Kernow Damo

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Scab behaviour from Labour at Sheffield University

Feb 19, 2022

Sheffield City Council Labour Group, Labour's South Yorkshire mayoral candidate & and an MP have all crossed the picket. Certainly you don’t expect Labour representatives, the Party of said Trade Unions, set up to represent them on the parliamentary stage, to engage in scab behaviour, but of course this is Keir Starmer’s Labour now, the Unions have been told to know their place, and so undermining strike action and crossing the picket line appears to be redefining them as the Scab Party. Yesterday Shadow Business & Industry Minister & Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, along with the South Yorkshire mayoral candidate, Oliver Coppard, visited Sheffield University. Dr Jo Grady, General Secretary of the University & College Union had to point out to Bill that strike action was going on at the University & Esterson’s reasoning was that he couldn’t see the picket line. Of course it had been stood down over safety concerns because of Storm Eunice, but this really is no excuse. Esterson was off his own patch, perhaps he was genuinely ignorant, but surely Oliver Coppard must have known what was going on in an area he wants to represent? Well apparently not – he made a statement on the matter making it clear and apologising, something Esterson at time of writing has not done. The fact is, Labour knew about it. It’s not like the strike action happening there is anything new, nor sadly is Labour engaging in scab behaviour regarding it. Sheffield City Council Labour Group were due to hold a Council Meeting at the University in late January, when strike action was already on. The group had crossed the picket line to enter the building, then decided they’d better not hold it after all. Too late. You know a picket line when you see one, or really ought to as a Labour representative. You don’t cross it, you join it. To enter the building was crossing the line. The Council leader was called a scab, at which point the chief whip pulled the accusers mask down which earned him rapped knuckles from the Council’s standards board and the Labour colleague who reported him for it, quit the party the next day. So we know Labour knew. The local Labour group had known for weeks, Coppard who wants to be mayor doesn’t know the area he wants to represent if he was unaware and no MP should have been unaware after weeks of picketing before visiting. Honesty, integrity & respect is what Labour stands for Starmer says – scant regard has been shown for any of that slogan here. Also what a wonderful way of marking Heart Unions week – an MP & a wannabe Mayor crossing a picket line. After the disgraceful contempt shown for Coventry & their bin strikers too, this sums Starmer’s attitude to the unions and union action up without doubt.

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