Socialist Worker

Councils

Issue No. 1732

Hackney

Council Workers in Hackney, east London, will strike next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a crucial dispute over the ruling group's plans for cuts and privatisation. The Labour-Tory coalition 'structural adjustment plans' mean cutting £50 million over the next three years. Hundreds of jobs will go and services will be handed over to private firms.

'Why should workers, tenants and service users get clobbered while a few miles away the City fat cats collect their big bonuses? We have to stand up and fight or they will just come back for more wage cuts and wreck more services,' says TGWU union member Nikki Savage.

Everyone should back the strikes and argue for escalation to all-out indefinite to take on the council and New Labour.

March to Downing Street, Tuesday 30 January, assemble 10am, Hackney town hall, Mare Street. Called by Hackney UNISON.

Hackney Fightback rally, Wednesday 31 January, Hackney Empire, 7.30pm. Speakers include Tony Benn MP, Gary Younge, Mark Serwotka (PCS) and Jeremy Hardy.


Knowsley

Thousands of council workers in Knowsley on Merseyside plan to strike on Thursday 1 February against the Labour council's attempt to increase the working week from 35 to 37 hours. We are already under pressure after restructuring and staff shortages through voluntary redundancies. People have been joining our UNISON union to join the fight. The TGWU, which organises manual workers, says its members won't cross picket lines.

The ballot was disrupted by last week's local postal strike. But the Electoral Reform Society said it was announcing the result anyway because it was so overwhelming-a 78 percent strike vote. Management say the new hours will not be forced on people. But they will apply to new starters and to anyone promoted.

The feeling amongst workers to make a stand is very strong, and after the first strike we plan more action across the whole council.
ALISON PHILCOCK


Round-up

About 50 social services staff in Kirklees met last week to campaign for a yes vote in their ballot for strike action against council plans to close two of its 17 old people's homes.


Doncaster Labour council has suspended Martin Wasarma, UNISON branch secretary, for allegedly leaking sensitive information to the press. Martin is spearheading the fight against single status that would result in the worsening of council workers' pay and conditions. Trade union activists have launched a campaign demanding Martin's reinstatement.

Messages of support: Doug Wright, Doncaster UNISON, 55-57 Netherhall Road, Doncaster DN1. Phone 01302 320 793. Fax 01302 368 968.


Over 150 building workers lobbied Barnsley Labour council on Thursday of last week in protest at plans to transfer one third of their work to a private company. Police were called to the town hall to restrict the numbers. The workers in the UCATT and TGWU unions watched as every Labour councillor voted for the transfer.


Some 21 tenants and trade unionists met last week in Grimethorpe near Barnsley to campaign for improvements to their council homes. Tenants voted recently to reject Barnsley council's housing sell-off plans.
HENRY RAJCH


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Article information

News
Sat 27 Jan 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1732
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