A bus full of activists toured Tower Hamlets, east London, today (Friday) to raise support for the council workers’ and teachers’ strikes there next Wednesday.
Unison union reps and members were joined by teachers in the NUT union, local anti-cuts activists and students.
They visited workplaces including the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, Queen Mary university, Poplar College and the council itself.
At Bow Locks mail centre, postal workers gave them a warm welcome, clapping and cheering. They came out of the office to hear the activists speak about solidarity.
“Thank god you’re here—this is what we need,” said one post worker. The Bow Locks office faces being shut down by Royal Mail in its latest round of closures.
“You really lifted the mood in the office,” a union rep there told them afterwards.
The open-top bus, festooned with banners and balloons, has circled the borough all day. Workers shouted slogans through the megaphone like “We won’t pay for their cuts”.
The activists handed out leaflets everywhere they went about the Wednesday strike and the protest they are planning for that day.
Inside the Royal London hospital, the activists also leafleted for the health workers’ demonstration set to take place later the same day.
Nurses and patients took the leaflets enthusiastically. Many said they were already coming on the protest.
Tower Hamlets is one of the poorest boroughs in the country. Yet the nearby skyscrapers of City banks loom over the borough.
“In the shadow of Canary Wharf,” one activist shouted over the megaphone, “we won’t pay for the bankers’ crisis.”
Thanks to Steven Ellis