Trade unionists at the London Development Agency (LDA) are organising to defend the vital funding they provide to different groups in the face of new mayor Boris Johnson’s cost-cutting agenda.
After his election Johnson appointed an interim chief executive, Peter Rogers, who is overseeing a restructuring of the agency, laughably called the “Improvement Programme”.
At a recent staff meeting it was announced that this includes a cut of 173 jobs, around 30 percent of the workforce. Management has not ruled out compulsory redundancies.
The LDA is the mayor’s economic development body and is responsible for funding many projects in London that help black, Asian and ethnic minority people, disabled people and women. There is concern that the cuts may affect many of the projects that help these people.
The LDA is also key to the success of the Olympics in 2012. Considering the strict timetable, this places staff in a strong position to resist the cuts.
Around 60 people in the PCS and Unison unions attended a meeting at the LDA on Wednesday of last week.
They discussed the impact of the cuts and how to organise. It was suggested that they contact other unions in the Greater London Authority group who are also under attack.
Union membership at the LDA has surged over the past few months, especially in the PCS. Future meetings among union members are planned to consider what action is needed to stop management’s offensive.