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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2009

College workers strike against vicious cuts

About 400 students, education workers and supporters gathered in Altab Ali Park in Aldgate to rally in support of the striking UCU members at Tower Hamlets college in East London.

Chris Newby

The workers are taking indefinite strike action against the severe cuts management want to make to courses and against the sacking of staff. College management want to slash up to 1,000 ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) places.

As many as 90 people could lose their jobs. Yet the college's management is to be increased by 15 and the principal earns around 160,000 a year. Over the summer the management sent letters to 13 lecturers telling them they had no jobs.

Several of the speakers were students for whom English is not their first language. They explained that the cuts would have a dramatic effect on their lives particularly when looking for work.

John McLaughlin from Tower Hamlets Unison announced that the results of the ballot for action of Unison members at the college would be announced the following Monday, meaning that the whole of the college workforce could be on strike.

This was generally a very good rally and showed the level of community support for the strikers and the struggle against cuts at the college. However, incredibly the organisers allowed the leader of the Tory group on Tower Hamlets council and prospective Tory parliamentary candidate in Tower Hamlets to address the rally. Why was this person allowed to speak when, as some of the other speakers at the rally had made clear, the Tories are vying with New Labour about how many cuts they can make to public services?

Tower Hamlets is one of the worst hit so far, but several London colleges face massive cuts this year. Staff and students cannot be left to fight on a college-by-college basis. A united national fight to defend education is necessary.

Socialist Party members got a good response to this demand. 16 copies of The Socialist were sold and six people filled in cards to find out more about the Socialist Party.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 September 2009:

Big business to blame for climate change


No Job Cuts

No to cuts in jobs and services

Capitalist market prescribes diet of cuts

TUC conference - reactions to Brown's speech

TUC conference: Fightback rally


War and occupation

End the Afghan nightmare now


Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise Anglesey Aluminium to save jobs

Rover - Gangster capitalists were treated as saviours

London RMT: Discussing an election coalition

Leeds council workers on indefinite strike

National Greed

Construction workers' pay - reject the deal!

The fight against the building blacklist


Socialist Students

Students left penniless

Cardiff: Youth Fight for Jobs

College workers strike against vicious cuts


Vestas

Vestas: the fight is far from over

Coventry Socialist Party councillors show support for Vestas


Socialist Party feature

Interview with POA leader Brian Caton


Socialist Party women

Victory - Decent jobs not exploitation


Socialist Party review

A life of revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Japan: Election ends Liberal Democrats' 54-year reign

Bangladesh: Angry protests at police attacks

Sri Lanka: Defiant Tamil protest


 

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