Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/964/26203

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 September 2017

Birmingham bin strike: council humiliated in court battle - but war isn't over yet

Birmingham bin workers and supporters rally, 17.9.17, photo Dave Nellist

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

Birmingham Socialist Party

A Tyseley bin worker summed it up nicely: "We've taken the lead, but it's only half time."

As Unite the Union won its High Court victory against the illegal redundancy notices issued by Labour-run Birmingham council, it's another round to the bin workers. Judge Fraser, referring to chaos in the council, said: "Neither party (councillors or officers) comes out of this sorry saga with any credit at all." The public can now see even more clearly who caused this mess.

The court ruling may be a window where bosses are sacked and the council come to a just deal - and we hope for the best - or it may be a window for the courts and council to plan to attack the workers again. So workers must be prepared to resume the fight. The tremendous ballot result of 92% in favour of action gives a platform to resume the battle if it arises.

In the meantime, we should work to build support across the council workforce that we may need later. Meeting them at workplaces to explain the threat to their jobs and conditions revealed during this dispute.

This has been another setback for the council in what's been a long attritional war. A war bin workers have proved they have the stomach for. As one lad said: "We should all be proud of ourselves."

But the council has not declared an end to its war on jobs and services and will be egged on by the Tory government. Unite and the trade union and socialist movement must continue our war against attacks on working people and austerity for workers while the wealthy get millions.

As well as preparing to fight with industrial action, we should fight on other fronts as well. A fight to change the council. Who are these so-called 'Labour' councillors who have been happy to sack workers or take 5,000 a year off them?

Ballot box

Next year, every council seat is up for election. Whoever wins a seat then is there for at least four years, with no other elections to be able to change them.

Unite should give no political support to councillors who've behaved in this way, and should work to change them all. If they aren't changed then the trade union and socialist movement needs to consider challenging them, the Socialist Party is certainly discussing that option.

Outside the High Court, Unite's Howard Beckett said: "The High Court ruling leaves Birmingham council's unfair and unjust plans in tatters. The council needs to reflect on the misery it has inflicted on the people of Birmingham and its own bin workers.

"Stella Manzie, the chief executive of Birmingham City Council, must now step down. She has repeatedly used the threat of equal pay cases to frighten and bully the council into agreeing the downgrade of long-serving bin workers when it has no substance whatsoever and was not so much as mentioned by her legal team.

"This ruling underlines that Unite will not shrink away from using all the tools at its disposal to defend its members and the services they deliver."

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 27 September 2017:


What we think

Anti-austerity opposition needed to seize on Tories' weakness


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for free education

Freshers week campaigning reports


Sport

Women's football - Sampson allegations


Socialist Party news and analysis

Gig economy exploiter Uber loses London licence

Travel chaos for Ryanair customers as airline cancels thousands of flights

One in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bristol: demand for no-cuts budget grows

Salford: Labour mayor needs to stop all cuts

Ledbury tenants fight for decent homes

Hundreds march against Labour council's development plan

Stop the cuts - save our vital services

Lessons of October new edition out now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Escalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

Birmingham bin strike: council humiliated in court battle - but war isn't over yet

Food processing workers vote for action against miserly bosses

Usdaw elections announced - fight for a left leadership, vote for Amy Murphy

Surrey County Council staff on collision course over pay freeze

CWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'


International socialist news and analysis

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

French Labour reform protests


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 September 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

triangleSelling the Socialist: we're back!

triangleBirmingham South Socialist Party: 1990s struggles against the far-right

triangleBirmingham South Socialist Party: Charities, volunteering and the welfare state

triangleBirmingham North Socialist Party: The General Strike and workers' power

War:

triangleHow capitalist restoration led to war and 'ethnic cleansing' in the Balkans

triangle75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government

Strike:

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

triangleIsrael: Nurses strike and win

Council:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Councillors:

triangleCumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening

Trade union:

triangleHugely significant council workers' strike continues

Austerity:

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/7/20

Barking

Barking: Anger at landlord's inaction after park stabbing

22/7/20

Unison

Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

22/7/20

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Time to relaunch TUSC

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Mandatory masks in shops law

22/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Hugely significant council workers' strike continues

22/7/20

Redundancies

Debenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

22/7/20

Trans rights

Bristol trans rights protest

22/7/20

Transport

Online rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!

22/7/20

Health and safety

Continue the fight to protect safety

20/7/20

Equity

Trade unionists and artists stand with Maxine Peake

20/7/20

Unite

United Left general secretary hustings shows widest debate needed for left in Unite

15/7/20

PCS

PCS executive majority cancels union democracy

15/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Council workers strike back

15/7/20

Hillingdon

Hillingdon Hospital corona outbreak: workforce not to blame

15/7/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999