WORKERS IN Hackney, east London, have scored a victory for equal pay. Two years ago 27 mainly young black workers were forced off the dole and into low paid jobs in the council under the government's New Deal scheme. They got jobs in refuse and street cleaning at £156 a week. This figure was well below that for other staff doing the same job.
There have been numerous walkouts as well as one day strikes against this inequality. Last week workers at the Andrews Road cleansing depot refused point blank to consider working over the millennium holiday until the council - which is hung, but with Labour as the largest party - provides equal pay. Two days later the management caved in and agreed to pay the 27 workers an equal wage. They also agreed to backdate the pay to each worker's start date.
TRADE UNIONISTS, community groups and service users planned to picket Hackney council this week in protest at £14 million of cuts. These attacks would mean the closure of a library and leisure centre as well as many other cuts. The latest assault follows £13 million of cuts over the summer.
THE UNISON union has launched a national boycott of new posts at the Youth Justice Team in Stockport. In effect management is demanding that staff apply for their own jobs. Workers are also angry at the threat of redundancies. At least one social worker has been given notice to quit. This is from a council which has £15 million in reserves. Staff have also withdrawn from the race awareness working party in protest at the treatment by management of a black woman worker.
Demonstrate in support of Derbyshire home helps
Saturday 27 November Market Square, Chesterfield Assemble 1pm
OVER 300 UNISON and GMB members joined an angry lobby of a Sefton council meeting in Southport on Thursday of last week. The protest was the latest in a series over plans to 'externalise' the Home Care Service. The privatising plan will mean a worse service and attacks on workers' conditions. The council voted to defer a decision until 13 January. Home care workers face a Christmas and new year of uncertainty, but will be organising further protests.