Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fremantle workers: defiance is a good thing!

The LabourStart website has been running a campaign of support in a struggle by workers, above, in north London care homes whose pay has been cut by 30% by a privatized employer, Fremantle.

Within hours of initiating the campaign last week, working people around the globe, including me, I'm proud to say, flooded the inbox of Fremantle's chief executive with thousands of messages. By the weekend, over 5,000 messages had been received.

The reaction of the company was swift: On Friday afternoon, they fired off an email message to LabourStart website manager Eric Lee threatening LabourStart with legal action, accusing them of "libel". (As you may know, English libel laws are biased against the defendant, and are used by corporations to attempt to suppress dissent.)

A couple of days later, Fremantle got even more aggressive, and sacked Unison rep Andrew Rogers.

"This bullying behavior is, I am told, typical of how this company works," said Lee today. "They've asked us to stop this campaign, to stop saying negative things about them, and to stop sending them email protest messages.

"I say: let's flood them with thousands more messages. Let's raise the profile of this campaign.

"If Fremantle decides to follow through on its threat to sue us, if its attorneys send us a registered letter in the post, here is what I intend to do: I will put the letter up for auction on eBay, and I will invite all our supporters to bid on it.

"We will not be bullied and we will not be threatened. The campaign continues."

Eric Lee's attitude is the correct one to take under the circumstances. Defiance of reactionaries is a good thing.

If you've not yet sent off your message of protest -- it will take just a few seconds -- please go here to do do.

Today, LabourStart has launched a major Google ad campaign to put further pressure on the company. These campaigns cost money - please make sure to donate by clicking here.

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