Socialist Worker

Marchers defend sacked 'Halesowen 4' lecturers

by Pete Jackson
Issue No. 2338

Dave Muritu (right) and supporters march last week   (Pic: Pete Jackson)

Dave Muritu (right) and supporters march last week (Pic: Pete Jackson)

Over 200 trade unionists marched through Halesowen in the Black Country last Saturday to demand the reinstatement of four sacked Halesowen College lecturers.

Bosses have sacked Maths teacher Dave Muritu and three others in what many staff see as an attack on their UCU union.

Workers have now voted for strikes against the sackings.

They backed strikes by 75 percent and action short of a strike by 88 percent in a recent ballot.

Dave told Socialist Worker, “It’s a fantastic result to see that Halesowen College staff, despite extreme pressure and intimidation, have still delivered a yes vote for industrial action.”

The demonstration gathered outside the college, which had an open day for prospective students. Everyone going in was leafleted about the victimisation.

“What Halesowen College has done is appalling,” said David Room, joint general secretary of Birmingham NUT.

“But it’s a sign of what Michael Gove wants to do everywhere, attacking lecturers’ and teachers’ rights”

Supporters had travelled from as far away as London to join the protest.

“This is a clear cut case of trade union victimisation,” said Carly Grundy, branch secretary of Westminster Kingsway College UCU.

“We are not just standing up for the Halesowen 4 but for trade unionists across the country.”

On Friday the UCU branch heard that Dave had lost his appeal.

This deepened the sense of injustice and determination felt by the UCU members at Halesowen College.

“If the sackings go unchallenged it puts all sections of education at risk of being sacked at will,” added Dave.

“We need to make this a national campaign to put pressure on the college management. For all educators and students, we have to win.”

People pack into Barnsley Chartism meeting

Meanwhile in Barnsley nearly 80 people packed into a public lecture on Chartism organised by Barnsley College UCU. Speakers included author Malcolm Chase.

A UCU speaker talked about the Halesowen 4 and the forthcoming South Yorkshire Unite the Resistance conference.

Dave Gibson

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