Strike in a Twitter generation: Public sector workers stage walk out across Manchester and showcase fight online

Mancunian workers are joining picket lines in protest at public sector pay, bringing the city to a standstill all day.

The epicentre of strike action in Manchester will be a huge strike rally in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens from 12.30pm.

The national day of industrial action, which union leaders claim could be the biggest walk out since the 1926 General Strike, with more than 100,000 public sector workers on strike.

Schools staff, ranging from dinner ladies to teachers, as well as civil servants and fire fighters are among the groups walking out in the dispute.

The Government has been on a collision course with unions like Unison, Unite, GMB and the Fire Brigades Union will join the National Union of Teachers for months and will strike after a ballot.

And tales from the frontline are coming in from Twitter under the hashtag #j10strike with the unions posting pictures of members in action.

Support staff in schools, including dinner ladies and cleaners, will also join the walkout and a number of schools are expected to close completely.

National Union of Teachers (NUT) National Executive for Greater Manchester Nick Wigmore pointed towards his union’s plight with this tweet.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has been criticised by the union for his support of free schools which they argue are a threat to education standards because they can employ unqualified teachers.

Manchester Twitterer Paul Farnhill urged workers to head down to Bridge Street for 11am for the initial march, while he also suggested the Government are looking to ban strike action.

Trade unionist Emily Rowles and Joe Hill also signaled their hopes of a peaceful and productive day of industrial action for the striking workers, while fellow tweeter @_riotcityblues pledged support for family members in the fire service.

Firefighters will be setting up their picket line at 10am outside Manchester Central fire station, off Oldham road.

The city’s fire service have warned citizens to take ‘extra care’ in a statement: “We will have limited fire engines available and firefighters riding them will not be trained to the same level as our current crews.

“Now more than ever you need to think about fire safety and road safety.

“You need to take extra care to protect yourself and your loved ones at home, work and on the roads.”

And the Manchester branch of the Green Party are also getting involved, opposing austerity measures imposed by the Government.


Main image courtesy of Nick Efford, with thanks.

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