Socialist Worker

Back the anti-cuts fight now in councils across the country

Issue No. 2217

Kirklees

Kirklees council workers in West Yorkshire are calling for full support for their march on Saturday 11 September.

The 8,500 members of the Unison union are set to start a ballot over cuts on Thursday of next week.

The action proposed is an all-out strike of the branch—which consists of over 80 percent of the total workforce.

Bosses are planning cuts that would mean “deleting” 1,500 jobs—more than one in ten positions at the council—by April next year.

The campaign for strike action has seen large meetings across the council, and the demonstration in Huddersfield on 11 September is receiving widespread backing.

The Unite union, which organises workers in the direct labour building department and part of the bins, intends to support Unison’s action.

However, Kirklees Unison’s plans to start the ballot were delayed. It had been due to begin on 23 August, but has been rescheduled to begin on 9 September, with action intended to start on 11 October.

Unison members are beginning to express frustration over the ballot delay. It is important that the ballot does begin on 9 September.

by Nick Ruff, Kirklees Unison branch chair (pc)

Please send messages of support to: Kirklees Unison, 20 Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP.

The protest assembles at 12.30pm on 11 September, St Georges Square, Huddersfield. Phone 01484 223577 to let us know you’ll be coming with delegations and your banners.


Sandwell

Refuse workers in Sandwell, West Midlands, are set to walk out four times over the next five weeks over pay. The GMB and Unite union members were to strike this Tuesday, then on 8, 16 and 24 September. The workers are also on a work-to-rule.


West Lothian

Refuse workers in West Lothian, near Edinburgh, struck on Friday of last week against a £2,800 pay cut.

It was the 60 GMB union members’ first one-day walkout after they voted overwhelmingly for strikes.


Nottinghamshire

The Unison union is to hold mass meetings and a lobby over plans for 2,500 job cuts and privatisation at Nottinghamshire county council.

The council is slashing daycare services, selling off all the council’s old people’s homes and launching a savage attack on workers’ conditions.

The council—led by Thatcherite, Kay Cutts—is also privatising cleaning, catering, highways, facilities, parks and many other services.

If this plan goes through it will leave hardly any services within the council’s remit.

It is appointing an “Improvement Director” from multinational delivery firm DHL to oversee this programme of cuts and privatisation, at a salary of £110,000.

Notts Unison and other unions are gearing up for a programme of resistance.

There will be members’ meetings throughout the county later this month, with the intention of building for a mass lobby of the council budget meeting on 14 October. Further action is then planned.


Aberdeen

Around 500 Aberdeen council workers voted unanimously to reject a pay offer at a mass meeting on Tuesday of last week. The offer was a 1.5 percent “rise”—with strings attached.


Coventry

Street cleaning and grounds workers in the Unison union at Coventry council are balloting for industrial action over harsh new contracts and working practices.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

News
Tue 31 Aug 2010, 16:50 BST
Issue No. 2217
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.