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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 June 2014

Lambeth College indefinite strike

James Ivens, Lambeth Socialist Party

Lambeth College teachers in the lecturers' union UCU have entered their third week of indefinite strike action which started on 3 June.

Management at the further education college want longer hours, shorter holidays and slashed sick pay.

Throughout the dispute management has behaved in an extremely provocative fashion. Faced with this the workforce responded strongly with 89% of UCU members voting to back strike action, on a 72% turnout.

To go for an all-out strike in the current climate is a bold but risky strategy. It is essential that the trade union movement comes to the support of the strike in order to do all possible to ensure its victory. In particular the UCU should call a national one-day stoppage in solidarity with the Lambeth strikers.

Lambeth College support workers in Unison joined the strike for two days on 11 and 12 June, after lengthy wrangling over action. Unison activists have expressed frustration with the union's regional leadership.

The disputed changes were initially due to affect staff starting after April. Strikers oppose management creating a two-tier workforce.

Single tier

But principal Mark Silverman has now made clear he wants a one-tier workforce: everyone on the bottom. After promising attacks would only affect new starters, he later said existing staff would be "protected" until August next year.

Over 100 workers face redundancy. But bullying principal and "chief executive" Silverman blithely spent 35,000 on a new office for himself!

Clearly rattled by UCU's action, Silverman's tactics are increasingly desperate. A High Court injunction on a petty technicality only delayed the strike. The latest derisory offer from management? Free sandwiches if you are prepared to scab!

Please send messages of support, requests for speakers and strike fund donations to mandybrowncow@yahoo.com.

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In The Socialist 18 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike back for a living wage

Report shows huge support for taxing rich

Survey shows potential for new mass workers' party

Them & Us

Kshama Sawant to speak at Socialism 2014


International socialist news and analysis

Iraq: Oil war's bloody legacy

Brazil: Upsurge in struggles of workers and homeless


Socialist Party workplace news

How should the RMT maintain Bob Crow's tradition?

Unison local government members want action on pay

Bakers call for 10 minimum wage

Escalation of FBU dispute begins

Lambeth College indefinite strike

Safety Glass workers strike for a real pay rise

Trades council conference: workers won't wait for TUC

Workplace news in brief

Come to the NSSN conference on 5 July


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition campaign reports

Rhydyfelin library saved

Nottinghamshire fire cuts - "pushed to breaking point"

Orgreave 30th anniversary - solidarity and celebration

Birmingham: new Socialist Party branch

Socialist Party Summer Camp 2014


Readers' comments and reviews

"Self-employed" and exploited

Book review: The man who loved dogs

Letters to the Socialist


 

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UCU:

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