Socialist Worker

Support council workers’ walkout in Gloucestershire

Issue No. 2372

Around 190 workers in South Gloucestershire council were set to strike on Saturday of this week against the removal of enhanced pay for Saturday working. Some 92 percent of Unison union members backed strikes in a recent ballot. The high turnout of 63 percent reflects workers’ anger.

All the workers facing pay cuts are low paid. Most are women and many work part time. Library assistants, care assistants, staff from Vinney Green Secure Unit for children and civil enforcement officers are involved in the dispute. 

The council seems to have hoped that workers wouldn’t fight. But low paid and part time workers have shown they are prepared to fight just as hard as any other workers. Union membership has risen dramatically in the sections affected. The branch has new stewards in areas that previously had no representation.

The union branch is organising picket lines and calling for local trade unionists to support them. Support will help build confidence in what is, for a number of workers involved, their first strike.

Huw Williams, Branch Secretary South Gloucestershire Unison (pc)

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