spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

* Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Workplace and TU campaigns keywords:

35-hour week (22)

AUT (7)

Aer Lingus (6)

Agency workers (53)

Airport (53)

Amicus (53)

Argos (16)

Aslef (84)

BAA (2)

BBC (179)

BMW (26)

BT (52)

Besna (18)

Bin workers (79)

Blacklisting (107)

Bloc (3)

Bosch (2)

British Airways (79)

British Airways (79)

Burslem 12 (9)

Bus workers (79)

CWU (363)

Cadbury (7)

Cadbury-Schweppes (3)

Call Centres (18)

Car workers (42)

Care worker (16)

Care workers (76)

Civil Service (226)

Classroom assistants (8)

Cleaners (130)

Clyde (6)

Coastguards (7)

Compulsory redundancy (9)

Construction (254)

Construction workers (164)

Corus (37)

Council workers (147)

Crossrail (12)

DVLA (15)

DWP (184)

Dockers (23)

Docks (8)

Drivers (213)

EPIU (4)

Electricians (71)

FBU (233)

Firefighters (228)

Ford (105)

Fujitsu (15)

GMB (254)

Gate Gourmet (7)

General Motors (11)

Glaxo Smith Kline (1)

Health and safety (100)

Heinz (6)

Honda (19)

JCB (15)

JIB (7)

JJB Sports (4)

Jaguar (16)

Jane Norman (1)

Jarvis (9)

Jobcentre (51)

Jobs (1445)

Journalists (75)

LOR (15)

Lecturers (94)

Linamar (40)

Lindsey (41)

Lindsey Oil Refinery (30)

Local government (250)

London underground (152)

Lucas Aerospace (6)

Manufacturing (57)

Metro (36)

Metronet (13)

Milford Haven (8)

Miners (176)

NASUWT (53)

NUJ (66)

NUT (358)

Natfhe (10)

Nurses (136)

Oilc (4)

Outsourcing (63)

PCS (948)

POA (87)

People's Charter (1)

Peugeot (8)

Pfizer (8)

Port workers (4)

Postal dispute (28)

Postal workers (153)

Printers (2)

Prison officers (54)

RCN (26)

RMT (762)

Railworkers (10)

Redundancies (121)

Redundancy (34)

Refinery (36)

Remploy (51)

Reps (61)

Rover (31)

Saltend (20)

Seafarers (10)

Self-employed (1)

Self-employment (1)

Shelter (43)

Shipyard (10)

Shop Stewards (247)

Siemens (3)

Single status (31)

Sita (6)

Social workers (17)

Sodexo (9)

Stagecoach (26)

Staythorpe (1)

Steel (93)

Strike (3201)

Sunday trading (1)

Supermarket (37)

TGWU (59)

TSSA (47)

Teachers (481)

Textile (8)

Thomas Cook (5)

Total (16)

Toyota (1)

Trade Union Freedom Bill (4)

Trade union (623)

Trade unions (413)

Train drivers (31)

Tube Lines (5)

Tube workers (51)

Tubelines (3)

Twinings (2)

UCATT (29)

UCU (230)

Unfair dismissal (15)

Unions (989)

Unison (987)

Unison witchhunt (5)

Unite (876)

Usdaw (157)

Vauxhall (51)

Vestas (26)

Visteon (92)

Volkswagen (7)

Waterford Crystal (1)

Wedgwood (1)

Whipps Cross (62)

facility time (9)

Care workers


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1026, 23 January 2019: Corbyn: stand firm for a general election

Search site for keywords: Birmingham - Labour - Council - Unison - Bin workers - Care workers - GMB

Birmingham: hostile Labour council attacks striking workers

Councillor resigns from cabinet

Birmingham bins strikers, photo Rachel Jenkins

Birmingham bins strikers, photo Rachel Jenkins   (Click to enlarge)

Birmingham Socialist Party

Birmingham city Labour councillor Majid Mahmood recently announced that he will be stepping down from his cabinet role for Clean Streets, Waste and Recycling. He credits this decision to his frustration over the Labour council's hostile approach to both the bin workers and home care workers.

The council made public its plan to pursue legal action against Unite and Unison unions for the recent industrial action taken by their council worker members - another example in a long list showing how far the council will go to attack its own employees as well as find new ways to waste public money.

They spent over 6 million on agency staff to try and break the bin workers' strike last year and another 12 million on consultants to 'streamline' (ie cut) adult and social care, which the home care service is part of.

Union reps report bin workers' anger and frustration, not just at these right-wing Labour councillors carrying out the Tories' dirty work, but also the unelected financial officers of the council who appear to be pulling the real strings behind the scenes of who has power here in Birmingham.

Birmingham home care workers have been taking strike action against the Labour council for over a year, amounting to 50+ days' full strike action. In December, the leadership of Unison (the union leading the strike) finally gave in to the rank-and-file membership and started building political pressure on the Labour council cabinet members. It was these councillors who agreed to the drastic cutting of the jobs in this service, reducing them to just part-time positions and resulting in poverty pay for the staff.

The home carers have been leafleting the individual wards of the cabinet members, including Majid Mahmood, questioning their 'Labour values' while they attack their own workforce.

At the same time in December, Unite bin workers overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action against the council after only just concluding their last dispute a year ago. Additionally, Unison bin members voted for joint industrial action.

The workers across both unions are currently following a 'work to rule' which has already had an impact with missed bin collections.

Sweetheart deal

This new dispute is over 'bribe' money which was paid to GMB union members who did not take strike action last year. An alleged secret 'sweetheart' deal was made between GMB leadership and the Labour council which saw GMB members receive a lump sum of money directly into their payslip - essentially blacklisting Unite and Unison members. The details on this deal have still not been made public.

It is good to see a Labour councillor finally break away from these attacks and stand on the side of the workers, but it shouldn't just stop there. The labour movement needs genuine fighting councillors to push back against Tory austerity and the Blairites who carry out their cuts.

It's worth noting the actions of opportunists on the other end of the spectrum, like Labour councillor Lisa Trickett, the former cabinet member in charge of the bin service.

Birmingham home carers on strike, 9.10.18, photo Birmingham Socialist Party

Birmingham home carers on strike, 9.10.18, photo Birmingham Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Opportunists

Recently she came outside the Council House (town hall) supposedly offering support and solidarity to the striking home care workers despite last year being the person in charge of attacking the bin workers.

Trickett and other opportunist Labour councillors can't pick and choose when and which workers and communities they want to support when convenient for them and their publicity!

The unions should continue to put political pressure on Labour, not just in Birmingham, but also nationally. Any Labour councillor who supports the strikers needs to stand on the side of all council workers and oppose all cuts to public services.

Councillors who truly want to stand up to Tory austerity should work with the unions to demand councils set 'anti-cuts budgets' while using reserves and borrowing powers to ensure not a single cut is made.

During this time all Labour councils and trade unions can coordinate to mobilise workers and the public to stand up against the incredibly weak and fractured Tory-led government. This would be the most effective way of bringing down 'wobbly' Theresa May and triggering an early general election.

Labour councillors in Birmingham and across the country should be accountable to the labour movement. But if they continue to carry out the Tories' dirty work, then their union sponsors should withdraw financial and political support.

Moreover, the unions should demand that Jeremy Corbyn and the national executive withdraw the Labour whip from councillors carrying out cuts.

These cuts not only damage the lives of ordinary people but also undermine the anti-austerity platform Corbyn stands on and which has received massive support.

Labour councillors who have spoken out against the actions of the council should be applauded but they need to put those words into action!

Trade unionists and Labour members opposed to the council's attacks need to ramp up the pressure on the council in support of the bin and care workers.

Unite and Unison should build a mass campaign towards further coordinated action across the council workforce in support of the home care and bin workers and against the attacks taking place across every inch of the council.

Mass meetings should be called in every department to discuss and build support.

If the council's legal challenge is successful, Unite and Unison should call a joint national demonstration and rally in defence of the action taken by council workers.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 







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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999