Socialist Worker

Teachers and council workers in united strike against cuts

Issue No. 2243

Occupying Barclays

Occupying Barclays

Wednesday 30 March is shaping up to be a day of strikes in London.

Council workers and teachers in Tower Hamlets, east London, both plan to strike against cuts—and now they are set to be joined teachers in Camden, north London.

NUT members in Camden have voted by nearly 85 percent to back a borough-wide strike.

They also backed discontinuous action school by school by more than 79 percent.

The turnout in the ballot was just under 40 percent.

The votes mean more than 7,000 workers could be out on strike together.

This comes after teachers in Tower Hamlets voted overwhelmingly for strikes.

Members of the National Union of Teachers in schools across the east London borough voted by 85 percent for a one-day strike, and over 70 percent backed possible further strikes.

In one sign of the anger in the borough, a group of 20 teachers occupied Barclays bank’s headquarters in nearby Canary Wharf as the bank announced its bumper bonuses last week.

They chanted “Barclays Bank pays no tax, Tower Hamlets gets the axe”.

Tower Hamlets teacher Paul McGarr said, “They say there’s no money, but look at these bonuses. Is it right that people are not paying tax and getting massive bonuses?”

“Bob Diamond can see my school playground from his office,” added teacher Rob Smith. “His bonus alone [£6.5 million] would buy a laptop for every schoolchild in Tower Hamlets.”

Council workers in the Unison union in Tower Hamlets continue to ballot to join the action, and a joint march is being planned.

The Unison members previously backed action by five to one in an indicative ballot.

It was recently revealed that the borough has the highest child poverty rate in Britain. Yet the council cuts would hit nurseries, disability services for children and youth workers.

The 30 March strike will come just days after the mass demonstration against cuts on 26 March.

Delegations of trade unionists should make sure to join the picket lines.

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Tue 15 Mar 2011, 18:46 GMT
Issue No. 2243
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