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Strike ballot in Southampton council

Issue No. 2031

Southampton council workers, threatened with the privatisation of their jobs, are to ballot for strike action.

Unison union members unanimously agreed to hold a vote on industrial action at a packed meeting last week.

The proposed strike will take place in February. It would involve all 2,900 Unison union members employed by Southampton council, except school workers.

Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker urged workers to vote for action in the ballot, which will be held in January.

The council is preparing to sack 300 care workers for refusing to accept wage cuts. It is also taking forward plans which could see 800 jobs privatised an a further 100 jobs axed to plug a shortfall in the council’s draft budget for 2007-8.

Mike Tucker warned the moves amounted to “fundamental change” meaning lower pay and a higher workload.

“The solution is to disrupt things so the transfer doesn’t go ahead, the redundancies don’t go ahead and wage cuts don’t go ahead,” he said.

The council is planning to hand the running of key services such as information technology to the private sector.

The Capita firm became the lead bidder after BT withdrew from negotiations.

Mike Tucker accused the council of breaching employment law.

He said, “We believe the council has carried out a number of illegal acts, and we are encouraging members to put in individual grievances.

“Hopefully the council will withdraw the redundancy notices.”

A letter outlining the breaches and threatening legal action has been sent to the council


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