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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2007

Support Glasgow's social work strikers

SIX HUNDRED Social Care Workers, members of Unison and employees of Glasgow city council Social Work Services, began all-out indefinite strike action on 24 July in pursuit of their claim for a higher grading.

Ian Leech, Social Care Worker/Unison steward (in a personal capacity).

On protest lines at area offices and satellite buildings, the mood was upbeat and determined. We were given the occasional boost by acts of solidarity shown by staff not involved in the dispute at this stage who spent time with colleagues and sent out urns of hot water for tea. Other workers showed their solidarity by refusing to deliver post or enter buildings to undertake repairs.

The strikers themselves organised picketing rotas, contact details and, in some cases publicity for distribution to the public and other workers.

It was clear before the day began that the council, despite having presented a vague outline of an offer, were going to monitor the response to the first days of strike action. Despite rumours circulating about workplaces that were not taking action, telephone calls between those taking action demonstrated that this was not the case.

The strike has had an immediate effect. Staff that are not involved initially have been put onto work covering emergencies and other tasks that have statutory requirements. The staff concerned have been instructed by the union to delay work by demanding supervision and workload management discussions. The union intends to ballot them on supportive strike action starting on 26 July.

A lively mass meeting of strikers in Glasgow city centre allowed for report-backs from areas and focussed upon organisational tasks. Crucial to which would be the active participation of each and every striker in debate and decision-making during the period of the strike. Already names were being offered up from the protest lines of volunteers to participate in these tasks and duties.

Send urgent messages of solidarity and donations to Glasgow City Unison, 4th floor, 18 Albion Street G1 1 LH.

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