Socialist Worker

Supporters rally behind all-out Lambeth College strike

by Tomáš Tengely Evans
Issue No. 2406

Strikers in Brixton

Strikers in Brixton (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Dozens of people rallied in Clapham today, Friday, to support Lambeth College lecturers are on the fourth day of their all out strike.

The UCU union members are against the imposition of new contracts that would tear up their terms and conditions.

The strike is having a big impact across the college’s three sites.

UCU branch secretary Mandy Brown told Socialist Worker, ‘‘We’ve turned people back and convinced three to join us on the picket line.

‘‘We understand that the Brixton campus is completely shut down and the three remaining classes have been moved to Vauxhall’’.

David, UCU branch chair, told the rally, ‘‘Last night the one lesson that was going to take place in Brixton had to be moved to Vauxhall. But I went down with a group of students and convinced most of them to not to go in.’’

Up to 70 people attended the lunchtime rally in solidarity with the strike today.

UCU members brought messages of solidarity from London South Bank, Manchester and Leeds universities and City and Islington and Tower Hamlets colleges, among others.

Significance

A worker from One Housing Group, who are on strike today against the suspension of their Unite union rep, spoke at the rally. He told Socialist Worker, ‘‘I’ve come down to show solidarity because this dispute is of national significance. We need to give it the support that it deserves.

Workers are organising to keep up the momentum. 

They’ve already spoken in numerous meetings to build support for the strike and plan to send delegations to the picket lines of coming strikes by firefighters and Ritzy cinema workers.

They plan to hold a demonstration on Wednesday of next week followed by a rally at 7:30pm, with solidarity from other Unison branches.

Teach-outs are planned between Monday and Thursday next week to build support for the strike amongst students. Topics range from austerity and Ukip to the rise of racism in Europe.

The workers’ confidence is growing as support and solidarity spreads. UCU member Toche spoke for many when she said ‘‘I’m confident that we can go until the end and win.”

Unison members at the college are set to join the strike on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Jim, a Unison shop steward, said, “Lambeth College is the first to impose new contracts for new staff, but we don’t want a two tier work force. Management is intransigent, but the strike is solid and going strong.”


 

Show your support for this crucial dispute

Visit picket lines from 7am every day in Brixton, Clapham and Vauxhall and a mass meeting each day at 11am at the Clapham site

Bring your union banner to the rally on Wednesday of next week at 7:30pm

Organise collections or weekly levies to support the strike.

Invite strikers to speak in your union or campaign meeting and rush messages of support to mandybrowncow@yahoo.com


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