Socialist Worker

Newham teachers’ strike escalates and spreads

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2282

Pickets at Langdon School  (Pic: Smallman )

Pickets at Langdon School (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Teachers in Newham, east London, have called for borough-wide strikes to support strikers at Langdon School.

NUT union members at the school are striking over excessive workload and oppressive management.

The school, in conjunction with a Labour-run local authority, has run an unprecedented, open scabbing campaign.

It has brought in dozens of agency workers to try and break the strike. But far from being cowed, workers are escalating their fight.

Some 90 teachers from Newham secondary schools met on Tuesday of last week, including more than 50 strikers. They unanimously passed a motion to spread the action to other Newham schools—and this will now go to the union’s Action Committee.

Langdon teachers began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week. They plan to strike for three days every week until the school closes for Christmas.

They won widespread support on the picket lines during last week’s three-day strike. New strikers also joined the picket.

And two NUT members who had crossed picket lines the week before rejoined the strike. An NASUWT member and ex-NUT member joined the NUT and struck.


Two members of the union’s national executive committee visited pickets. A bin lorry driver refused to cross the picket line—as did Parcel Force drivers.

NUT members were boosted by the strikes on 30 November, where Unite union members picketed with them.

Langdon strikers received around £1,000 in donations to their strike fund last week and are sending out speakers to other schools and union meetings.

And some 80 parents came to an NUT-organised meeting last Friday. The NUT’s deputy general secretary, Kevin Courtney, spoke.

The mood in the room was against the head and many parents backed the strike.

The head has continued to bring in agency workers to try and break the strike. But despite that, workers are strengthening their position.

The dispute has developed into a full-blown battle for the right to strike.

Get to the picket lines to show your support for the strikers, and invite them to speak to your union meeting.

Rush messages of support to [email protected] and [email protected]

lInvite a speaker from Langdon NUT to your union meeting and take collections for strike expenses. Contact Langdon NUT at the above email address

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Article information

Tue 6 Dec 2011, 17:55 GMT
Issue No. 2282
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