Socialist Worker

This battle is of national significance

by a Liverpool striker
Issue No. 1930

SOCIAL WORKERS in childcare and emergency duty teams in Liverpool are now in the 14th week of their strike.

A consultative ballot last week saw more strikers voting to continue the strike than originally voted for action. This shows how determined we are not to give in to our employers’ ruthless tactics and intransigence.

The strike received a further boost when a branch-wide mass meeting voted unanimously to ballot for action in support of the strikers.

The meeting heard speeches about the attacks on the 35-hour week, flexitime, shift allowances and so on. Everyone accepted that social workers are in the forefront of resisting these attacks and deserve full support.

Despite employers refusing to allow time off to attend and the intimidating atmosphere in the council, attendance at the meeting was good.

Strikers are keen for other Unison branches to keep taking collections and sending messages of support.

But even more vital is the need for branches to instruct delegates to Unison’s national industrial action committee to continue support for the strike.

This support should be based on the national significance of our dispute, rather than simply supporting colleagues in struggle.

Liverpool’s Liberal Democrat council has systematically bullied and victimised strikers and union activists.

It has also unilaterally withdrawn from the joint national committee’s agreements on pay, conditions and facility time.

Other councils will be watching this dispute, and will launch similar attacks if the employers are successful.

Messages of support and donations to Liverpool Unison, Cotton Exchange Building, Bixteth Street, Liverpool L3 9JR.

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