Defend low-paid workers standing up to Boris Johnson's lies

by IWGB

Defend low-paid workers standing up to Boris Johnson's lies

by IWGB
IWGB
Case Owner
The IWGB is the leading union for precarious and low-paid workers. We have won several landmark cases against so-called "gig economy" companies, including Uber, Addison Lee and CitySprint.
5
days to go
£8,485
pledged of £25,000 stretch target from 271 pledges
Pledge now
IWGB
Case Owner
The IWGB is the leading union for precarious and low-paid workers. We have won several landmark cases against so-called "gig economy" companies, including Uber, Addison Lee and CitySprint.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

In October, migrant workers faced a terrible prospect: stand up to Boris Johnson and his threats of a no-deal Brexit, or face the risk of having some of their most basic rights stripped away.

Three precarious workers -- Maritza, Wilson and Alex -- teamed up with the IWGB and chose to fight back. In the face of repeated statements by Johnson that he would not extend the Brexit deadline beyond 31 October, they filed a claim with the High Court to force the government to abide by the law and seek an extension. A few days later, Boris Johnson went back on his commitment and agreed with the European Union to move the deadline to 31 January. After which, the workers withdrew their claim.

Now, government lawyers are arguing that because the claim was withdrawn, the claimants are liable to cover the government's legal costs of at least £8,000.

A no-deal Brexit would have put many of these workers' most basic rights at risk, not to mention, the many employment rights that are based in EU law. The IWGB has brought a number of high-profile cases which rely on EU law, including a £1m holiday pay claim against NHS contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL).

These precarious workers, who were forced to take action to avoid the terrible consequences a no-deal brexit, are now being punished by the government for having the temerity to take a stand.

Like claimant Maritza Castillo Calle said: 

“Precarious migrant workers like myself have been terrified by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and the impact it could have on our most basic rights. We decided to take action to protect our communities, but now because Boris Johonson lied about his intention to not seek an extension, we are being asked to pay thousands of pounds. By handing us this bill, it's clear that this government for the rich is trying to intimidate ourselves and other working class people from ever daring to hold it to account.” 

This attempt to intimidate those that try and challenge the government is in line with the Conservative party's proposed manifesto pledge to explore changes to the judicial review process, which many fear will further limit ordinary citizens’ ability to challenge government policies.

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who supports the crowdfunder says:

"This crowdfunder goes to the heart of why Boris is unfit to be Prime Minister. The PM lied, low paid workers and their union bravely took action to hold him to account, the PM backtracked, and is now vindictively pursuing them for legal costs. Low paid workers standing up for their rights and the rule of law need to be supported, not attacked."  

How much are we raising and why?

We have set an initial target of £8,000 which would cover the current costs the claimants are being held liable for, and a stretch target of £25,000 to protect the claimants from any additional costs. Due to Johnson's history of dishonesty, there is a risk the government increases the amount the workers are held liable for.

Any leftover funds will go to the IWGB legal department to support legal cases on behalf of low-paid workers.

Any help is massively appreciated and we thank you for your donation

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