Socialist Worker

Vote yes for strike in local government

by Phoebe Watkins, convenor Camden Unison (pc)
Issue No. 2104

Unison union members now have an increasingly good prospect of a fight over pay in local government, this year. Our members are among the lowest paid public sector workers, and are really feeling the pinch.

In real terms the paltry 2.45 percent offer is an insulting pay cut. Without a decent pay increase thousands will have to make choices over whether to heat their homes or feed their families.

But it is not just this insult that has led to an increasingly confident mood in the campaign for a yes vote. It is also the prospect of joint action with other public sector workers in schools, dole offices, and now possibly hospital workers.

Building a successful yes vote means actively campaigning.

We must make sure that wherever we can, we build union meetings and get outside speakers from either the teachers or civil service workers who because of their fantastic strike on 24 April, know the effects joint action can have.

The publicity produced by the national union is good.Local publicity, using quotes from local teachers, civil servants, and health workers can greatly increase the turnout, and increase the prospect of hundreds of thousands of public sector workers all taking action together.

It has also been announced that a ballot will start in Scotland, and with the GMB rejecting the health pay offer, the battle lines are growing.

Unity is going to be our strength – and we must do everything we can to build for the yes vote and a summer of discontent.

The ballot closes on 20 June.

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Article information

Tue 3 Jun 2008, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2104
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