SLL statement:

Council Leader should apologise for picket line debacle 

Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) has called on Sheffield Council leader Terry Fox to apologise for crossing a picket line yesterday in direct contravention of the principles of the Labour and Trade Union movement. 

An SLL spokesperson stated ‘Solidarity with workers on strike is the first principle of the Labour and Trade Union movement and Councillor Fox, and those of his colleagues from the Labour Group who also crossed the picket line, should hang their heads in shame’. 

The UCU (University and College Union) are supporting around 50,000 staff at 58 universities across the UK who have a mandate to take industrial action over pensions, pay and working conditions.

Some members of Sheffield’s Labour Group used a side door of a university building to ‘avoid’ the picket and hold a Labour Group meeting. That meeting, subsequently voted not to cross the same picket line later in the day.

SLL believes there is no excuse or justification for crossing the UCU picket line, either by a side door or the front door, and that the Labour Group leadership should take responsibility for their mistaken actions.

A number of Labour councillors, to their credit, refused to enter the building.

Sheffield Labour Left believes that what is needed is a simple apology, an admission that they got it wrong and a commitment to ensure that Labour councillors do not cross picket lines in the future.

The SLL spokesperson added ‘Perhaps the donation of their councillor allowances for Wednesday to the UCU hardship fund might be a good starting point to any apology’.