When the bin men went up against the council this year, it was in defence of terms and conditions. The workers had to fight a Labour council, every bit as bad as any Tory council. Unions try to prevent strikes against Labour councils, they prefer to make deals with Labour councils because unions are full of Labour party members. They all share comfy jobs and don’t want to derail the gravy train. Unite were desperate for a deal right from the moment Howard Beckett arrived, Unite had no faith in victory unless it was declared in Court, Unite have given away the best part of 50 rest days a year, not only rest days for Grade 3’s but also Grade 4’s & 2’s. They said no other deal was possible. But is that true? Strike action cost the council over £6million – it nearly sank them! Unite threw their friends in the Labour council a life line by calling off the strike action TWICE and giving away the rest days of all grades.
Without knowing it, all summer the bin men were exposing the anti-working class nature of the Labour party. Without knowing it, all summer the bin men were shaming & exposing all the Labour party members, trade unionists and sham socialists who kept saying Corbyn would give his support. Without knowing it, all summer the bin strike proved that there were not “two Labour party’s” (Labour was united in its hostility to the strike), it proved that the cuts were not being implemented by a “few bad apples”. The strike proved everyone was out to stab the bin men in the back, everyone except the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which isn’t scared to expose Labour or any enemy of the workers.
This year’s bin strike was heroic, and it should have ended in total and utter defeat for the council … and the Labour party careerists. However, there are reasons why so many workers have ended up worse off…
- Unite the Union is a major backer of the Labour party, it gave more than £2 million of its members money to Labour last May/June alone. Many of Unite’s leading members are members of the Labour party. Howard Beckett spoke at the Labour party Conference in 2017. These facts are known to all bin men.
- Many workers are now saying that they have been betrayed by union reps and stewards over the deal struck. But local reps don’t really make the decisions; they do what they are told by the Unite the Union leadership, they are not to blame. They have been influenced by Labour party trade union officials.
- The Unite leadership is made up of Labour party members. The Labour party serves capitalism, it doesn’t serve the workers. It is no surprise that they bargained away up to 50 odd rest days a year, not only for the Grade 3’s, but for all grades. They bargained these away because the Labour Council was desperate for a deal, as were the Labour members running the dispute from Unite. Birmingham Worker highlighted this all along; we also pointed out the likely betrayal by Clancy and the anti-working class attitudes of Lisa Trickett and the Moseley & Kings Heath Labour party.
- Bin men did the right thing when they supported the Communist Party and picketed Lisa Trickett’s surgery. We exposed Trickett. Bin men cannot be neutral, they have to take sides and they must fight to expose the Labour party as traitors and expose those who work for the Labour party in their own union. It was a mistake to listen to Labour party members of Unite who told bin men to stop putting pressure on Trickett by supporting our picket. It was a mistake because all these Labour party members were working together to get a good deal for themselves and not necessarily for ALL the bin men. Our aims are best served by building an organisation to challenge the Labour party sell outs inside and outside the trade unions.
To help in this work, get in touch using the form below: