Socialist Worker

Council workers

Issue No. 1919

SOME 150 social workers in the Unison union are continuing their indefinite strike action in Liverpool. We have been getting good support from Unison, branches and other unions such as the PCS and FBU.

Strikers have got more organised and more experienced. Union activists in other areas of the council tell us the strike is beginning to bite hard.

Management are now getting worried, with signs that they are backing down from their previous hardline stance.

They recently sent the union a letter saying they are willing to discuss talks if the union removes a picket line outside a part-privatised call centre.

Our strike is a fight for social workers everywhere. This Liberal Democrat council, with the backing of Tony Blair, has employed managers who are determined to cut services.

They treat both Unison members and users of social services like tin cans on an assembly line, caring only about their targets and star ratings.

This strike is against Lib Dem and New Labour business “values”, as opposed to the completely different values of workers on the ground.

Social workers want time to build up relationships with the people they care for and support, often the most vulnerable in Liverpool.

We want decent resources, proper consultation, and an approach to social services that’s about people, not profit.

Liverpool Unison is balloting other sections to support colleagues in emergency duty teams and childcare services.

Strikers were due to go down to the TUC this week to ask for support. We are also visiting trade union meetings around the country—we’re willing to speak to anyone, any time, for support.

  • Send mesages of support and donations to Strike Committee, Unison, Cotton Exchange Building, Bixteth Street, Liverpool L3 9RJ.

    Swansea IT workers

    THE INDEFINITE strike by IT workers in Swansea protesting at the council’s outsourcing plans has entered its third week.

    A successful march in support of the strikers was held last week. Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, turned up and pledged national support for the strike.

    Unison is currently balloting the rest of its membership in Swansea council on whether to call further strike action in support of the IT workers.

    Send messages of support and donations to Unison Office, The Guildhall, Swansea. For more information go to

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    Article information

    Sat 18 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
    Issue No. 1919
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