Socialist Worker

Kirklees council forced to back down over cuts

by Nick Ruff, Kirklees Unison branch chair (pc)
Issue No. 2222

Kirklees Council was forced this week to withdraw proposals it tried to impose on 1 September—because of threatened strike action by Unison and Unite union members.

Kirklees council originally said it wanted to cut 1,500 jobs by March 2011 and issued compulsory redundancy notices in May.

It has now stated there will be no compulsory redundancies for six months.

It has also been forced to withdraw its proposals to cut redundancy pay, attack the redeployment agreement and to use sickness records to select people for redundancy.

The council is also offering six months’ pay, in addition to redundancy payments, for those who wish to leave.

Taken together this is clearly a victory for the unions.

But there now needs to be a serious debate about how the unions defend the services their members provide and how to oppose the loss of jobs through voluntary redundancy and “natural wastage”.

The confidence gained from seeing the employer retreat at the threat of a ballot must now be used to fight any cuts in pay, jobs and services.

Kirklees Unison will be calling on its members to join a lunchtime protest on 20 October, the day of the Tories’ spending review.

We will also be sending a coach to the anti-cuts demo in Sheffield on 23 October.

Swindon strike

Unison union members in Swindon council have struck for the last two weekends.

They are protesting against the council’s plan to withdraw extra pay for working unsociable hours.

The strikes are centred on the Link Centre for sporting activities, as well as country parks and car parks.

The council has shamefully organised scab workers to break the strike which has managed to keep some services open.

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Article information

Tue 5 Oct 2010, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2222
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