Socialist Worker

Compulsory job cuts beaten at Heriot-Watt after workers threaten strike

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2730

The union has shown its strength

The union has shown its strength (Pic: @UCU_HWUBranch on Twitter)


Planned strikes at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have been called off after bosses backed down.

UCU union members had planned six days of strikes over compulsory redundancies, the first of which was set for this week.

But the union called off the walkouts after bosses promised they would not impose compulsory redundancies.

UCU Scotland president Carlo Morelli said workers had won a “magnificent victory against compulsory redundancies in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

He said details of the retreat were “not fully available” but that the move had boosted workers’ confidence.

Action

“Heriot-Watt UCU has shown ballots can be won and hard hitting action can win against management attacks,” he said.

“Don’t wait for cuts to be finalised. Don’t wait for negotiations to end. Don’t wait for redundancies to be decided.”

A solidarity rally was set to take place on Tuesday as Socialist Worker went to press.

The shift at Heriot-Watt shows that if workers are ready to take hard-hitting action, they can push bosses back.

However, many workers at the university have come forward to take voluntary redundancy. The loss of these workers will harm students’ education and leave workers who remain with higher workloads.

Unions should resist all job cuts, “voluntary” or otherwise.

 


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