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‘Our support will not stop’

Trade unionists gathered in Coventry on Saturday (March 26) to stage a rally in support of Coventry’s striking refuse drivers. They are standing up against the shameful tactics of an anti-union Labour council, which recently suspended Unite shop steward Pete Randle.

Strikes began early this year and the 70 HGV drivers have been on all out strike since January 31 in a dispute over low pay. The workers’ basic rate of pay begins at just £22,183 per annum, which is far below pay rates of neighbouring councils.

Speaking at the rally, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “My members, will not be starved back to work — because I won’t let that happen. This campaign won’t fade away — because our support will not stop.”

You can read Sharon Graham’s full speech here and take in the rally from a selection of pictures below:

Unite Coventry bin strike rally draws crowds as members stand up for suspended shop steward Pete Randle

Unite regional officer Simon O’Keefe introduces rally speakers
Unite convenor and Coventry bins HGV driver Hayden Jones addresses the rally
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham fires up the crowd with inspirational speech
Tracey Evans, wife of striking Coventry bins HGV driver, speaks at rally
Unite members standing together proud at Coventry rally
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham with suspended shop steward Pete Randle

Pics by Mark Thomas