Socialist Worker

More strikes to defend activist Karen Reissmann

Issue No. 2070

Striking mental health workers in Manchester were planning to take the fight for the reinstatement of union rep Karen Reissmann to the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth this week.

Psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists and care assistants will make the journey in an effort to win support from party members.

“We want to tell the conference about the shame of nurses being on strike under a Labour government,” says Jo, a nurse who will be making the 500-mile round trip.

“We have had some good support from local Labour politicians, and we hope that more will come on board if we get a chance to talk to them.

“However I don’t think we will find much support among those at the top of the party who are pursuing the policies of privatisation that are wrecking the service we provide.”

Workers will strike again this week against the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care trust, which suspended Unison union branch chair Karen Reissmann after she spoke out against privatisation and cuts.

There are signs that the programme of strike action by around 700 workers is putting trust bosses under enormous pressure.

“They thought that we would have started to crack by now,” one leading union activist told Socialist Worker. “But there are no signs of that.

“Management are absolutely fuming about the latest strike dates. And since they heard that we plan to lobby the trust directors’ meeting on Thursday of this week, they have moved the venue four times.”

Unison members plan to meet next week to decide their next strike dates.

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. You can also email

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Article information

Tue 25 Sep 2007, 18:41 BST
Issue No. 2070
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