Workers at University of Liverpool show their support for Lambeth strikers (Pic: Mark O'Brien)
Workers across Britain held stunts and protests in solidarity with Lambeth College strikers yesterday, Wednesday.
The UCU union had called the national day of action in support of an all-out strike by UCU members at the south London college.
UCU members have been on strike since 3 June against new, worse contracts. Unison union members joined them in a three-day strike this week, their second strike in the campaign.
The scale of the support for the action shows that the fight put up by Lambeth strikers is inspiring workers everywhere. Hundreds of new messages of support flooded in for strikers yesterday from union branches, campaign groups and individuals.
Supporters held lunchtime protests or rallies at several colleges in London including City and Islington College, Tower Hamlets College, South Thames College and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Action took place in towns and cities outside London including at Lancaster University, Bournville College, University of Nottingham, University of Leeds, Northampton University, Teesside University, Edinburgh College and City of Liverpool College.
Solidarity from Leeds (Pic: Steve Johnston)
There were many, many more.
UCU members at London’s Institute of Education unanimously passed a motion backing the strike and donated £200 to the strike fund. Reading University unanimously passed a motion and donated £500.
At Halesowen College, in West Midlands workers have been selling cookies to raise money for strikers – and sold out.
And crucially UCU branches at four London colleges met and backed the idea of unofficial walkouts if any striker is victimised.
Lambeth College principal Mark Silverman has been hauling in workers for interviews as part of a redundancy process. It’s an attempt to demoralise workers and break the strike – and many fear it could also be used to get rid of effective union activists.
But the callous treatment of workers has only added to their anger. And the strike is getting stronger, not weaker. Even the college’s own figures show that 25 people have joined the strike since it began.
As the Tories and the bosses launch attack after attack on workers, Lambeth College strikers are showing the way to fight back. It’s vital that the whole trade union movement gets behind the strike.
Picket lines from 7am every day in Brixton, Clapham and Vauxhall and a mass meeting each day at 11am at the Clapham site. Organise collections or weekly levies to support the strike. Invite strikers to speak in your union or campaign meeting. Messages of support to [email protected]