Ann Lucas told – cut cake, not libraries!

Ann Lucas told – cut cake, not libraries!

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Protesters highlighting Lucas’ record of cuts

Library campaigners protested against Cllr Ann Lucas at an event last week. Sarah Smith was one of them, and she wrote this report.

February 10th marked the 30th birthday of Central Library, and the guest of honour at the celebration was Cllr Ann Lucas – leader of Coventry City Council. She proudly cut a cake to celebrate – despite her leading the council that’s cutting our libraries!

All libraries are still threatened with closure, and under the current plans almost all libraries other than Central will be closing on a Wednesday and Sunday, and Central will be closing an hour earlier. Willenhall and Arena library are both being moved to cheaper buildings, 35 library jobs will be cut and the mobile library is being scrapped altogether.

We at Save Coventry Libraries went to the event to tell Ann Lucas to cut the cake but not the libraries. We had a peaceful protest to highlight the hypocrisy of Coventry City Council.We were thanked and supported by a number of people in the audience at the event – and we will carry on fighting for our libraries!

Trade unionists protest in support of workers at Sports Direct

Trade unionists protest in support of workers at Sports Direct

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Protesting in Coventry

Trade unionists in Coventry organised a protest on Saturday morning against the employment practices of retailer Sports Direct.

Members of UNITE with other union activists assembled outside the store based at the Central Six shopping area to hand out leaflets and to urge shoppers to sign petitions in support of decent conditions for Sports Direct workers.

The UNITE leaflet highlights that ‘90% of the workforce at Sports Direct’s high street shops are employed on zero-hour contracts. They have no future, and no security whatsoever as they don’t know how many hours they will work from one week to the next, with no sick pay or holiday pay and no guarantee of work’

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Support Sports Direct workers!

Hundreds of leaflets were distributed to make people aware of what is taking place. In many ways the situation at Sports Direct is a glimpse of a potentially disastrous future for the majority of the workforce in the UK. This is where the Tories and the employers would like to take us. We need to fight to build and rebuild our trade union movement on militant and socialist lines, to not only campaign against the bosses and their unfair practices but also against this crisis ridden capitalist system.

 

 

 

Junior doctors strike again in Coventry

Junior doctors strike again in Coventry

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Striking doctors on the picket line at Walsgrave

Over 25 junior doctors took to the picket line yesterday morning outside Walsgrave Hospital. The youthful and lively strikers were inundated with support from the public with non stop honks and cheers from passing cars, pedestrians and other hospital staff.

Jeremy Hunt’s embarrassing attempts to discredit the doctors over recent days in numerous TV interviews have only given further determination to these doctors to carry on battling – and even more reason for the general public to support them!

As one doctor said as he was setting up flags and placards “the Tories have attacked the welfare state since its creation… now they have the cheek to get something for nothing off us.”

The wildcat unofficial strike action taken by Coventry refuse workers the day before was also widely discussed, and added a further inspiration and confidence boost to the doctors in this ongoing fight with the government.

STOP PRESS: Today the Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has just announced in the House of Commons that the new contracts for Junior Doctors will be imposed on them. Coventry Socialist Party gives its full support and solidarity to the doctors in its battle with the Tories and and the wider struggle to defend the NHS.

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Coventry refuse workers take unofficial action to defend victimised union rep

Coventry refuse workers take unofficial action to defend victimised union rep

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Outside the Council House

 

Coventry refuse workers based at Whitley Depot today downed tools in response to the suspension of a UNITE shop steward amid allegations of ongoing bullying by management.

In a show of strength and solidarity over 30 workers descended on Coventry Council House in the City Centre to protest and support their colleague, as union representatives talked with management.

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Workers receiving updates from union officials

Determined to show their support, workers remained outside the building all morning and early afternoon. A meeting tomorrow morning was planned to discuss any updates and any further action. It is vital that UNITE nationally throws its support behind the rep and this group of workers, and activists from other Council unions need to discuss how to show support. Unions are fighting not just for their own members, but also the future of public services. Everyone in Coventry needs to support the action today, and any future action called by the union.

An injury to one is an injury to all! We demand the immediate reinstatement of the suspended rep!

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Discussing the next steps

 

Ann Lucas – cut the cake, not our libraries!

Ann Lucas – cut the cake, not our libraries!

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Ann Lucas – pic from Coventry Telegraph website

Coventry’s brilliant Central Library has now been around for 30 years, and staff and service users will be celebrating its birthday on Wednesday 10th February with a number of events. It’s great that the library has been around for so long – but the future of libraries throughout Coventry is under threat, and one of the people behind the planned cuts will also be cutting the birthday cake.

Libraries campaigner Sarah Smith said “It’s ironic that Cllr Ann Lucas is a guest of honour at Central Library’s 30th birthday and cutting a cake, considering she leads the council that’s voted to cut our libraries. I will be there to represent Save Coventry Libraries, to tell Cllr Lucas that she can cut the cake but not our libraries!”

The next meeting of Save Coventry Libraries is on Monday February 15th, 6pm at Central Library. Join the Facebook page here