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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 January 2001

Strike Shuts Down Hackney

OVER 5,000 Hackney council workers walked out on a 24-hour strike on 20 December. At least 23 schools closed down due to action from UNISON and GMB union members.

All building works and street cleaning stopped as did Social Services offices, administration and benefit offices. The Mayor's chauffeur and mace-carrier were on strike for the evening's council meeting!

In a lively rally outside Hackney Town Hall BRIAN DEBUS, Hackney UNISON branch chair and Socialist Party member, said that council managing director Max Caller wanted council workers to take a salary cut but he hadn't offered to cut his own 150,000 a year salary.

Brian said the workers' strike had to be linked in with a struggle by the local community to defend services. This wasn't the end of the council workers' struggle just the beginning.

The NUT rep from Haggerston school said there had been 62 on a picket line at that school and no-one had crossed it. She said that Nord Anglia, a company that had been found guilty of racist employment practises, was making 1.2 million from mis-running Hackney's schools.

JUDE RITCHIE, UNISON steward at De Beauvoir school, warned that Hackney council planned to increase council tax by at least 84 a year - a 10% rise. Interest repayments accounted for 420 for every household in Hackney out of their council tax.

Jude asked the rally: "Are we prepared to go out on strike again in January?" He received a resounding "Yes".

CHRIS NEWBY, a Hackney tenant and Socialist Party member said that not one councillor had signed a letter sent out by Hackney UNISON opposing cuts and redundancies.

Chris said: "The whole shabby bunch of councillors should be driven out and replaced by community candidates." This could be done by a strong united campaign of workers and community.

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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.

  • 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.
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In The Socialist 5 January 2001:

Who's Pulling Labour's Strings?

Special Appeal - Fund our campaign

Nationalise the Railways

Strike Shuts Down Hackney

School students join the protest

Hackney Workers can win

Vauxhall Luton - Angry workers ready for Action


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Alliances: another step in the wrong direction


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

2001 - a year of Workers' reawakening


International socialist news and analysis

Greek general strike against bosses' attacks


 

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Related links:

Hackney:

triangleHackney, Waltham Forest & East London Socialist Party branches: Johnson's 'back to school' plan is not safe

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: How the NHS was won after WW2

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Football & high wages

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Education and exams

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Marx and Capital

Strike:

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

triangleBexley binworkers' strike wins sick pay from day one

Council:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

Unison:

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

triangleElectricians pay victory

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