Birmingham Bin Strike – CPGB-ML Statement

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The Birmingham Branch of the CPGB-ML and its newspaper the Birmingham Worker congratulates Birmingham’s bin men in what we hope is the first step towards an equitable settlement. Whilst encouraged by the promise that the Grade 3 posts will be protected, actions speak louder than words. At this moment in time, it would be wrong for us to echo the jubilant tone of both the Socialist Party and those from whom they take their analysis, the Unite press office.

So far, the pause in industrial action is based upon the good will of the bin men and promises from the city council. Words are not deeds; Clancy, Trickett and Co are like the rest of the Labour bureaucrats – they’re anti working class careerists riding the Labour Party gravy train and must not be trusted. If they fail to implement concrete measures then workers must be ready to come straight back out. The Cabinet Meeting is yet to discuss the outcome of the ACAS talks and the city council have been very cool in statements they have made to the press over the course of the week.

We have stood with the workers since well before the strike began, as many bin men know, our comrades have tirelessly campaigned on behalf of workers since before the mass meetings at the Alexander Stadium and from the very first day of strike action. This will not change, whether there is strike action or not. Our political line is simple – Labour, Tory, its the same old story, cuts at home and war abroad. We hold no illusions in local Labour Party careerists or the top nobs in London hanging onto Corbyn’s coat tail. Corbyn had plenty of chances to turn up to support striking workers, as did his MP’s. They were nowhere to be seen, and the whole mess was caused by Labour Councillors in the first place.

The political line from the Socialist Party that local Labour members are clearly not “Corbyn Labour” and calls to remove so-called “blue Labour Blairites” make no sense whatsoever. The Labour Party is a thoroughly bourgeois political party, the fact that some members of the Labour Party are of working class origin makes the Party no more a political workers party than any other right-wing Party with working class members. We appeal to workers to trust their instincts – put no faith in the Labour Party, put no faith in those who talk about a “red” “left” or “Corbyn” Labour Party.

Should the dispute be resolved or not we will be ready to play our part in the struggles to come. We hope that striking bin men see that this strike was just one skirmish in the class struggle, but in going up against a Labour Council they blazed a trail for the entire British working class to follow. Britain needs workers to learn the lessons from the strike; that workers need their own political party unconnected with Labour to voice their interests in the Council, that the main corporate media worked against the strikers and that workers need their own magazines and publishers to put across their point of view, and finally that if workers stand in solidarity for their class interests then for those moments their lives take on a greater meaning than they did previously, that in fighting for their class interests they point the way to the future, a society run not for profit but in the interests of working people. The world is nothing without it’s workers, our class is the most powerful force for social change and when it is united it is unbeatable.

Class Against Class.

Workers of the world, unite!

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