Socialist Worker

Sandwell Unison protest

Issue No. 2031

Some 60 workers at Sandwell council held a protest at a meeting of the controlling Labour group on Monday of last week.

Tony Barnsley, joint assistant Unison branch secretary, claimed that jobs were under threat in the local authority’s HR, finance and IT departments, and a call centre.

He said, “The council is proposing to transfer hundreds of jobs to the private sector. People who have worked for Sandwell council for years could find themselves working for BT or Fujitsu if this privatisation move goes through.

“They fear their jobs could be put as risk as a result and members are very angry about the situation.

“A crunch decision is set to be made in the next week or so and if the council goes down the privatisation road there could be strike action.

“Members of the three main unions involved – Unison, the TGWU and the GMB – do not want their jobs to go out of local authority control.

“Privatisation could mean jobs losses and we are determined to do all we can to protect workers.

“If this dispute comes to a strike it will bring the local authority to its knees.”

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Sat 16 Dec 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2031
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