38 Degrees Logo38 Degrees Logo 38 Degrees Logo

Posts by Robin

Will Tesco step forward to end poverty pay?

November 21st, 2014 by

Thanks to the support of 34,000 members of 38 Degrees, Tesco has agreed to a new dialogue about becoming a Living Wage employer!

On 38 Degrees’ Campaigns By You website, Amy Bradley, a former Tesco worker, supported by the team at ShareAction and our partner organisation Citizens UK, hosted a petition calling for Tesco to provide a wage that makes ends meet for all their staff. 34,000 of you joined in this call, showing to Tesco that their customers, and potential customers, care about how they pay their workers.  ShareAction coupled the petition with spoof shelf labels which we shared on social media to highlight the need for Tesco to “value” their “finest” workers.

And then together we took the message straight to their CEO! Their annual shareholders’ meeting (AGM) was the perfect opportunity to raise concern over low pay directly with the top directors of Tesco. With the support of 34,000 people for our question, and more than 4000 people overwhelming Tesco’s Twitter and Facebook on the AGM day, our question was heard loud and clear and the CEO promised a meeting to discuss our concerns.

More than 8000 members of 38 Degrees then emailed him directly to make sure he followed through with a meeting. It took a while with all that’s been happening at Tesco to get dates set, but a few weeks ago we met with Tesco’s senior executives and began a discussion on them becoming a Living Wage employer.

Together we highlighted to Tesco how important the Living Wage is to their customers. 90% who answered the survey said they’d be more likely to shop at Tesco if they paid the Living Wage. Of course we would!

Tesco still says that their benefits package makes up for the low rates of pay, but as we’ve said before you can’t pay your rent with a pension contribution or heat your home on a discount voucher. But we’re all committed to continue the discussion, and are providing them with more information about the business benefits and how the Living Wage is calculated.

It’s time the retail sector took poverty pay seriously and make steps to pay workers enough to meet the costs of living. Tesco is one among several big UK companies like Sainsbury’s, Sports Direct, and Primark who don’t yet pay fair. Let’s come up with more ideas together soon to make this a happy Christmas for everyone in UK retail.

Posted in Campaigns by You

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Riverford Fox Hunting – Victory

October 20th, 2014 by

Great news, after running a campaign for 48 hours, 38 Degrees members have put enough pressure on Riverford farm to ban fox-hunting from all Riverford land, not just the land run by the organic veg company.

See this article here from the Western Morning News – 19/10/14

Posted in Campaigns by You

Tags: , , ,

Riverford Hunting Campaign

October 8th, 2014 by

UPDATE: THIS PETITION IS NOW CLOSED

For 48 hours, 38 Degrees member Ama ran a campaign on Campaigns by You calling on Riverford Organics and the Watson Family to stop all hunting on Riverford land.  After an amazing number of people signed her petition the campaign reached local and national news.

She has now decided to end it, here’s a message from Ama:

“In 48 hours 4,500 people, many of them Riverford customers, or potential Riverford customers, have made their point that Riverford need to STOP HUNTING NOW, on ALL their farms. The voice of Riverfords’ customers have been heard, let us see if the Watson family rise to the challenge, adopt more customer focused polices, respond to their public, become far more ethical, and refuse to take produce from any farm, including their own, where blood sports are practiced.

After all, if their competitors can do this, why can’t they? The British public are against blood sports, and those who buy organic even more so, we won’t except anything less than cruelty free organic produce.”

Here is the text of the petition:

To: Guy Watson of Riverford Organics & The Watson Family

Immediately stop any form of hunting on Riverford owned land and stop sponsoring the South Devon Hunt.

Why is this important?

Riverford Organic Farms Ltd prides itself publicly on its ethics and its high animal welfare standards – a major reason why consumers, across the UK, support it. But away from the public’s eyes, Riverford Farm has, in fact, been actively allowing fox hunting on its lands, and worse still, potentially the cruel atrocity that is cub-hunting.

In the early hours of Wednesday the 1st October a fox hunt was spotted on Riverford Farm land, consisting of a large number of hounds of differing colours, which stayed on Riverford land for many hours, and are likely to be the South Devon Hunt. The fact they were hunting a full month before the official start of the fox hunting season suggests they were out ‘cubbing.’

This particularly cruel and sadistic practice involves hunters going after newborn fox cubs, literally digging them out of their holes with spades, with the desperate vixen completely unable to protect her young. The cubs are then ripped apart and mutilated by a pack of hounds; the hunters using this horrible ‘opportunity’ with vulnerable animals to teach their younger hounds how to kill. Those dogs who don’t immediately show enthusiasm for mutilating their fellow beings are shot as “useless” to the hunt.

Riverford Farm has, additionally, been actively sponsoring the cruel South Devon Hunt.

Riverford Organics customers pay a premium for their vegetables and consumables because they are humane, conscious people who are trying in their own, personal way to live more ethically and sustainably. This betrayal by Riverford Farm abuses both animal and customer.

In a democratic society the very notion of selectively policing the laws of the land is dangerous and unacceptable. Riverford is fully aware that it is engaging with an unethical and potentially illegal activity, (and that it has been doing so for many years, in secret.)

This petition asks that customers demand answers, transparency – and change – from Riverford Farm, and refrain from supporting Riverford Organics further, while it remains connected to cruel and potentially illegal blood ‘sports.’ We do not wish to be complicit. And it is high time the whole of the Watson family lived up to its own ethical spin.

For more information on the terrible realities of cub hunting, see: What is Cub Hunting? – League Against Cruel Sports see:
http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/hunting/what-is-cub-hunting


Riverford Organics responded to the campaign in this facebook post.


Is there an issue close to your heart? What would you like to see change in the UK? You can start your campaign here.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Campaigns by You

Tags: , , ,

Victory in Portsmouth

October 3rd, 2014 by

Campaigns by You is a part of the 38 Degrees website where anyone can start a campaign on the issue close to their heart.  Across the country thousands of members are battling to make the UK a fairer, more democratic and more sustainable place.

Simon a 38 Degrees member from Portsmouth started a campaign to make his daughters’ walk to school safer.  He wanted Portsmouth council to install a pedestrian crossing at a dangerous junction which school children had to cross each day.

After starting his petition, he spread the word with friends and family and gradually build up a groundswell of local support.

Eventually he got enough signatories to trigger a debate at his local council once he handed in the petition.

Last week the council meeting took place, and Simon got to present his case.  Watch this short video to see what happened next:

Simon said “We’ve done it! I attended the council meeting yesterday, and they’ve finally agreed to install this much needed, and long overdue pedestrian crossing after 5 years! It couldn’t have been done without you, thank you to all of you!”

What would you like to change? Is your local library under threat? Would you like to see more recycling where you live? Perhaps there’s a national issue that you think needs addressing?

Click here to get your campaign off the ground in a matter of minutes, then with a little work, just like Simon you could win your campaign too!

 

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Tags: , , , , ,

Are you free this Saturday?

September 23rd, 2014 by

This Saturday, the 38 Degrees ‘Campaigns by You’ team are running a stall at the Web We Want free festival in the Royal Festival Hall.

Come down and say hello.

How would you like to make the UK a better place? Are you running a campaign already and would like some tips? What makes a good petition? How can you take your campaign up to the next level?

Meet the CBY team who will be there to help you get your campaign off the ground.

What: Web We Want Market
When: Saturday 27th September 10am – 6pm
Where: Level 2 Foyers at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
Free entry 

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/web-we-want

 

 

Posted in Campaigns by You

Tags: , , ,

Gaza: Petition hand in at Downing St

August 14th, 2014 by

38 Degrees members have just been down to Downing St to hand in the massive petition about Gaza.

The petition calls for our government to make a stronger stand for peace. The UK has, rightly, already got controls in place to stop British-made weapons going to Hamas - it’s time to ban arms sales to Israel too.

It’s just tipped over 100,000 signatures, you can sign the petition here.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Pictures courtesy of Photo project and 38 Degrees

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bees: Letter from David Cameron

August 14th, 2014 by

An exciting letter came into the 38 Degrees office this week.

The Prime Minister David Cameron has written in, in response to 38 Degrees members successful campaign to stop the UK Government from allowing Syngenta’s banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields.

Over 200,000 people signed the petition and hundreds came down for an early morning ‘swarm on Downing St’ as the cabinet were meeting.

The Prime Minister’s letter is below.  In it he says “Let me first reassure you that we accept the EU ban on neonicotinoids” but later he goes on to say “Evidence on the impact of pesticide use is incomplete…”.  This is despite a recent four year review of all of the science which said the widespread impact of neonicotinoids was ‘impossible to deny’.

David Cameron wrote that “the UK will be hosting large scale field trials later this year to add to the evidence base” so they’re clearly not yet convinced of the mountain of evidence that already exists.  It’s wonderful news that there are no plans to let the big chemical companies wriggle out of the European ban, but let’s watch this space and make sure we’re here to fight for our bees if the threat reappears.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Save our GP surgeries

August 7th, 2014 by

Yesterday 38 Degrees members, GPs, MPs and NHS campaigners went to 10 Downing St to hand in a petition to save GP Surgeries.

Sarah Williams, a GP from Hackney in London has started a petition on Campaigns by You calling for the government to reverse their decision to cut vital funding to inner city and rural GP surgeries. Very good local practices may be forced to close – leaving hundreds or thousands of patients without a GP.

You can sign her petition here

Sarah said

“A big thank you to all of you who signed the petition (25000 including those who signed the paper copies) and to the many of you who supported the campaign today by coming to hand the petition in at Downing Street.  It was a big success.  The event was covered widely by local media and those of you in London may have seen the piece on BBCLondon news this evening, the campaign is also featuring on London Live tomorrow morning.  This will have given the campaign a big boost.

There has also been exciting news recently as lawyers Leigh Day are planning to judicially review the government’s decision to remove this funding from GP practices. There should be more news on this in the next 2 weeks.  As many of you will know it was Leigh Day who won a judicial review against Jeremy Hunt’s decision to close Lewisham Hospital!

Thanks again for your support”

Check out more pictures from the day here:

 

Posted in Campaigns by You

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Seaham School petition hand in

July 22nd, 2014 by

On Thursday 17th July 5 members of the New School – New Pool (like for like) campaign  headed down to Downing Street to hand over their petition of 6,700 signatures to David Cameron. The five travelled by train from their small ex mining town of Seaham on the East Coast of County Durham down to the capital London.

Seaham School of Technology was due to get a new school under the old Building School’s for the Future programme by the last government however due to the change in government this scheme was abandoned and their plans were halted.  However funds from central government have now been released to build a new school however the new school fails to have the same facilities as the existing one.

Kay Temple, a 38degrees member, started the petition back in December 2013 and has had the support of the community behind her.  She found out about the new school not having the pool and thought it was unfair and unjust for the future children of Seaham to lose out on the only decent sized learning pool they have in the town.  She wanted to make people aware of what they were losing and found that lots of people were actually in the dark about the school and losing their swimming facility, this then prompted her to set up the petition.

The Seaham Community has been brought together by this petition and they are asking for the government to replace the school with like for like.

Local MP Grahame Morris has supported the campaign from the off and his office in London arranged for the team to hand over the petition to David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

As well as the online petition, numerous paper copies of the petition had been handed around the community in places of work, community centres, libraries, and local businesses and the combined total of signatures supporting the cause came  to 6,700.

Like Kay, If there’s an issue close to your heart, then you can start a campaign on Campaigns by You.  Thousands of people are already running campaigns on a whole range of issues, from protecting our public services like busses and libraries, through to saving our NHS or even saving local beavers!

Click here to start your campaign today.

Posted in Campaigns by You

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bees 1: Syngenta 0

July 4th, 2014 by

Wonderful news, we’ve protected our bees! Yesterday Syngenta withdrew their controversial application to allow their banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields.

Owen Paterson, the environment minister, sided with Syngenta. But the decision was deemed so toxic that it was brought all the way up to the Prime Minister and his cabinet to discuss.

The day before the big meeting, the huge people-powered petition signed by over 200,000 of us was delivered to the PM’s desk. [2] And on the morning of the meeting, hundreds of us swarmed on Downing St to confront the ministers as they arrived. [3]

Dressed as bee-keepers, bees and pesticides, and with a host of other campaign organisations we chanted at the top of our voices and left the ministers in no doubt that we expected them to put our bees before Syngenta’s profits. Alongside 38 Degrees members, a huge range of campaign organisations came along. Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Natural Beekeeping Trust, Pesticide Action Network and the Soil Association all joined the campaign.

And it worked! The government stalled and didn’t announce a decision, forcing Syngenta to back down. Syngenta had said that unless a decision was made by the beginning of July, it would be too late to use the pesticides this year.

38 Degrees members have a great history of protecting our countryside and wildlife. From campaigning for the European ban in the first place, through to stopping our forests from being sold off, we have shown we’re prepared to organise both online and in person to make change happen.

We have a small and nimble staff team which means we can move quickly to launch campaigns like this to protect our bees, and 38 Degrees is 100% funded by its members. Lots and lots of people chipping in a small amount soon adds up, and means that together we can take on goliath companies like Syngenta and win!

We still need to keep our eyes peeled. Syngenta have said they’re going to re-apply next year. And our so-called environment minister still doesn’t back the ban or believe the science. But, for this summer at least, our bees will be buzzing around our fields and gardens, safe from any new Syngenta pesticides.

 

 

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,