Bin And Homecare Workers Can Bring Down The Council!

Out early at Redfern Road

Hundreds of bin workers piled onto Tuesday’s picket lines. Pictures & videos from the day look more like something from the 1970s rather than 2019!

A wall of orange was built around each depot – in France they had the ‘Gilet Jaunes’ in Birmingham we have the ‘Gilet Orange! Even before the first day of action, one councillor - Majid Mahmood - had resigned from the cabinet. Since Tuesday...

  • The Labour chief whip – Kerry Jenkins, has resigned
  • 23 labour councillors have sent a letter protesting against the court injunction the local labour leadership is trying to impose to stop the strike.
  • West Midlands Labour board voted overwhelmingly to call on the national
    Labour Party executive to investigate council leader Ian Ward and his deputy Brigid Jones


The Labour council is crumbling! Friday's joint strike by the bin workers and homecare
workers will be another huge blow to this weak and spineless labour council group. The joint action is also a demonstration that the workforce will not be divided against each other!


Some labour councillors have recently come out in support of the homecare workers, while continuing to support the savage attacks on the bin workers. Homecare and bin workers together on the picket lines is a message to those councillors, that picking and choosing who to support and who to attack is just as bad as their rotten labour council leaders!

A wall of orange at Perry Barr

Further joint rallies, strikes and pickets will strengthen the disputes but also the wider struggle against austerity in Birmingham and across the UK. Since 2010 8700 council jobs have been lost in Birmingham that’s thousands of workers and the services they provided thrown on to the scrap heap! And thousands of jobs for young people in future lost. The Bin and Homecare workers are striking for ordinary working class people Birmingham and inspiring millions of people across the country.

The splits and divisions that exist in the labour party nationally that has seen 8 Labour MPs resign from the Labour Party, are even more wider here in Birmingham. Thousands of people across Birmingham would welcome the council leadership joining their pro austerity, anti union mates in their new ‘Gang’!

This Council is weak, divided and unstable. It would not take much for Trades unions to organise action to defeat its Red Tory agenda and policies.

If Labour councillors are not prepared to stand up for the working class then they should stand down. If they won't go willingly, they should face deselection as Labour candidates. They should be replaced with real working-class fighters, drawn from across the trade union and socialist movement - fighters prepared to take a stand and support a no-cuts budget, ending all attacks on workers' rights.

  • 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.
  • Continue the joint strikes and pickets by bin and homecare workers
  • Mass meetings should be called in every department to discuss and build support.
  • Unions should call for protest lobbies of Council meetings and Councillors' surgeries
  • Unite & Unison should call a joint national demo & rally in defence of the action taken by council workers.
Discussing with workers at Perry Barr

It is more clear than ever that Brum City Council’s main interest is lining the pockets of big business rather than the interests of ordinary people in Birmingham. Rather than oppose Tory austerity and anti union laws the council has enthusiastically adopted them themselves!

If the highly paid council officers, Councillors and their mates in big business in the city didn't turn up to work tomorrow - no one would notice! If the thousands of ordinary Council Workers don't turn up to work (or go on strike!) everyone notices!

It’s the millions not the millionaires that keeps society running and creates the wealth! Socialist ideas and polices are growing in popularity because they seek to change how society works, so it's run in the interests of the millions not the millionaires!

Birmingham Young Socialists lend their support to the strike


Reports from around the pickets


Montague Street
Over 30 were on the picket at Montague Street, including some agency workers and Unison members. No-one was surprised to see the council undermining the 2017 deal, with management cobbling together crews that went out that morning without a Grade 3. All the same, the mood was one of determination to do whatever's needed to push back against attempts to break Unite on the bins.


Perry Barr

"I've only been working here for 4 months and this is my first strike or union action but despite being nervous I knew it was the right thing to do by joining, we're stronger together.''
A wall of orange covered the gates of Perry Barr depo with flags and placards covering the fences in a highly organised picket. Rob Williams from the Socialist Party and National Shop Stewards Network spoke to the picket line giving the strike complete support from the Socialist Party and NSSN.

Rob Williams giving support from the NSSN

Redfern Road

Huge numbers of strikers took to the gates at Redfern depot, and was covered by TV and radio all day. Majid Mahmood who resigned from the council cabinet in protest at the council's attacks on the unions came down to support the picket. Howard Beckett and Majid addressed the strikers alongside Rob Williams.


One striker said: ''I'm happy that Majid Mahmood is exposing what dirty deals the cabinet is doing but we need other councillors to back us, he needs to reach out to others and bring them down here on the picket lines as well''


Lifford Lane

''We went on strike last year to fight for people's safety by keeping the grade 3's, so because we care about our communities safety we're being blacklisted?''
The picket line at Lifford looked more like a brick wall such was the size and the strength and determination of the striker to defeat the council.


“This council can find the money for anything it likes, like that stupid vanity project of the commonwealth games, but not for the basics of upgrading ours public services''


Agree with what we say? Come along to one of our upcoming branch meetings to discuss how we can build support for the strike and beat the bosses - details here

Written by workers for workers.

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