Last week, members of the Bristol branch of the IWW engaged in direct action against Samsung Bristol and Repair Phones 4u (no link to the troubled Phones 4u) on Park Street.

This was following on from action undertaken back in July , and a conciliation process with Acas, where it was revealed that while Matthew was on holiday his former boss on paper changed his employer to a different Limited company also under his name. He then argued that Matthew had been employed for 3 months, rather than 5 years and 3 months, which would mean that he had no employment rights.

The process yielded no satisfactory offer for Fellow Worker Matthew; although a mysterious cheque for just over £100 (10% of the money owed) was received with no explanation. In response, the Union wrote to Samsung Bristol and Repair Phones 4u demanding the full amount, including unpaid wages, redundancy and holiday pay amounting to a total of £1110.

We didn’t receive a reply, so it was decided that we would continue with direct action, picketing the shops until they listened.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (23rd, 25th and 26th of September) peaceful, fun pickets were held to a very supportive audience on the busy Park Street, where hundreds of leaflets were distributed to passers-by and potential customers.

Matthew said, “It was really inspiring to meet so many supportive members of the public, and really heart-warming to show others that it’s worthwhile fighting for your rights”

When we arrived on Friday 26th, there was a plain clothes police officer waiting for us- the boss was scared! After a couple of hours of picketing he asked Matthew to come and talk to him. Matthew was accompanied by a trained IWW rep to the meeting, and it was verbally agreed that he would receive the full amount of unpaid wages, holiday and redundancy pay.

We are waiting to receive written confirmation and a cheque for the full amount- watch this space for more, intensified action if this is not promptly received.


Having problems at work? Fed up of the way you’re treated by your boss? Want to organise with your colleagues for a better deal? Please visit to contact your local branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, the fighting union.