Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25845

Posted on 12 July 2017 at 16:12 GMT

Birmingham bin workers on strike, photo by Ian Leech

Birmingham bin workers on strike, photo by Ian Leech   (Click to enlarge)

Birmingham bin workers step up action

Dave Griffiths

As Birmingham's Labour council continues to try to impose job cuts and conditions changes on Brum's bin service workers, members of Unite the Union are to escalate their strike.

They announced that from a weekly two-hour strike between 6 and 8am, they would now undertake such a two-hour strike every week day through to 4th August.

The workers' mood is upbeat, but they continue to be disappointed that the GMB union has not balloted to join the action; but they are happy that at least Unison now has. There is an unconfirmed report that the GMB is to ballot this week.

Tuesday 11 July saw the second strike action by the bin workers. From the 30-40 strong picket line at Lifford Lane, Theo from Birmingham Socialist Party reported:

"A worker said the action should be stepped up to every morning because management were 'using dirty tricks' and said the dispute 'was as much about breaking the spirit of the workforce as it was about austerity'.

Another spoke about the need for day long actions instead of just mornings. A guy who'd been there 11 years said he didn't trust Labour whatsoever to handle the situation, which was echoed by others."

Binworkers' placard. Jeremy Corbyn might be trying to change Labour, but for Birmingham bin workers, itís not happening here.

Binworkers' placard. Jeremy Corbyn might be trying to change Labour, but for Birmingham bin workers, itís not happening here.   (Click to enlarge)


At Tyseley, where 40 pickets covered the gates, one worker suggested they strike for the last hour of shifts as well.

Management has attempted to break picket lines and to use Saturday overtime to undermine the dispute.

Eamonn reports that pickets at Tyseley believe temps were told to go in early and three crews had gone out before 6am.

The 40 pickets at Perry Barr depot had one lorry go through them but remarked that the agency worker crew had probably been bullied into working.

At Digbeth, where 15 workers picketed, Nick Hart reports that only one wagon went out - "a suit drove off in another, before being flagged down by workers who pointed out he wasn't accredited to be driving it!"

A picket added: "There's no trouble getting the agency lads out, we don't even have to ask them - some of them have been here for 10 years!"

Ten years! So while Jeremy Corbyn is rightly campaigning against zero hours, agency working that undermines pay and conditions, and other dodgy contracts, Birmingham council is institutionalising agency work. Clive Walder reported this was echoed at Lifford Lane: "People saw Theresa May's weakness but they had no time for Labour councillors".

If, as workers say, part of the council's plan is to demoralise the workforce, then the trade union and socialist movement around Birmingham must respond to support these workers.

Solidarity and support should be built now, beginning with messages/letters of support which could be sent to regional officer Lynne Shakespeare: lynne.shakespeare@unitetheunion.org

Birmingham Socialist Party produced a bulletin that was well received, reporting on the issues in dispute, and commenting:

"The council ... are demanding workers pay for the cuts being made by the government. Instead of attacking workers' conditions, they should be fighting together with workers against Tory cuts. There could be a Corbyn government by the end of the year that would try to stop austerity. So, the council should use some of its reserves to defend services pending the removal of the Tory government."

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






Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Council cuts - How can we fight back?

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Lessons of history - a socialist view

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: France in May 1968

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Japan - Stagnation and Military Tensions

Workers:

triangleBromley library workers win strike campaign

triangleGender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

triangleSouth West Socialist Party conference

triangleTo produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Bin workers:

triangleFCC Environment strike solid

triangleKirklees bin workers ballot for strike over schedule and bullying

triangleBirmingham bin workers win!

Council:

triangleCoventry TUSC: Council cuts - how can we fight back?

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: What would a socialist council look like?

Strike:

triangleUCU members vote to end pensions dispute

Labour:

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can councils protect public services?

Austerity:

triangleHull says no to war, no to austerity

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleFor a fighting, democratic Labour Party

Councillors:

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: A socialist perspective on antisemitism & the left

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/4/18

Bromley

Bromley library workers win strike campaign

18/4/18

UCU

UCU members vote to end pensions dispute

18/4/18

Usdaw

Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

18/4/18

Leeds

Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

18/4/18

Hull

Hull says no to war, no to austerity

18/4/18

The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper

18/4/18

Socialist Party

Building fund: £150,000 milestone smashed!

18/4/18

Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!

18/4/18

Scotland

Workers' victory over anti-union Scottish council

18/4/18

Newham

Avenue School strikers and parents win judicial review

18/4/18

PCS

Vote for a left, fighting PCS leadership

18/4/18

PCS

PCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced

18/4/18

Bromley

Bromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues

18/4/18

Butterfields

Butterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

13/4/18

Cuts

Fighting the cuts to women's services

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999