Lambeth College workers are an inspiration to us all
When I recently spoke at an NUT union meeting at a Lambeth school, I made constant references to the Lambeth College strike.
When people talked about if they could afford to strike, I pointed out that Lambeth College strikers had been out for over four weeks.
The generosity of the trade union movement shows that money worries might not be as big as they might seem at first.
Lots of union branches were happy to support the Lambeth strikers.
Trade unionists will be generous in future strikes too.
Chris Kelly, South London
The strike at Lambeth college has been an inspiration to all trade unionists in Lambeth and beyond.
People have been more than happy to donate to the strike fund.
They recognise that the strikers’ struggle over contracts is one that could affect many other sectors.
Academies and free schools have been given the “freedom” to set pay, holidays and working conditions for staff.
The fight at Lambeth College has shown that is possible to match vicious cuts with a determined response.
September will see more strikes for many of us.
And we will have learned valuable lessons from our magnificent further education colleagues at Lambeth College.
Sara Tomlinson, South London
Lambeth College boss Mark Silverman is using a threat to Esol students as a way of pressurising staff.
It shows the lack of respect he has for the community in Lambeth.
The dispute crystallised the fact that the government wants to restructure adult and further education.
It is critical that the workers fought—and we will continue to support them in the future.
Jenny Sutton, North London
They boost profit by squeezing us harder
I’m writing to let people know what goes on if you are a worker for Home Bargains—in Glasgow, at least.
On the rota the fill shift, who put the stock out, are on “job to finish” which means 7.30am to finish.
This isn’t the best because you never know the size of the delivery.
Now we are being told we have four hours maximum for any size delivery.
But this is not possible for most deliveries as they have cut staff.
We are down from about seven or eight, to five a day.
They say we should take a maximum of 45 minutes per “cage”.
This is sometimes unrealistic depending on how much is in a cage and the varying requests we have from customers.
Management are telling us we are “not good enough” every other day.
It’s insulting because everybody grafts and nobody skives.
It makes me sick reading about the profit the company is making and its growth.
They treat workers like scum and hide behind the phoney whiter than white image of “top brand low prices”.
A Home Bargains worker, Glasgow
Health and social care merger is a distorted takeover
Here in Yorkshire, David Cameron’s “big society” is upon us.
The merger between health and social care is underway and I am concerned that adult social work is dissolving into more and more unqualified posts.
I am also deeply concerned that the social work profession’s voice does not seem to be heard or valued regarding these changes.
Services are cut at the expense of people.
Health professionals now more commonly refer to the voluntary sector as the “third sector”.
Expectations are that this third sector will get more work, as it will be seen as a more cost effective alternative to social services.
The merger between health and social care looks more like a distorted takeover, with the voluntary sector and businesses battling for work.
A very concerned social worker, by email
Tory cuts are behind shoplifting
It’s not surprising to read that there has been a sharp rise in the number of people stealing from supermarkets.
The price of meat especially is sky high—I know I can’t afford to buy any.
And even if you do manage to scrape enough together you have to face the cost of using gas or electric to cook it.
The price of everything is going up while wages are being frozen and benefits cut.
This is all to do with the Tories and their austerity.
People are starving while the rich are getting richer.
Anne Doherty, East London
Inquiry result on Cardiff Three
A major investigation into the failings of South Wales Police has found no criminal conduct.
Police were being investigated following the murder of Lynette White in 1988 and the wrongful convictions of the Cardiff Three for her murder in 1990.
Stephen Miller, Tony Paris and Yusef Abdullahi’s convictions were quashed in 1992 and they were freed.
But even though the investigation found no criminal conduct by the police, it has upheld about one in six of the 386 complaints that were investigated.
Des Mannay, Newport
Their ‘care’ is killing us
The “Compassionate Conservatives” talk of “transforming lives” of the sick, the disabled and most vulnerable.
Thanks to their policies, over 10,000 sick and disabled people are no longer “trapped on benefits”.
They are dead as a result of being wrongly deemed fit for work by Atos.
How many more lives do the “Compassionate Conservatives” plan to transform in this way?
Julian St Jude, Leeds
We must act on pollution
It’s scary that pollution levels are so high in London (Socialist Worker, 12 July).
What will it take for our government to see sense and do something to stop this—before it’s too late?
Kerry West, East London
Trojan Horse found nothing
Was the Trojan Horse investigation a complete waste of time?
Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw told MPs last week that they found no evidence that children had been “radicalised” by Islamists.
It seems a whole community was targeted for nothing.
Rukhsana Majid, by email
Good to hear from Gaza
It’s good to hear from someone in Gaza about what’s really going on there (Socialist Worker, 12 July).
A refreshing change to a lot of the print and TV news elsewhere.
Martin Roebuck, by email
Hypocrisy on school access
What a surprise that David Cameron doesn’t want people to strike.
He said the disruption to children’s education shouldn’t be happening.
But his government can’t even guarantee every child a school place!
Bel McLoughlin, Luton