The picket outside County Hall in West Bridgford (the main base of operations for Nottinghamshire County Council) was decidedly underwhelming, attracting no more than a dozen picketers. Several council workers crossing the picket line argued that they weren't prepared to support the union after the national Job Evaluation debacle. (NJE saw many council workers facing a pay-cut after their jobs were re-evaluated as part of the national single status agreement, while unions in some areas have fought the implementation of local interpretations of this agreement, in Notts Unison supported it wholeheartedly, much to the consternation of union members who lost out.)
These disagreements aside, people were generally happy enough to take a leaflet and a few councillors even came down to show their faces, no doubt hoping to improve their image amongst strikers (while pointedly doing little or nothing to actually support them).
The march congregated, as is traditional at the Forest Recreation Ground for a march down Mansfield Road into Market Square. Although far from a complete flop, the turnout was disappointing. The Evening Post's estimate of 400 marchers is probably on the low-side, but not completely off the mark. It was certainly a much smaller affair than the march (along much the same route) by teachers, lecturers and civil servants held in support of industrial action in April.
In Market Square we were subjected to the usual speeches from assorted union leaders. There were speakers from Unison, Unite, the PCS (whose members in the Driving Standards Agency are also on strike today), the National Union of Teachers and probably others. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some people seemed to drift off almost as soon as the march reached the square, but there was a sizable crowd right through to the bitter end.
It's hard to evaluate the success of the strike so far. The numbers I saw on picket lines and at the march and rally were not as big as I'd expected. Nevertheless, it is apparent that council services in the city and across the county have been seriously affected. With a further day of this strike to go and the likelihood of further action in the future there's still everything to play for.
Background: Council workers to strike over pay