The strength of public opinion is the key that could unlock the long-running  Bradford libraries and museums’ dispute, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 27 November), as more strikes were announced for next week.

More than 70 Unite members will stage all-out strikes at the city’s 14 library and museums on Tuesday (3 December) and Friday (6 December), as well as targeted action on Monday (2 December), Wednesday (4 December) and Thursday (5 December).

Unite members at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council have already taken nine days of strike action in defence of the service which faces swingeing cuts

Unite regional officer Mark Martin said: “Given the overwhelming support our members have received during the course of this dispute, it is clear that public opinion is the key to resolving this – after all, Bradford residents have the votes to eject the councillors who are pushing through these flawed proposals. 

“The public is strongly backing our campaign – we receive completed petition sheets every day from the public. We know that more than 100 members of the public have sent letters to their local councillors calling for the council to get back round the table and to stop cuts to the service.

“We would like to thank members of the public whose fantastic support has really buoyed up our members - people have stopped to talk to the pickets and brought warm drinks for free to the pickets. We are grateful to people for keeping up the pressure on their councillors to reach a resolution.

“However, we are still deeply disappointed at the stubborn refusal of the council bosses to agree to a pause in the cuts’ process and their continual refusal to enter into constructive negotiations.”

The industrial action comes as the council is holding a consultation, which closes on Friday 20 December, on the future of the library service – Unite is urging the public to make its views known if they want to safeguard the service for future generations.

Unite has charted a decade of cuts to libraries and museums by the council – the latest £950,000 for the year starting April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 earmarked for the financial year starting April 2020.

Details of the strike action are below:

  • Monday 2 December: strike and picket at Ilkley library LS29 8HA from 08.30.
  • Tuesday 3 December: there will be an all-out strike at the 14 sites. Pickets will be in place at City Library BD1 1SD from 08.30, with a demonstration at City Hall.
  • Wednesday 4 December: strike and picket at Keighley library BD21 2AT at 11.00.
  • Thursday 5 December: strike and picket at Bingley library BD16 1AW at 08.00.
  • Friday 6 December: the second all-out strike of the week at all sites. Picket and demonstration at Cliffe Castle museum  BD20 6LQ from 07.30.


Notes to editors:

The link to the consultation on the service’s future is as follows: 

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.