Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has publicly backed the November 30 national strike over pensions in an attack on the coalition government published in the Morning Star yesterday.
Rahman said that David Cameron “and his wretched Conservative-led coalition” are intent on making ordinary working people pay for the financial crisis caused by the banks.
The article also said: “Cameron has the audacity to say that some of the lowest-paid workers in the land receive gold-plated pensions.”
“Well, I have news for him”, Rahman added, “the average local government pension for women stands at the princely sum of £2,800 a year.”
Speaking of the widening gap between rich and poor, the Mayor wrote: “On one side I can see an expanse of social housing, desperately in need of renovation and rebuilding. On the other I can see the glittering towers of Canary Wharf.”
Rahman became the first directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2010, after two years as leader of Tower Hamlets London Borough Council from 2008 to 2010.
In 2010, he was expelled from the Labour Party as a result of personal conduct and allegations concerning the eligibility of participating voters.
Running as an independent candidate, Rahman went on to win the Tower Hamlets mayoral election with 51 per cent of the vote.
Peter Golds, Conservative Councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town, said: “The strike is totally irresponsible, we are in a time of economic chaos. What about all those people who are losing a day’s work?
“I can quite see why the Labour Party has decided not to re-admit Rahman.”
But Richard McEwan, joint branch secretary of the University and College Union at Tower Hamlets College told EastLondonLines: “It’s great to have the support from the mayor to defend council and other public sector worker pensions, now we need to join forces to defeat the government’s cuts.”
There will be pickets, rallies and leafleting sessions across Tower Hamlets tomorrow morning before strikers and supporters will travel to central London to join the march starting at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at 12 noon.
A ‘Battle Bus’ will be touring markets in the borough to raise support for the strike.
Rahman has said he will be joining the central London demonstration at Lincoln’s Fields tomorrow.