Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 23 May 2011 at 17:14 GMT

Southampton city council workers strike

Southampton refuse workers strike, 23.5.11, photo Southampton SP

Southampton refuse workers strike, 23.5.11, photo Southampton SP   (Click to enlarge)

"No ifs, no buts, you can stick your Tory cuts", "Cut my pay, no way" were the angry chants of Southampton refuse workers out on strike against savage cuts to pay.

It is clear that there is overwhelming support for the strike action as council workers struggle after a three-year pay freeze to cope with a 5% cut in pay.

"We have members claiming tax credits as wages are so low. Some here are going to lose 900.

"How are we going to pay our bills?"

Southampton Tory council has hit the headlines with its vicious package of job cuts and imposed changes to pay. If council workers fail to sign new contracts they will be sacked in July.

Members of the unions Unison and Unite have voted in favour of strike action with selective strike action beginning today (23rd May) and a city-wide work-to-rule and overtime ban.

Refuse workers are out this week with other sections striking in future weeks.

Undoubtedly anger is fuelled by the chasm that separates the vast majority of council workers and the top council bosses on six figure salaries of over 200,000.

The mood on the picket line today was very determined. Unison and Unite members from Portsmouth joined the mass picket.

Workers know how much is at stake. "If they get away with this, they'll be back next year for more.

Their plan is to privatise these services and to have us on the cheap". We need to see everyone out at the council, all together, was the view of many, as well as support for national action.

It is clear that other councils are watching Southampton. If they get away with it here they will feel more confident to carry out attacks everywhere.

Southampton council refuse workers' strike

Southampton council refuse workers' strike, photo by Southampton SP   (Click to enlarge)

Elsewhere in Southampton Medirest workers are continuing their fight for unpaid wages. Recently university and college workers in UCU went out on strike over pensions.

Teachers in the NUT are reporting overwhelming support for their ballot.

Southampton Socialist Party has produced a leaflet in support of the strike which was well received on the picket line. This strike has strong support locally as people begin to realise what the cuts really mean and they are seeing their own jobs and pay under attack.

Our leaflet opposes all cuts in jobs, pay and services, highlights the 15 million reserves the council has, that could prevent immediate cuts, calls for a city-wide demo to build support for council-wide strike action and calls for a 24-hour national general strike.

The lie that there isn't any money to pay for public services is losing its grip as more and more workers realise these cuts are to make the rich richer.

What hypocrisy it is that bankers' contracts are honoured, who then get taxpayer funded billion pound bonuses while council workers see their contracts shredded and jobs and pay butchered.

Nick Chaffey, Southampton Socialist Party

Donations to the strike funds can be paid in at:

1)The UNISON Southampton District branch office, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7NB. Please enclose a note to say it's for the strike fund.

2) UNITE account:

c/o Ian Woodland, Unite House, 15/16 The Avenue, Southampton SO17 1XF.

TGWU 2/8 Strike Fund

Unity Trust Bank A/c ; 20185358

Sort code 08-60-01

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 2011-05-23 17:14:51 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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

Related links:


triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: General Election 2019 rally

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Nigeria - which way forward for the working people and youth?

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party & Socialist Students: Socialism, what we stand for

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party & Socialist Students: State and Revolution

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party & Socialist Students: General Election - How can we beat the Tories and end austerity?


triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleStrikes: more determined than ever

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

Council workers:

triangleEnd council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

triangleEast London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

triangleWorcester: Fightback against library cuts


triangleSocial workers lobby Hull City Council

triangleWorkplace news in brief


triangleThe Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019


triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

Refuse workers:

triangleNewham bin workers ballot for strikes


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Swansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in


Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists



Strikes: more determined than ever


Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle


South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public



Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action



Social workers lobby Hull City Council


Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together


Socialist Party

Why I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"



Carlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay



Workplace news in brief


West Midlands

Solid support for guards on West Midlands Trains


Climate change

Climate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Royal Mail

Royal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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 07954 376 096

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



Alphabetical listing

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019