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Striking Tower Hamlets college lecturers canvass public support

PUBLISHED: 13:01 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 05 October 2010

HUNDREDS of college lecturers who began an indefinite strike in East London this-morning over cuts to jobs and education courses have begun a street campaign for public support. They are handing out leaflets in street markets and housing estates, while some were calling in at Royal Mail depots where postal workers are involved in their own industrial action over cuts

By Else Kvist

HUNDREDS of college lecturers who began an indefinite strike in East London this-morning over cuts to jobs and education courses have begun a street campaign for public support.

They are handing out leaflets in street markets and housing estates.

Some were calling in at Royal Mail depots including the East London regional sorting centre at Bromley-by-Bow and the Limehouse distribution centre in Burdett Road where postal workers are involved in their own industrial action over cuts.

The lecturers are picketing the main Tower Hamlets college campus in Poplar and campuses in Bethnal Green and Stepney in protest at 13 posts being lost in education cuts they say will hit thousands of adults in the East End wanting to learn English to help them into work.

POLICE

Some 60 pickets were outside the main campus when police arrived in Poplar High Street warning them they were in breach of the Public Order Act, brought in during the 1984 miners’ strike, by having more than six pickets at a time.

The lecturers insisted they were not causing obstruction and had left plenty of room on the wide pavement for passers-by. There were no arrests.

The strikers also dropped leaflets at the Town Hall and at fire stations canvassing support.

They hold a public meeting next Thursday (September 3) at St Mathias Hall in Poplar High Street at 5pm.

The strike has been targeted to coincide with the first day of enrolment at the college. Around 2,000 students were due to enrol in the language courses by next week.

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