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(en) Britain, Catalyst #11 - BACC Actions

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:41:13 +0200 (CEST)

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Back in May, the Recruitment & Employment
Confederation (REC) held a National Temporary Workers
Week. In reality, this was a propaganda exercise promoting
the casualisation of work. In response, the Bristol Against
Casualisation Campaign (BACC) held a series of counter-
events under the title Opposing Temporary Work Week.
BACC is a group of workers and trade unionists who have
been organising against casualisation for the past three
years or so.
During the week, there was the showing of A Job to
Win at the Cube Cinema, Bristol. The event was co-hosted
with the International Solidarity Movement and was
introduced by a representative from BACC, who linked the
part played by agencies in exploiting migrant labourers in
Palestine with the role of agencies in promoting temporary
work in the UK. The film was followed by a discussion that
highlighted the growing exploitation of migrant workers in the
UK, and how to forge solidarity with them.
Also, the Randstad employment agency outlet in Bristol
city centre was leafleted. There was a good reception from
the agency workers, but not so good from Randstad staff,
who complained it was inappropriate to give out such
leaflets outside their premises. The leafletters replied that,
as Randstad are involved in casualising the labour market, it
was totally appropriate.
Then the focus shifted to London, where there was a
Cider and Pork Scratching Reception (veggie option
available) at Parliament Square. Five people from BACC
plus a camera crew confronted agency representatives as
they queued up to enter Parliament, shouting We are all one
in a million (reference to the prize presented by the REC to
the Temporary Worker of the Year) & Remember Simon
Jones (reference to Simon, a casual worker who was killed
due to his employers negligence). Banners were unfurled
reading: Casualisation Kills & 999,999 agency workers ask
- Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Who the f*** are you?
Then there was the picket of Manpower, Britains
largest employer of agency staff and the worlds second
largest agency - a symbol of the growth in job insecurity and
poverty pay. Over 500 leaflets were distributed and
Manpower staff were indignant that anyone should challenge
their right to exploit and locked the door, but not before
providing demonstrators with a copy of the TGWU publicity
that they provide to new staff. The T&G is apparently proud
to work in partnership with Manpower, and BACC is proud to
oppose their role in promoting the casualisation of work.
At the weekend, was the Fight Temporary Work
Conference at Easton Community Centre in Bristol. The
sessions included a talk on flexploitation, and discussion
ranged from the proposed legislation on gangmasters
through the nature of campaigning (targeting the state?),
onto the role of the unions. Other presentations included
Fighting Casualisation, with information on the Workmates
Collective operating on London Underground; McDonalds
Workers Resistance, and individual strategies for surviving
on benefits and agency work. Another thing discussed was
something to look out for soon - a short film on
Casualisation in Bristol.
Catalyst is a Freesheet of the anarchist Solidarity
Federation - IWA

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