Socialist Worker

We are seeing the return of solidarity

Issue No. 1994

Tuesday’s strike was a very welcome return of solidarity and secondary action.

Hundreds of schools across Britain closed because teachers, who were not officially on strike, supported classroom assistants, school meals staff, caretakers and administrative workers who were included in the action over pensions.

Some colleges also saw similar solidarity action.

Sometimes union members took solidarity action over health and safety concerns, sometimes it was because schools simply could not operate with all their non-teaching staff away.

But frequently it was because teaching staff refused to cross picket lines organised by strikers.

This isn’t supposed to happen in Blair’s Britain, where union solidarity of this kind is regarded as a crime.

But it did, and schools staff of all types have done their students a great service.

Schools will be better if staff retire at a reasonable age, rather than grudgingly dragging themselves into work when they’re utterly knackered.

And if there are decent pensions and retirement at 60 for workers in 50 years time, it will be because people fought for the future of all of us now.

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