Socialist Worker

Determined pickets join Salford strike to defend sacked lecturers

by Martin Empson
Issue No. 2450

Strikers on the picket line at Salford University

Strikers on the picket line at Salford University (Pic: Martin Empson)

Angry and determined pickets turned away cars as they took part in a one-day strike at Salford University today, Thursday.

UCU union members struck in support of two trade unionists who were sacked last December and refused the right to appeal. Both had spoken out against restructuring at the university. The UCU believes they were targeted because of their union roles.

Neither of the staff has a blemish on their work record, but have spoken out against restructuring in the past. 75 percent of those balloted voted for action.

Pickets were angry at the way bosses had treated their colleagues. “We cannot allow management to act like 18th century mill owners,” one worker told Socialist Worker. “The staff received appalling treatment.”

Another striker, who was on his first picket line, added, “There is a climate of uncertainty and fear in the university. This has tipped people over the edge and they are keen to show solidarity.”

Several strikers pointed out that many people who had never taken action before joined the strike.

The university has seen repeated restructuring and pickets felt that what had happened to their colleagues could happen to them.

Chris, the senior vice president of the UCU branch, told Socialist Worker the union was prepared to do everything to get the workers reinstated. As she put it, “What’s the use being in a union if the union doesn't stand up for its members and ideals?”

Strikers have organised a strike rally for lunchtime where a delegation of PCS union members on strike at London’s National Gallery were due to speak

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Thu 23 Apr 2015, 11:00 BST
Issue No. 2450
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