Workers at Lambeth College in south London are preparing to begin an indefinite strike on Monday of next week. They have called a solidarity rally for 12 noon on the day–and are appealing for everyone who can to get there.
UCU union members at the college have been in dispute with principal Mark Silverman since last year. Silverman wants to impose savage new contracts that slash sick pay, cut holidays and impose longer working hours.
Workers ended a successful three-day walkout on Thursday of this week. This followed a two-day strike the previous week and a 24-hour strike the week before.Mandy Brown is branch secretary of Lambeth College UCU. She told Socialist Worker, “Our strikes have been very solid. We have had visits from students and lecturers from other colleges as well as other trade unionists.”
Silverman claims the new contracts will only apply to new staff. But workers want to defend decent conditions for all.
Strikers say they, and their students, are furious at Silverman’s refusal to talk to the union to resolve the dispute. Some feel he is hoping that strikers’ resolve will simply fizzle out.
Yet they have delivered overwhelming votes to strike in ballot after ballot.
Workers struck for over five weeks during last year’s summer term and won massive support from trade unionists across Britain. Now they need that support again.
“People are determined to keep fighting to defend our contracts and to stop a two-tier workforce at Lambeth College,” said Mandy. “This is an issue for the whole trade union movement.
“If Silverman gets his way, other bosses will feel more confident to push through attacks. We need your support so that we can win.”
Join the rally at the Clapham centre of Lambeth College, 12 noon, Monday 19 January, nearest tube Clapham Common. Rush messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org