They say Cutback, We say Fightback

After spending 81 billion propping up the banks and 2 billion each year on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the British government are faced with the task of balancing the books. Given that they have had a neo-liberal  commitment to cutting the tax burden for the wealthy during the past twenty-five years, this is no easy task. It is, therefore, not surprising that the cuts will fall on the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the community, those that have benefited least from the speculation fuelled economies of the nineteen-eighties and nineties.

The dispute at Tower Hamlets Community College  (now in its fourteenth day), involving teacher redundancies and the cutting of 1,000 ESOL (English as a Second Language) places is clearly the shape of things to come. The firm response, all out strike, and the linking of this struggle with the wider community is a healthy sign, however, that the working class is shaking of its conservatism  (one day strikes, selective action etc) and mirrors the fightback of Ford-Visteon car workers. We wish our colleagues well in their dispute and know a victory for those working in ESOL would be a victory for all workers, especially those in the language teaching sector.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “They say Cutback, We say Fightback

  1. alexcase

    The problem with the strikes we do get, or perhaps the lack of solidarity TEFL teachers feel for slightly different subsets of our kind, is that none of it ever seems to serve as a model for others.

    PS. Does someone from Marxist ELF fancy being interviewed? I’ve thought up some nice juicy questions for you to get your teeth into, and would help you spread the word. If you’re interested, please email or leave a comment here or on my blog

  2. Good luck to them at Tower Hamlets college. If only more EFL teachers would consider this ‘one out, all out’ approach, we’d have a much healthier scene for EFL teachers. But the ‘unionisation’, for want of a more expressive word, of the private EFL scene in the UK is a long way off yet – and I’m too sure that I’ll ever see it coming in my lifetime.

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