Socialist Worker

North east England public sector strike reports, 16 July

Issue No. 2110

In Newcastle the city council admitted refuse collection was “severely disrupted'.

Over 60 schools in the city were shut along with libraries and leisure centres.

In County Durham 50 schools were closed, in North Tyneside the figure was 46 and in Northumberland some 30 schools shut their doors. Around 36 schools across Wearside were completely closed, while the strike also shut down Sunderland Museum, the Winter Gardens and Monkwearmouth Station Museum.

Simon Hall, a striking council worker in Gateshead, reported, “The strike at Gateshead Council was 90 percent solid, with most schools closed, and I’m hearing the same from all over the region.

“At Gateshead Civic Centre we had 50 to 60 pickets and we did the job with the building basically closed. Ordinary people who turned up to access services were very supportive and passing cars were peeping their horns.

“A fair number of GMB members in the public works department have refused to cross the picket lines and I’m hearing similar stories from elsewhere.”

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