Socialist Worker

Solidarity boosts strikers in Barnet

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2475

workers on the picket line last Wednesday

workers on the picket line last Wednesday (Pic: Alan Kenny )


Barnet council workers in north London struck against outsourcing on Wednesday of last week. 

The walkout was the latest action in the Unison union members’ long-running campaign against the privatisation of council services.

Helen Davies, Barnet Unison branch chair, said the atmosphere among strikers was “brilliant”.

“There were 80 people on one picket line,” she said. “More people are joining the union. Every time we go out, it’s stronger.”

The walkout involved refuse workers, library staff, occupational therapists, social workers, children’s centre and catering staff. 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell visited pickets. “People were very impressed and enthused by that,” said Helen. “I can’t remember the last time a Labour shadow chancellor visited a picket line.

“Our union general secretary Dave Prentis hasn’t been on our picket lines once.”

The strike had a big impact on services. The only waste trucks that went out were driven by agency staff or managers.

Outsourced 

The Tory-run council has outsourced hundreds of workers and plans another wave, along with big cuts. 

Over 200 people protested outside Hendon town hall against library cuts on Monday (see right). 

Unison members at the council plan another strike for 2 November—the day the Tories will be discussing the Trade Union Bill in parliament. 

The TUC has called a lobby of parliament on that day. 

Helen urged other workers to show solidarity with Barnet strikers. “Some workers are on their sixth strike in this dispute,” she said. 

“It’s important to keep the messages of support coming in—and donations to the strike fund.”

Send solidarity messages to contactus@barnetunison.org.uk 
Donate to Barnet Unison Industrial Action Fund, Building 4, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP

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