Note: this report has been anonymised for legal reasons.

A fellow worker had worked for the same boss for over 5 years. After a holiday of 6 weeks, granted to him by the boss, he returned to find his hours reduced. A few weeks later he was told that he was ‘surplus to business requirements’ and that they did not have enough hours for him.

This dismissal came completely out of the blue with no disciplinary procedure at all. Then, in his last week of work (having only been given one week’s notice) his job was advertised in the window of the shop.

Not only was he owed a significant amount in unpaid holiday pay and wages; his former employer offered no redundancy pay to help him while he looked for another job.

He then decided to take the issue to his union, the Industrial Workers of the World, who wrote to the company and asked for a meeting to ensure that he received his wages and the holiday pay. After a terse, incoherent and rude written response from the boss, (in which the company expressed that they felt there was ‘no need’ for any further discussion), the union decided to visit in person to deliver their demands and ensure that this boss knows what to expect when he treats his workforce unfairly with little respect.

The initial ‘march on the boss’ was supported by a large group of IWW members who entered the business with the series of demands. This action shocked the boss, yet he refused to concede.

What followed was a series of rolling pickets outside of the business, which is on a very busy street in Bristol. Leaflets were handed to the public, who were encouraged to boycott the company until the management stopped their unfair practices. The pickets were received sympathetically and enthusiastically by passers-by.

As we prepared further action, including a communications blockade (contacting the business using social media, email and phone-calls and leaving bad reviews about the business), the management became agitated about the pickets and invited the fellow worker in to meet with him to discuss a solution. The fellow worker was accompanied by a trained IWW rep, and it was agreed that all demands would be met.

There was a delay in the receiving of the paperwork, but after threats of further pickets, the fellow worker was given all of the money owed to him.

  • Sound familiar?
  • 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? 

Get in touch!

Email: bristol [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk

Phone: 07581440831