Stoke strike rally to End low Pay!
|PCS picket at Hanley Job Centre|
Albion Square in Hanley was virtually taken over by workers on strike with large PCS pickets outside the tax office at Blackburn House and at the benefits office at the side of Wilko’s along with Unison members picketing Hanley Town Hall. Many people passing by congratulated strikers for taking a stand.
PCS members also picketed Hanley, Kidsgrove and Longton Job Centres.
There was a large and lively picket of GMB, Unison and Unite members outside Cromer Road Council Depot with passing cars honking support along with many other picket lines including Unison members at the Civic Centre in Stoke.
Later in the day, over one hundred strikers and supporters came together at a colourful and noisy rally outside the Civic Centre in Stoke. The crowd including teachers, fire fighters, council workers, civil servants etc waved union banners, flags and placards as they listened to speakers from all the unions on strike. There was also a Green Party banner and of course our own TUSC banner!
North Staffs DWP branch secretary, Pete Rofe, speaking at the rally explained the crucial need for “an escalation of the action and called on the TUC to name the date for a 24 hour general strike as soon as possible”.
Some Labour councillors joined picket lines and attended the rally to show their support for the strike. This should be welcomed but as one striker told TUSC supporters, "It's no good supporting workers fighting for a decent pay increase while they are sacking local council workers and slashing our public services".
A young postal worker who came up to the TUSC campaign stall agreed to stand as a TUSC candidate at next May's council elections and others were very interested in finding out more about TUSC's policies.
TUSC supporters along with Socialist Party members gave out hundreds of leaflets at picket lines, at the rally and to members of the public which stressed the need to “Build for a 24-general strike”. You can check out that leaflet at http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/txt/326.pdf