Photos from the picket lines this week

Our comrades have been out supporting the bin men these last few days and we’re planning to do more leafleting on the high streets around Birmingham this weekend. If you want to help out, give us your details:

Lalkar article covering the bin strike

An article in this months edition of Lalkar gives coverage to the Birmingham bin strike. Lalkar was first published in Birmingham in 1968 by Indian communists active in the trade union movement and working in Birmingham’s foundries. It is now an independent Marxist-Leninist journal, but for many years was publsihed by the Indian Workers Association (IWA).

The IWA Birmingham branch will accompany members of the CPGB-ML Birmingham branch to Perry Barr depot this Thursday to hand over a collection taken for the strike fund. The Birmingham Worker urges all readers to check out the Lalkar website and buy a copy on the picket line.

READ: http://www.lalkar.org/article/2740/victory-claimed-in-birmingham-bin-dispute-but-labour-led-birmingham-city-council-has-other-idea

Watch this video: Howard Beckett at Perry Barr & the myth of Clancy blown apart

Bin men leaflet_sept2017All those who have claimed that Clancy has been ganged up on by Tories and Lib Dems should read these words of  John Clancy, Labour Party member and leader of Labour led Birmingham City Council:

“Deal or no deal – there was no deal. My cabinet and I came together with a negotiating position to try to see what we could do to go that extra mile to get a negotiated solution.

“If there had been a deal to end the dispute, the strike would have ended, it wasn’t, it was suspended.

“So, there was no deal, there was an agreement in principle to talk at Acas and my cabinet and I agreed some heads of terms that would enable us to get into Acas to talk, there has been no deal concluded with Unite.

“Unite have said there was a deal for their own purposes. There was never a deal.”

Source BBC

And you can watch him here: https://twitter.com/BrumLeader/status/903634716846415875

Regardless of his claims, and the misplaced faith put in him by many – it is now clear to all that Clancy is a typical Labour Judas. As are the rest of the Labour Councillors like Trickett who back the moves against the bin men.

The penny drops

Here’s the footage of Howard Beckett addressing Perry Barr depot this afternoon, all illusions in Clancy & Labour begin to erode in the harsh face of reality, but we must ensure that they are not allowed to resurface, even if a celebrity like Corbyn eventually decides to make an appearance!

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Bin strike back on. Bin men betrayed by Labour Party

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Jacko speaking at tonight’s meeting of the Communist Party announces the news and the meeting resolves to give 100%support to the bin men.

Tonight the Birmingham bin strike is back on.

In August Unite negotiated at ACAS with Labour leader John Clancy, who had no mandate to negotiate anything on behalf of the Council, and the Council afterwards said so!

Despite this, the Union suspended strike action for Clancy’s promises although many bin men didn’t trust Clancy, Trickett, Manzie and the rest. It seems as though Unite officials trusted Clancy as a “Corbynista” and someone who had told Unite’s negotiator he was “a Union man”.

Bin men are likely to be on strike tomorrow morning – ALL Birmingham must support them. Although it was naive to call off the strike action the bin men did so under the influence of Labour Party back-stabbers. Let’s hope the lesson is learnt. You can’t trust Clancy – you can’t trust anyone who claims to be a Labour “left-winger”, they’re all the same, they serve the interests of capitalism and not the workers.

We must come out solid in defence of the Grade 3 jobs and our bin men.

We must stand by the Shop Stewards and Rich Beddows the Convenor. This mess is not their fault. This has been caused by the full time officials above them. Those who have misplaced faith in the words of Clancy and Co.

No more faith in Labour, no more shouts of “Victory” until the deal is done and the bin men have won their demands!

Victory to the bin men!

Out with Clancy, Manzie, Kennedy and Trickett!

Class Against Class!

More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-41117732

http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-urges-cabinet-to-stand-firm-and-save-birmingham-bin-deal/

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2017-08-31/bin-strike-back-on-as-100-workers-sent-redundancy-notices/

The report ALL bin men should read

The following statement summarises just a few of the comments and recommendations made this week by Jacqui Kennedy and Stella Manzie in their public report to the Council Cabinet meeting.

The Birmingham branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) urges ALL bin men, their families, and Birmingham residents and workers to read the report in full. This report is merely the PUBLIC report. This report only scratches the surface. The PRIVATE report no doubt deals in detail with exactly how Labour Councillors have given £311,000 per week to private capitalists and scabs in an effort to break the strike by Birmingham bin men. It is hidden from view to hide the hideous truth of their criminal squandering of public money.

Our Party, a Party of experienced communist men and women, trade unionists and workers, devoted to the advancement of our class, sincerely hopes that the jubilant proclamations of victory by the union are well founded, but it is better to acquaint ourselves with the facts as they stand and prepare for the worse if we genuinely strive for the total victory of the workers and a just settlement in this business. The content of the report by Kennedy and Co is to be discussed 1st September at the Council meeting. If a new attack upon the workers is made, we must be ready to respond.

Council Report

As the vast majority of bin men suspected, and as the Birmingham CPGB-ML cautioned, Birmingham city council and it’s Labour lieutenants have honey on their lips and murder in their hearts.

This public report, clearly states that, despite the public pronouncements from ACAS and Unite, the chiefs at the City Council recommend pushing ahead full steam with the attack on the bin men:

“That the Cabinet note the recommendations below and consider them in the light of the accompanying private report.

“2.1 Endorse progression and implementation of the decisions taken by Cabinet 27th June 2017 for the re organisation of the waste management service and the next stages including issuing the redundancy notices to the 106 employees (in 113 posts) currently designated as Grade 3 Leading Hands.

“2.2 Note the impact of the disruptive industrial action by the Unite union including disruption and inconvenience to the public and additional costs to the Council and the public.

“2.3 Note the operational plans in place to maintain refuse collection at reduced frequency, clear up side waste and clear any backlog.”

Furthermore the Council report announces:

“4.2.4 There are additional costs associated with the contingency plans that have been put in place in response to the industrial action. The estimated weekly costs have ranged between £21,000 per week in the early stages of the industrial action in July to the current weekly estimate of £311,000 as external contractors have been mobilised (the details are set out in a separate schedule in the Private Report). This will be an additional pressure on the Council’s finances for 2017/18. …

“5.1 The key organisational changes in the Refuse and Waste service, proposed in the June 27th Report were as follows:

  • The removal of compressed working hours with all employees working a 5 day 7.3 hours per day 36.5 working hour week rather than 4 days at 9.133 hours per day
  • Removal of the Leading Hand role on Refuse Collection Grade 3 (113 posts)
  • Operationally the separation of commercial and domestic collections onto separate vehicles and crews where it practicable to do so, thereby enabling domestic and trade waste operational resources and costs to be ring – fenced.

The location of the start and finish points for each or any collection round will be across any of the Council depots and employees will be asked to work flexibly from any of the depots and employees will be asked to work flexibly from any of the depots as the business requirement demands. These changes are consistent with all employees on the Birmingham Contract …

“5.27 On 16th August an ACAS statement was issued as a result of discussions between the Leader, Unite and ACAS.

“Birmingham City Council and Unite the Union have today made sufficient progress in their talks for the Shop Stewards to pause industrial action. Birmingham City Council cabinet members have agreed in principle that the grade 3 posts will be maintained. Consequently there are no redundancy steps in place. In addition the parties will now look to discuss, through ACAS, how the service can be improved, with the intention of improving efficiencies in performance of the bin collection service generally, including what savings can be made, and specifically how best the current Grade 3 roles can now be maintained and developed so that they take forward the ambition to deliver cleaner streets and align to wider Total Place principles. Unite have also agreed in principle to recommend to their members work pattern changes, including consideration of a 5 day working week. Both parties agree the working week should be designed to maximise service delivery. To assist in the resolution of outstanding issues both parties will go to ACAS. These discussions will be with the intention of incorporating any agreement as an amendment to the Waste Management Service Cabinet Report in September 2017.Both parties are pleased to be recommencing industrial relations and pleased that the bin collection can resume without disruption.

5.27 Later that day Unite issued a further statement:

“‘Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Wednesday 16 August) said that it has achieved victory in the Birmingham bin dispute which will result in the suspension of the current industrial action.

“‘The union said that the city council had accepted the refuse workers’ case and restored the grade 3 jobs, which are responsible for the safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles.

“‘Normal collection of bins will resume, as Unite and the city council hold further talks under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas to resolve the outstanding issues.’

“‘The council has addressed our members’ concerns, including the safeguarding of the grade 3 post that is vital to the safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles. Unite also welcomes the fact that our suspended rep is now returning to work’

“5.28 The Council issued the following statement:

“‘The Acas statement in connection with the Waste and Refuse dispute does not represent the Council’s position until these matters are considered at the Council’s Special Cabinet Meeting on 24th August 2017. The decision on the waste reorganisation taken by Cabinet on 27th June is still the current position of the Council.’

“5.29 While productivity is still extremely low there does seem to have been a limited return to work from the Unite members. However given uncertainty about the ACAS discussions the Corporate Director of Place has continued to operate the contingency arrangements in place already, to assist in the catch up. There has been a request for overtime from the operatives, which has been refused. ”

Birmingham workers, you can see what proposals Jacqui Kennedy and her political bosses in the Labour Party make. Fight until the victory.

It’s CLASS AGAINST CLASS. Victory to the working class!

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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Photos from week 5 of the bin strike

Here’s a few photos from week 5 of the strike. The workers heard from Unite’s Howard Beckett this week, and progress is anticipated next. Here’s hoping the Council is starting to see sense. Red salute to Unite Convenor Richard Beddows and all the Shop Stewards who have stood tall, and of course to all the striking workers who are fighting to protect the services for all of Birmingham.

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Despite all the hoo haa the wheelie bins help keep the streets pretty clean

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Howard Beckett addresses striking workers at Montague Street

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Perry Barr bin men await the arrival of the Unite Assistant General Secretary on Tuesday

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The “Bearded Broz” who are loved by the Council, and media. The “Broz” didn’t think much about the families of the bin men who stand to lose £5,000 a year when they decided to stage this pathetic media circus on Wednesday.

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Unite Convenor and Assistant General Secretary

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In good spirits

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Workers unbowed

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Workers at Tyseley as the Union gets used to its now regular afternoon stoppages

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More passing cars and pedestrians at 12.30pm than at 6am means more people are getting to see and hear the bin men and their message

 

 

Photos from week 5 of the bin strike

Here’s a few photos from week 5 of the strike. The workers heard from Unite’s Howard Beckett this week, and progress is anticipated next. Here’s hoping the Council is starting to see sense. Red salute to Unite Convenor Richard Beddows and all the Shop Stewards who have stood tall, and of course to all the striking workers who are fighting to protect the services for all of Birmingham.

IMG_20170801_170654992

Despite all the hoo haa the wheelie bins help keep the streets pretty clean

IMG_20170802_073225333

Howard Beckett addresses striking workers at Montague Street

IMG_20170802_123443322

Perry Barr bin men await the arrival of the Unite Assistant General Secretary on Tuesday

IMG_20170804_133442287

The “Bearded Broz” who are loved by the Council, and media. The “Broz” didn’t think much about the families of the bin men who stand to lose £5,000 a year when they decided to stage this pathetic media circus on Wednesday.

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Unite Convenor and Assistant General Secretary

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In good spirits

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Workers unbowed

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Workers at Tyseley as the Union gets used to its now regular afternoon stoppages

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More passing cars and pedestrians at 12.30pm than at 6am means more people are getting to see and hear the bin men and their message

 

 

Huge queues at the tip today thanks to Kennedy and Trickett

Jacqui Kennedy, having helped to cause the mess on Birmingham’s streets, then helpfully told Birmingham residents to take their own rubbish to the tip! Councillor Trickett, Labour cabinet member responsible for bins thinks that it’s okay to support £5,000 pay cuts and cause all this disruption so long as she sticks up CCTV camera images from the tip telling everyone it’s okay! And what happened to Clancy’s magic solution this weekend gone? The streets are still an utter mess! Birmingham residents must demand that the Council listens to the demands of it’s workers.

Today, Councillor Trickett’s twitter feed showing the tips looked like this:

Now we don’t want to accuse anybody of misleading the public, especially a friendly Labour Councillor who claims to support trade unionists, but when we went down to Lifford Lane today these were the scenes we found. Draw your own conclusions:

If you can help us to expose these hypocrites please get in touch urgently and help us to tell the truth:

Videos – Jacqui Kennedy & ITN reports of birmingham bin strike

Birmingham City Council, a Labour run Council is implementing these cuts. Well paid lackeys (managers) like Jacqui Kennedy who can earn between £97,000-£120,000 p/a are attempting to cut the wages of the bin men by £4,000-£6,000p/a. She does this because she is paid to do it. She is a mercenary and a class enemy.

The Council and its puppets like Jacqui are also trying to extend the four day working week to five days, increase the workload and squeeze every last drop of blood and sweat from the workers. They are instructed, aided and abetted by the Labour Party Councillors like Cabinet member for Clean Streets Lisa Trickett who gets a minimum of £41,000p/a in “allowances”. Lisa is in the Labour Party and heads the attacks on the bin men. She’s a shrewd politician who in her role as Cabinet member for Clean Streets has caused the biggest industrial dispute for years resulting in piles of stinking rubbish adorning the streets of Birmingham.

To see Jacqui Kennedy put the case for Birmingham city council before she buggered off on holiday leaving Birmingham in a stinking mess, check out the video from the Cabinet office meeting here:

kennedy stinker

https://birmingham.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/299559/start_time/6518000

Here’s an ITN report from Friday giving some limited voice to the bin men themselves:

Bin Dispute