Socialist Worker

Midlands public sector strike reports, 16 July

Issue No. 2110

Strikers in Bromsgrove (Pic: Nick Burke)

Strikers in Bromsgrove (Pic: Nick Burke)


There was widespread support for the strike from the 2,200 Unison union members.

Eight schools closed completely and many nursery units also shut for the day.

Libraries and social services were seriously affected.

Because of overwhelming support from Unison members for the strike action, some vital services supporting the most vulnerable in our community continued at minimum level – but only because Unison allowed targeted exemptions to cover critical elements of those services.

Five of the main council buildings were picketed and many council services disrupted from their normal duties.

We have had excellent local media coverage and messages of support from comrades in the local PCS, Unite and UCU union branches.

Jon Sedgebeer branch secretary and Leo Fisher, deputy branch Secretary (both in personal capacity)


At least 18 schools and eight neighbourhood offices were shut on the first day of the strike.

There were about 15 pickets at Thimble Mill Lane transportation depot in Aston, Birmingham. Asked why they were striking, one picket said, “We're getting absolutely shafted.” The depot is served by five different unions. Pickets said no Unison people crossed the line.


Pickets here were in a buoyant mood. One striker said, “The strike’s not just about pay – it's about all the changes they are trying to get through the back door.”

Many also felt the strike was about defending public services. One striker said, “The service users are suffering because we're stuck on computers all day.”

Nick Burke

East Midlands

Around 1,000 strikers came to a lively rally in Nottingham. The workers applauded speeches from different unions including a hard-hitting speech from Paul Williams of the PCS civil service workers' union in the Driving Standards agency who were also on strike. In Ashfield the strike was very strong with over 85 percent of Unison members not going in.

Richard Buckwell

On the picket line in Crewe (Pic: Nina Hammill)

On the picket line in Crewe (Pic: Nina Hammill)

Pickets in Loughborough (Pic: Mike Thompson)

Pickets in Loughborough (Pic: Mike Thompson)

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