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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 September 2010

Save Southampton Libraries

On 15 September, dozens of striking Southampton library workers, Unison members, lobbied the Tory council as part of their fourth day of strike action. This is a long running dispute over the attempt to close and downgrade Southampton libraries, replacing qualified librarians with volunteers.

Presenting a petition of 4,500 signatories, library worker Bob Cole made a deputation to the council outlining the views of workers, children and the community who use these services. It would take over fifty volunteers to replace the library posts that were going.

Like the mad hatter from Alice in Wonderland, Tory councillor John Hannides attacked the union for spreading misinformation, claiming the council was not closing libraries or replacing librarians with volunteers, despite the fact that Millbrook librarians are being moved, with no plans to keep the library open, and Thornhill librarians are being moved and replaced with volunteers!

Strikers were outraged at Hannides' outburst and are determined to stop these cuts. The verbal support of Labour councillors was an obvious boost to the strikers but cannot be relied on, given their plans to make cuts of their own if elected to run the council.

The Socialist Party gives full support to the demands of the library workers and is calling for wider action to be taken to stop other cuts to services on the council, to link up with other local campaigns against cuts as a means of maximising the pressure on local councillors to reverse them.

With elections in May looming, anti-cuts candidates should prepare now to challenge the cuts budget of all three parties and put councillors in the chamber who are prepared to back a real fight to save jobs and services.

Nick Chaffey

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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.
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In The Socialist 22 September 2010:

Brutal bosses? Time to fight back!

Birmingham: Solidarity with council workers


Socialist Party youth and students

Stop the higher education lock out!

The Student Socialist:: Issue 8 1.50


International socialist news and analysis

For a 24-hour all-Europe general strike

Spain: class struggle the biggest show in town

Kashmir: An eyewitness to oppression in the valley

'Death of democracy' in Sri Lanka


Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate


Socialist Party news and analysis

Countering the Con-Dem government's offensive

Stroud says no to BNP media centre

Bosses want workers' pensions axed

Trade unionists challenge Lib-Dems

Fast news

CNWP extended steering committee meeting


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

The sorry saga of Corus steel

Ex-Jarvis workers face more attacks

Tyneside Safety Glass: Stop the decline to the minimum wage!

Workplace news in brief

Fight every Con-Dem cut

Hastings demo against attacks on union officials


Organising to save jobs and services

Determined, widespread union action needed

Why London firefighters oppose 'reforms'

23 October march against cuts: RMT calls London demo


Socialist Party feature

The beauty industry: out of control?

Diminished responsibility


Socialist Party campaigns

Coventry 'one-stop' protest

Building the anti-cuts fightback: Local campaign launches

Save Southampton Libraries


 

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Related links:

Southampton:

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triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

triangleCouncils must use resources now for emergency response

triangleTrade unionists say "defend the right to strike!"

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Libraries:

triangleBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

Library:

triangleVictory for library workers after 241 days on strike!

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