I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World, the anarcho-syndicalist Union -est.1905) on Oxford Street today. They were picketing the John Lewis Partnership branch there, in support of the cleaning workers who are on strike, demanding the ‘London Living Wage’ (which is voluntary, not statutory, and set by the GLA).

The cleaners at John Lewis are paid a pittance at £6.08 ph and unlike other workers there, are not ‘partners’ sharing the company’s profits and benefits and are the ‘epsilons’ in the company hierarchy, and are looking for the GLA’s recommended £8.30 ph.  Naturally, the contractor that employs the cleaners, ICM of the Compass Group, make a tidy profit (pre-tax, rising to £581million) and yet they offered the workers a 24p pay rise (SCUM). There was a loud and impressive turn-out, and I was surprised because it was the first time I’ve ever seen the IWW actively, publicly, involved in a strike, and because you rarely see pickets on Oxford Street- Whatever you think of their politics, it makes a fucking change to see a union that is run, and democratically controlled by its own members, for a change- rather than the pompous, autocratic  arseholes in the trades union movement…So, I decided to forego my visit to John Lewis to buy some ‘Peppa Pig’ wrapping paper for the ‘friend of a friend’, as that would have been a most grievous and scabby act…

Interestingly, Channel Four TV news had an item last night featuring the 2,000 odd cleaners who service Whitehall, who are campaigning for the very same ‘London Living Wage’.  They are supported by the ‘London Citizens’- part of Citizens UK , an alliance of community organisations, mainly religious groups (the usual, desperate, inter-faith gov. grant-whores) pushing an ‘activist citizen’ agenda  -all very Big Society- (and they have had support from the likes of Mayor Bozo Johnson and the greasy Catholic (‘Catholic ? Quick! Lock up your children!’) Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor). London Citizens idea was to have the cleaners leave begging letters on the desks of government ministers including the Odious ‘to the Manor’ Osbourne and slimy Vince Cable, (who rejects the idea of a Living Wage as being ‘uncompetitive, pricing other workers out of the jobs market’ -THE CUNT) – and this was being done at great risk to the cleaner’s own jobs…

It would be lovely to see the IWW elbow the god-bothering do-gooders out of the way, so that they’d have a presence in Whitehall- imagine that, an anarcho-syndicalist union, right under their toffee noses…but somehow I’m not sure members would get security clearance, what with all that temptation. We can but only dream…



Send your protests to;

Andrew Moys, Director of Communications


Charlie Mayfield, Chairman

John Lewis Partnership, Carlisle Place, London SW1P 1BX



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