Strikers warned of further walk-outs unless the Government re-thinks its 1% pay offer.

Teachers, cleaners and drivers spoke of the hardship they face after only one 1% pay increase in four years.

Just two Kirklees Council buildings opened for non-striking workers while firefighters also joined the rally as they embarked on their 16th strike – with 15 more stoppages next week.

Nick Ruff, Unison branch chairman, said: “Our pay has fallen by 20% compared to inflation. Our members can’t afford to live like this.”

WATCH: Huddersfield workers' strike rally through the town centre

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Mr Ruff warned of the likelihood of two further strikes in September as members are balloted on Kirklees Council plans to make up to 1,400 redundancies.

Among those striking was Vine Street lorry driver Nick Spivey who said: “My grandfather gave his life in Normandy during the war in the hope it would improve conditions for this country.

“I’ve a wife who works in school meals and two teenage daughters, our family has lost two wages today. It’s not been easy but we’ve got to stand up and fight for improvements.”

 

Kenny Lang, a Streetscene worker, added: “There has been a pay freeze for too long, nothing has come near to matching inflation and our costs, food and bills are going up.”

Teaching assistant Leanne Carrington added: “If I had any confidence the Government would do something about energy bills and rent, I may not have come out on strike but I don’t believe they will so we need a wage increase to cope.”

Hazel Danson, Kirklees NUT leader, said Education Secretary Michael Gove “must go” and thanked other unions for solidarity saying: “Collectively we can bargain, alone we can only beg.”

She too warned of further strikes before the 2015 General Election.

Scott Elvidge, Kirklees Fire Brigades Union branch rep, said they were touched by the level of support as they prepare for a series of twice daily strikes next week.

“The solidarity has been fantastic and the support encouraging,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate it’s come to this. Brandon Lewis (Fire Minister) has got to get round the table and come forward with a meaningful proposal.”

His message to the public who don’t agree with the strike action was: “Go and talk to your local MPs and urge them to get the Government to find a compromise.”

Council workers, teachers and firefighters strike - find out what happened in Huddersfield here

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