UNITE the Union has organised a picket and mass demonstration outside Ilkley Library between 9am and noon on Thursday, November 7.

It is one of three protests the union has planned in the Bradford district this week as 50 of its library and museums’ members take part in a three day strike (November 5-7). This follows a two day strike last month which closed Ilkley Library.

The union accuses Bradford Council bosses of ‘taking a pickaxe’ to Bradford’s library and museums. Unite regional officer Mark Martin said: “Our members are showing magnificent solidarity as they hold their second wave of strike action against the swingeing cuts to the libraries and museums’ service. They have been buoyed up by the strong support shown by the public.

“The council has to be stopped in its tracks as it wields a pickaxe to the service which offers so much in educational and social terms to the people of Bradford.”

A four day strike is planned between November 18 and 21 inclusively and a five day stoppage on December 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that around 50 Unite members have decided to vote for strike action. The Council has finished consultation for the 2019/20 changes to the libraries and museums services and they were implemented on 1 September. No libraries were closed during this process. We believe that Unite would be better served working with us, offering their views on what can be done to achieve the savings required of the library service in the face of prolonged government cuts and helping to shape the future of our library service. They have turned down the opportunity to speak with us through the process but our door remains open.

“During the course of strike action, Bradford Council will take steps to help ensure that, as far as possible, library services are still provided to residents. We will also continue with plans to commence a programme of engagement and consultation with all stakeholders about the future of the library service in Bradford District.”