30 November day of action: reports from the frontline
Live updates from picket lines and rallies. Please pass on the quick link to your colleagues and friends: www.prospect.org.uk/nov30
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Just been told estimated attendance at the central London rally was 50,000!
Work on the UK's world-leading nuclear fusion research programme, based at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire, was placed on hold today after the two large tokamaks (ring shaped magnetic confinement devices), essential to the programmes, were out-of-action when over 200 Prospect members at CCFE and the neighbouring Civil Nuclear Constabulary took part in the strike. Both the MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) device, at the heart of the UK's own fusion programme, and the JET (Joint European Torus) - the world's largest tokamak driving Europe's flagship experiment - were put into a safe standby mode preventing work...
All schools in greater Manchester closed. 30,000 people at the Manchester rally - good Prospect turnout from the Highways Agency, ORR, HSE, HSL and English Heritage.
Major disruption at Plymouth naval base. Military vessels not docking, fuel depot for the base closed, munitions depot at Ernesettle, near Plymouth closed, other parts of the base disrupted including salvage marine unit. MOD members joined forces with HSE members for march and rally through city. HSE office is closed.
Joined one of the council workers' feeder marches to the central rally as it went close to BT building. Feeder marches arrived from Universities, Teachers & Civil Service. Met up with Prospect delegation and delivered personal solidarity message from BT Sheffield Branch. Rally then joined together in a united march around Sheffield City Centre. A fantastic show of workers unity and solidarity.
Massed pickets at the Harwell sites. BBC Oxford interviewed them early today, STFC, DLS and HPA. Prospect president Nigel Titchen's flying visit much appreciated. Now on coach to Oxford rally. Radio oxford interview later. Coach driver muttering under his breath about burning the banners - Daily Mail reader suspected! Helen :-)
Malcolm Currie, negotiatior in Edinburgh, says there are 300-400 Prospect members marching in Edinburgh, where national secretary Anne Douglas is due to speak. "There's people here from all sorts of organisations," he says - earlier he and colleagues visited Prospect picket lines at Edinburgh Castle, the Botanic Gardens, St Andrew's House (Scottish Government), National Museums and National Galleries. A big picket line was held outside Silvan House jointly by members from the Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage. Members were also on strike at national veterinary laboratories and The National Library of Scotland was closed by the strike. Malcolm said:...
Members outside MOD's headquarters in London reported solid support for the strike. Speaking from the picket outside the main entrance deputy secretary of MOD group, Alan Wood, said they had been receiving supportive beeps from passing vehicles. Referring to the additional 1% pay cap for public sector workers announced yesterday as further evidence of the contemptuous attitude towards public servants he said: "The government has declared war on us." Meanwhile Robert Leeks, leafleting outside the Old War Office, said: "The government is deliberately storing up antipathy between the public and private sector workers. We all need to stand up for...
The Senedd in Cardiff Bay, home of the Welsh Government, was closed as a result of the action. Pickets also took place outside Welsh Government sites at Cathays Park, the QED Centre Treforest, Merthyr Tydfil and Aberystwyth; the Intellectual Property Office and Environment Agency sites in Newport and at the Wales Audit Office in Cardiff. I'm delighted with the support.
Great turn out on picket lines across Yorkshire, report Neil Hope-Collins and Heather Phillips (Prospect national executive committee). Members from the Department of Communities and Local Government joined the Health and Safety Executive and Highways Agency picket line in Leeds. There have also been pickets at Natural England, Wetherby Prison, the British Library (Boston Spa) and the National Media Museum in Bradford. Branches joining the march in leeds include HA, HSE, British library,Royal Armouries, Department for Work and Pensions, Department of Health, DCLG and Natural England.