The first national trade union fightback against the ConDem Government kicks off on Thursday with public sector unions, from the National Union of Teachers to civil service union, PCS, striking in a day of action across the country.
In Salford, primary and secondary schools will close (see here for full details) and there are picket lines at the Salford Tax Office, HMRC (Trinity Bridge House, 2 Dearmans Place, M3 5BG) and Salford County Court (Prince William House, Eccles New Road, M5 4RR).
There's a march at 11am from All Saints on Oxford Road in Manc to the Castlefield Arena where there will be a rally at 12:30 with lots of union speakers.
The strikes are about government attacks on public sector workers' conditions Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, sums up the feeling…
"The Government is simply imposing draconian changes that will see teachers paying more, working longer and getting less" she says "The action on Thursday is unavoidable and unless the Government starts listening rather than simply imposing its will, it leaves us with little choice other than to consider further action."
Her sentiments are underlined by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, who called meeting with the Government "a farce"…
"The Government has shown no interest in actually negotiating on any of the key principles at the heart of this dispute" he says "And this is a dispute that is entirely of the Government's making. We did not ask for pensions to be cut, we did not ask for public servants to be told they must work years longer and pay more for much less in retirement. Every independent analysis shows that public sector pensions are affordable now and in the future, and costs are falling in the long term.
"On Thursday we will see hundreds of thousands of civil and public servants on strike" he adds "And, on the experience of …the last few months of government obstinacy, we fully expect to be joined by millions more in the autumn."
After the day of action, Salford Against The Cuts and Salford TUC are holding a Fundraiser at Saffron Restaurant in Cheetham Hill (M8 8PY), starting at 7pm and will include speakers from the unions that have taken strike action, music by Mississippi Soulman, Malcolm McBride, and some top Asian food along the way.
The cost is £8 for strikers and unwaged, and £15 for those in work, with all proceeds split between Salford Against The Cuts and Street Meet, a charity that provides support for homeless people in Salford and Manchester.
Either book in advance by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07817 434240 or just turn up on the night.
Meanwhile, PCS members and supporters have suggested a picket line playlist for June 30th which includes The Style Council's Walls Come Tumbling Down, the Manic Street Preachers' If You Tolerate This, and I Hate You So Much Right Now by Kelis. See the full list and make suggestions by clicking here
UPDATED 30th JUNE 2011 - click here