Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/676/12256
Southampton: strikes set to continue
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Unite, 15 The Avenue, Southampton SO17 1XF and/or Ian Woodland, regional officer, 07770704480; email@example.com; TGWU 2/8 Strike Fund, Unity Trust Bank, No: 20185358 SC 08-60-01.
Medirest Dispute: Text Unison steward Jo Spear 07899 087957
In The Socialist 22 June 2011:
Socialist Party feature
Building for 30th June
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Reviews and comments
Fighting the cuts