The Birmingham Mail yesterday quoted McDonnell as saying:
“I do not see your strike as strike against Labour. I see your strike as a strike against austerity. Simple as that.
“Our advice to Labour councillors wherever, when they go into dispute, is to get round the table.
“And insist on the fact that it isn’t chief executives or officers of the council that determine the future of a council’s policies, but the councillors themselves.
“So we want negotiations to resolve this dispute immediately.
We agree that this strike has been a strike against austerity, but it’s LABOUR PARTY austerity. Whilst the Tories may be in government, it is the Labour party locally who have chosen to attack the bin men, as well as implement cuts which have reduced a city council workforce of 20,000 to half that number.
The reason John McDonnell has finally spoken in support of the Birmingham bin strike is because he has been forced to support the bin men. If he was an ardent supporter would it have taken nine weeks?
It is clear that this new and very welcome support is due to the heroic industrial action undertaken since June. The local Labour Council have failed to impose the cuts which they believed in their arrogance would go through with very little disruption, the Labour chief of the Council has fallen on his sword and McDonnell is being forced to the microphone. The fact that the pressure has mounted to this level is proof, were any needed, that the bin men are winning.