UNISON HAILS STRIKE AS A HUGE SUCCESS

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UNISON HAILS STRIKE AS A HUGE SUCCESS

UNISON is hailing yesterdays strike action by local government and school support workers as an overwhelming success, with more than one million public service workers reported to have attended picket lines and rallies in protest over this year's pay offer.

More than 1200 picket lines were set up in front of town halls, council depots and schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 4000 schools were closed, with 2000 others partially shut. Large numbers of town hall buildings were closed or operating with skeleton services, while many authorities chose to close all other buildings as a result of strong support for the strike.

Across the West Midlands approximately 50000 members from across the trade unions took part in Industrial action to demand fair pay. This included hundreds of picket lines right across the region from Coventry to Stoke-on-Trent and rallies from Birmingham to Hereford.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

"The strength of feeling amongst our local government and school support workers over the issue of pay was plain to see today. The decision to take strike action and sacrifice a day's pay was a very difficult one, particularly for the hundreds of thousands of low paid workers, but our members felt this was the only way to have their voices heard.

"We are repeating our calls for the Local Government Employers to get back round the table and negotiate a decent pay offer for those workers who have endured four years of pay freezes and below inflation pay offers as a result of the Government's misguided austerity agenda."