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15 September 2021

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Goodlord dispute: Labour's leadership weasled out of backing strike action

In April this year, Scott Hunter, a member of the Socialist Party and a striker at Goodlord, in east London, wrote to his local Labour MP, Emily Thornberry, asking for support for the workers fighting against 'fire and rehire'. Scott finally received a response on 2 September, six months after the original email asking for support, and several months after the dispute had ended. The email still does not give the support asked for. Below we print Scott's response to Emily Thornberry's reply.

Goodlord picket including Scott Hunter (centre right), photo James Ivens

Goodlord picket including Scott Hunter (centre right), photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Dear Emily Thornberry,

I find this to be a condescending and insufficient response. I wrote to you nearly five months ago, when my colleagues and I were fighting to keep our jobs and stay in our homes. Not only have you responded to me so late as to have completely missed the chance to support us in our struggle, your response does not even contain an offer of support!

You have instead seen fit to talk down to me and spend half your email explaining the definition of fire and rehire and the second half talking about how you've supported a bunch of failed bills. It looks to me like you've done very little at all!

Is this all the Labour Party can offer to working people? I know it may seem remote to you with your MP's salary, but we working people are fighting for our lives out here. Our strike went on for 12 weeks and you did nothing, nor did any of the Labour MPs in any of my colleagues' constituencies, nor the Labour MP of the constituency where our employer is based, nor our Labour mayor of London, nor did one damn councillor lift a finger to help us.

The only elected politician from the Labour Party to actually show up and support us was Jeremy Corbyn, and he was (and still is) suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party! We live in constituencies with Labour MPs, in wards with Labour-majority councils and in a city with a Labour mayor, but it seems that all the Labour Party can do is pass on cuts from Westminster.

I've voted Labour all my adult life, but, tell me, why should I ever vote Labour again now when the party is apparently unwilling or unable to support the struggles of working people?

The people who did show up to support us were the trade unions, the local community, the renters' unions and housing associations, and the local Socialist Party. It is clear to me now, through your conduct and the conduct of your colleagues, that the Labour Party is beyond hope. It is vital that we build a new mass workers' party that will fight for the interests of working people rather than collaborating with the Tories in Westminster.

Scott Hunter

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In The Socialist 15 September 2021:


What we think

We need a new political party for workers and youth

What's behind the worker shortages, and what can be done about it?


News

Social care plans: A sticking plaster instead of surgery

Hands off the Universal Credit uplift

Unite young and old to defend the pensions triple lock


Climate change

Climate change, capitalism, and the struggle for socialism


Youth and students

We won't pay for capitalism's failings

Scrap tuition fees - end university marketisation

Returning to campus: Students need to fight

Campaigning for socialism at Oxford Brookes Uni

Youth Fight for Jobs launches campaign in Brighton


Workplace news

NSSN trade union rally reflects working-class anger to fight back

Oaks Park school: Redbridge Labour council backs strike-breaking bullies

Save jobs and services - nationalise rail

Weetabix - workers have had enough

Carmarthenshire Unison: 'Recognise our union!'

Goodlord dispute: Labour's leadership weasled out of backing strike action


NHS

Take the wealth off the super-rich to fund: NHS and social care, pay and benefit rises

Deaths of despair: Health crisis - capitalism in the dock

On the frontline, and still fighting for the NHS

Solidarity to the striking workers at Charité and Vivantes hospitals in Berlin


Campaigns

Putting socialism on the map in Chichester

Reclaiming Pride as protest in Nottingham

Fighting fund target reached: Help us continue to raise our banner and programme


Review

Nuclear Folly: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

TV review - Grenfell: The Untold Story


 

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Related links:

Labour:

triangleBuilding People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

triangleWales: The Labour-Plaid Cymru agreement - jam tomorrow, maybe

triangleBuilding a political alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

triangleNewham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

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Strike:

triangleWider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

triangleMail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image

triangleYorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

triangleClarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Labour Party:

triangleSleaze and pay a toxic mix for Tories

triangleBakers' union disaffiliates from Labour

triangleStarmer consolidates post-Corbyn Blairite transformation of Labour

US:

triangleDefending abortion rights in the US

triangleFighting Fund: Help us reach over £50,000

Fire:

triangleClarks workers fight 'fire-and-rehire' pay cut

Article dated 15 September 2021

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