Presentation by Janine Booth at AutismCon, January 2015
Public transport - publicly-owned and -accountable, democratically run by workers and passengers, affordable, accessible, safe, efficient, environmentally-friendly ... cor, that'd be good, wouldn't it?!
Merry Christmas, City Link
Your idea of goodwill stinks
Write your cards in poison ink
Merry Christmas, City Link
Asset-stripped and all wrapped up
Bought a firm, sold us a pup
Paid a quid then cut and run
Once your profiteering's done
Punch for workers, Christmas crack
Gave out gifts, got Santa's sack
Hope your workforce occupies -
Raise the call to nationalise!
An ETF Women’s Committee meeting consists of the elected Committee members, representatives of each sector (railways, civil aviation, etc), guests from affiliated trade unions, local women trade unionists (this time, from Antwerp port), and ETF staff. At the next meeting, we will be joined by the newly-elected young women’s representative.
Women Working at Antwerp Port
Having begun working as a receptionist in 1975, Monique Verbeeck is the first female secretary of the Belgian port union, BTB. She is also the ITF and ETF women port workers’ representative. Monique introduced a deputation of women union activists from the Port of Antwerp, who addressed the meeting and took us on a visit to the port.
From 2007, the socialist government introduced equality legislation and a framework to demand action against sexism and harassment. But since then, the situation has been worsened by economic crisis, with equalities driven off the agenda, curbs on collective bargaining, crèches closed, and equality plans dropped.
A Petrarchan sonnet (yes, really) on getting a night bus to catch an international train ...
I used to but I haven't missed this bus
At 5a.m., a half-full cart to take
The staff who clean and guard before you wake
Who start the engines 'fore the rest of us
From brief repose unwilling exodus
Hold open half-mast eyes on work-worn faces
Resignedly wishing they weren't going places
No chat, no caucus, nothing to discuss
But then I disembark and change my routes
And switch dimensions through a boarding gate
Some two hours later morning, bright debate
White, coffee-charged commuters sporting suits
While most of those on night bus 38
Were black and wearing hi-vis, smocks and boots
When I visited the Port of Antwerp in October 2014 with the ETF Women's Committee, we were due to go to a particular terminal - but it was closed, after a seafarer was killed while a ship was being loaded the previous day. The port is staffed only by registered dockers, under rules similar to the UK's National Dock Labour Scheme, abolished by the Tories in the 1980s.
I'm writing this verse on the toilet
A priv'lege that cost me the Earth
Forty p for to pee is an outrage
I'm determined to use all it's worth
I'll sit on the throne til my train comes
It's a platform, and I'm in no rush
They are piping departure announcements
Through a speaker that's next to the flush
Meeting of the European Transport Workers' Federation Women's Committee in Antwerp.