Commerce, Racism & Education

A private company working with the Border Agency to oppress its workers at a supposedly enlightened university, who’d a thunk…Via Socialist Unity 

Please Join This Group – Stop the Deportation of SOAS University Cleaners!

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=89511288639

 This group has been set up in Solidarity with the 9 members of the cleaning staff at SOAS who, following a morning raid by border police, have been detained and threatened with immediate deportation from the U.K. We demand an immediate end to these deportations. Below is a summary of the events. Please sign up and show your support!

 Summary of the Border Agency raid at SOAS campus on 12/06/2009

 • All SOAS cleaning staff were called into a meeting by ISS (the company who contracts SOAS’ cleaning staff) at 7am, in a ground floor room and were given no warning about the raid.

 • 45-50 Immigration police entered through the fire doors and the main entrance to the room and surrounded the cleaning staff; the police officers were in riot gear.

 • They cleaners were locked in the room and then led one by one into another room, where their immigration status was checked during which they had no representation or even a translator (many staff are native Spanish speakers). A lot of the cleaners were in emotional distress. A trade union representative was refused access to the staff.

 

• The raid was instigated by the cleaning contractor ISS who requested the police action. Two members of SOAS Management were present during the raid liasing with the police, suggesting that they had prior knowledge of the raid.

 • 9 Cleaners, five of whom are UNISON members were taken into detention. One detained cleaner was six months pregnent, she is thought to have collapsed during the events.

 • Legal representation is being sought through UNISON and other parties, the authorities have not yet revealed where they have been taken, and the detained have no way to contact us.

 • ISS have informed UNISON that some cleaners detained may be fast-tracked out of the country, thus they may be deported within 72 hours.

 • Those detained have been working at SOAS for many years; they have settled in London and have families here. Deportation will be devastating not only for the individuals involved but also the families, who could be split up. They are also our friends and fellow colleagues.

 • The heavy-handed treatment which the cleaners received was grossly over the top and ISS/SOAS are complicit in this.

 • ISS knew that there was documentation problems with their employees yet have not acted to resolve this beforehand. It’s not a coincidence that the cleaners in question were among the first to fight for Union representation and a decent wage.

 • The actions today send a clear message to other agency workers in London not to fight for union representation, such levels of intimidation cannot be tolerated.

 • Boris Johnson has recently called for an amnesty for illegal workers in London, because he recognizes the vital work they do.

 • The raid is proof once again that SOAS cleaning staff need to be brought in-house and that companies like ISS which exploit and intimidate workers have no place at SOAS.

 • We are demanding an immediate end to the deportations!

 • We are demanding that cleaners be brought in-house where they will not be exposed to this level of harassment.

A protest is scheduled for tomorrow-

Monday 15th June at 8.30am on SOAS Steps. Please bring Union banners and other visual, audio aids.

How That Bailout Works

On May 12, the day the city inspector came to board up his house, Ted Poetsch was eating lunch. After living all of his 53 years at 823 Penn Av. N., Poetsch had an hour left to pack his stuff and get out. Cane in hand, he lurched around, throwing a few things in bags, putting Kitty in the carrier. He heard the contractor outside starting to drill into the door frame. Poetsch made his way down his narrow stairway, resigned to the end he had resisted for three years, through personal financial missteps, the false promise of a foreclosure “rescue” and a court victory that gave him short-lived hope. He came to the door and realized that he was too late. A truck had driven away from the house, prompting those outside to think the tenants were gone. Poetsch had been boarded up inside his house.

The house at 823 Penn, vacant and already a target for thieves, is now owned by Fannie Mae. In September, the federal government took over the mortgage giant in a multibillion-dollar bailout after it was brought to the brink of collapse by the housing meltdown. Poetsch got no such assistance. The city determined that the house was potentially unsafe and that Poetsch was essentially a squatter in the only home he had ever known. Now this North Side neighborhood has one fewer neighbor and one more boarded house. “Everybody loses,” said Poetsch’s onetime attorney, Josh DuBois, who helped Poetsch get out of his boarded house that day in May.

Here Comes The Pain

Citizens’ advice managers in Wales are warning the “true human cost” of the recession has yet to materialise after debt inquiries rose by almost 20%. The charities 32 offices in Wales dealt with 111,339 debt inquiries in the 12 months to April 2009, a rise of 19%. CAB Cymru director Fran Targett said previous recessions showed a lag before the number of debt advice calls peaked. More recent figures suggested a “spike” in problems with mortgages, loans, fuel debt and bailiffs, she said. The service, which operates from 200 locations in Wales, overall inquiries rose by 11% on the previous year to 298,119 in the 12 months to April 2009.

More than thirds of these we related to debt, with benefits and tax credit problems rising 11% to 97,803 and employment-related problems increasing by 17% to 22,262. Problems with mortgage and secured loans increased by 57% as did problems with private bailiffs. Fuel debt problems also increased by 31%. Within the benefits portfolio, problems with Job Seekers Allowance increased by 61%. Within the employment portfolio there was a 124% increase with redundancy-related problems.

Spain Folds

Enforcement of international law is a joke (and a fixed game where the law only applies to the less powerful), made more so by international criminals who run countries or lean on more principled governments and can therefore change the laws. Notice how elites formed a ‘consensus’ to limit accountability for fellow elites, ruling class tribalism to get away with murder

Madrid — Spanish lawmakers voted Tuesday in favour of a resolution calling for limits be placed on the scope that the country’s judges have to probe alleged human rights crimes in other countries. Under the principle of “universal jurisdiction” which Spain has observed since 2005, Spanish judges have opened probes into genocide and human rights abuses in nations ranging from China to Israel, causing diplomatic headaches.

The resolution passed in parliament Tuesday with the support of lawmakers of the ruling Socialists and the conservative opposition calls for an “urgent reform” of the application of this principle to “limit and clarify its reach.” It recommends that the principle only apply to cases where the alleged perpetrators of a crime are in Spain or the victims are Spanish.

The resolution is only a recommendation but it could serve as the basis for a future reform of the principle of universal jurisdiction and its passage is a sign that there is a political consensus on the need for reform.

Spain is only one of a handful of countries that respects the principle of universal jurisdiction.

Oink Oink

In case you weren’t clear about the voracious greed & irresponsibility of the financial class-

City bankers and financiers are scooping bumper pay rises to compensate for losing multimillion pound bonuses in a controversial development that will trigger fresh “reward for failure” rows.

The Observer has learnt that UBS, the stricken bank that last year received a £40bn Swiss government bailout, is paying London staff increases of between 15% and 20% at a time when many workers in Britain are forced to take wage freezes.

Though it is understood some equity traders at UBS have even enjoyed a doubling of salary to over £250,000, bank sources indicate these were “exceptional cases rather than the rule”. But senior City headhunters confirmed that basic pay rises for senior bank staff were rising sharply, with US banks seeing big hikes.

Bosses of Britain’s biggest companies enjoyed huge increases in the value of their pension pots last year, despite the onset of recession and the downfall of major banks such as Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS.

Two directors have already amassed pension funds which will pay them more than £1m a year on retirement. Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, has accrued a nest egg worth almost £1.2m; Todd Stitzer, boss of theCadbury confectionery group, could pick up almost £1.5m a year, not counting any further sums they accumulate between now and stepping down.

2 Million

and rising, and New Labour are acting like Tories attacking welfare (rather than make tax avoiding corporations pay up even as they bail them out). The 80’s again already? Except this bust is way more than that decade’s and we’ve run out of planet. I know of a second home that just went for half a million, the new owners turned up in their Porsche and Minis, capital’s going one way and suffering’s coming the other.

Anger is an energy.

Barclays Tax Scam

Barclays Bank gags Guardian over leaked memos detailing offshore tax scam

*cough* Wikileaks.

‘In a financial market devastated by the credit crunch, the SCM (Structured Capital Markets) team is one of the only teams still aggressively hiring to increase further its reach and ability to structure more trades. Where the world sees turmoil and destruction, the leaders of SCM see opportunities arising from tax loss exploitation and corporate restructurings throwing up all sorts of new and juicy areas of the tax code which can be profitably exploited.’

‘Even John Varley (Barclays chief executive) now attends meetings in Jenkins’ (chief executive of SCM) office, walking across to the offices at the other end of Canary Wharf, a sign of the shifting of power within the bank.’

‘Normally a man who has made the study of the taxes act and the accounting legislation a priority above all other things in life would be looked upon with some surprise. But within SCM these men are Masters of the Universe, commanding multimillion pound bonuses and publicly humiliating those of lesser knowledge.’

‘With a new administration burdened with two wars, economic meltdown and the choice of new drapes for the White House, SCM management is banking on the administration taking their eye off the ball.’

‘It is a commonly held view that no agency in the US or the UK (and least of all the European agencies) has the resources or the commitment to challenge SCM. SCM has huge amounts of resources, the best minds rewarded with millions of pounds. HMRC recently advertised for a tax and accounting expert with the pay at £45,000.’

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