Red Youth and CPGB-ML were out in force on 30 June to support the strikes of the Birmingham bin men over pay and cuts to services. Birmingham City Council was once the single biggest local authority in Europe, but a workforce of 20,000 has been slashed in half and the plans which are being implemented by Labour Councillors this year seek to reduce this number to 7,000 by 2018. They blame it on the Tories but they ALL play the same game, it’s called capitalism, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That’s why Chief Exec Stella Manzie earns £180,000 pa whilst the bin men are to lose £4,000-6,000 a year and see 122 jobs axed.
The City Council is in a deep economic crisis, the result of both cuts from central government and their own mis-management which has cost £11.9m. The Chief Executive and Council leaders are seeking to heap the burden of this crisis onto the backs of workers whilst plundering services provided for Birmingham’s rate payers, including those essentials which keep our streets clean and free of disease. Dirty streets means rats and disease – but Stella doesn’t care, when you’re on £180,000 a year you’re unlikely to do your shopping in working-class districts like Handsworth, Balsall Heath, Castle Brom or Lozells.