Socialist Worker

Voices from the N30 strike: ‘Now we all feel stronger’

Issue No. 2282

The strike rally in Sheffield

The strike rally in Sheffield



Margaret Davies, PCS, Merthyr Tydfil tax office

“When I went back into work people were saying how much they enjoyed the strike.

I saw more pickets out here than I’ve ever seen in my life. They were outside all the council offices, the courts, the DWP, the college and everywhere.

In the past our picket lines were just us. Suddenly there were loads of people to talk to.

And the public were very supportive.

From where I was standing all I could see was pickets. Now we have to see what happens next.

A lot depends on the talks.

I’m set to lose £9,000. Others are set to lose £40,000.

If after talks with the government we’re still going to lose these sums of money then the mood is to strike again.”


Brett Davis, Unite convenor at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) company in Telford

“The people who’d been on pickets really got a buzz out of it.

I went round a few different buildings on Thursday and Friday talking to people.

Some of them said they wanted to do it more often, others were more scared, a bit nervous about what we should do next.

It’s the first time we’ve gone out on strike.

For a lot of people there’s a feeling that now we’ve got that first one out of the way we can get organising for more.”


An ambulance worker and GMB member in east London

“Since the strike people are actually smiling at work. People are confident that we can resist any attack.

Me and my co-workers are proud of what we have done. In the run-up to the strike, and even on the morning of the strike people were anxious and unsure.

Now people are more confident.

The collective experience has been great—picketing, linking up with other hospitals, going to rallies together.

There are more conversations now about the Tories about how we can beat them.

There are lots of discussions about what’s needed and what we can do next.”


Theresa, NUT union member in Birmingham

“Most people at my school joined the strike and they had a real sense of achievement. It’s the first time we’ve all been out together.

A lot of people went on the march in Birmingham as well.

It’s made people feel stronger. They think there’s something they can do now.

And there was a sense of everyone coming together this time, more than on the strike on 30 June when fewer unions struck.

All in all, it was a good day.

Some people are worried about the immediate consequences of more strikes—losing their pay for the strike days.

But most know that they will lose a lot more if we don’t strike.”


Jon Woods, social worker and chair of Portsmouth City Unison

“We had a 100 percent turnout from my place and over half the staff joined the picket.

When we got back to work after the strike everybody felt we’d really achieved something.

Most had never been on strike, on a picket line or at a large rally before.

Now people have learned what a picket line is for, they know what it means to turn a postal van away.

We know we can all walk out and then return to work without repercussions.

One colleague said to me ‘I prefer striking to working!’

We want to use all this enthusiasm to build for the next strikes.

Obviously some people are worried about money, but even they recognised the need for more action.

For all of us it’s not just about pensions, it’s everything the government is doing. But people do see that the way to hit back is to strike.”

Thanks to everyone who sent in reports, pictures and text messages on 30 November.

We have more than 100 reports from the day at Picket line, march and rally reports from across the country

The rally in Exeter (Pic: Richard Bradbury)

The rally in Exeter (Pic: Richard Bradbury)


Radiographers striking in Cambridge

Radiographers striking in Cambridge



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Article information

Features
Tue 6 Dec 2011, 17:55 GMT
Issue No. 2282
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