Teaching staff at Tower Hamlets College voted to go back to work on Thursday after winning victory in their month long indefinite strike.
They seem to have completely rolled back the attack and the college principal has now promised there will be no compulsary redundancies.
As previously reported here over the summer the college had announced that there would be 13 compulsary redundancies and 300 places cut on ESOL courses.
All out indefinite strikes have become something of a rarity nowadays as unions have prefferred one day strikes causing minimal disruption, as a show of strength, before entering into negotiations over cuts behind closed doors.
This tends to mean that cuts and attacks only get slightly mitigated.
This type of srtike action means for most workers just a day at home. They assume apathy amongst workers and and so doing create it. All too often union members end up wondering why they lost a day’s pay on strike when all that results is slightly re-ordered set of cuts.
An indefinite strike like the Tower Hamlets though shows that victory is possible if you go all out.
Not only did they go all out they went on strike during registration week, the time that would hit management hardest. It may have caused some disruption to students, but nothing like as much as the years of cut backs that Further Education has faced.
The mass meeting on Monday when staff voted to reject the previous management offer drew 170 to it.
All out action draws people into action, it gives them something to do, it lets them act for themselves. Strikers were involved in picket lines, mass meetings, going out to the community for support and raising money.
In the processs they gained confidence, connections with the community and other workers and built union organisation. The strike has left them immensely strengthened and better placed to stop any more attacks, and to fight for education in one of the poorest boroughs in the country.
This kind of action shows the way to rebuild the unions and to stop the massive cuts which are heading our way; not passivley waiting for union bossses to lobby behind the scenes or hoping against hope that Brown might just win the election and that he might just cut a little less than the Tories.