Socialist Worker

Dinner ladies won’t let up strike for jobs

by George Arthur
Issue No. 2628

Solidarity on the picket line in Grimethorpe last week

Solidarity on the picket line in Grimethorpe last week (Pic: George Arthur)

Unison union members at Ladywood Primary School in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, are not giving up in their fight against job cuts.

Dinner ladies have been on indefinite strike since 4 October—and teaching assistants (TAs) and higher level teaching assistants joined them from Monday of last week.

School bosses want to slash nine dinner ladies’ jobs, get TAs to supervise meal times instead, and cut two TA roles at the school.

Strikers were amused last week when police turned up to their picket line because the head teacher had complained they were singing too loudly.

They responded by demonstrating to the police the range of songs that they have put together to keep their spirits up.

One of the strikers said, “It’s been a good week.

“We had a lot of supporters here when Barnsley trades council held a support rally last Monday.


“And then we were all happy when Anne Scargill came and joined us with her Grimethorpe Women Against Pit Closures banner last Wednesday.”

Another picket said, “The postal workers have been really great.

“They won’t cross our picket line with school mail and they have even refused to take it to the post office.”

Barnsley schools began their half-term break on Monday, so the strikers are taking a well-deserved break.

But they will be back out again from Monday of next week when Barnsley trades council is organising another support rally from 8am.

The pickets welcome anyone who can join them between 8am and 2pm during any weekday.

Like the low-paid women workers taking action in Glasgow for equal pay, Grimethorpe strikers are showing how to fight back.

They deserve the support of every trade unionist and every campaigner who wants to see the end of austerity that threatens the future of education.

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