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Richard Evans should have cancelled his book launch at Senate House | Letter | Books

Richard Evans should have cancelled his book launch at Senate House | Letter | Books


I am pleased to see that Richard Evans (Letters, theguardian.com, 11 February) supports the efforts of outsourced workers at the University of London’s Senate House to return to direct employment with the university. I think it unfortunate that the decision was taken to proceed with the launch of his (very good) new biography of Eric Hobsbawm there last week when the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) had called a boycott. As the convenor of the socialist history seminar at Senate House I have suspended seminars in support of the boycott. It is a basic act of solidarity. It is up to the outsourced workers and the union they choose to represent them to determine strategy. While Professor Evans is right that the university has agreed in principle to bring work and workers back in-house, the timetable for this process extends over several years, while those concerned continue to suffer significant detriment. What would Eric Hobsbawm have done? As a Marxist I am materialist so can only note he is no longer available to tell us.
Dr Keith Flett
London Socialist Historians Group

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