Dead Men Left

Monday, October 11, 2004

Genuine international solidarity

To coincide with the European Social Forum's arrival in London, the Transport and General Workers' Union and Globalise Resistance had organised a joint march in defence of cleaning workers at Canary Wharf. Ably supported by the enthusiasm and hard work of a couple of young T&G full-timers, cleaners in London's second financial centre have been waging a successful campaign for union recognition in defiance of their bosses' obduracy. Badly-paid, over-worked and largely recent migrants, Canary Wharf's cleaners are exactly the people who most need a trade union, and one that is prepared to fight for them.

Unfortunately, the T&G has gone so far... but no further. Canary Wharf have served an injunction against Chris Nineham from Globalise Resistance, and a number of T&G full-timers, each of whom have had a suitcase full of documents delivered to their door in the last few days. In the event of the demonstration taking place, the injunction very possibly makes each individual liable for arrest.

The T&G's immediate response was to "cancel" the demonstration. Globalise Resistance, naturally, want the march to go ahead regardless, and point out that it is extremely difficult to "cancel" a demonstration for which publicity has been circulating for a good few weeks now. Both groups are meeting later today to decide on future actions; personally, I would call Canary Wharf's bluff: having people arrested for organising demos in support of low-paid workers is unlikely to work to their favour, and no doubt the Wharf bosses will realise as much. Globalise Resistance is insistent:

So whatever letters, court injunctions and threats that might appear, we'll see you outside Canary Wharf Jubilee Line Station at 4pm on Friday 15 October. the cleaners need a better deal, and cracking a bastion of low pay in London can only be to the benefit for all those who's pay packets don't quite stretch to the end of the month.

Join the demo on Friday 15 October at 4pm at Canary Wharf Jubilee Line station.