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When given an ultimatum of a £4,000 a year pay cut or the sack Brighton’s refuse workers and street cleaners voted instead for an immediate wildcat strike,with 300 workers downing brooms and occupying their canteen.

The cuts, pushed through by the Green Party led council have caused a split in the party, with the grass-roots memebership hitting the panic button and churning out blog articles and social media posts condemning the ‘rouge’ actions of the city council leader Jason Kitkat. Even Caroline Lucas, Brighton’s Green Party MP has addressed the workers occupation pledging her allegiance to the workers whilst criticising the decisions of her party led city council.

The wildcat industrial action, which lasted from Wednesday 'til Thursday was a credible show of the forced of organised rank 'n' file labour in austerity Britain. Able to bypass union bureaucracy and the anti-union laws of countless Labour and Conservative governments workers held strong, with no need even for a picket line and were instead able to spend the day resting with a warm cup of tea in the canteen. On Thursday uniformed workers marched from their depot in Hollingdean to the town hall where council leader Jason Kitkat was given a personally dedicated rendition of the traditional football chant ‘you’re shit and you know you are’. (can be seen here http://twitpic.com/cpetdt)

On Friday workers agreed to return to work but on ‘work to rule’ basis with the prospect of additional industrial action as the GMB launches its ballot for an official strike.

Direct action got the goods. Workers demands, drafted and agreed through mass assemblies were all won and as bins overflowed and crisp packets blew around the street workers held the power. The bin men and women of Brighton have provided an example of how workers can fight for themselves, against the austerity and the bosses.

And what did we expect from the Green Party anyway? We can’t disagree with one binman who commented, ‘they’re all the same aren’t they?’

There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: 5 finger KitKat - 14th May 2013 @ 9:18 PM
300 people will not get a 4K pay cut, pure propaganda this article.
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