Over 2,500 public sector workers and their supporters marched through Leeds, in a protest awash with flags and noise. J10 was the biggest strike since the sellout of the November 30th 2011 pensions strike by the right-wing trade union leadership.
Leeds Socialist Party members
After a 4-year pay freeze, a below inflation pay offer of 1% is insulting to public sector workers. The confidence on display from coming out on strike together against this was infectious, with a real feeling that this had to be the beginning of further co-ordinated strike action with many workers believing this shouldn’t be just limited to public sector workers, but embracing the private sector too.
The strike rally heard a number of fighting speeches, but the loudest cheer of the day came for Marion Lloyd of the PCS NEC when she said she opposed Labour’s cuts as well as the Tories. She concluded by saying that our dispute can be summed up in three words, struggle, solidarity and socialism.
Earlier in the day, Socialist Party members manned picket lines and a three groups of Socialist Party members toured city centre picket lines. Most workplaces we visited reported a better turnout in support of the strike than expected, with one picket line turning back a whole series of people.