Socialist Worker

Oxford youth workers: we won't take Cameron's cuts lying down

by Julie Sherry
Issue No. 2269

Youth workers held a solid strike on Friday of last week (Pic: Julie Sherry)

Youth workers held a solid strike on Friday of last week (Pic: Julie Sherry)

Youth workers in the Unite union in Oxfordshire struck for the second time on Friday of last week.

Since their first strike two weeks ago, council bosses have provided jobs for a section of the striking workforce. But there is no guarantee that conditions will be protected.

And the council hasn’t backed off from its plans to axe youth worker posts across Oxfordshire.

Steve Curren, a striking youth worker, said, “They have given some of us posts at the hubs. The next step is to get the county council to recognise joint negotiating committee conditions, because the posts don’t guarantee national bargaining.

“But we face fewer redundancies as a result of the strikes. We are refusing to lie down. And we’ll be on the demo on 2 October outside the Tory party conference in Manchester.”

Friday’s strike was solid. Local young people and trade unionists came to support strikers, as did striking council workers from Southampton.

Mark Wood, Unite convenor at Southampton council, told the strikers, “Your strike is giving others the confidence to fight, so you need to make sure your union is giving you the support you need.

“And we have to fight together in the national strikes over pensions.”

The strikers marched through Witney, David Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency, to the local Tory Party office.

Julie Hilling, a Labour MP in Bolton, came to support the action. She said, “Our kids are being demonised by this government. I support your struggle and encourage you to continue fighting.”

And Amanda Cox, a young single mum, explained why the service is so important.

“Youth workers helped me get off drugs and the support they gave me was essential,” she said. “We need to protest, loads, to reinstate our youth workers. That’s why I’m with them today.”


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Tue 13 Sep 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2269
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