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Posted on 15 June 2012 at 13:02 GMT

Kirklees council admin workers' strike, 12-14 June 2012, photo Huddersfield SP

Kirklees council admin workers' strike, 12-14 June 2012, photo Huddersfield SP   (Click to enlarge)

Solidarity action escalates Kirklees strike

From 12 to 14 June, around 400 admin workers took strike action in Kirklees protesting against appalling attacks on their pay and conditions of service by the newly elected Labour council.

For the last two years the council has been conducting a review of all admin workers, seeking to make further savings and supposedly 'deal with backroom staff'.

As the review reached its end, the council could not identify enough volunteers to leave their jobs and has started to try to impose cuts in pay and jobs.

Unison has taken a principled stand fighting under the slogan of 'no to cuts in pay, hours or jobs'. A ballot undertaken three months ago secured a massive majority for action, but the council decided to sit out any action and called off talks.

A one-day strike called three weeks ago was followed by last week's three-day strike. Large numbers of pickets descended on workplaces calling for solidarity support.

The first day of action saw around 15 pickets bringing all bin collections grinding to a halt. Bin workers refused to cross picket lines in a brilliant show of solidarity.

An impromptu meeting was called for the workers by Unison stewards and they voted to refuse to work. The following day, pickets swooped on the council's computer centre, and yet again, all union members refused to cross the line.

Kirklees admin workers' strike: Binmen being addressed by stewards who then voted not to cross the picket line, photo by Huddersfield SP

Kirklees admin workers' strike: Binmen being addressed by stewards who then voted not to cross the picket line, photo by Huddersfield SP   (Click to enlarge)

The pickets have grown in confidence and militancy. They told us they have suffered poor health worrying about the review and have been insulted by the disgraceful bullying, trying to impose wage cuts and job losses.

Now the boot is on the other foot, with the local press declaring the strike has been a huge success

The council is still trying to sit out the dispute and impose its own solutions. This is a huge attack on the entire union branch, using these workers as the whipping boy for wage cuts and job losses across the board.

The branch has now demanded an industrial action ballot for its entire membership to ensure the council is brought back to the negotiating table.

The dispute hangs in the balance, but only further escalation can maintain the momentum of the early strike action.

A Kirklees Unison member

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Related links:

Kirklees:

triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

triangleKirklees bin workers' strike forces management back

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleBin workers take strike action after talks with Kirklees council collapse

triangleUnison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Strike:

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

triangleIsrael: Nurses strike and win

triangleHugely significant council workers' strike continues

Solidarity:

triangleDebenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

triangleBangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

Council:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Unison:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

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