Socialist Worker

Southampton social workers walk out—and call more strikes

by Tom Walker in Southampton
Issue No. 2263

Hundreds of social care workers at Southampton council struck today (Wednesday).

And at a mass meeting today they voted unanimously to strike again next Wednesday.

That day they will be out together with parking workers, street cleaners and refuse workers.

Today the social workers marched through the city centre to a joint rally with refuse workers and other council workers.

Hayley, a steward in adult social care, addressed the rally. “It’s not just about our pay,” she said. “It’s about the service we provide.

“I’m so proud to be part of the union—always, but especially today.”

The Unison and Unite union members are now into their tenth week of joint action against the Tory council forcing through 5 percent pay cuts.

“We’ve shown the Conservatives we haven’t gone away,” Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker told the rally. “We don’t accept the cuts—we will continue to fight them.

“Today’s been a great success. The fight goes on.”

And Unite regional organiser Ian Woodland told the workers they are “in the frontline of the fight against austerity”.

“We’ve seen remarkable solidarity over the last ten weeks,” said Ian. “It’s not going to end here.”

Bobby Noyes from the local trades council called their fight “inspirational”. “What you’re doing here is encouraging people around the country facing the same threats,” she told the crowd. “Southampton is crucial.”

For some social workers the action will continue from today—workers in adoption and fostering are staying out on strike for a week.

Send donations to Unison office, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7NB (cheques payable to Unison Southampton District Branch), and Unite at TGWU 2/8 strike fund, Unity Trust Bank account no. 20185358, sort code 08-60-01.

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Article information

Wed 3 Aug 2011, 16:12 BST
Issue No. 2263
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