‘I SUPPORT Jonty Leff,’ Gideon Woldeslassie said yesterday morning, referring to the campaign to elect the Workers Revolutionary Party candidate as MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.
Woldeslassie, a Marketing and Coms admin worker at Queen Mary’s University in east London, was speaking on the picket line during the UCU lecturers and staff strike taking place at 60 universities around the county.
The strike, which continues until December 4, is supported by the National Union of Students.
Woldeslassie continued: ‘We need the Tory government not to be in power anymore.’
The strike is over a number of issues including precarious contracts, the equivalent of zero-hours contracts, workload and pay.
Woldeslassie added: ‘We are getting a great response on the picket line. It has been good. This is my first time on strike and there’s a feeling amongst the strikers of “we are all in this together”.
‘We were successful last time and there is the spirit that we are going to win.
‘The reason I am out is because I do not believe the group responsible for the university and the university itself has treated us well.’
- Meanwhile, Labour has launched regional manifestos, including pledges on transport, housing and jobs, in a bid to win back working class regions of the country that have been alienated by its second referendum ‘remain’ policy.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the regional announcements would ‘bring our country back together’.
Each manifesto outlines plans for individual regions, with most of the pledges to be paid for by Labour’s £250bn Green Transformation Fund – a pot of money raised through massive borrowing from the big banks.
The pledges include a number of transport projects, such as:
- Northern Powerhouse Rail – improving connections between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull, and Newcastle, and cutting journey times
- Investment in the Midlands Mainline railway
- Electrification of lines around Bristol Temple Meads
In the regional manifestos, there are plans to woo ‘Leave’ voting areas.
There are to be:
- Three new steel recycling plants in Redcar, Workington and Corby, which Labour says will create more than 1,000 jobs in each town
- Nine plastics remanufacture and recycling sites – one for each region
- Three electric vehicle battery plants in Stoke, Swindon and South Wales – creating 5,000 jobs in each location
McDonnell said: ‘Britain is one of the most unequal countries in Europe, but under Labour that will change.’
Most of the party’s specific investment proposals do mention places where there was a pro-Brexit vote.
All three of the proposed steel recycling plants, for example, are in Leave-voting areas.