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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 June 2011

Southampton: strikes set to continue

Nick Chaffey
Pic Paul Mattsson

Pic Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Following the failure of ACAS arbitration talks on Thursday 16 June, Unite and Unison have announced further strike action to intensify the pressure on Southampton council. These strikes against cuts to jobs, pay and services, will coincide with the national pension strike on 30 June.

Throughout the strike action council workers have been leafleting across the city and report strong support for the dispute. As the rubbish piles up, many are asking why the council is refusing to negotiate with the union.

The general view is that the Tory council, which is threatening to sack workers who don't sign new, worse contracts, is to blame for this mess. The strike of the refuse workers has been solid, with mass picketing everyday for the last two weeks.

"We want to be at work but what can we do? If they cut our pay this year, what happens next year? How can you make ends meet when all the bills are going up?"

With the national pension strike next week the growing mood is to all stand together to force the council and government into retreat.

Medirest

Council workers also visited the Medirest cleaners' pickets to show their solidarity. Workers are owed thousands of pounds in unpaid wages and sick pay.

Cleaners were out for seven days last week and a delegation of Unison stewards is attending Unison national conference to build support for their dispute. Activists are looking to spread the dispute to involve other Medirest NHS workers nationally.

Both council workers and Medirest cleaners will be joining the Hampshire Against Cuts demonstration in Winchester on Saturday 25 June, assembling at 11am at Oram's Arbour.

Send messages of support -

Council Strike: Unison Southampton district branch, Civic Centre Southampton SO14 7NB. Contact Mike Tucker branchsecretary@soton-unison-office.org.uk and Unite, 15 The Avenue, Southampton SO17 1XF and/or Ian Woodland, regional officer, 07770704480; woodland_ian@hotmail.com; TGWU 2/8 Strike Fund, Unity Trust Bank, No: 20185358 SC 08-60-01.

Medirest Dispute: Text Unison steward Jo Spear 07899 087957

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In The Socialist 22 June 2011:


Socialist Party feature

As the cuts bite, millions ask: 'Does it have to be like this?'


Building for 30th June

Con-Dems' pension attack - brutal class warfare must be fought

POA to hold protest meetings

Busting the public sector pensions myths!

Staffordshire NSSN builds support for 30 June action

Hillingdon workers back the pensions strike


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike action to defend Royal Mail jobs

Leeds Unison urges members to reject council's final offer

Coleg Morgannwg: Victory over victimisation

Barnsley lecturers fight job cuts

Unison conferences discuss action on pensions

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing crisis

Con-Dems still plan to destroy NHS - Save our health service!

News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece's debt crisis threatens worldwide banking system


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Finsbury Park - No to A4e cheap labour schemes

Southern Cross bosses demand huge cuts in pay and conditions


Reviews and comments

Sri Lanka's killing fields

Readers' comment: apprentice sexists


Fighting the cuts

Southampton: strikes set to continue

200 workers challenge Labour council cuts

Labour MP fails to answer questions on cuts


Education

Comprehensive education under attack

Keep Tidemill in public hands

Spreading to primaries?


 

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