Focus E15 campaign would like to send out a message of solidarity to Ben Geraghty who is being victimised by Deliveroo, the company he has worked for for over a year. According to a statement put out by his union, the IWGB, on the Couriers and Logistics branch Facebook page, Ben’s contract has been suddenly terminated, without warning, and he has not been offered any more shifts. Many think that there is an obvious reason why this has happened to him: Ben is a prominent union organiser with the IWGB and has been recently campaigning for union recognition and workers rights for all Deliveroo drivers. This is the real reason why he has been targeted in this way. Ben told Focus E15 campaign that:
These actions clearly represent an attempt, on the part of Deliveroo’s management, to victimise and silence me and, by extension, the union. This is what Deliveroo and the gig economy truly stand for: old style casualisation and anti-union intimidation, poorly painted over with a twenty-first century aesthetic.Myself, the IWGB and its members will never bow to such blatant attempts at union busting as these.
Over the last two years, Ben has been a regular supporter of the Focus E15 campaign, attending our street stalls, events and public meetings. We stand with Ben and urge Deliveroo to immediately reinstate him and recognise the IWGB as the union of choice for Deliveroo drivers.
Support Ben and the IWGB campaign to unionise the Deliveroo workforce! Stand for workers rights! Stand up for Ben. Come to a public meeting, hosted by IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch on Tuesday 13 December, 7pm-9pm at Somers Town Community Association, 150 Ossulston St, NW1 1EE to organise the fightback.
Newham’s housing is a health risk Newham is the most overcrowded borough in London with conditions for many residents increasingly best described as slum housing. In Olympic legacy Labour Newham, in the fifth richest country in the world, every day people face evictions, social cleansing and literally being dumped on the streets. Below are just two examples of the consequences of what can happen when you remove social housing.
Jennifer is the mother of five children and a grandmother. On Wednesday 8 June she will be at Bridge House homelessness Unit in Stratford, east London in the borough of Newham. Jennifer is about to be made homeless for the second time in nine months. She has been in temporary accommodation for 14 years, shunted from pillar to post, and in this last home, didn’t even totally unpack when she moved in nine months ago because she didn’t think it would last. She is right, a housing association put her in private rented accommodation and now the landlord says no more, possession order has come, meeting at Bridge House and all the usual emotions of fear, insecurity, shame, powerlessness. What will Jennifer tell her son who is on the autistic spectrum and is just settling in yet another home, when they have to move again, what of her son doing GCSEs and anxious about his exams. These are the issues facing her again.
Focus E15 campaign is supporting Jennifer in her request for long term stable housing in Newham. Housing Justice for Jennifer!
On Saturday 4 June, Focus E15 campaign held its monthly public meeting. The theme was Housing is a Mental Health Issue. A speaker from Psychologists Against Austerity spoke of the direct and indirect effect of poor housing and overcrowding on our physical and mental health. At the end of the meeting we met Beverley, a resident of Focus E15 building, or Brimstone House as Newham Council would like it now to be known, who is facing eviction. She has physical and mental health needs. On Tuesday 7 June, Beverley was told to leave Brimstone House. When they first placed her in Brimstone House, Newham Council said it was interim accommodation while a decision was made on whether to provide her with housing. Her dog, vital to help her maintain her health, was not allowed in the room and Beverley had to give her dog away causing her great anguish. The council assessed her as ‘homeless and eligible but not priority need’. She has now had her Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) stopped. On Wednesday 8 June they will come to evict her and with no duty to house her, Beverley will be on the streets.
When Robin Wales announced in April that Newham Council had bought Focus E15 hostel, Brimstone House, from East Thames Housing Association, he said: ‘We cannot turn down this unique opportunity which makes both financial sense at the same time as helping some of our most vulnerable residents.’ So tell us Robin Wales, Labour Mayor of Newham, how throwing vulnerable people out onto the streets with their belongings is helpful?
On Thursday 16 June, at the Municipal Journal Local Authority Awards, Newham Labour Council is up for an award for the best trading standards and environmental health and has been nominated in the best environmental health category. What a slap in the face for the Newham residents who know the reality.
Expose the shameful actions of this Labour council. No one should be indefinitely in temporary accommodation! No one should be out on the streets!
Repopulate the Carpenters Estate where over 400 homes in Stratford lie empty.
Join Focus E15 campaign weekly stall every Saturday12-2pm, on The Broadway, E15 outside Wilko’s.
Join the protest at the Municipal Journal Local Authority Awards where both Newham and Lambeth are due to receive awards: Thursday 16 June 6.30pm Hilton Hotel London W1K 1BE
On 21st May, to mark the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, Focus E15 Campaign held a demonstration in Stratford to force a spotlight onto Newham council who have left empty homes boarded up on the Carpenters Estate and to make a link that the current housing crisis is having an adverse effect on people’s mental health.
Many people took the opportunity to use the open microphone. Speeches, live music, chanting and an impromptu march highlighted the link between mental health and housing insecurity. The point was also made that taking collective action is empowering and good for our mental wellbeing.
Passerby stopped to hear how people are being decanted, evicted, abandoned and forced out of their homes at catastrophic rates – currently someone in England is threatened with eviction every 90 seconds. Newham has the highest number of households in temporary accommodation of any London borough and the devastating consequences that housingconditionsare having on people’s mental health should be obvious.To constantly worry that the roof over your head will not be there tomorrow is traumatic. The stress and isolation that comes from housing insecurity is causing a mental health crisis.
Dangerous and overcrowded accommodation; temporary housing, isolation from family and friends,evictions, homelessness, social cleansing, children out of school, job losses: these are the issues so many people are facing and they are making people sick. As people are evicted from their homes and socially cleansed out of London, theyare not only being forced into places that are making themill, but they are cut off from the very support networks that keep them healthy.
Thank you to everyone who stood together in our community to raise these important issues. The fight back continues. Collective action makes us stronger and gives us back our mental health! In the words of a campaigner on the day:
‘No political party has any solutions. Families are being evicted every day. People are getting ill. Children are suffering. This is a rich country but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at what is happening to the most vulnerable people and their housing. We must stand together to avoid drowning.’
Stand in solidarity with Bianca on Monday 12 October. Bianca is being evicted. The baliffs are coming. She wants to be rehoused in her local community near to her support networks.
Either meet at her flat at from 8.30am or at the housing office in Illford at 9.30am.
Please be aware that the press will be there -bring your banners and your voices!
Bianca’s flat address is : 304, Chadwell Heath High Rd, Romford, RM6 6 AG. Meet there at 8.30am. Nearest station to Bianca’s flat is Chadwell Heath Station, or 86 bus.
From her flat we will be organising free cabs to take people to the housing office when Bianca has her housing meeting at 9.30am.
Housing office address is: The Housing Advice Centre, 17-23 Clements Road, Ilford IG1 1AG This is the second meeting point and we will be there at 9.30am.Nearest Station to the housing office is: Ilford Station
Bus 25 86 145 147 169 W19
We urge Redbridge council to look carefully at the needs of this young family who have a child with hypermobility needs. They want to move forward with their lives in a positive way. Bianca’s child needs to remain in her school where she has completed her reception year and made friends.
Remember the council must exhaust all local possibilites first before they rehouse Bianca out of the borough.
Demand that Bianca and her children are rehoused in the local area! Email: email@example.com