Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/512/3462
Demo shows support for victimised nurse
They call it the city of rain and Manchester did itself proud on 24 November. It takes more than rain and freezing temperatures though to stop Mancunians from having their voices heard when there is something to shout about.
600 people demonstrated against the sacking of trade unionist and mental health nurse Karen Reissmann. She got sacked by the mental health trust for speaking up against cuts.
Her colleagues have been on all-out strike for the last two weeks, demanding her re-instatement.
Loads of trade union branches sent delegations to the demo, including Manchester advice staff and Manchester blood bank workers. FBU, PCS, RMT and NUJ delegations were also present.
Other delegations came from Liverpool, Lancashire, Yorkshire and even Scotland. This is important considering that the pro-New Labour Unison leadership did next to nothing to mobilise for the demo.
It gives an indication of how much this sacking is seen by ordinary trade unionists as an attack on the whole trade union movement. A solidarity message from screenwriter Paul Abbott was also read out.
One striker told us: "We are all really proud of what we have done. We have all learned so much during this strike.
"Previously, we would never have thought that we were able to organise all these things. Whatever the outcome of the strike, it has been an incredible and important experience."
The strikers have called a day of action for 5 December, this has the backing of Unison nationally. It is a chance for workers to express their anger at union-busting managers and increase the pressure on the chief of Manchester mental health trust, Sheila Foley.
In The Socialist 29 November 2007:
Environment and socialism
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Workplace news and analysis