Picketers and their supporters demonstrated outside Birmingham council house on 20 January. Socialist Party and Socialist Students members joined over 100 people gathered at Victoria square to stand up to the latest council attacks against the homecare workers.
They include redundancies and ridiculous shift changes that make workers lives more difficult, make the job unsustainable for many, and are therefore detrimental to the service users as well. There were many different trade union speakers, with one woman saying how the homecare workers did not want redundancies, that they loved their job and the care they provided, however they demand fair pay and more practical and sociable working hours.
The speakers were followed by a short march around the city centre. When speaking to Unison stewards and striking homecarers, many expressed how happy they were to see so much student support.
There were calls for a 'people's budget' and for Labour councils to finally reflect the Labour leadership that gained so much support from workers and students at the last general election, and to stand up to brutal Tory austerity.
It's time for the council to put words into action and to defend our public services and workers. The victory of the city's bin workers is fresh in people's minds.
Our support and general anti-austerity message was well received and there was a positive and passionate vibe from strikers and supporters. All agree it's time for our second city to stand up to the Labour council which refuses to stand up for us!