Agenda for ‘What’s Working?’ Workplace Organising Event

Feminist Fightback Feminist Fightback
Here is the agenda for Feminist Fightback’s day-long event on workplace organsing, which will be held at The Common House, Unit E, 5 Pundersons Gardens, London E2 on Saturday 15th November, 10.15-17.15. The event is open to people of all genders. If you have childcare needs or any other access requirements, please get in touch with us at least a week before the event. We are asking people to pre-register for the event.

Further details about the day and a list of suggested pre-reading can be found here.

 

‘WHAT’S WORKING?’ AGENDA
SATURDAY 15TH NOVEMBER, 2014
10.15-10.30
Arrival; tea and coffee
10.30 – 10.40
Introduction to the day and conditions for workers within austerity Britain.
 PUBLIC SECTOR, ORGANISING WITHIN THE UNIONS
10.40 – 10.45 
Some recent context to organising in the public sector.
Education and transport
10.45 – 11.20
Presentation: Frido and Lorenza, teaching assistants from SOAS and Laura from University of Warwick (Feminist Fightback) will talk about their attempts at organising hourly paid lecturers; M. (SolFed) will talk about her experiences of organising strikes in FE colleges in London.
11.20-11.30
Questions
11.30 – 11.50
Presentation: Organising on the tube – Becky Crocker (RMT, Workers Liberty)
11.50 -12.00
Questions
12.00 – 13.15
Discussion about struggles in sectors that are dominated by the unions.
How do we/our organisations see ‘unions?’
Do we see unions still as a viable force able to win significant victories for workers? If so, how? If not, in what terms can they still be useful to us?
What possibilities are there for ‘change from the inside’ and what would be needed to get there e.g. do we just need more militant members? And is this realistic? What possibilities are there to organise outside of existing union structures within sectors whose struggles have primarily always been union-led?
How can we break down divisions between workers so as to build more collective strength in struggles?
13.15- 14.00
Lunch
 Private contract staff
14.00 – 14.10
Film: Tres Cosas – Recognition Now! (Reel News, 2014)
14.10-14.20
Film: Ritzy Cinema Strike For a Living Wage (Reel News, 2014)
14.20-14.30
Comments, small round of discussion
PRIVATE SECTOR, LARGELY NON-UNIONISED WORKERS
Logistics sector
14.30-14.55
Presentation: Warehouse workers in west-London by angryworkers
14.55-15.10
Questions
 Service sector
15.10-15.30
Presentation: Caterina (SolFed) talking about organising hospitality workers in Brighton
15.30-15.45
Questions
15.45-16.00
Short break
16.00-17.00
Discussion about low-waged sector workers and strategies for organising.
 How do we go beyond actions that deal with individual cases?
Are ‘external’ political organisations or unions necessary to organise precarious non-unionised workers?
Can we generalise the public sector/cleaners strikes in terms of their ability to relate to different groups of workers?
What practical support do we need and how do we go about getting it?

17.00-17.15
Concluding comments which will include next steps:
-doing a write up
-how can we support each other in upcoming struggle/organising activity?
-how do we keep in touch with each other?