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From: The Socialist issue 1064, 13 November 2019: Strike, protest, vote - Kick the Tories out

Search site for keywords: Museums - Unite - Libraries - Cuts - Bradford - Labour

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

National Science and Media Museum staff on strike in Bradford, 30.8.19, photo Iain Dalton

National Science and Media Museum staff on strike in Bradford, 30.8.19, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Bradford Socialist Party members

Around 50 Unite members in libraries and museums across Bradford have entered their second round of strike action, escalating from two to three days of action this week.

As well as rallying in the city centre, strikers have held rallies outside a number of local libraries linking up with concerned service users in places like Wibsey and Ilkley.

The services face 1.21 million cuts in 2019-20 and a further 1.55 million in 2020-21. There are already half-day closures taking place at libraries at short notice due to staff shortages. Further cuts will make the service even less sustainable. Both Bradford Industrial Museum and Bolling Hall Museums are already facing reduced openings.

In contrast to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who tweeted in support of the strikes during the first two days of action, and Shipley Labour candidate Jo Pike who addressed strikers on Tuesday, Bradford Labour council leader Susan Hinchliffe dismissively walked past the strikers. As one of the placards outside of City Hall stated "Labour your leader supports us, won't you?"

At the Keighley rally during the first two day strikes, Socialist Party West Yorkshire Organiser Iain Dalton called on Bradford council to stop doing the dirty work of implementing the Tory cuts, and instead utilise the 165 million the council has in usable reserves (31 million unallocated) to continue to fund the service.

Further four and five day strikes are planned to escalate the action, from 18-21 November and 2-6 December.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Local services keywords:

Care Homes (43)

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Article dated 13 November 2019

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