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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2018

Birmingham Bin workers and home carers strike on same day

Birmingham bin workers and home carers strike together, photo Birmingham Socialist Party

Birmingham bin workers and home carers strike together, photo Birmingham Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Birmingham Socialist Party

A sea of orange and purple was what passers-by saw on the morning of 22 February as they drove past Perry Barr bin depot in Birmingham.

Council-employed bin workers and home carers held a day of joint action on the bin depot picket lines across the city.

The disputes originate from different issues - the home carers oppose changes to contracted hours and the bin workers are fighting against blacklisting. But both are attacks by Birmingham Labour council.

The workers' mood is high and determined for victory. The home carers are 18 months into their dispute.

The bin workers are taking their second stint of strike action in less than two years. But this was the first time the workers were able to join their collective strength together.

The Blairite council defends its mishandling of the 2017 bin dispute - where workers that did not take part in the strike were paid a lump sum of money.

This has been described as a form of 'blacklisting' against Unite the Union members who were on strike.

22 February saw bin workers in public sector union Unison strike for the first time too.

Birmingham Socialist Party visited all four depot pickets and handed out bulletin no. 17 - written by local Socialist Party members. Strikers also bought copies of the Socialist.

Mandatory reselection

Many bin workers think the leading Birmingham Labour councillors would be well suited to join breakaway MPs in the pro-austerity, anti-union Independent Group. Most support mandatory reselection and a workers' wage for MPs and councillors.

The council hopes to wear strikers down, using Tory anti-union laws to break the bin strike and endless Acas negotiations with the home carers.

If the council concedes to the strikers it will inspire workers in other departments in the council to take a stand. The home carers were inspired by the 2017 bin strike victory.

If Labour councillors are not prepared to stand up for the working class, then they should stand down. If they won't go willingly, they should face deselection as Labour candidates.

They should be replaced with real working-class fighters, drawn from across the trade union and socialist movement - fighters prepared to support a no-cuts budget and end all attacks on workers' rights.

The Socialist Party says:

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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.

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In The Socialist 16 November 2018:


What we think

Honda closure threatened

From anger to action to save Honda plant


Socialist Party feature

Defending the city that dared to fight


Council cuts

Kirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

Leicester: cuts passed in record time - use the 100m reserves!

Worcestershire: save the nine libraries


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out austerity politicians

Socialist change, not climate change!

Tory education 'reforms'

Blairite traitor Ian Austin - byelection now!

Cuts councils massage homelessness figures

US: "Launch a mass, working-class fightback"


Workplace news and analysis

Supermarket giants merger: protect jobs and fight price hikes

Birmingham Bin workers and home carers strike on same day

University and College Union: anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot again

Manchester posties strike against bullying

Liverpool Women's Hospital

PCS union: help us win the elections and pay campaign

South East Unison annual general meeting votes for no-cuts budgets


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

E-subscribe to the Socialist today!

Tommy Robinson BBC demo: socialist fightback needed to undermine far right

Nottingham Labour Corbyn rally

PCS union branch opposes cuts to women's services

International Women's Day meetings and other events

Five years on - and still no justice for Zane


Opinion

Non-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

Art exhibition: 'Unobtania' by Peter Robson

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham SE Socialist Party: Not just kings and queens - How socialists look at history

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: How important are trade unions today?

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: What would a socialist economy look like?

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The origins of International Women's Day

triangleCouncil cuts could cost Labour another general election

Strike:

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

triangleBexley binworkers' strike wins sick pay from day one

trianglePostal workers deliver massive strike vote

triangleTory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

Carers:

triangleSocial care: "Not good enough by miles"

triangleHome carers victory

triangleVictory for Birmingham bin workers

Bin workers:

triangleVictory for Medway bin workers

triangleEast London bin workers strike to get back unpaid holiday pay

Council:

triangleA day in the life of a frontline worker

Labour:

triangleClass collaboration and worker militancy in World War Two Britain

Unison:

triangleElectricians pay victory

Unite:

triangleSocialists in Unite meet via Zoom: Struggles continue in the workplaces

Blacklisting:

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

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