At a packed meeting last week 300 council workers in Tower Hamlets, east London, voted unanimously to go ahead with strike action, starting with a one-day strike across the borough on Thursday of this week.
Workers voted two to one in favour of strike action in the official Unison union ballot which took place last December. Workers were angry at attacks by the Labour council which included the withdrawal of Christmas leave.
The vote sent a clear message to managers that staff will not be bullied. The message also rang home to New Labour councillors, many of whom will be standing for re-election in the May local elections. Rattled by bad publicity, they instructed managers to back off on cutting Christmas leave.
But workers are in no mood to accept a partial victory. They know that they have management on the run, and are ready to resist changes to sickness and disciplinary procedures.