So after the longest ever build up to a strike, the first days of strike action for the Durham TAs are about to begin. (barring a last minute serious offer from Durham County Council)
Their campaign has become stuff of legend, they have taken all the lessons from past struggles and mobilised a workforce that is scattered across the County of Durham. Think on that point, this isn’t one workplace but over a hundred workplaces. They don’t meet up every day at work, they probably don’t know many of their colleagues, yet they have been able to mobilise a campaign that would put Barack Obama to shame.
Leading up to the strike next week, they are experiencing for the first time the pre-strike anti-union propaganda that is often generated designed to undermine and intimidate workers from taking strike action.
My advice is take it and use it for your own ends.
They are frightened of your true power and that ultimately is your withdrawal of labour.
I have read reports of schools trying to bring other workers/staff in to cover, that I expect is being dealt with by the two unions involved UNISON and ATL. But you can speak to the local trade unions in your school in order to build solidarity and support. I am sure teaching unions would not want to be used to break fellow trade unions strike action.
Your challenge is that the members are spread over so many schools and some schools will be stronger than others. But that will change, confidence is very, very contagious, it is my experience that workers in struggle find their voice.
Attention Labour movement
1. We need to help amplify their voice.
2. We need to send messages of solidarity.
3. We need to raise money for the strikers.
4. We need to turn up on picket lines and rallies.
5. We need to back this campaign through thick and thin.
Follow the campaign on Facebook
Follow the campaign on Twitter
Look out for their hashtag #ValueUs
Look out for their Blog “Lions of Durham”