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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 June 2011

Southampton - council workers' strike spreads

Nick Chaffey
Southampton council workers lobby their council, photo Nick Chaffey

Southampton council workers lobby their council, photo Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

Southampton refuse workers finished their first strike action against cuts to pay, jobs and services on 27 May. It was 100% solid. Pickets received support from other trade unionists in the city including stewards from the Medirest NHS cleaners' dispute at Southampton general hospital.

Support has poured in from around the country and internationally. News of support from the United Steel Workers of America was cheered at a mass meeting on the picket line.

The mood is solid, determined and angry, especially at the arrogance shown towards the strike by Tory council leader Royston Smith. He has made contradictory statements in the press saying he won't meet for negotiations then saying he will meet with ACAS.

Unite officer Ian Woodland said: "Our executive has made it clear we oppose all cuts in pay, jobs and services. Not a penny off our pay, not a minute on the day. This is a completely political attack on public services."

Selective strike action will continue with all workers in parking services out on strike for seven days from 31 May. A mass meeting of council workers will be addressed by Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary.

Unite's recent executive statement, making clear the union's opposition to all cuts and the need for generalised industrial action, has raised the confidence of the workers.

The support on the picket line needs to be taken to the streets with a mass demonstration to link workers and service users in a huge show of strength to force the Tory council into retreat. The call for council-wide strike action was raised on the picket lines and will certainly become part of the discussion on how to win this dispute.

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In The Socialist 1 June 2011:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Rage against bankers

Fifa scandal

Glencore - Profiting from global hunger

New attacks on women's sexual and reproductive rights

Disabled protester - "inadvertently struck with a police baton"

Shoesmith sacking - social work under growing pressure

Gil Scott-Heron

News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt and Tunisia: Revolutions at the crossroads

Greece: unite the struggles and bring down the government


National Shop Stewards Network

Strike - to defend jobs and pensions


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Government plans for the NHS: Privatisation and world class profits!

"Frontline first" a dangerous tactic - unity is the key

Cardiff NHS protest against Topshop tax dodger

Demonstration against closure of day centre in Llandeilo


Socialist Party workplace news

Southampton - council workers' strike spreads

Saltend construction workers' struggle ends

TUC disability conference

Lewisham teachers - Action threat spells victory

Newcastle East Coast rail call centre - Save jobs!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist history

18 years since Stephen Lawrence murder


Youth fight for jobs and education

Coventry action against academies grows

Yorkshire meetings make Jarrow plans


Socialist Party feature

Lib Dems - a party rooted in capitalism


 

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Related links:

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