27 June 2014
40 trade union activists came to the Portsmouth Unite the Resistance meeting on Thursday 26 June. Lambeth College strikers Ann Cowie and Brian Houghton spoke about the solidarity they have received and their determination to win. £194 for the strike fund was raised at a work place collection and at the meeting.
Amanda Martin from the NUT National Executive spoke about teachers defending education from Gove’s attacks and the need to work closely with other unions on 10 July. Alan Dennis from the PCS National Executive highlighted the need to avoid the mistakes that followed the huge strike on 30 November 2011 when action was called off too early. Alan and Portsmouth City UNISON Branch secretary Chris Pickett both spoke about the need to give people the hope that there is an alternative to austerity. Simon Magorian urged support for the Stand up to UKIP campaign to counter racist scapegoting of muslims and migrants. Mark Carden spoke of the RMT’s protests against Condor Ferries paying wages as low as £2.35 an hour.
On 10 July it was agreed there would be joint union pickets and a march through the city centre. There was complete support to build for further strikes in September as part of escalating the action. A strike committee was formed and met in the pub immediately after the meeting to plan the route of the march and timing for the rally. The strike committee will meet again at Trades Council a week before the strike and after the march and rally on 10 July to start planning the next strikes.