A LABOUR council's privatisation plans have been thrown into turmoil following the revelation of a document leaked to local socialists. Neath and Port Talbot council had been planning to privatise the schools meals service. The move could affect children and hundreds of workers' jobs.
The council claimed no firm decisions had been taken. But a document leaked to the local Socialist Workers Party showed that to be a lie. The document was the minutes of a secret 'Special Labour Group Meeting' held as long ago as 30 September. It talks of a mysterious 'company' which is interested in taking over the meals service and concludes with the resolution that 'the company's tender be accepted'.
The 'company' is believed to be Rentokil, run by Clive Thompson who likens dealing with unions to 'pest control'. The Socialist Workers Party member who got the document immediately sent it out to anyone they could think of - local newspapers, councillors and, most importantly, the school meals staff.
The revelations caused uproar. At a stormy council meeting last week the privatisation plans were suspended, along with three senior council officers. A mass meeting of school catering workers was due to take place this week. We will continue to argue that the pressure should be stepped up to force the council to drop all privatisation.