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Coleg Morgannwg: Victory over victimisation
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Coleg Morgannwg announced today that college management have withdrawn disciplinary charges against Morgannwg lecturer and UCU Cymru president Guy Stoate.
Guy had been accused of "bullying" for calling a worker who crossed a picket line in March a scab. Management have also backed down from threats to punish trade unionists at the college who took action supporting Guy.
A spontaneous walkout of 70 of the college's lecturers and preparations for industrial action against college management were reinforced by a pledge of assistance from the UCU's national congress, the solidarity of fellow trade unionists and hundreds of messages of support from students and workers across the UK.
UCU Cymru's full-time employees also stood strong, refusing to repudiate support for Guy when college management demanded it. Coleg Morgannwg management were quick to retreat when the scale of the forces opposing them became apparent.
UCU members at the college can now focus their attention on the immediate tasks facing workers in further education in Wales: Preparations for the 30 June strike against attacks to public sector pensions, a Wales-wide deal protecting education jobs and the fight againts cuts in courses and student support.
Craig Lewis, who represents Wales on the UCU national executive, said: "The spontaneous action by 70 members of the branch was crucial in showing management that they were in for a fight.
"Those who took this action should be congratulated.
"They gave real meaning to the old trade union slogan that 'an injury to one is an injury to all'....The key to stopping victimisation is always unity and solidarity at every level within the union."
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 17 June 2011 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.