Socialist Worker

Bradford library workers bring the bosses to book

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2677

On the picket line at Shipley library

On the picket line at Shipley library (Pic: Neil Terry)


Library and museum workers in West Yorkshire staged the first of 14 walkouts against funding cuts this week.

Unite union members at Bradford’s 14 libraries and museums began a 48-hour strike on Monday.

They are fighting against the Labour-run council’s plans to push through £2 million of cuts over the next two years.

It has implemented plans to slash £950,000 from April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 from April 2020.

On Monday morning workers rallied in Bradford city centre then picketed outside Shipley library. One worker told the rally, “Management have repeatedly and consistently refused to listen to the concerns of staff.

“The staff who run the services have told them time and again that their proposals are unworkable.”

Big cheers greeted an announcement that the majority of libraries were shut because of the strike.

Mark Fieldhouse, a Unite regional organiser, said, “We’ve managed to ensure that we’ve got a good number of our members out.

“The majority of the libraries have closed as a result of the industrial action.”

They plan a further three-day walkout from 5 November, a five-day stoppage from

18 November and five days of strikes from 2 December.

Meanwhile, library workers in south east London began their 20th week of an indefinite strike on Monday.

Unite union members in Bromley are fighting against planned job cuts by subcontractor Greenwich Leisure Limited.

Tweet support to Bradford strikers at @UniteNEY

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