UBS: the fight for justice for cleaners continues

Involved in cleaners’ struggles in the face of the anti-migrant repression of the UK state and the opposition of the Unite union bureaucracy, Alberto Durango was recently victimised by contractor Lancaster working for Swiss bank UBS. See here for details of the 12th February protest in the City of London defending migrant workers’  right to organise. Here he reports on the UBS case (haga clic aquí para leer en español):

As a representative of UBS workers I am very satisfied with the many activists’ and union organisations’ response to the call for solidarity, against the injustice committed by UBS and Lancaster: a fine example of working-class solidarity. Continue reading “UBS: the fight for justice for cleaners continues”

tribute to ernesto leal… and more attacks on latino workers by unite bureaucrats

collaboratively produced by members of the Latin American Workers’ Association (leerlo en castellano)

October was a sad month for Latin American workers residing in London, for two reasons. First came the death of Ernesto Leal, a Chilean committed to the cause of migrant workers, who was a founding member of the Latin American Workers’ Association. The other reason – shamefully coinciding with this loss – was the decision of the Unite union to kick out that same organisation our comrade Ernesto Leal helped found.


Given his dedication and his experiences it is worth revisiting a little of the history of this class fighter. He was born in far-off Chile in the late 1930s, son to a family devoted to the militant social struggles of the Chilean Communist Party. This political commitment on his parents’ part brought on their heads merciless political persecution, forcing them to live clandestinely and constantly change address. Continue reading “tribute to ernesto leal… and more attacks on latino workers by unite bureaucrats”

what is the union bureaucracy?

by Alberto Durango, a Colombian cleaner activist whose involvement in militant organising initiatives has earned him the wrath of sub-contractor cleaning companies and the Unite union bureaucracy alike. Leerlo en castellano.


There are very few means by which the working class can arm itself with a political tool which educates the class and helps it fight the crooks who, disguised as its defenders, betray it, sell it out and make deals over its interests with the bosses. With this tribune I want to contribute something, so that those workers who come across this information might use it as a starting point for directing a discussion about the trade union bureaucracy, this great enemy of the working class, so that they can organise to combat it. First of all therefore we have to understand what characterises the trade union bureaucracy. Continue reading “what is the union bureaucracy?”

the amey case: burn your bridges, save your dignity

by Mónica del Pilar Uribe Marin

Two of the workers sacked by Amey in September 2008, who had fought for reinstatement and compensation, recently lost their legal battle, which had lasted almost a year. A judge made clear on August 10th that the verdict was final and cannot be appealed: the plaintiffs had defamed the company by handing out leaflets where the names of Amey and its manager Laura Jordan were in bold capital letters, something deemed aggressive and ‘inexcusable’ in the English language.

Julio Mayor and Pedro Rengifo thus lost the case, their jobs and the money they had been offered (an attempt to buy their silence: they refused with – and for the sake of – their dignity). Continue reading “the amey case: burn your bridges, save your dignity”

first issue of ‘la comuna’

We have produced the first issue of a Spanish-language bulletin for Latin American migrant workers, La Comuna. The publication will be a space for discussion of activism and organising in workplaces and the trade union movement, as well as the fight against immigration controls. The objective is that La Comuna should mostly written by migrant workers themselves and appear at least semi-regularly.


The first issue features one woman’s testimony of an immigration police raid at the Willis building in the City of London, an article by Alberto Durango about Unite and its Justice for Cleaners campaign, and an article about the need for a communist movement today.

A website has been set up at Email for more info.