Saturday, September 08, 2007

The online labour solidarity site Labour Start has come under attack by the Fremantle Company. In response to their campaign for solidarity with the north London home care workers employed by this company(See Molly's Blog, August 31st 'Support the Fremantle Workers') over 8,100 people wrote letters of protest to Fremantle.
The company responded first by firing the union representative for the workers, Andrew Rogers. They then threatened legal action against Labour Start, accusing them of "libel". The chief editor of Labour Start, Eric Lee, responded that if the company follows up on its threat and sends a registered letter in the mail that he will immediately put it up on eBay and ask Labour Start's supporters to bid on it.
The Fremantle company then tried another tactic. They contacted the Internet service provider for Labour Start and threatened to take legal action against them unless they shut down the campaign for solidarity with the home care workers. The ISP contacted Labour Start and gave them a deadline of noon yesterday to remove the campaign or the entire Labour Start site would be shut down. Despite last minute negotiations with the ISP and the support of the Unison union whose workers are at the centre of the dispute the ISP refused to budge.
The people at Labour Start removed the campaign as of yesterday, but this is not the end of the story. They immediately revived the campaign with a different server in a different country in nine different languages. The new site is called We Will Not Be Silenced ( ), and it continues the campaign for solidarity with the Fremantle workers. If you haven't yet signed on to this solidarity campaign spare a moment and drop by there. Labour Start has also started a Google ad campaign to further pressure the company. This, of course, costs money and Labour Start is in need of donations. See the Labour Start website (now without the Fremantle campaign) to find out how you can donate.

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