What do Easton Community Centre, Burma and Colombia all have in common? None of them like trade unions and all use THREATS to stop people organising for better conditions.
A number of ECC staff are members of the IWW trade union. For some time the union has been trying to negotiate with ECC’s charity board of management – in particular on the issue of health and safety at the centre, which workers say is “FRANKLY APPALLING”.
At one meeting of the ECC board they promised to recognise the union as per the law. However, they quickly changed their minds, saying they would talk again after an asset transfer from Bristol City Council was complete…
Meanwhile the board has not managed to implement any of the proposed health and safety improvements. Instead they have SACKED a worker (a union member) for not being able to turn off a fire alarm while working on his own – which itself is a breach of the most basic of health and safety regulations!
The union, in desperation, put a post on the Bristol IndyMedia website (originally here) to highlight the situation workers there find themselves in, only for the community centre’s management to react quicker than they ever have done before – with a threat of an EXPENSIVE LEGAL ACTION…
Great! Meet the charity that’s prepared to use its grant monies and public funding to gag a trade union and its own employees rather than spend money on complying with basic health and safety legislation. What the board possibly hadn’t taken into consideration is that locals concerned by these worrying developments can easily join Easton Community Association (membership forms available at the centre or on the ECC website) and put a stop to them.
As one person close to the shenanigans advised The BRISTOLIAN:
“Get stuck in and don’t let them transfer our community centre.”