Socialist Worker

Trade union protest in Doncaster

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2173

Hundreds of people joined a protest in Doncaster town centre last Saturday – sending a message of unity in defence of the public sector.

The march was led by workers from Doncaster College, who are fighting the threat of 600 job cuts – more than half of the workforce.

College workers have already held a one-day strike over pay, and more action is planned.

Rodney Challis, Doncaster UCU branch secretary, told Socialist Worker, “We’ve had enough. If management announces any compulsory redundancies we’ll be moving swiftly to a strike ballot.”

College workers successfully beat back 150 threatened job losses with industrial action in the summer. But a new set of college bosses have come back for more cuts.

UCU college union members from Rotherham, York, Barnsley and London joined the protest, as well as Unison and GMB members.

Workers and reps from the all-out Leeds bin strike also came to show their support, together with workers from the victorious four-week all-out strike at London’s Tower Hamlets college.

They marched down the high street and through the streets of Doncaster.

Doncaster Unison donated £500 to the Leeds bin strikers on the day, as well as holding a bucket collection. The crowd cheered as Doncaster Unison branch secretary Jim Board – who was recently suspended but reinstated after a campaign – presented the rep with a cheque.

As the march set off, protesters cheered at a fire engine that was there in solidarity.

Jim said, “We need unity between unions – it’s fantastic to see so many banners here today. We’re reaching out to say stand with us.”

Jim Board disciplinary

Jim Board is still facing disciplinary action after speaking to the media about two young brothers in the care of social services who attacked two other boys. Jim has spoken out regularly about the danger of cutting vital public services.

Email messages of support to Send messages of protest to the managing director of Doncaster council Paul Hart at and the mayor at

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Article information

Tue 13 Oct 2009, 18:11 BST
Issue No. 2173
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