The following has been issued by the CPGB-ML Birmingham branch:
“Dear Ratepayers, residents, working class men and women of Birmingham. Three reasons to get behind the bin men and demand the Council serve our community.
- Dirty streets means rats and disease
The City Council is in a deep economic crisis, the result of both cuts from central government and their own mismanagement which has cost ratepayers £11.9m. The Chief Executive and Council leaders are seeking to heap the burden of this crisis onto the backs of workers whilst plundering services provided for Birmingham’s rate payers, including those essentials which keep our streets clean and free of disease.
- An attack on one is an attack on all
Bin men are working class just like you. All of us have to fight for clean, safe and healthy working conditions as well as a living wage upon which to raise our families. An attack on one section of the working class is an attack on us all; we all lose if we are divided. That is why we must give support to one another when our pay and conditions come under attack. One in five workers in Birmingham already earns less than the living wage of £8.25p/h and 37% of Birmingham’s children officially live in poverty. Bin men do a valuable and physically exhausting job from which we all benefit, an attack on their wages is an attack on us all.
Our bin men face a Labour Council which isn’t serving the interests of the working class people of Birmingham. Only strike action can halt proposed wage cuts of £4-6,000 per bin men, 122 redundancies and alarming changes to working practices which will undermine the safety of the bin wagons on our streets.
- Don’t believe what you read in the papers
The right wing is claiming that there are inefficiencies because there are 2 supervisors to every 1 bin man. The truth is that all the bin men work, there are no armchair “Supervisors” but some have extra responsibilities for safety or driving. Rather than abolish the title of “Supervisor” for Leading Hands, they want to attack the pay, conditions and role of the Leading Hands, reducing them to the level of an operative. The Leading Hand plays an essential role supervising the work at the back of the lorry; tragic fatal accidents in the past have demonstrated the importance of this role.
Driver’s are classed as a Grade 4 Driver/Managers, overseeing the entire job. A Leading hand that used to look after three operatives now only looks after one and is classed as a Grade 3. The remaining operative is classed as a Grade 2.
- How the service works
Some years ago the Council reduced each bin wagon from a five man crew to a three man crew. The Council then introduced wheelie bins and never worked out what to do with all the waste that overflowed from the bins. Consequently the management have made a complete mess of the collections and the work of the bin men. Rather than address these mistakes, they’re trying to blame the workers.
Average Council Bills went up £46 last year and despite this they STILL attempt to cut essential services whilst paying for painted bears to be erected all across the city!
What can you do?
Help the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) build support for the bin men and all workers in struggle. The country is in a deep economic crisis and we have to build the unity of the working class to withstand the assault of the class enemies. Labour, Tory, it’s the same old story whoever is in office.
Please get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07457 519260″