Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/675/12223
Workers turn up the heat in Southampton
Over 1,000 council workers, striking Medirest cleaners and their supporters marched through Southampton on 13 June, in a powerful show of solidarity against vicious council cuts and the scandalous consequence of the private sector in the NHS.
Strikers were out picketing from early in the morning. For Medirest cleaners this is their sixth strike and, with action over seven days, their longest to date. Reports are circulating of Medirest using unemployed workers on benefits from the government's new slave labour initiative. If true, this is a major warning to the trade unions of the need to link up with the unemployed to fight this new legislation.
Council workers have made it clear they will fight measures to impose pay cuts. Ian Woodland, Unite regional organiser, made it clear to the rally: "We will not walk into talks until the council removes the threat to sack workers." Local polls in the press give the current public support to the strikers at 66%. The heat is on the council as the rubbish piles up across the city.
Southampton Socialist Party received positive support for our leaflet calling for council-wide strike action on 30 June alongside other public sector workers if the council has not backed down by then.
Text messages of support to Medirest Unison steward Jo Spear 07899 087957.
In The Socialist 15 June 2011:
Fighting the cuts
NHS news & campaigning
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis