N30 Unison block on West Midlands march
The Bluebell Centre at Chelmsley Wood proved a particular challenge as the Council Offices lie within a privately owned shopping complex. Strikers gathered at different points around the perimeter of the centre, there were on going boundary disputes with the security staff over where they could stand. A lot of shoppers going into Asda’s expressed their support for the strikers.
Jensen House, a base for a number of Social Work teams, and Jubilee House were closed and picket lines formed opposite each other across Auckland Drive. Children’s Social Work Teams were solid in their support of the strike, and were run with emergency cover. Managers led their Teams out and joined the picket lines
The strike was well supported by Adult social care workers, all the Day Centre’s were closed and many residential workers and mental health workers were out. Just 12 of Solihull’s 76 schools were fully open.
Cllr David Jameison, leader of the Labour group on Solihull Council visited the picket line outside Solihull Council House and expressed the support of the Labour Group for our struggle to protect the livelihoods of low paid workers.
By mid morning UNISON members ended their picket duties to join the 15,000 demonstration in Birmingham City Centre.
Jolyon Jones (West Midlands SWAN)