MORE than one million public service workers were reported to have joined picket lines last Thursday, July 10, during the nationwide industrial action.

Across the West Midlands about 50,000 trade union members took part in the strikes, leaving thousands of schools closed or partially shut, as well as a reduced council service.

Unison, the second largest trade union in the UK, said the strike action by local Government and school workers was successful.

Ravi Subramanian, Unison West Midlands regional secretary, said: “The strength of feeling among our local government and school support workers over the issue of pay was plain to see...

“The decision to take strike action and sacrifice a day's pay was a very difficult one, particularly for the hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers, but our members felt this was the only way to have their voices heard.

“We are repeating our calls for the local government employers to get back round the table and negotiate a decent pay offer for those workers who have endured four years of pay freezes and below-inflation pay offers.”

The Wyre Forest Green Party also gave its support to those who were on strike.

Party members from the area participated in the Trades Union Congress (TUC) organised rally in Birmingham over issues with pay as well as to defend public sector services from cuts.

Louise Ryan, party member, said: “As a wheelchair-user I am particularly concerned about this government's attack on disabled and other vulnerable people through its withdrawal of benefits and essential services and I am fully in support of the public sector workers who are fighting for decent wages and conditions.”

The Green Party said it is the only national party publicly criticising both the Government’s privatisation of and cuts to public sector services.