When management at the University of Sussex announced plans to outsource 235 jobs, workers responded by launching a 'Pop-Up Union', a new tactic in modern British industrial relations. Is this a model other workers can emulate? Solfed members involved in the Pop Up Union analyse what happened.
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.
Saturday's market crowds in Dalston were taught a valuable lesson in solidarity today as a large crowd of supporters marched, sang and shouted their opposition to education cuts all the way from Hackney College to Gillet Square.
Neighbours, students, teachers and friends turned out to support the College staff, who are fighting to stop compulsory redundancies and changes to contracts that will make life impossible for language teachers in the borough.
After a short but intense campaign, Marta, a receptionist at the Speak Up London language school, has won a week’s unpaid wages and a glowing reference.
Marta was sacked without reason and without the required one week’s notice. She got in contact with Solidarity Federation who quickly organised over a dozen people to March into the bosses’ office with a letter demanding she be given a week’s pay in lieu of notice and a positive reference.
After Speak Up failed to respond to Marta’s letter, SolFed and other supportive individuals and organisations organised a massive blockade of the Speak Up Facebook page. Hundreds of post appeared within the 45 minutes. An hour and half into the action, Speak Up shut down their Facebook page entirely to all UK users.
The North London Solidarity Federation would like to thank everyone who participated in last night’s Facebook blast of the Speak Up London language school. As it appears Speak Up has deleted their Facebook page entirely, the action was indeed an unqualified success.
The action was to defend Marta, a well-liked and respected receptionist who was sacked without prior warning. She was told she wasn’t doing her job well because she didn’t take out the rubbish one night and then failed to turn on the TV the next morning.
But we all know the real reason: Speak Up is run by two bullying bosses who sack any worker who resists their cowboy style of management.
University workers in UNISON, UCU, Unite and EIS are on strike on Thursday, February 6th.
Workers in higher education are lucky to have students who are willing to support us when we’re on strike, and it would be pretty foolish not to welcome them on our picket lines.
Sunday 24th November, 2pm
SolFed presents "What Is Anarcho-Syndicalism?"
at the 195 Free School, 195 Mare Street, Hackney E8 3QE
As part of 195 Mare Street's Free School week, SolFed presents an introduction to anarcho-syndicalism, its place in the history of class struggle and how workplace organising and the revolutionary union apply to capitalism in the 21st Century. All welcome!
Education is in turmoil. How can we build effective alliances between education workers and students, and solidarity between education establishments? Conference with talks and workshops, organised by students and workers at Sussex university for the Education Workers Network and @occupy_sussex. Open to education workers and students.
Saturday, November 23, 2013 11:00am until 6:00pm, Community Base, 113 Queens Road, BN1 3XG Brighton
The NUT and NASUWT unions in the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and the Eastern regions are on strike on Tuesday October 1.
The strikes are over pay, pensions, workload and conditions. If you live or work near a primary or secondary school do your best to show your solidarity.
Later this year, teachers in the NUT and NASUWT will take part in a series of one-day strikes against attacks on their pay, pensions and conditions, not to mention a raft of pro-market, anti-pupil polices flying out from the DfE. Until now, the universally hated Mr Gove has been able to swan about the country opening academies, praising private involvement in education and pontificating on the future of the curriculum. Last week however, Mr Gove ran into a small obstacle.