10 July pay strike in Kirklees

A report of the industrial action by public sector workers in Huddersfield and the surrounding area.

Submitted by Glimmer on July 10, 2014

On 10th July Kirklees Council covering Huddersfield, Dewsbury and surrounding areas was shut down as all council building except two were closed by strike action. Only 300 out of a workforce of 8,000 went to work having been escorted in to 'Scab Central at Civic Centre III welcomed by assistant directors on £90,000 per year acting as glorified and over priced door men.

UNISON, unite, NUT and GMB stood united with disruption caused to Probation Services and 90% of schools were closed. By 8.00am around a 100 pickets protested outside Scab Central forming a corridor of shame through which scabs had to pass, like a good old fashioned picket line.The mood was festive with black and red flags of anarchists, a bubble machine and a sound system blasting out music as diverse as Anarchy in the UK to the Thunderbirds theme tune; a surreal and festive experience indeed.

Unison in particular had prepared for the strike by organising work place meetings to explain the need for strike action not only in the context of the derisory 1% pay offer but also the around the attacks on terms and conditions which the Labour Council are proposing in order to make it easier to make staff redundant. So far there has not being one compulsory redundancy in Kirklees because of the threat of strike action by UNISON which has 80% of the workforce in its ranks.

1,500 trade unionists and claimants marched through Huddersfield with much support from the towns people, one publican even placed a pile of anarchist leaflets on her bar of her tavern whilst people cheered the march and honked their car horns in support.

Now it is the task of trade unionists and anarchists to prepare for the next strike by arguing for the need for industrial action, showing that it can work and that when on strike people need to turn out for pickets and demo's rather than stay at home. When we are on the streets we all enter into negotiations with management. The action needs to be generalised to involve everyone who is being stitched up by the Con Dems and ultimately take on the form of a national uprising to overthrow the Con Dems.

Over the past few years managers in Kirklees have being ignoring the unions, doing what they want and riding rough shod over agreements. Now the tide is turning.



9 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on July 10, 2014

Thanks for this report sounds pretty solid up there! I have met a bunch of Council workers from Kirklees before in Unison, good to see there is still a high level of workers' organisation. In my Council in London the action was a lot more solid than I thought it would be, seems like a sizeable majority out and nearly all schools completely or partially closed. The Local Government Association claiming 95% of Council workers were at work is clearly bollocks.

sub editing note: fixed article title, added tags, added map location, rewrote intro


9 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Glimmer on July 10, 2014

It would be good to get reports from other parts of the country as to how overall successful it was. One hopes the tide may turn and this time Prentice doesn't sell out..