5 May 2014
The Lambeth College dispute over contracts has now been significantly intensified by the college management’s decision last week to take out a high court injunction against our strike action.
This is an outrageous attack on the democratic right of college UCU members to take strike action to defend our contracts, our conditions and the quality of education we provide. But it is also an attack on the wider trade union movement by using the anti-trade union laws to undermine the democratic decisions taken by workers.
College workers have voted 3 times, each time overwhelmingly, in favour of strike action. Back in February a motion was passed at a packed out branch meeting calling for indefinite strike action. The postal ballot in March delivered a record 95% vote for action on a 70% turnout. And after the Easter break, members again voted unanimously, at a 100-strong branch meeting, to walkout indefinitely from the 1st May.
And yet, at the very last minute, the principal attempted to undermine this strong, democratic mandate by using the anti-trade union laws, at a cost of thousands of pounds to the college, to make a legal challenge.
As we saw from the tremendous, widespread support for the strike, and the spirit on the picket lines and at the strike rally on May 1st, Lambeth UCU members clearly remain committed to defending against the massive attack on their conditions. This attempt to further undermine us through the courts will only serve to make our members even more angry and even more determined to win this dispute.
The UCU has now called a national demonstration in support of Lambeth College on Saturday 17 March.
Mandy Brown (pc)
Lambeth College strikers and their supporters marched out of a packed strike rally to join striking BECTU members at the Ritzy cinema. Quite a May Day in Brixton!