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Momentum calls on Labour members to join striking lecturers' picket lines

MOMENTUM is launching a new "strike to win" campaign for a Labour victory today, by urging supporters to join the picket lines of university and climate strikers.

The pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group announced the new initiative calling on Labour activists to show solidarity with striking members of the UCU, as well as backing students walking out of schools against climate catastrophe.

University lecturers and staff began their eight-day strike on Monday against workplace casualisation, worsening pay and conditions, the gender pay gap and declining workplace conditions.

Sixty universities across Britain will be affected by the walkout, which is set to end on December 4 — and Momentum have 11 events organised in marginal constituencies such as Sheffield Hallam, Arfon, Broxstowe, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Activists will be encouraged to join other Labour members in canvassing and phone-banking sessions across the marginals.

Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker said: “Labour is on the side of workers and young people who have been let down by nine devastating years of Tory rule.

“Momentum are linking up complimentary struggles for a better workplace, a better environment and a better country, because if one of us wins we all win."

UCU striker Amelia Horgan called it “genuinely brilliant” that Momentum is encouraging people to show solidarity with the union's fight against pay cuts, pension rip-offs and worsening conditions in higher education.

She told the Star: “The response we have received as striking university workers from both students and members of the public has been more than encouraging and it will be brilliant to have scores of dedicated Labour activists on the picket lines.

“Whether we're striking for better universities, marching for planet earth or knocking on doors for a socialist Labour government, we can fight to win by uniting together."

Sheffield Hallam Labour candidate Olivia Blake said the university action is in response to the marketisation of higher education, which a Corbyn-led government will reverse.

“This has meant an attack on their rights, a raid on their pensions and ever-increasing workloads and job insecurity,” she told the Star.

“I stand fully with them and their actions, and hope that university management will come to the negotiating table.

“At the same time, young people and students from across our city are coming together to call for action on the climate crisis.

“I'm proud to support both of these campaigns and that Labour's transformative plan for government will answer these calls.”

There will also be seven youth climate strike events near universities today, with school students walking out of school to protest at government inaction over global warming.

Youth Striker Noga Levy-Rapoport said: "Of the main party leaders, it is only Jeremy Corbyn that is properly listening to young people and taking the climate emergency seriously with a plan for a green industrial revolution.”


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