Socialist Worker

Ashfield council workers protest at new budget

Issue No. 2091

Over 40 Unison union members again turned out in force on Thursday of last week to lobby Ashfield council in Nottinghamshire over job and service cuts that will result from the council’s new budget.

The council is run by the Liberal Democrats. They are opposed on the one hand by an alliance of Tories and independents and on the other by Labour.

Unison branch secretary Richard Buckwell, said, “It was like Tweedledum and Tweedledee as the Lib Dems and the Conservatives debated each individual cut amendment to the budget.

“Then we got Tweedle-dumber from the Labour Party.

“They didn’t speak until right at the end of the meeting and abstained on every vote.

“The Lib Dems won each vote with a majority of three. So if Labour had voted against, the budget could have been defeated.”

The Labour leader finally spoke just before the main motion was put, merely to accuse the other two parties of playground politics. He then supported the budget.

He told Unison members Labour will now oppose all job losses in the committee stages where the Lib Dems don’t have a majority.

Despite this Unison members have already agreed on a consultative ballot for industrial action to initially refuse to pick up work from areas where posts will be lost.

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