Socialist Worker

New strikes to defend Karen Reissmann

Issue No. 2069

Mental health workers in Manchester decided at a 120-strong union meeting last week to take two further days of action during next week’s Labour Party conference.

“There is a strong sense of pride among the members,” says Unison union branch chair Karen Reissmann, whose suspension from work sparked the dispute.

“People who have never spoken to a meeting before are addressing groups of trade unionists and getting a fantastic response. Every day we receive thousands of pounds for the strike fund. Spirits are high and the mood is very determined.

“That money is essential. We need £10,000 per strike day to ensure that hard-pressed workers can continue to take action.”

Strikers made their second visit to Birmingham last week and were very warmly received, particularly by the postal workers’ CWU union, who promised to raise the case at their next regional meeting.

A shop steward at the local blood transfusion service, which has been threatened with closure, collected £80 for the fund from her colleagues.

Strikers will raise the political profile of their dispute by protesting at the Labour Party conference on Wednesday of next week. They also plan to lobby the next board meeting of mental health trust the next day.

Send donations, messages of support and requests for speakers to the Manchester community and mental health Unison branch at 70 Manchester Road, Manchester M21 9UN, or email

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Tue 18 Sep 2007, 19:15 BST
Issue No. 2069
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