Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1771

THE SOCIAL services branch of the UNISON union in Waltham Forest has passed a motion calling for one-day strike action against £2.5 million of council cuts. Workers and the local community were set to lobby the council on Thursday of this week.

UNISON members working in leisure centres run by Ashfield council in Nottingham have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a consultative ballot. The council wants to privatise leisure centres and apply for 'Arm's Length Management Organisation' status for its housing service.

Ashfield is not committed to protecting terms and conditions of existing employees and new starters after privatisation by the SLM company. The majority of workers who voted chose the option of all-out strike.

SOCIAL WORKERS in child protection at Manchester social services have forced UNISON officials to support a rank and file decision to boycott a Department of Health census.

Workers were angry that managers wanted staff to spend time recording every activity, phone call and conversation during a period of one week. There is growing anger at the health department's priorities. They seem more concerned about meeting government targets than the needs of vunerable children.

WORKERS AT MG Rover at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham rejected a new pay and conditions offer last week. They were offered a 2.5 percent pay increase, but were also asked to keep an overtime deal started by the company's former owner, BMW.

The deal means managers can ask staff to work an extra hour a day. Some 80 percent of workers accepted the pay offer in the ballot but rejected the overtime deal.

THE SOCIALIST Alliance is to contest two by-elections in the Lancashire town of Burnley on 22 November. This is an area where the Nazis experienced an upsurge of support in the general election last June.

The Nazi British National Party has targeted Burnley for a breakthrough in the council elections next May. Two grassroots candidates from Burnley Socialist Alliance will be standing-Tess McMahon in Trinity ward and Pauline Sarrell in Lowerhouse ward.

THE SCOTTISH Socialist Party (SSP) candidate who stood in a by-election in Edinburgh last week got a creditable 4.6 percent of the vote. Julie Smith stood in the Broughton council by-election, which is in Edinburgh's Leith constituency.

The election was held against the backdrop of the bombing of Afghanistan, which the SSP has spoken out strongly against. During the campaign Julie also went to a local mosque which had been targeted in a racist arson attack.

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Article information

Sat 20 Oct 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1771
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