Around 40 people made up of PCS strikers and representatives from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC), Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (BARAC), Birmingham Against the Cuts (BATC) and the Right to Work Campaign held a lively picket in Birmingham today. Workers were striking against the proposed 68% cuts and 66% cuts in staff at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The picket was recieved well from passing traffic beeping their horns in support as well as receiving messages of support and solidarity from Connexions UNISON workers who are also on strike today against 30% cuts in staff in their service.
Hundreds of Connexions workers held vibrant and active pickets outside the remaining offices of the city. In April the Con-Dem council approved a 30% cut for Connexions placing 36 jobs, including advisers on the front line at risk.
Connexions Centres in Handsworth, Erdington and Aston have already been closed despite an alarming 40% increase in unemployment amongst young people in the city. Striking workers made their way to Victoria Square in the city centre on a double decker UNISON bus.
John Griffin the convenor for UNISON members in Connexions said: “We need to remember that young people and Connexions workers are now paying with their jobs and future prospects for the debts of bankers earning massive bonuses.
“Birmingham City Council has set a budget which puts these jobs at risk. Another solution needs to be found for the sake of the young people threatened with a lifetime of joblessness.”
The rally was also addressed by Graeme Horn, Birmingham UNISON Branch Secretary, Jagdish Singh a PCS representative from the Equality and Human Rights Commission who were today also on strike opposing 68% cuts in their service and the Birmingham City Council Labour group leader, Sir Albert Bore.
With thanks to Geoff Dexter for both the reports and photographs. More photos from both strikes can be seen on his Flickr page. If you would like to make use of them, please contact him.
Reports from previous Connexions strikes can be found on our Connexions tag