Socialist Worker

Kirklees workers get ready for cuts battle

by Nick Ruff, chair, Kirklees Unison (pc)
Issue No. 2215

Around 8,500 Unison union members working for Kirklees council in West Yorkshire are preparing to ballot for strikes over cuts in jobs and services.

The ballot is due to start next Monday.

Kirklees Council plans to shed 1,500 jobs by next April.

The Labour council is proceeding with a vicious attack on its workforce at a speed unseen elsewhere. Kirklees is months ahead of other councils in implementing the cuts.

The council has recently decided to slash redundancy payments and compare sickness absences to decide who goes.

Unison, both nationally and regionally, understands the significance of the attack and has promised Kirklees branch all the resources at its disposal.

This is the first massive confrontation between a council and the union. The local branch of Unison is campaigning for an initial five days of action and has organised a demonstration in Huddersfield on 11 September.

Solidarity will be crucial. Kirklees Unison is calling for messages of support and for a big turnout on our demonstration.

Refuse workers at Sandwell council, West Midlands, are set to take action next week after a pay deal left workers on average £2,900 worse off per year.

Around 50 IT workers at Telford and Wrekin council, West Midlands, attended a Unison union meeting following rumours the department will be outsourced. In an indicative ballot, the overwhelmingly majority supported a call for action short of a strike.

Send messages of support to Kirklees Unison, 20 Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP. Phone 01484 511826.

Demonstrate: 12.30pm, Saturday 11 September St Georges Square, Huddersfield.

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Article information

Tue 17 Aug 2010, 18:05 BST
Issue No. 2215
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