Socialist Worker

Council workers step up resistance

Issue No. 2210


Library staff in Southampton are to strike for two days over plans to use volunteers to replace librarians.

The strikes on Friday 16 July and Monday 19 July follow an earlier well supported strike in June.

The Tory-run council is scrapping seven librarian jobs, despite Southampton libraries already being understaffed.

The cuts are to save £112,000, yet the council spent £1.3 million on the salaries of 12 senior staff in 2009-10.

Unison union branch secretary Mike Tucker said, “Tory councillors are hell bent on running down services which have taken people generations to build up. Southampton librarians are determined to resist the destruction of the library service.”


Workers at Lancashire county council are voting on strikes over attacks on their pay and conditions.

The council is cutting payments for working at weekends and evenings. Car allowances are also being scrapped.

Lancashire council says the changes are part of an equal pay review, but many workers will see their pay cut.

The Unison union is balloting all its non-school members across the council.

“If you’re paid to work a 35-hour week and you are contractually obliged to work on a Saturday, you would currently be paid time-and-a-half. If you worked on a Sunday, it would be double time,” said John Lewis, Unison regional organiser.

“The proposal is to reduce that to time-and-a-quarter. If your contract says you must work on a Saturday or Sunday every week, it adds up.” The ballot closes on 26 July.


Workers at Glasgow Life (previously Glasgow Culture and Sport) are due to strike on Monday.

They are set to shut down sports centres, libraries, galleries and museums.

This is the latest action organised by the Unison, Unite, GMB and Bectu unions.

Workers face attacks on their conditions and a pay freeze.

So far, there has been one day of united action and a series of selective actions at weekends, targeting major sporting and tourist events.


Over 200 Unison union members at Lambeth council in south London discussed fighting the cuts at a branch meeting last week.

“There was an initial wave of job cuts from before the general election but this has been compounded by cuts announced in the government’s budget. This has made the situation even worse,” Jon Rogers, Lambeth Unison branch secretary, told Socialist Worker.

“In the children’s directorate more than 280 posts are to be cut, up from 215 we were told of in May. We are expecting around 400 to 500 job losses in total.

“The branch meeting was resolute and determined. We agreed to hold an indicative ballot for industrial action across the whole branch.

“It’s possible that there may be sectional action sooner than that,” added Jon.

The meeting also agreed to support the 3 October demonstration outside the Tory party conference.


Half the staff at Northamptonshire county council face a pay freeze or pay cuts next year as part of a pay review. The Unison union is considering a strike ballot.

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Tue 13 Jul 2010, 17:56 BST
Issue No. 2210
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