Labour members launch petition telling Keir Starmer to back striking workers and reverse Sam Tarry sacking

By the Labour Assembly Against Austerity

Thousands of Labour members and affiliates are expected to support a petition to Keir Starmer launched by the Labour Assembly Against Austerity which argues that workers taking industrial action during the cost-of-living crisis “deserve all of the Labour Party’s wholehearted support.”

Addressing Keir Starmer’s refusal to support RMT and other recent strikes, it says that, “As leader of the Labour Party – which was founded by the trade unions – you [Keir Starmer] should stand by those taking action to protect the future of us all,” adding that this “also means reversing the disgraceful sacking of Sam Tarry.”

Speaking in support of the launch of the petition, Labour NEC member Gemma Bolton said: “Born of the unions, Labour is the party of workers. With the cost-of-living crisis biting hard, it’s incomprehensible that Keir Starmer is not standing firmly in solidarity with those in dispute over demands for fair wage rises and job security.”

Jess Barnard, Young Labour Chair and NEC candidate said: “Labour’s leadership should be backing workers fighting the Tories, not sacking shadow ministers for showing solidarity.”

Ben Selby, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Vice-President said: “At a time when we are seeing workers having to resort to taking industrial action to fight for decent pay, and make ends meet, we see a Labour Party led by Keir Starmer obfuscating. The Labour Party was founded by the trade unions, it needs to demonstrate whose side are they on? The workers or the bosses?”

Fraser McGuire, secretary of Derbyshire Young Labour and part of the Socialist Future Slate for the upcoming Young Labour elections said: “It’s absolutely critical that Keir Starmer and the Labour Party support working people’s right to strike. The Tory assault on Trade Union legislation and the cost of living crisis make it clear that we need total solidarity with workers across the UK and throughout the Labour Movement.”

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, part of the Grassroots 5 Left slate for Labour’s NEC said: “Labour was created to be the political voice of the organised working class. Be that voice!”

The full text of the petition reads as follows:

“To: Keir Starmer

From rail and transport to the communications sector, to education workers and beyond, more and more working people and their trade unions are taking industrial action to protect jobs, livelihoods, and public services during this deepening cost-of-living crisis. There is growing public support for these actions.

As leader of the Labour Party – which was founded by the trade unions – you should stand by those taking action to protect the future of us all. That also means reversing the disgraceful sacking of Sam Tarry.

Neither Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will help the millions suffering during this crisis – those workers doing something about it deserve all of the Labour Party’s wholehearted support.”

The Labour Assembly Against Austerity is one of the largest campaigning groups in the Labour Party, and brings together Labour Party members, trade unionists and others to support campaigns for economic justice and against cuts, such as the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity. Over 150,000 people have signed its online petitions and statements since 2020.

You can find LAAA on social media at www.twitter.com/LabourAssembly and www.facebook.com/Labour.Assembly.Against.Austerity

You can see the Keir Starmer – Back Workers Taking Action! Petition at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/keir-starmer-back-workers-taking-action

Image: Sam Tarry MP. Source: https://members-api.parliament.uk/api/Members/4829/Portrait?cropType=ThreeFour. Author: David Woolfall, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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