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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2020

East London teachers strike in support of victimised union rep

LDE UTC strike, Photo: Socialist Party

LDE UTC strike, Photo: Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Hannah Sell, East London Socialist Party

Teachers at the London Design and Engineering College (LDE UTC) in Newham are on their third day of strike action against the summary dismissal of an NEU rep, Sharon.

LDE UTC is a free school where the head thinks he can do as he pleases. Its building is squashed into a corner of the University of East London.

It is far too small for the number of pupils and has no playground. When the NEU rightly raised health and safety concerns during the pandemic, the head responded by sacking the rep and saying she had no rights because she had been employed for less than two years.

Now teachers are determined to show the head he can't get away with this bullying behaviour.

A judge found in favour of Sharon and told LDE management to reinstate her. Management said it would comply, but has reneged.

Sharon explained: "I wasn't told there was an investigation, I wasn't asked any questions, I was just sent a 'dismissal pack' by courier to my house.

"I was dismissed for trade union activity; I had become a workplace rep in July, and had asked questions about Covid-19 and general health and safety.

"They don't want to acknowledge the NEU at the college, and they just planned to get rid of me. I arrived back in September to find they'd recruited another member of staff to replace me.

"Today we've got teachers out on the picket. An attack on one is an attack on all. I ask readers of the Socialist to show solidarity with our strike."

Another striker added: "This school has no regard for workers' rights. Victimisation and intimidation seem to be built into our contracts. That is why we're very pleased with the turnout today."

A rally in support of the strikers was held with speakers including Niall Mulholland from Newham Trades Council, and Ferdy Lyons from East London Socialist Party.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 2 December 2020:


What we think

Spending Review. Unions must resist return to austerity


Spending Review

What will the spending review mean for me?

Napo kickstarts fight against pay freeze


News

Better for billionaires. Worse for workers

Arcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

Scotland: Campaign wins end to period poverty

NHS: Underfunded, understaffed, underpaid

News in brief


Devolution

Where is devolution heading?


Workplace News

Don't let the festive season be one of misery for retail workers

Equity union conference calls for radical change - now lead a fight!

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

East London teachers strike in support of victimised union rep

Heathrow workers strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

Hackney: Stop plan to halve school support staff!

Pay freeze protest Homerton Hospital

Unison general secretary ballot closes


Environment

'Building back greener' - yet more Tory greenwash


International News

Conflict in Ethiopia: ethnic-linguistic divisions are the historical product of capitalist inequality


Marxism

Review: Friedrich Engels - Condition of the working class in England


Campaigns

Socialism 2020 feedback

Wales TUSC plans to mount an electoral challenge

Rent strikers' victory in Manchester student halls

Labour meeting lets MP get away with 'Spycops' abstention

Selling the Socialist

Fighting fund target smashed!


Reader's opinion

TV: The Social Dilemma

Fast fashion, big profits, low pay

Diego Maradona - Working-class rebel, football genius

Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

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triangleWorkers' action wins Tory U-turn on school safety

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London:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The Socialist newspaper in the age of lockdowns

East London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The fight for safe schools

College:

triangleFurther education workers win pay rise in Wales

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