Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/328/9294

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 December 2003

London weighting: Lessons Of The Strike Action

UNISON members in Waltham Forest, east London kept up the selective strike action this week by bringing out school keepers and site services officers. While the action was well supported by strikers, other workers, parents and even school students, the limitations of this kind of action are being to become apparent.

Mike Cleverley, UNISON

While only one school was closed the action clearly demonstrated once again that a quality education service depends upon support staff as well as teaching staff. Pickets were out at schools throughout the borough and workers concentrated their forces where it was most effective.

On 9 December we heard that scab labour might be brought in to do the work of striking staff at Warwick Boys secondary school. This provocation was stopped when it was discovered that essential police checks, to ensure that the scabs were suitable for working in a school, had not been carried out!

The picket ensured that UNISON members in the kitchen and school office refused to cross the picket line. Even though non-union labour was bussed into the kitchen, the demonstration of solidarity gave a real boost to the strikers.

On 10 December, after the union advised that secondary picketing might be illegal, a mass rally was organised outside the offices of EduAction. This is the private company brought in by the Labour council when they admitted that they were not competent to run the borough's education service themselves!

The mostly low-paid staff of the company, who felt they could not break their contracts by striking, voiced their support for our action.

On 12 December, a mass picket was organised at Leytonstone school where the site officer, a UNISON steward, was still working. Because the school had wind of the mass picket and the person concerned was unwilling to face striking colleagues, the head teacher opened the school. Again, kitchen and office staff refused to cross our picket lines.

Important lessons have been learned by all of us in this action and the union will have to reconsider its tactics if this important claim, for a 4,000 London allowance is to be victorious.

Many new members have been won because UNISON is seen to be standing up for an entirely just claim.

Solidarity is alive and well in the working class movement! Not only have people been prepared to respect picket lines but other workers, parents, school governors and school students have all voiced their support with words of encouragement and the tooting of car horns.

Union stewards, elected in times of a lull in class action, who are not capable of giving a fighting lead, will be replaced by a new layer of activists.

The election of a Labour council is no defence of either services or workers' rights. The call for a new party to defend workers' interests against both the Tories and the bosses' lackeys in New Labour will continue to be raised again and again.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 20 December 2003:

A living grant not tuition fees

Socialist Party Wins Vote Opposing Fees on Coventry City Council

Saddam's capture - Not The "Beginning Of The End" in Iraq

Iraq Watch

When Big Business Rules Universities

London weighting: Lessons Of The Strike Action


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 December 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Unison:

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

triangleElectricians pay victory

triangleBig Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

triangleLambeth Unison letter

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

Strike:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

London:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

School:

triangleSchools aren't safe

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

Labour:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999