First and foremost, thanks to all those who took strike action, who picketed and who marched on 30th November. Yesterday was the biggest day of strike action we have seen in Britain in living memory.
In addition, London saw a big TUC-organised demonstration, with a turnout estimated at 50,000. In relative terms, some of the reports from other major cities such as Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester were even more encouraging – with large numbers of people taking part.
Here in Camden, although there were some areas of weakness which branch officers, stewards and members will have to work on, this was the best-supported Camden Council-wide industrial action since the 1989 NALGO pay strike. There was a particularly strong turnout of pickets at the Holmes Road depot and impressive joint picketing with the GMB at York Way.
Yesterday was a beginning and not an end, as we may need to take further action in the New Year in the bid to defend our pension rights. There will be a branch-wide meeting open to all members on 13th December 2011 at 3.30pm (for which time off has been agreed by management) to discuss the way forward.
It is worth noting that workers in the private sector have also been planning to take action to defend their pension schemes. There has been an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote at Unilever UK, which faces the prospect of its first-ever national strike over the issue of the closure of its final salary pension scheme. We support Unilever’s workers in their struggle for decent pensions, as all workers deserve a fair pension on retirement.