Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26144

Posted on 19 September 2017 at 14:47 GMT

STOP PRESS!


Birmingham bin workers and supporters rally, photo by Dave Nellist

Birmingham bin workers and supporters rally, photo by Dave Nellist   (Click to enlarge)

Birmingham bin workers vote to continue action following rally

Clive Walder, Birmingham Central Socialist Party

Several hundred supporters, including a large contingent of bin workers, assembled on 17 September outside the very building in Birmingham where the decision to issue 113 redundancy notices and deprive some workers of up to 5,000 a year was made by the Labour council.

The rally was followed by the announcement that the bin workers have voted overwhelmingly to continue the strike with a 92% vote on a 72% turnout.

From the start there was a carnival atmosphere with a local band playing. In addition to local trade unionists there were workers from Gloucestershire, Mansfield, Greenwich Unite and a delegation of Southampton bin workers.

There were supporting speakers from civil servants' union PCS, the National Education Union, Bromley Unite who are battling against the complete privatisation of every council service, and the local Asian community.

Lee Barron, regional TUC secretary, also spoke, attacking the Labour council for issuing compulsory redundancy notices by parodying Neil Kinnock's attack on the socialist-led Liverpool council at the 1985 Labour Party conference.

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network chair, added that Liverpool council never actually made anyone redundant.

Rob went on to explain that this strike is important to council workers across the country and that other councils will take encouragement if the bin workers lose.

He also said: "We want Labour councillors to stand up to the Tories, not act like them. If they do act like them, Jeremy Corbyn should immediately withdraw the Labour whip from them."

Rob Williams speaking, Birmingham bin workers and supporters rally, 17.9.17, photo by Dave Nellist

Rob Williams speaking, Birmingham bin workers and supporters rally, 17.9.17, photo by Dave Nellist   (Click to enlarge)

This dispute has now assumed national importance as shown by the appearance of Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, at the rally.

Len gave the support of the whole of Unite and promised that the solidarity of Unite members and others will ensure victory and that they will not stop the action until they have won.

He warned the council that Unite has a strike fund of 36 million, so the bin workers won't be starved back to work.

Howard Beckett, Unite assistant general secretary, is responsible for the dispute and gave a powerful speech which included several references to the need for Stella Manzie, chief executive of Birmingham council and architect of the attack on the bin workers, to be sacked.

He lambasted her for the fact that she was cutting workers' pay by up to 5,000 a year while earning 180,000 a year herself.

Plus, she has previously more than doubled her salary by claiming massive expenses. He said that the attack on the bin workers isn't where the council will end, it is where they will start.

The council is now upping the stakes by threatening to stop pay completely if workers continue with their industrial action.

They clearly see this as a landmark dispute, and want this to be an example for other councils to follow. This is shaping up to be a long and bitter dispute.

The rally was a great way of bringing the supporters and bin workers together but wider action involving other council workers allied with solidarity from the whole Birmingham working class may be necessary for a successful conclusion.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 19 September 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: The rise of Militant - lessons from our history

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

triangleBirmingham bin workers win!

Workers:

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Bin workers:

triangleKirklees bin workers ballot for strike over schedule and bullying

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Council:

triangleBlairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

Unite:

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

Strike:

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

Council workers:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2