Socialist Worker

Southampton social care workers call more strikes

Issue No. 2270

Social care workers at Southampton council voted to call more strikes at a meeting last week—breathing new life into their long-running campaign against pay cuts.

They voted overwhelmingly to call a strike on 6 October.

Worker in others sections of the council, in both the Unison and Unite unions, will now

meet to decide whether to join them.

A serious debate over strike tactics took place in the meeting. “Our dispute is at a crossroads,” Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker told the meeting. “We reached a crescendo in August after three months of strikes. Now you need to decide the way forward.”

Unite regional organiser Ian Woodland told the social care workers that other sections would pile in behind them if they called a new walkout.

The council workers took action section by section up to 10 August.

Some were nervous that new action would come more than 12 weeks after their original ballot. During this period strikers are legally protected from being sacked.

But they refused to be cowed. One summed it up when she said, “If we don’t stand firm now, everything we’ve stood for will be lost.”


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