Workers at Lambeth College will enter the fourth week of their indefinite strike soon. UCU members have been out since June3. Tomorrow (Tuesday 24 June) they will be joined by UNISON, who will be striking for three days.
This strike is important for many reasons. Teachers are fighting against changes in their contracts which will drastically worsen their working condition. They are taking action for themselves but also for all future workers in the college – at the moment many of the changes would only affect new employees. In the attack on the workers the management is specifically targeting the unions. They plan to cut 10 posts in ESOL department, where there are 3000 students on the waiting list but also UCU is the strongest.
The strike is a part of wider struggle against drastic funding cuts in further education. There are upcoming strikes over similar issues at LeSoCo in Lewisham, Hackney Community College, and elsewhere. It is a struggle for decent working condition for teachers but also for further education as a genuine resource for the community and against anti-welfare and anti-immigration agenda of this government.
The action should be recognised for it's boldness. While on the national level all that TUC can muster is another march or at most a one day strike, on the local level workers are much more militant. When the management took an injunciton and stopped them from striking in May, they balloted again and decided to strike with over 80% saying 'yes'. Now they are out until they win!
They need our support to win. Our local made a small donation to their strike hardship fund and we're calling on groups and individuals to do that too. You can send cheques or transfer the money directly.
Please make cheques payable to J. Eldon and send them to:
c/o Lambeth Trades Council,
Bank details for transfers are:
Account Name: J Eldon;
Sort Code: 11- 01- 07;
Account Number: 11242869.
For other ways of supporting them check http://lambethcollegestrike.wordpress.com/support-us/donations/