The first proper meeting of the new Momentum National Coordinating Group, on 4 July, passed the following motion in support of the Tower Hamlets council workers’ strike (current strike dates 3, 6, 7 July).
An email out from new Momentum co-chairs Gaya Sriskanthan and Andrew Scattergood mentions this and cites it as evidence that Momentum is changing. That is good – and certainly this is a change from how Momentum has behaved previously. But beyond that very little has gone out from the organisation about the strike and how to support it. Momentum activists, groups and officers should push for this to happen.
For more on the strike and what you can do, see this Tower Hamlets Unison strike update.
Please also add your name to this statement produced by local labour movement activists.
Motion passed by Momentum NCG, 4 July 2020
Tower Hamlets Council is pressing ahead with its plan to sack 4,000 of its workers and re-employ them on new contracts they call “Tower Rewards”. According to UNISON, the new T&Cs will disproportionately negatively impact BAME and women workers. Council management have refused to provide a full Equalities and Impact Assessment, breaking down by gender and ethnicity how the new contracts will affect the staff on each pay grade.
Many of those who will be affected are front-line key workers, who have put their safety at risk to serve the community during the pandemic, and this is particularly an assault on BAME and women workers.
The timing of this change when schools are still operating under emergency conditions is a cynical move to prevent the NEU who had run had a successful strike ballot just prior to lockdown from being able to strike alongside Unison.
Momentum nationally will:
• Issue a statement supporting the workers, calling on Tower Hamlets council to withdraw the attack and calling on the Labour Party nationally, all Labour MPs and all Labour members to do likewise.
• Communicate this statement through Momentum’s social media channels and via an email to Momentum’s membership, with the inclusion of links to Tower Hamlets Momentum social media assets, so members can express support for the campaign.
• Delegate staff members to establish ongoing contact with Tower Hamlets Momentum members to discuss what future support can be provided by Momentum nationally to assist their campaigning work in support of striking workers.
• Promote events organised by Tower Hamlets Momentum in support of the striking workers, and support events organised by the campaign itself.