Thousands of council workers in Hackney, east London, were to strike this week against cuts, redundancies and worse conditions. The action was planned for Wednesday, the local budget day as well as Gordon Brown's.
The Labour-Tory coalition that runs the council is pushing through huge attacks on working class people in the borough.
Last week key council committees voted through more cuts, including the closure of a purpose-built elderly persons' centre, nursery fees of £150 a week for young children, half a million pounds slashed from voluntary sector groups-and a council tax rise of nearly 10 percent.
Labour and the Tories are totally united on pushing through at least £50 million of cuts in the next three years and further privatisation, including services like sheltered housing for the elderly.
Central government is urging on the cuts and sell offs. It says loans are available, but only if the austerity policies are implemented. This week's strike will focus the feeling for resistance to the policies of 'structural adjustment' at local level.
Disgracefully, regional leaders of the TGWU and GMB have broken the unity of the workers and withdrawn support for this week's strike. However, UNISON stewards were attempting to win unity on the picket line. The Fightback anti-cuts campaign has also increased its support by beginning a series of local meetings.
One last week was addressed by Liz Davies, former member of the Labour Party national executive. The council leaders are determined to push through their cuts. The union leaders must rise to the challenge and escalate the action.