THE VIRTUOUS TOUR
Balham Pickets and their supporters give a lively welcome to the BLACKLEG BUS which collects detached duty management grades from the 3-star POST HOUSE HOTEL, Kensington. The hotel offers 3 restaurants and a bar, and the fitness centre offers a heated pool, sauna, sunbeds and a gym. The scabs are deposited at Irene House Balham and provided with free tea and coffee. No expense is spared for these heroic strikebreakers who won't ever be required to work on the frontline of any Jobcentre Plus office. Why not come down to Irene House in the mornings to applaud their fine principles? Why, some of the poor things still haven't paid off their mortgages, you know.
THE VIRTUAL OFFICE
Management process claims behind the picket line at Balham. These photos are only the tip of an ugly iceberg.
Despite the 13 extra pairs of willing hands, local management bizarrely attempts to run the benefit service "al fresco". Is this the way to operate a modern benefits service?
There is no evidence that any risk assessment for these dangerous practices has taken place. So, no change there, then.
CAN YOU TRUST THESE PEOPLE WITH YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY?
FILM OF THE WEEK
VIRTUAL TOUR VIDEO
"Breathtaking; stars an all white cast except for the customers, everyone is well dressed and there are no security guards. Nobody gets annoyed so there is no need for security screens. The floorwalkers do a grand job telling customers where to queue. Particularly impressive is the glass walled room in the centre of the office. The film's description of an ergonomically designed retail environment is accurate enough, but would benefit from the addition of Lara Croft. We look forward to the PlayStation version."
NATIONAL + LOCAL UPDATE
Balloting of the other Pathfinder offices ends on 5th October - a reps meeting from all 50 Pathfinder offices took place at Leeds on 27th September. Little progress to report on national negotiations.
The National Disputes Committee has given the go ahead for ballots on supportive industrial action in Makerfield, Fulham and Cricklewood.
Demonstrations of solidarity will centre on the Picket lines at Balham on Monday 1st October and Streatham on Friday 5th October.
It was decided at the strikers meeting on 28th September to expand the Streatham Strike Committee, which organises strike activities. If you can assist, please contact the strike centre and/or attend the next strikers meeting. Strikers are needed to send out to other offices as speakers. Don't be daunted, it's fun, and an experienced speaker will go with you. Expenses will be met by the union.
FROM THE PICKET LINES
In the absence of a truly aggressive Picket Line, local management is finding it hard to justify the production of pro-formas for those crossing picket lines to complete if they feel that the pickets are not conducting themselves properly. Managers are actively soliciting completion of the forms for the most petty of "offences", one of which including a picket standing (briefly) in front of a car with the intention of speaking to the driver. Pickets and their supporters are advised that we too have incident pro-formas, to complete against badly behaved strikebreakers.
It appears that the novelty of the open air office is beginning to pall for the managers: they are asking pickets not to refer members of the public to them as they say they will only give them the office phone number. They said it was not their remit to deal with the customers.
Visitors to the picket lines this week included National Vice President Stuart Currie, NEC member Pauline Abrams and BA Group Assistant Secretary Derek Steedman. Numerous messages of support continue to be received via post, email and fax and the strike committee respond to them all as quickly as possible.
PATHFINDER PUBLICITY ON THE WEB
Accounts of the dispute can be found at the following addresses:
NCP (New Communist Party):
PCS Left Unity (faction)
PCS Moderates (faction)
PFLCPSA (non factional)
PCS Independent (non factional)
register from the PFLCPSA site,
http://www.tuc.org.uk/h and s/tuc-3720-fO.cfm#ncsl 9
CONTACT STREATHAM STRIKE CENTRE
Phone: 0207 924 2727 ext 2305 (11am -3pm), Mobile 07903 056983