate, educate’ protest

A protest has been organised this Saturday to defend LGBT+ equality education.

Called by Stand Up to LGTQ+ Hate Crime, it is advertised as a celebration of love, inclusion and diversity! The group said, “Please dress up and bring placards, musical instruments, banners, flags, umbrellas.

“No to homophobia, no to Islamophobia, no to transphobia.”

Demonstrate Sat 2 Nov, assemble 1pm, Downing Street

Vote to take Tube bosses to cleaners

Cleaners on the London Underground started voting on whether to stage walkouts from Monday of this week.

Over 2,000 workers are outsourced to contractor ABM and are fighting for parity with colleagues.

The cleaners, members of the RMT union, are demanding improved policies on pensions, sick pay and travel arrangements. The ballot closes on 19 November.

BT workers hanging on for a jobs fight

Union reps at telecoms giant BT have been told to prepare for industrial action if bosses try to force through compulsory redundancies.

The CWU union says that 367 workers could soon be told they are “at risk” of redundancy.

CWU assistant secretary Allan Eldred told a meeting of reps last week that “if there’s one compulsory redundancy—just one—we’ll take industrial action.

“As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, we aren’t in Kansas anymore Toto.”

No to more drilling for oil in Surrey

Demonstrators rallied at Horse Hill near Horley, Surrey, last Saturday which could potentially become Britain’s second largest onshore oil site.

Speakers denounced Surrey County Council’s climate emergency, declared only two months ago, as a sham. It was followed by a decision to grant UK Oil and Gas permission to drill four more oil wells and extend oil production for 20 years.

Richard Payne

More strikes set for the Foreign Office

Outsourced workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth office in central London are set to strike for four days from Thursday of next week.

The PCS union members—including maintenance workers and cleaners—are fighting a long-running battle over pay and union recognition.

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