Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016. Photo Colin Davison, courtesy AV Festival 2018

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016. Photo Colin Davison, courtesy AV Festival 2018

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016. Photo Colin Davison, courtesy AV Festival 2018

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016. Photo Colin Davison, courtesy AV Festival 2018

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016. Photo Colin Davison, courtesy AV Festival 2018

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist

Lucy Parker, Apologies, 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist

Panel Discussion: Collective Action

This panel discussion brings together trade unionists, union representatives and worker-led campaigns that are in current or recent industrial action. The last couple of years have seen a rebirth in industrial disputes, with workers from difficult to organise workplaces inspiring each other to take collective action to improve their rights and fight for justice. In addition, there have been calls for public inquiries into historic injustices including the systematic blacklisting of workers and trade union members in the UK. 

Speakers from the Picturehouse Living Wage campaign, Durham Teaching Assistants Value Us campaign, the IWGB (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) and blacklisted trade unionist Davey Ayre come together to share experiences and discuss methods of organising workers, cross struggle solidarity and ongoing work for justice against all forms of political discrimination. 

Dave Ayre is a retired brick layer from County Durham and life-long trade unionist. Dave was on the Economic League blacklist, a list established in 1919 and closed in 1993 was predominantly a record of trade unionists used by companies who paid for access to it. As a result of the blacklist Dave was forced to work on a self-employed basis with few rights.

Marc Cowan and Nia Hughes, BECTU members and Picturehouse Cinema campaigners, have been campaigning since 2014 for the Living Wage. The campaign began at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, workers at the Crouch End Picturehouse, Duke of York's Brighton, East Dulwich Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse and Picturehouse Central have joined The Ritzy in the fight, submitting claims for the living wage and for other improvements in key terms.

Mags Dewhurst, is the Vice President of the IWGB (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain). Mags will talk specifically about their work as a courier and founder of the Courier and Logistic Branch, as well as the wider work of the union whose branches cover cleaners, couriers, security guards, foster carers. IWGB is currently campaigning to bring outsourced workers at University of London staff back in house and to secure rights of gig economy workers.  

Trish Fay and Lisa Turnbull (Durham Teaching Assistants) will talk about their experiences of organising teaching assistants across County Durham to oppose 23% pay cuts and longer working hours of 2700 workers. The struggle began with a Facebook group, followed by cluster group meetings and strike action.

Lucy Parker is a filmmaker who has been working alongside the Blacklist Support Group to develop films about the experience of workers who were blacklisted for trade union involvement or political activity. She has organised this event as part of her participation in AV Festival 2018: Meanwhile, what about Socialism? 

The event is FREE to attend, no booking required.
It takes place in the Oak Room, ground floor of The Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle, NE1 1SE.
Doors open: 2.45pm.

For any enquiries contact: info@avfestival.co.uk

Panel Discussion: Collective Action

FREE, no booking required

Sat 24 March, 2.45pm

The Mining Institute