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Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year to all welcome 2011

Happy New Year to all, friends and everyone who knows me.

2010 has been an interesting and exciting year with many unique events happening. I left Lambeth on the 30 March after being there for 22 years and I left behind very close friends and colleagues that I will always keep in touch with and of course I will never forget the challenges, struggles and indeed the victories and some triumphs we all achieved there.

Happy new year to everyone! I hope the arrival of 2011 is a time for reflection a time to remember what's important, to forget and forgive and move on! Happy New Year!

Nick Venedi

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Lambeth Unison years, the diary





I have now been able to go through my personal diary, kept since 1988 and have managed to get most of the information in order. Facts that I recorded (there are some gaps) will probably make good or interesting reading on how one of the most dynamic branches in the country developed, progressed and survived over a period of 20 years.
Most of what I have to say is positive and constructive but like with any other story telling venture some of what I have to say may not be appreciated by a few, at the same time parts of what will be written may not make me look good either, but that's how accurate story telling goes.
Lambeth Unison is a strong, dynamic vibrant TU branch with many unique characters . The branch draws its strength from its diversity but it is that diversity of backrounds and opinions that may have led to some conflicts and misunderstandings. I have always seen those in the branch as members of a very extensive family. I am proud to be an active member of Lambeth Unison and to have served its for more than 2 decades. I dedicate this diary to my many friends in Lambeth Unison.

The diary will cover:

The 12 week payroll dispute and how it divided and united at the same time the branch;
The service plan during the Linda Bellos years and severe cuts;
The fight with the Thacher government;
Reg Race report;
The censuring of a Branch Secretary by the Branch Committee and the habit of turning against Branch Secs;
The removal from office of an ex Branch Secretary (who became Chair) and the hostility towards him;
Refusal of ex NUPE branch to merge with Lambeth Unison A;
Disputes with region and national;
The Jon Rogers affect and the general Secretary election;
United left connection;
The London Weighting Dispute and mad strategies;
Relationship with regional Secs, Chris Humphries, Nick Wright, Linda Perks;
The 6 years as regional Finance Convenor;
Heather Rabbats years;
How Revenues and Benefits were privatised in 1997 and how we won the battle to bring them back in house;
The link with Lambeth Labour;

Other campaigns and disputes and other major events.

I shall start publishing the diary in the early part of January and I shall cover major events not necessarily in chronological order, I will of course make corrections if someone who was there has a different recollection of what happened.
My quote....
'' I never expected to be loved by everyone but I am happy that the vast majority of those I supported could have benefited from my genuine desire to help them. I have always been able to separate political disagreements from personal hostility and antipathy and have always led from the front never hesitating to take on challenges or take action to protect the branch and its integrity. I may disagree with some in the branch but I will fight to protect their right to say what they think... ''

Problems in retirement

Government figures released today suggest that 1 in 6 people alive today, around 10 million, will live to the age of 100. Good news for those who make it of course but not so good for those who will be condemned to live in poverty.

The stats of course do not tell us how comfortable or easy people in retirement will be and with proposals to change the pensions system it will mean that those who retire will need to at least be in part time employment to survive.

The major difficulty with the theory that links retirement with continuing to work is the fact that there is huge prejudice by employers towards anyone who is either under 23 or over 50 with stats showing that it is 3 times harder for someone over 50 to get an interview never mind a job. So I have no idea how the government intends to encourage people to remain in employment if it is so hard for that group to get a job? How many of us know of reorganisations where the employer is so clear that anyone over a certain age has to be removed?

The unions have to do more on this subject as well and initiatives to deal with ageism and ageist attitudes need to be developed in line with other EOP policies. The reality is that if you are over 50 and you are out of a job because of redundancy then it will be very hard for you to find another job.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Difficulties in retirement

A bleak picture of retirement has emerged , with a study revealing that millions of people will have to work in retirement, or struggle with barely enough income to survive. And while it is worrying enough that over 50% of those over 55 do not have savings, even more alarming is the level of debts older people are carrying.So just how bad have things become?Among the most shocking findings of the report is that one in ten people over the age of 75 are still paying the mortgage, with an average outstanding debt of £72,500. Some 20% of those over 55 still have a mortgage, with an average of £64,511 left to pay on it.

This is of course of great concern to those members who have retired with average pensions falling and with government proposals to changing the way pay increases are awarded. More should be done for those in retirement to link with 'parent branches' and join the fight that we will all have to be involved with soon.

Ed Milliband

There is speculation and comments in some sections of the press that Ed Miliband wants to modernise the party (whatever that means) by changing some of the rules, one of the proposals could be to reduce the role of the unions and redefine the role we have. Now this does not surprise me as I never thought that Ed would be any different than say David M who is openly right wing and its obvious that Ed played the left wing card just to get elected.

I think it will be a huge error of judgement to make the shift away from the TU's and of course it was the TU's that created the party. Any attempts to move away from this sacred link will with out any doubt drive many of us away? That would not be right and we must fight this idiotic idea!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas to all


Merry Christmas to all this is the time to reflect, to forgive and forget...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Animal cruelty

Traditions are a beautiful and warm way to celebrate holidays. But not when they include animal cruelty, like slicing off the fins of live sharks to make shark fin soup.

Shark fin soup is a dish served on Lunar New Year and at other celebratory events like weddings. But the origins of this meal are unsavory and cruel: It's produced by hunting and catching sharks, slicing off their fins, and throwing them back into the sea to die by suffocation, blood loss or predation by other species.
Tens of millions of sharks are killed every year to meet the demand for shark fin soup, a terrible blow to the many species of which are already threatened with extinction.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Are coalition cables at breaking point?

No one I know is surprised about Vince Cables honest outburst and it would seem that deep inside him he has remembered his true values. I said it before and will say it again the Lib Democrats have been deceived with this coalition 'deal' and it is about time that they wake and smell the coffee in the country! The reality is the Cons are pushing their agenda using and abusing the Liberals. I know of long term committed Liberal Democrats who strongly disagree with what's going on. It was a huge mistake to get into bed with the the Cons. My advice to any true Lib is to get a quick divorce on the grounds of severe adultery and deception!!! Do it before you pay the price at the ballot box!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Savoy hotel

I just finished watching the second part of the Savoy on ITV1 covering the re opening of the hotel on 10 October 2010.

The programme is a journey into deep shallow land and it clearly shows us how the other 0.1% of us live so it is what it is and it doesn't pretend to be anything else, its for those who live in a different world or a different planet. Saying that the documentary is well presented and it could be seen as entertaining. I hope that the wages of the stuff who work there are good? Management could perhaps get some advice from Paloma Vivenco ex The Apprentice who could teach them a trick or two.

Do we need to regulate blogs?

I understand the technical arguments advanced by some on other blogs concerning the matter to do with bloggers belonging to a TU capable of representing them. Simon Chapman made the argument and the technical reasons as to why this isn't possible clear in his reply to an article on Elizabeth Winkler's page and he is of course right in many ways.

I would imagine that if Simon is right and joining a TU isn't possible then bloggers should consider getting together and forming some sort of a collective with rules and a code of practice? And then maybe have a democratic structure to allow for decisions or a change in rules to take place? The ‘collective’ can of course be attached to an established TU like a Self Organised Group is in Unison.

I think this is a subject that needs more debate but we should have some rules on how TU bloggers conduct themselves I am, for example, against allowing non constructive anonymous comments but I am aware that many publish negative and sometimes offensive content.

TUC March 26 March 2011





Some may think it is too early to start planning the TUC march for jobs and services but the success of this event is crucial if we are to make an impact on government policy, so firm, specific and intelligent preparations need to be made from now.


There are those who say that one million protesters marching on the streets of London will not make the coalition government change their course and that a similar gathering did not persuade Tony Blair to change his plans on the war but I disagree with this. Tony Blair had a firm majority in the commons this lot do not!
The Con the Libs coalition are not as united as they may appear to look and there is evidence that the Tories are worried about how the Lib part of the amalgamation may collapse so more pressure from angry voters could shift the balance. Nervous Lib Democrats could easily turn against their own leadership and create a situation where the the country goes to the ballot box. No one I know actively voted for a coalition between the Tories and the Libs that is just not true and at the very worst some people may have felt comfortable with a Labour Lib version but not what we have today. The Libs can't help have a Tory in disguise as their leader!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Climate change in Bangladesh: building capacity and speaking with one voice

In November, Judith Carreras of Sustainlabour visited Bangladesh as part of a TUC-funded project to support the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation to work on climate change. The project aims to build capacity within trade unions on the issue of climate change, to build a common position, and to lobby the Bangladesh government and donors such as the World Bank to properly consider employment issues within climate change.Below are some extracts from Judith's diary during her week-long visit.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18952-f0.cfm

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sparky attacks snowman...




Sparky was caught attacking a snowman that we built in our garden this morning, when asked why he felt the need to do this he had very little to say ...

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Great Xmas party








Was great to see friends last night from Lambeth Unison who turned up to the Unison get together and after Xmas dinner party. The event reminded me of what a great place Lambeth is and how close we all are and how funny to hilarious some of us are.. lol. I agree with those who were there who said that it was probably one of the best get together for many years!. I am clear now that my heart will always be with Lambeth and my fellow friends and Lambeth activists. Season greetings to everyone! I shall be seen more friends next week when attending other events in Lambeth

Friday, 17 December 2010

Good bye Joan...




Today's entry is dedicated to our lovely friend Joan who died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday 15 December. Myself Juliet and others in the Lambeth Unison office got to know Joan for the last 12 years as she was the allocated cleaner for our office. We developed a friendship and she often looked after my dog Sparky who she loved. I learned of the sad news this morning when Juliet called me, its weird to think that she has gone so quick after the death of her beloved husband Leo. Joan would have been a guest at our Xmas lunch which is strangely enough held today so she will be missed. Good bye friend may you rest in peace....

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Xmas no 1

Excellent idea, go and buy this single to remind everyone never to trust Nick Clegg...

http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=6478

The local government pension scheme

As expected the local government pension scheme has come under attack by the government which is looking for ways to make us all pay for the mistakes committed by bankers. I am reproducing a statement issued by Heather Wakefield, Head of Unison Local Government sector there is also a more detailed entry o John Gray's blog which makes good and essential reading http://grayee.blogspot.com/2010/12/get-your-facts-right-about-local.html :

“Another week, another attack on the local government pension scheme. These so-called independent pensions consultants and government ministers should get their facts right before they resort to crude scare-mongering.“Eric Pickles is plain wrong. Less than 6% of council tax payments fund pensions. More than 50% is made up of employee contributions and investment returns.“The local government pension scheme is in good shape, and is a vital way of allowing mainly low paid workers to save for their retirement. A report out this year confirmed that the scheme could cover all its liabilities for the next twenty years, without a single penny more in contributions. What’s more, the scheme invests hundreds of billions in UK stocks and shares every year – a huge boost to our economy. “With pensions, its vital to take a long term view. It is totally misleading to take an assessment of the schemes liabilities now and make claims for the future that don’t stack-up. All investments have taken a knock thanks to the financial crisis, but given time they will recover.”

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Ivory trade

It's surprising, but despite a ban on ivory trade, the U.S. is the world's second-largest retail market for elephant ivory. That means the U.S. is one of the major drivers of elephant poaching in Africa. End ivory trade in the US and all over the word. Ivory trade is possible despite an official ban because protections under the Endangered Species Act are riddled with loopholes. For example, tusks from African, but not Asian, elephants can be brought into the US as hunting throphies. We can't sit back and allow the U.S. to support a flourishing ivory trade while African and Asian elephants continue to die. Help close these ridiculous loopholes so that we can have a true ban on ivory trade in the U.S.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Keep the post public coalition December 15 rally


Trade Union activists all over the country will be joining a mass meeting organised by the CWU tomorrow starting at 11 in central London so I urge all who can attend to be there to show solidarity and support. The general public are very much against the privatisation of the postal services so a sustainable campaign capable of delivering results is needed. We are all in this one together.

Join politicians, trade union leaders and hundreds of postal workers at a national rally to protest against government plans to privatise Royal Mail. All welcome.


When: 11am - 2pm on Wednesday, 15th December 2010
Where: Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London, SW1H 9NH.


Speakers include shadow Business Secretary John Denham and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. CWU general secretary Billy Hayes and deputy general secretary Dave Ward will be joined by other politicians and trade union leaders.
The timing is intended to give MPs a very clear message of the dissatisfaction with the Postal Services Bill and the deficiencies within the Bill, prior to the Parliamentary Christmas recess.
The Bill is currently in committee stage and CWU believes there are huge loopholes which put the universal service and post office network at risk.
Postal workers will also be lobbying their local MPs in parliament after the rally.
Write to your MP and sign the petition
Other Keep the Post Public events around the UK
The campaign so far
Postal Services Bill 2010

Monday, 13 December 2010

X Factor 2010

Well its all over and Matt Cardle, who in my opinion was indeed the most talented of those participating, won the vote and has become the winner of X Factor 2010 with Rebbecca Ferguson coming a close second and One Direction third.

The programme has had its many critics and its persistence has given rise to the emergence of what I call the Cappuccino Anarchists who tried to discredit the show by campaigning to get Wagner, who unfortunately was as talented as a tomato sandwich, win. But they did not succeed.

I was in two minds as to whether the anti X Factor brigade was justified in putting so much energy into attacking the concept but I am, on balance, in favour of what we have simply because it gives those who would not otherwise be known an opportunity to exhibit their talents and no one can deny the fact that Matt Cardle and Rebbecca are top acts. The question to the oppositionist brigade is whether they think that young people like the ones in the final could ever break the net and make it without the help they got?

The biggest challenge for any future events is to ensure that there is some fairness in who is involved and that the 'show' does not become the playground of PR practitioners who are desperately trying to outplay each other. There should also be some way to make sure that the event is not dominated by Simon Cowel who is of course incredibly successful in his own right but uses the programme to inflate his already big ego. He is, however, an animal lover and about the same age as me so maybe he is right and I am wrong? But hey seriously lets have less control and give others the opportunity? What do you think Simon?

The Savoy hotel

Interesting to watch the new documentary shown on ITV tonight covering the life and times of those who work in the Savoy a hotel build in 1889 with 268 rooms and managed by Fairmont and recently refurbished at the cost of 100 million.

The documentary promises to show us how the other half, well the other 1% of us, live and what those who work there get up to. I shall be keeping an eye on this programme purely because I am curious.

Tonight's 'episode' has already shown us some colourful characters. I was particularly concerned however, putting on my TU hat, to see how the Chief Butler elected to tell us all that he uses his 'gut instinct' when selecting 'suitable people' in his opinion, to do the job and doesn't just rely on what qualifications they have on paper. Now I don't want to pick on this guy who is probably quite good at what he does and genuinely believes in the methods that he uses but his methodology needs looking into, we live in a meritocracy and appointing people on gut instinct is not the right thing to do, not according to the Cipd or the TUC!. I would imagine that he didn't mean what he said and was just showing off? Well I hope so.

Apart from this incident the hotel looks splendid but I am sure that neither Unison or the TUC will be holding their next conferences there! Good documentary though and worth watching and following how things progress?

SERTUC supported Latin America Conference

The annual Latin America Conference at TUC Congress House, supported by SERTUC, has become a highlight on the calendar and source of reference for many.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18928-f0.cfm

Sunday, 12 December 2010

TUC Internet petition on jobs

The TUC and the International Trade Union Confederation are supporting an Avaaz internet petition to send to French President Nicholas Sarkozy to get jobs and growth onto the global agenda of the G20 in 2011. Please support the petition and encourage others to sign up.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18932-f0.cfm

Iranian Trade Unionists

The TUC is supporting a global trade union campaign in solidarity with Iranian trade union leader Reza Shahabi, who has been on hunger strike since 4 December in protest at his continuing imprisonment. The global campaign includes the ITUC, ITF and Amnesty International. We are calling on the authorities in Iran to release him immediately.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18934-f0.cfm

Saturday, 11 December 2010

CSU Rally 15 December 2010





Support the rally organised by the CSW on Wednesday 15 December 2010 in central London be there and show your solidarity! Don't let them privatise our postal services!

http://www.cwu.org/december-15-rally.html

Deidre Barlow was never innocent...

I was shocked to hear last night, whilst conversing with mates in a bar somewhere in Clapham village, that following the crash of the tram into Coronation Street Ashley the butcher boy from Weatherfield revealed, just before he dropped dead (thank God for small mercies!) that Deidre Barlow, Rashid, Langton is not Innocent and that she did in fact murder the 8 pints that were missing from Emily Bishops secret cellar. The information has been passed on to police who might investigate the matter when the weather gets better. Meanwhile viewers will be upset to hear that Dev has survived the accident and will not be dying (what a f... shame!)

In a statement issued by Deidre's agent D has denied planning a 23rd affair with Liz MacDonald's husband, she said that she was interested in MacDonald's but not the Liz Mac type... whatever next!!

Friday, 10 December 2010

The long struggle?

Good news that our NEC ( Unison) have agreed to increase the money put aside to coordinate campaigning and fighting against the governments obsession to punish the public sector for mistakes made by their banking mates. Here is the link from Unison which you can look at http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2082 . I am hoping that those of us at branch level, what they call grass roots, will be more involved on how to develop a nationwide campaign. There is a clear need for an intelligent sustainable and deliverable tactic to maximise success.

The other main news today of course comes from the media coverage of the student demonstrations. It is again a great pity that the very few have managed to spoil it it for the many others who congregated on the streets of London to demonstrate peacefully. There is no excuse for violence and I condemn all forms of aggression on the streets. We are not in Athens guys! The students have a legitimate right to express their frustrations and fight against the draconian measures imposed on them but they need to win the minds and hearts of the general public and smashing up parts of London will not be achieving that!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Join the student protests today

Thousands of students and those opposed to the ludicrous and unfair idea of imposing a huge increases in student tuition fees will be gathering in central London today to protest and remind MPs who will be voting later on in the Commons what their obligations are.

The proposal is unfair and if implemented will create an even bigger division between rich and poor students. We must not burden our young with huge debts.

Also welcome the call from our General Secretary, Dave Prentis, who urges those of us who can to join the students in a peaceful march today. Here's an extract from his statement:

' No amount of spin from the coalition government will disguise the fact that these huge rises will put off the poorer children from going to university and improving their employment chances. And higher education will become the preserve of the wealthy.We urge members to join students in their local protests and in lobbying their MPs. Outside Westminster, for example, on Thursday, 9,000 glow sticks will be lit to symbolise the £9,000 fees' increase. '

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

London Regional Council AGM

A reminder to the 152 branch Secs around London that the deadline for submitting nominations for Regional Council officer positions is this Friday, the deadlines are adhered to strictly so activists need to ensure that the process is followed. The London Regional Council AGM is scheduled to take place on the 9 February 2011. The contested positions include those for Convenor, deputy, Finance, Equality, Publicity and Young Members. I shall review and comment on who is standing for what when the information is given out.

Weatherfield mayhem

I would imagine many followers of corrie street would be deeply disappointed to see that the major disaster what hit Weatherfield did not kill off Dev and Ashley the two most boring characters on telly ever. On the other hand we saw a splendid attempt by Deidre Barlow to act she did however manage to help the situation by shouting 'Ken love'. Is tragedy the best way to celebrate 50 years of history? Call me old fashioned but I think not! They should get Wagner from X factor to sing the birdy song next week that should make interesting telly!

Keep the post public campaign

The CWU are holding rally on Wednesday 15 December to highlight and start the campaign against the proposal to privatise the post service, this is another daft idea that needs to be resisted.

http://www.cwu.org/december-15-rally.html

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Is a blog an alternative to facebook?




Well let me start by saying that the thousands of readers who never read this blog have written in saying that perhaps there is a need to start a Socilistbook which will be an alternative to facebook, now whilst that could be a good idea I know that the average Socilaist boy and girl are very busy these days and the likelihood of that ever happening is nil, so I would suggest that right now the best alternative to facebook (which seems to get people and Bishops into trouble) is to blog.


A blog is a good way to keep in touch with people you know and those you don't but the process allows you to have a high degree of control something that appeals to me. In my case I see blogging as part of my daily routine, I wake up have a shower etc then turn on computer read email messages then an entry into the old blog, that wakes me up. Its also an alternative to doing a crossword, in addition you will end up having a record of what thoughts you had.


The disadvantage with blogging however comes from a potential employer being able to know quite a lot about you when you apply for a new job. It will take your friendly HR person a second to google you and find out that you like Kylie or Madona and that, in most cases, could be held against you. I am sure that I have been in that position myself recently when I applied for a job with BA and wasn't even shortlisted even though I was fully qualified. Are BA anti trade union? I am sure I am wrong, or it could be that my knowledge of Swedish literature put them off??






Monday, 6 December 2010

Money matters

I recently helped a friend recover money back from a bank that sold him a loan with compulsory insurance. The process was not complicated and it took less than a month to get a full refund. It is important that people who find themselves in that position take steps to get what they were forced to back and this applies to loans you may have had as long as 6 years ago so don't just say you are too busy to take action, you need a have clear plan and you have to do it, and if you don't have time and you can do with some help email me (don't send a comment on here) and I will see what I can do to help. And of course you don't need to go to expensive solicitors to start the ball rolling.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Trade unions confronting climate change in Cancun

Until the middle of December, energy and environment ministers representing governments from across the globe, unions and green organisations have taken all up residence in the Mexican party resort of Cancun.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18876-f0.cfm

Action against chages in pensiosn

http://unisonactive.blogspot.com/2010/12/lobby-your-mp-to-fight-cpi-switch.html

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sweatshop conditions

Last month saw the TUC describe practices in some UK retail factories as 'a scandal', following an investigation by the Channel 4 programme Dispatches. The 'sweatshop conditions' faced by workers were both dangerous and pressurised, the TUC said.
TUC on Dispatches revelations @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/social/tuc-18788-f0.cfm

Cost of living concerns

Last month's inflation figures, showing RPI at 4.5 per cent in October, represented 'bad news for struggling families', the TUC said in response. With fourth-fifths of pay deals below 3 per cent, VAT about to be hiked, and a pay freeze about to begin in the public sector for workers on £21,000 or above, millions of workers faced a harsh cut in their living standards.
More on this @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-18817-f0.cfm

Friday, 3 December 2010

Listen to people not banks, G20 urged

The TUC took part in a massive international lobbying effort last month as campaigners urged the G20 to listen to people not banks, and tax financial transactions fairly.
The call came as global leaders met for their summit in Seoul, with 183 organisations from 42 countries - including members of the Robin Hood Tax campaign - signing a joint letter. The unprecedented coalition of unions, development, health, education and environmental NGOs represented over 200 million people worldwide.
Organisations belonging to the UK Robin Hood Tax campaign, including the TUC, urged David Cameron to work with other global leaders to 'make concrete progress towards the introduction of an internationally co-ordinated Financial Transactions Tax'.
More on this story @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18783-f0.cfm

Cuts campaign gathers pace

Preparations are continuing ahead of the TUC's national demonstration on 26 March next year against the coalition government's savage cuts. The event in Hyde Park aims to bring trade unionists, community campaigners, students, service users and charities together in a massive mobilisation against austerity.
As part of the build up, the TUC has launched a new website titled False Economy, setting out the damage the cuts will cause and how people can get involved in local campaigns to stop them.
Visit the new False Economy site @
http://falseeconomy.org.uk/

Thursday, 2 December 2010

South London snowed under

Well I can understand why the whole system in South London has collapsed. There are very few trains leaving most of the S London stations, this is not at all surprising as we have never had snow in England before and therefore not prepared to deal with the 5 to 7 inches, wonder how they do it in Warsaw or Moscow? But we are just not used to it because we are a warm tropical country? Anyway at least I can stay in and enjoy (??) watching Trisha or Jeremy Kilimanjaro or whatever his name is, apparently Sharon and Tracey will be on later on...

14,000 years for Sri Lankan sportswear workers to earn Nike CEO's 2010 pot

TUC supporting Sri Lankan garment workers to win better pay and conditions

While Nike CEO Mark Parker is deciding what to do with his £8 million compensation package for 2010, the TUC is supporting sportswear workers in Sri Lanka to organise and win an annual wage of around £700 at minimum and better working conditions. At current wage levels, it could take Sri Lankan sportswear workers over 14,000 years to earn what Mark Parker made in 1 year. There's no disputing that this isn't playing fair. Sportswear brands sourcing from Sri Lanka include Nike, Adidas, Speedo, Puma and Reebok, and amidst violations of human and trade union rights, their profits continue to grow. It's time for these big brands to raise the bar on workers' rights and ensure workers manufacturing their products are paid a living wage.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

And more snow....




Snowed in today not a single car has managed to go up the hill where I live. It looks good but not very safe...




World Aids day 1 December 2010

HIV: Act Aware – World AIDS Day 01 December 2010 Over 90,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and new infections continue every year. World AIDS Day 2010 is all about raising awareness to tackle HIV prejudice and help stop the spread of HIV. Get tested - it is recommended that everyone in a risk area gets tested at least once a year. HIV tests are confidential and it is possible to access 'rapid tests' where you can get the result there and then. We all can make a difference, whether it's through a donation volunteering or simply making wiser decisions regarding your sexual health. Together we can stop the spread of HIV and end prejudice. HIV: Act Aware.