Socialist Worker

Strikes save jobs at Ladywood Primary School in Grimethorpe

Issue No. 2633

Celebrating in Grimethorpe after the victory was announced

Celebrating in Grimethorpe after the victory was announced

Workers at Ladywood Primary school in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, were overjoyed to hear last week that management had backed down from sacking nine dinner ladies at Christmas.

The head teacher is claiming that this is due to “natural wastage” of other staff.

But teaching assistants and dinner ladies in the Unison union are absolutely clear that what has brought about the climbdown by the management is hard-hitting action.

One of the strikers said, “We have been on strike for 36 days. In August there was no discussion—all nine dinner ladies had to go.

“Our strike and the support we have had from parents meant she has had to back down.”

Strikers were really pleased at the messages of support they received from across Britain.


They elected two union reps during the strike.

They had not been organised before, but they are now determined to continue involvement in the union.

From the start of the strike the workers had been clear that their action should be an example to people in other schools to unite and stand up for themselves if they faced job cuts.

One of the strikers said early on in the dispute, “We’ve had dinner ladies and teaching assistants from other schools come along to see how we’ve organised.”

The victory at Ladywood is an encouragement to workers in other school.

It should also be a warning to other head teachers that they cannot deal with Tory cuts to education by sacking staff. To emphasise this the Ladywood strikers are holding a victory party, hosted by Unison Barnsley, on Friday 7 December to which all supporters are invited.

For details of the victory party go to

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