Rally for workers sacked by Liverpool Mutual Homes
Steble Fountain, William Brown Street
Photos by Harry Smith
A glorious morning greeted hundreds of people as they turned out to support
the sacked 13 Liverpool Mutual Homes workers at the site just recently
vacated by Occupy Liverpool opposite the Liverpool Mutual Homes Building.
Men with thirty years experience have been thrown on the scrap heap as
LMH outsourced their work to various contractors for a cheaper work force.
It was an act of attempting to crush their Trade Union activity and trying
to dampen the workers' spirits but it seems to have made them stronger.
Since July the sacked workers with many supporters have been outside on
the street showing their strength every single day.
Before the rally speakers began I spoke to those gathered amongst the
huge display of trade Union flags.
Peter Middleman - Regional Secretary for PCS
"We've been working very closely on the pensions issue so are delighted
to come out and show our support for the LMH workers. Just demonstrating
how the divide between public and private sectors which the government
are trying to create doesn't really exist."
Bob Kelly - Trade Union Education
"I'm just here to support any members of the Union who are in struggle."
"It's a disgrace the way they've treated the workers. Sid Greaves
(one of the sacked workers and Trade Union activists) is one of the most
genuine people I've come across and LMH are trying to victimise him for
his Trade Union activity."
"I'm here to support the 13 sacked men but we also want to stop this
encroaching on the other men who are still working for LMH. We want to
make sure that they don't lose their terms and conditions."
The Rally began
Sid Greaves told us about the 5 months protesting outside the LMH Head
Office. He thanked the Unions for their moral and financial support and
also thanked Occupy Liverpool for what they are doing to support the workers.
He mentioned the sacked 500 dockers as an inspiration for their action.
He told us he was sacked because he had 'little knowledge of the city
and standing his ground' Farcical. An absolute insult to someone with
his working experience and union expertise. He talked about the electricians,
tilers, joiners and supervisors all assessed by LMH and then 13 were told
they didn't meet the criteria. They were also told they couldn't take
part in industrial action.
Peter Allinson - Unite Union
"We are getting support today from Wales, Scotland, Sheffield, Southampton
and West Midlands. This is a fight that's got to be won. Unite have debated
this issue as there is a 10 year battle with Liverpool City Council regarding
outsourcing work at cheaper prices with less Union representation. Outsourcing
is happening all over the country in a whole host of companies. We must
resist the pension scheme reforms to get people working harder. We are
all under attack, don't let them go unchallenged. We will be in their
face until all of our members are reinstated. That's not a threat that's
Dave Hunt - GMB Union
"It was an opportunity to shaft everybody who was employed. Steve
Pindar our solicitor has assured us we have a very good cause. Solidarity
UCATT Regional Officer
"LMH's agenda was to undermine the Trade Unions. One of the workers
was sacked because he questioned the morals of people crossing picket
"Proud to be here. We have to win this dispute. It's there to make
privatisation easier, to decimate jobs and conditions."
Tony Hayes - Regional Officer
"The City of Liverpool need to look at themselves in the mirror.
Stand up, seek justice...on the picket lines if necessary."
Dave - Unite Union
"Unite will spend money to win this dispute. We are looking at direct
action. We will fight across the country. Sack Steve Coffey (head of LMH)
He is paid £137,000 a year to look after just 15,000 houses. He
earns more than the Prime Minister. If we stand united we will win this
fight. Solidarity to the workers. My heart is in this city and not in