Socialist Worker

Council strikes can save our services

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2270

Unison members in Birmingham struck on 30 June alongside public sector workers in other unions  (Pic: Geoff Dexter)

Unison members in Birmingham struck on 30 June alongside public sector workers in other unions (Pic: Geoff Dexter)


More than 25,000 workers across three councils were set to strike against cuts this week.

Unison members at Birmingham, Doncaster and Shropshire councils are all ­fighting off vicious attacks from their bosses.

In Birmingham the council wants to force workers to do “any job, any time, anywhere”—for less pay.

In Doncaster 1,000 jobs are threatened as well as pay cuts.

And in Shropshire, the council wants to push through drastic cuts to conditions at the same time as it slashes pay. It even plans to take the axe to sick pay.

Birmingham and Doncaster council workers were set to strike on Wednesday of this week, followed by Shropshire on Thursday.

These council workers are starting the fight now—while preparing for action over pensions in November.

Doncaster Unison branch secretary Jim Board told Socialist Worker, “They want to cut £3,000 from our pay and they want to make us work longer too. People won’t take it any more.”

In Birmingham, Unison ­assistant branch ­secretary Caroline Johnson said, “We’ll be picketing the Lib Dem

conference on the day. Then we’ll have a joint trade union rally and mass meeting where all the unions will come together.”

And in Shropshire the workers will march on the council.

John Tandy, a Labour councillor in Shropshire, told Socialist Worker, “I support the strike—I will be there with strikers on Thursday.”

Birmingham workers are already planning the next round of action. They plan to hit the council meeting on 11 October.

“The new contract comes in on 1 November,” said Caroline Johnson.

“We will need to take further action, hopefully with other unions, to stop it.”

Send messages of support to caroline.johnson@birminghamunison.co.uk, shropshireunison@shropshire.gov.uk doncaster@unison.wanadoo.co.uk


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