Birmingham Strike Rally

PCS strikers from around Birmingham gathered after our pickets for a march and strike rally on Wednesday.

Birmingham Town Committee had met the previous week to consider what we should do after the pickets were over for the day. We were in contact with the Trades Council and UCU activists and agreed to call a strike rally beside the Birmingham City University campus.

Most of the civil service offices in the city centre are nearer to the 3AC hub building, so we decided to call on strikers to gather in Centenary Square and then march to the strike rally. I was nervous as the assembly time loomed as we didn’t know how many members would attend.

At 11am close to 100 striking members had assembled, clad in hi-vis, PCS beanies and flags. With the megaphone booming we marched through the shopping streets to the strike rally. I spoke about the reality of low pay in the civil service, the fact that the prime minister has a private swimming pool with a heating cost of over £14,000 per year, the equivalent of half my pay, and the need to take the fight to the Tories. Claudine, another PCS member, spoke about the first day of strike action in the HMRC. The rally was also addressed by UCU strikers, a striking teacher and students.

One thing we learnt from the 1st February strike rally was that members would turn up who we didn’t know. So this time we were better prepared and now have a far better network of activists to work with when the next all member strike is called.

Pete Jackson

Pete Jackson is standing for election to the NEC as part of the Democracy Alliance. Click here to see the full candidate list.