Gordon Jelley from Rotherham local government Unison said, “It’s been very good here. We’ve shut over half the primary and secondary schools in Rotherham. There are no bin lorries moving and both bin depots have been shut.
“We’ve also had good levels of solidarity by GMB members. The only places the strike has been weak are sections where the union is weak. We plan to hold a strike rally tomorrow with speakers from the PCS and UCU.”
At 80 council buildings across Kirklees there were picket lines or the offices were closed. At the Deighton Centre in Huddersfield we had 12 pickets. The GMB cleaners walked away, refusing to cross the picket line, at least five NUT members who work here respected the picket line and the milkman would not cross and took the milk away!
Elsewhere in Huddersfield members of the Amicus section of Unite refused to go into two depots to refuel. If their vans run out of petrol they said they’d just park them up.
There’s good solidarity – better than previous strikes. A lot of that is because we gave solidarity to striking teachers on 24 April, with Unison members at the technical college respecting and joining their picket lines.
Some 300 strikers in Leeds held a city-wide rally on Wednesday morning. There were also picket lines across the city centre.
The mood is good – but there is also anger at people scabbing and bitterness at the government over pay.
A delegation from Leeds NUT came down to visit the picket line with their banners. Several schools in the city were closed down with people refusing to cross picket lines.