The Spanish CNT-AIT and UK’s Solidarity Federation reported on new labor disputes they take part in.
On April 9, a picket was held in Granada in Spain against the Patricia Villanueva shoe store. Having settled down at the entrance, the CNT activists began to call for a boycott of the store and for solidarity with the worker who had not been paid her wages. This did not go unnoticed by the store’s management and the police was called. The cops tried (and failed) to take the megaphone away from the picketers, claiming that the event was not authorized by the municipal authorities. They were quickly reminded that the right to trade union activities is officially guaranteed and does not need any additional “permission”. The action continued, to the apparent displeasure of the store owners and the police. CNT-AIT declare their intention to continue the campaign until all debts to the worker are paid.
In Tarragona, the CNT-AIT began a labor dispute in a tobacco shop №2 Vendrell in Coral Vidal, where the management is trying to dismiss, without any form of compensation, the union delegate who has worked at the shop for over a decade. The trade union declared its intention to solve this dispute by direct action if necessary, and without resorting to the ‘mediation of bourgeois justice’.
In the UK, similar disputes are often undertaken by the Solidarity Federation. Recently, a worker organising with Brighton branch of Solfed has won a dispute with their employer Harbour Hotel which did not pay the worker for the three days labour over Christmas period, and also withheld contracted gratuities such as tips and denied the worker’s holiday pay. Following a picket and a meeting, the hotel’s management paid the worker. In addition, Brighton Solfed had recently helped a tenant who’s deposit was kept by the letting agent, and entered into a public dispute with the Sidewinder pub in Brighton to get them to pay compensation for the unfair dismissal of one of their workers for taking a sick day. Following a number of pickets, the pub still resuses to pay compensation to the dismissed worker, but they did pay up the unpaid holiday pay, and the manager of the pub informed Solfed that they have quit their job.