Over 250 people lobbied Labour-controlled Hull City Council on 18 October 2012.
The rally was called by the council unions against the proposed £100 million worth of cuts the council will seek to implement over the next two years. Crucially, a number of Labour councillors have come out publicly against the cuts, and have proposed that Labour fight the cuts locally and nationally.
Councillor Gary Wareing told Labour members to go to their branches and CLPs and hold their councillors to account and tell them to stand up and represent the trade union movement and working-class people in Hull. The councillors were joined by representative of Unison, GMB and the NUT. They called upon the councillors to not pass on central Government cuts, and to mount a campaign with the unions against any job losses and to reverse the cuts already made.
The anger followed the proposed closures of the Seven Seas vitamin and supplement plant and McCain foods which could see another 300 workers losing their jobs in the midst of rising unemployment. Over 40 people are applying for every vacancy in the city.
A lively LRC meeting following the lobby saw 20 activists continue the debate on how to take the campaign forward. It was stressed by Labour Party members and trade unionists that meetings should be called across the city and we should lobby all Labour councillors about the need to oppose the cuts and support a determined and strong labour movement campaign.
This includes building support and solidarity among councillors who will oppose the cuts in the LRC, and the group hopes to have a strong presence at the upcoming conference. The need for industrial support for any rebellion by councillors was made clear as councillors come under attack from the party machine.
The pressure to follow the agreed Labour line will inevitably increase from the party bureaucracy who has not promised to reverse the cuts and have committee themselves to the "slower and shallower" mantra of Balls and Miliband.
Many of the myths surrounding the consequences of not passing on the cuts still exist among the councillors and the confidence to fight needs to be built between both workers and service users they represent.
The campaign has put together a steering committee to plan the next action and continue the discussion on how the campaign moves forward.